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S. Korea stunned by Netherlands at WBC

(Yonhap News)
(Yonhap News)

South Korea was stunned by the Netherlands 5-0 on Saturday in its first game at the 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC) here in Taiwan.

In the first-round action at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, the Netherlands got timely hits from the heart of their lineup and took advantage of South Korean errors for the upset over the runner-up from the 2009 WBC.

Andruw Jones, with 434 career homers in Major League Baseball (MLB), went 2-for-4 with a run, while Roger Bernadina, an outfielder for the Washington Nationals of the MLB, drove in two runs for the winning side.

South Korea committed four errors and managed only four hits, all of them singles.

The Dutch starter Diegomar Markwell limited South Korea to just two singles in four shutout innings for the win. The Netherlands' bullpen slammed the door shut on its opponent.

South Korea will next face Australia on Monday and Taiwan on Tuesday in Pool B play. All games will be played here in Taichung. After the loss Saturday, South Korea will likely have to win both games to advance to the next round.

Earlier in the day, Taiwan defeated Australia 4-1, as starter Wang Chien-Ming threw six shutout innings.

The top two teams from Pool B will advance to the second round, which will take place in Tokyo starting next Friday.

The Netherlands put the first run on the board in the bottom second. Jones hit a towering double to left off starter Yoon Suk-min, and later came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Curt Smith.

Smith almost had his second RBI in the bottom fourth with a single to left, but Jones was thrown out at home trying to score from second.

The Dutch pulled ahead with two runs in the fifth. The bases were loaded with one out, and Bernadina made it 2-0 with a grounder to second. Second baseman Jeong Keun-woo retired the lead runner at second but had no chance at an inning-ending double play.

The next batter, Wladimir Balentien, followed with a run-scoring single to left.

The Netherlands all but clinched the win with two more runs in the seventh. Bernadina picked up his second RBI of the game with a double to right.

Later in the inning, with the bases full, Jones hit a grounder back to pitcher Chong Tae-hyon. Chong got the force out at home but as catcher Kang Min-ho tried to get Jones at first for a double play, Jonathan Schoop slid into his leg.

Kang's throw to first went into right field, allowing Bernadina to score from second.

Kang left the game with an apparent left calf injury, but national team officials said it wasn't serious.

South Korea wasted a couple of scoring chances. In the top fourth with runners on corners and two outs, Kim Hyun-soo grounded out to first to end the rally. Then in the top seventh, South Korea again had runners on first and third with one out, but Kang Min-ho struck out swinging and pinch hitter Lee Seung-yeop popped out to second.

South Korean manager Ryu Joong-il apologized to fans for the shocking loss.

“We played a horrible game,” he said. “Whether it was defense or our relief pitching, nothing went our way.”

He said his hitters were unlucky early in the game when some of their hard-hit balls went straight to Dutch fielders.

“We will have to go back to training Sunday (the team's off day) and find ways to beat Australia and Taiwan,” he said. “We will try our best with what little time we have left.”

Hensley Meulens, the Dutch manager, said pitching, defense, and timely hits, made all the difference for his team.

“We got a very, very good start from Diegomar, and our big boys (in the lineup) did their job today,” he said. “That's a combination for a winning formula.”

The Netherlands will go right back to the field Sunday for a 2:30 p.m. game against Taiwan. Meulens said he will have a confident bunch at his side.

“We beat one of the best teams in the world, and when you get out there and play like we did today, you get confidence,” he said. “But this game is over with. You have to turn the page over. We will have to pitch well and play good defense and have timely hits again to beat Taiwan tomorrow as well.”

Markwell retired the first eight batters he faced to set the tone early. Though pitchers are restricted to 65 pitches per game in the first round, they may go over the cap to finish an at-bat. Markwell retired his final batter on his 72nd pitch.

The second Dutch pitcher, Orlando Yntema, was just as effective, giving up two hits in three innings. Mark Pawelek recorded the final out of the game for the save.

Markwell, who has nine U.S. minor league seasons under his belt, said he was pleased to have proven that “I can pitch at a high level and compete with anybody out there.”

“The main thing was throwing strikes,” he said. “Getting ahead of hitters (in counts) makes the game easier for the pitcher. It puts pressure on hitters, instead of putting pressure on us.”

For the Dutch offense, Andrelton Simmons, shortstop for the MLB Atlanta Braves, went 3-for-5 with two runs scored from the leadoff spot. In contrast, South Korean leadoff man, Jeong Keun-woo, was 0-for-4.

Yoon Suk-min threw 4 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on four hits for the loss. He threw 58 pitches.

South Korea sent out six relief pitchers after Yoon, but the vaunted bullpen failed to live up to the hype.

Noh Kyung-eun, second pitcher, allowed two walks and a run in one inning of work, and Son Seung-lak, who followed Noh, was tagged for two runs in just 2/3 innings. (Yonhap News)

<관련 한글 기사>

WBC 네덜란드전 5-0 ‘충격’ 패배 원인은?

한국 야구팀은 2013 월드베이스볼클래식 (WBC) 첫 출전에 복병 네덜란드로부터 5-0으로 참패를 당했다. 

2009년 준우승까지 했던 한국팀은 이번 경기에서 1회 내야 수비에서부터 실수를 거듭 반복하여 네덜란드에게 공격권이 넘어갔다.

메이저리그 출신의 앤드류 존스는 2루타를 성공했고 메이저리그 워싱턴 네셔널 팀의 외야수로 뛰고 있는 로저 베나디나는 2실점으로 네덜란드에 승기를 가져다 주었다. 

선발 등판한 기아타이거즈의 윤석민은 4⅓이닝 동안 4안타와 볼넷 하나를 내 주고 2점 실점하였다. 두산의 노경은은 5회 1사 1루에서 연속 추가 실점을 하였다. 

한국팀은 무려 4개의 실책을 저지르고 9번의 공격기회동안 4번은 안타만 칠 수 있었다. 

한국팀은 월요일 호주팀과 화요일 대만팀과 경기를 벌인다. 모든 경기는 대만에서 이루어질 예정이다. 토요일 네덜란드전의 충격적인 패배 후 2라운드 진출을 위해 두 팀 모두와 이겨야 할 것이라는 분석이 나왔다. 

우리나라가 소속된 B조의 상위 2팀만이 다음 주 금요일 일본 도쿄에서 열리는 2라운드에 진출할 수 있다. A조의 일본은 브라질에 5대 3으로 역전승했다. 

한국팀은 호주와 월요일 오후 7시 30분 대만 타이중 인터콘티넨탈 구장에서 2차전을 치룬다. 

WBC 한국팀을 이끌고 있는 류중일 감독은 충격적인 패배로 경악한 팬들에게 "최악의 경기를 보여드린 점에서 국민들께 죄송하고, 남은 경기 최선을 다하겠습니다" 라고 사죄의 말을 남겼다. (코리아헤럴드)

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