Since the last update, Xander Bogaerts and the team from the Netherlands have been surviving. In their final Pool B game against Australia, Holland earned a 4-1 victory. Bogaerts showed he could help his team in multiple ways with plays like a sacrifice bunt to move two players over in the third and a lead off double in the eighth. This win pushed Holland through to the next round on a run differential tiebreaker with Korea.
Round 2 began with the Netherlands playing the role of underdog against Cuba. For the second time in as many rounds, the Dutch began play with an upset. They defeated the Cubans 6-2, with Bogaerts again reaching base by way of the bunt. We’re starting to get a feel for what kind of player he could be, and the speedster/small ball type infielder is one the Sox haven’t had in a while.
That win put the Netherlands in a position to clinch a trip to the final four in San Francisco, if only they could beat Japan this morning in Tokyo. What they got instead was a drubbing. Bogaerts didn’t even bat until Japan was up 6-0 in the second. The next time he was scheduled to bat, he was pinch hit for with an 11 run deficit. Japan went on to mercy rule the Netherlands.
Now it all comes down to one more final game against Cuba. Win and your in the final four, lose and it’s all over. Once again, the Netherlands will be huge underdogs. I’m interested to see what Sox fans think about this; would you rather have Bogaerts done with the WBC and back in Fort Myers, or do you want to see him on the big stage in San Francisco?