World Baseball Classic: Puerto Rico Tops Pool D

Warren TurnerContributor IMarch 12, 2009

Last night, Puerto Rico shut out the Netherlands 5-0 on just six hits. None of the eight pitchers used by manager Jose Oquendo were challenged as they combined for 13 strikeouts.

Puerto Rico had 10 hits of their own, but only one extra-base hit—a triple by Alex Rios that drove in a run. Of the five pitchers for the Netherlands, only Alexander Smit was able to prevent Puerto Rico from scoring.

Both teams used their bench players liberally, making this game seem more like an exhibition.

The next round for these two teams—also a double-elimination format—starts Saturday at Dolphins Stadium in Miami. Venezuela takes on the Netherlands at 1pm EDT and Puerto Rico plays against the United States at 8pm EDT.

Friday, look for my recap of the first round, as I highlight some of the more surprising players and assess their chances of playing Major League Baseball.