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Israel defeated by Netherlands 12-2

Facing a Netherlands team that was loaded for bear, Israel was mercy-ruled in the eighth inning, 12-2.

World Baseball Classic - Pool E - Game 3 - Netherlands v Israel Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images

It had to happen, at some point.

Facing a Netherlands team that was loaded for bear, Israel was mercy-ruled in the eighth inning, 12-2.

Netherlands SS Andrelton Simmons went 3-5 with a double and 2 runs scored, while Wladimir Balentien was 3-4, driving in three and scoring three more. Didi Gregorius had a double, a two-run homer and five RBI in the blowout win.

Yurendell de Caster also went 3-5 with two RBI, and catcher Shawn Zarraga had a pair of hits and two RBI, as well.

Jair Jurrjens had Israel locked down for 6 innings, allowing only one run on five hits, striking out five and walking none. JC Sulbaran, Jim Ploeger and Orlando Yntema combined in a split two-inning effort, giving up a run on three hits, striking out two and walking zero. It was an aggressive, dominant performance for Netherlands pitching.

Corey Baker was shaky over two innings, giving up four runs on only three hits and a pair of walks. Jeremy Bleich and Danny Burawa fared even worse, combining for six runs on six hits and a walk. It was far more than Netherlands would need. Jared Lakind, Andy Katz, Tyler Herron, Jake Kalish and Troy Neiman covered the final three innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out three in the losing effort.

Nate Freiman had a solo homer to right in the bottom of the fourth, while Nick Rickles doubled to center in the bottom of the seventh, scoring on Blake Gailen's single to right which glanced off of the glove of de Caster at first base. Ike Davis had a pair of hits, as did Gailen and Scott Burcham.

Israel had beaten Netherlands once already, though the Dutch field a potent lineup and thus were expected to rebound from that loss. Sam Fuld, Mike Meyers and Ty Kelly, the top two batters in the Israel order (Meyers entered the game in the top of the seventh), left seven runners stranded, while Freiman and Zach Borenstein each left a pair on base at the 4-5 slots.

Jurrjens threw 53 of 74 pitches for strikes, and it was a pattern followed by Netherlands pitchers all throughout the game. Baker struggled a bit with location, many pitches missing just low in the zone, but most of the hits for Netherlands batters were either outside the strike zone or just on the edge of it. It was a noticeably different approach for their offense, as they were on the attack all night.

Freiman was hit by Yntema's first pitch in the bottom of the eighth, possibly in response to Baker's having hit Jonathan Schoop in the top of the second. Schoop and Freiman appeared uninjured, fortunately, though both pitches were far up and in.

Israel is now finding itself against a wall, with a 1-1 record in the second round and still due to face Japan. Netherlands is also 1-1, having lost to Japan 8-6 in their first game this round. Cuba will face Japan tomorrow (6 AM EST), while Israel plays them on Wednesday (also at 6 AM), and Netherlands plays Cuba tomorrow at 11 PM EST. These are especially critical games for Japan's opponents, but a Netherlands victory vs. Cuba will put them at 0-2 and out of competition. With so much on the line, the next three days may bring the most exciting games thus far.