Netherlands Post Game Interview March 12 2013

Q. That was a big gap at the beginning, but you catch up very well. How was tonight's competition?

HENSLEY MEULENS: Yes, we got behind early in the game in the second inning to score eight runs. But our guys never died, just like the whole tournament so far, they battled back.

We got good pitchers to keep the came close and we got within two runs. And we basically had the winning run at the plate the bottom of the eighth with two guys on base and Oduber got up there, and we had a chance to take the lead, but he ended up striking out.

But that's how these guys played. They played hard all nine innings. In the ninth inning again, we put two guys on and had a chance to do something right there. They played hard today and the second inning was a big inning for them, and we never could catch up after that.

Q. Overall, you played in the first round and second rounds, what's in your mind, any ambitions, any thoughts for the semifinals and for the finals?

HENSLEY MEULENS: Yes, I think from the first Classic in 2006, we won one game and it was a no hitter by Shairon Martis, and in the second Classic, we won a few games from the Dominican Republic and advanced to the second round, and now we've advanced to the finals.

So each time we get a little bit better and this team is growing and the players are getting better. We have most of our good players playing. So that's why our level has risen to this point, and now we are going into the final round trying to win the Classic. So, you know, we are going to get to play on the 18th now by losing their game today and trying to win the game to get to the final game on the 19th.

But our guys, I'm very happy, the staff did a great job, Bert, Steve for the pitching, Tjerk and Robert with the batters, and Foxy and Wim on the bases, and all the players did a great job to put us in a great position that we are right now. And hopefully we can get two more wins to bring the Cup home.

Q. Xander, how did you play for tonight? You got a couple base hits and RBI.

XANDER BOGAERTS: I guess I played pretty good, but my team has confidence in me and that's what made me play pretty good today. I have to give credit for that, just cheering me on the whole time and trusting me, that was important.

Q. Xander, if your base hit is a late inning situation, how come you guys never die?

XANDER BOGAERTS: Well, I guess the fighting spirit I guess, and all the guys just trusting in each other and hoping that we probably get runs so we can be back on the board.

I just think that it's trust and confidence in each other, that's what makes us a pretty good team, no matter how much we lose, just keep going.

Q. First of all, I was quite surprise that had Team Netherlands played a wonderful game. Today is the last day of Pool 1, and it is going to be a single elimination game from now on. You have six days off, and do you think it is going to be your benefit, while Pool 2 only has a couple days off before the semifinals. What do you think of the differences and if you have a specific plan for the semifinal, will you tell me?

HENSLEY MEULENS: Well, I think it's going to benefit us, especially with injuries we sustained the last couple of days, Balentien, Bernadina and De Caster, it's going to help us get those guys back on the field. They need a couple days to be able to play again at 100 percent. So it's definitely going to benefit us. We have a day off tomorrow that we are going to practice at 1:00 at Peoria, and then we have two exhibition games on Thursday and Friday, night game, one against the Padres and one against the Mariners. So you know, we have got to stay running.

The other thing, we have go get back and get used to the time difference when we get back. It's all beneficial, these few days off before we have to play again. And we have a couple of games that we can play and also a couple of days off that you can let some guys, if they need it very well, to get back on the field.

Q. Do you have a specific plan for the pitchers? Because for the pitchers, it's hard to get an adjustment without playing baseball, if they have six days off.

HENSLEY MEULENS: Like I just explained, we are practicing tomorrow which is a day off, but then we play two games, which is with the pitch count, actually it's kind of a Catch 22, because you have to make sure that you maintain the guys under 50 pitches, because in a couple days we have to play the game for real.

So we are going to mix and match and make sure that whoever wants to start on the 18th, has a couple innings in one of the two games, probably the game on the 14th, and then the relievers, also, maybe one or two innings at a time to make sure we can cover both games. We have got to cover 18 innings of pitching, you know, with the two exhibition games. So they will get plenty of work.

And also, I have to make sure that I rest them so they can be able to pitch on the 18th and hopefully on the 19th, as well.

Q. You're carrying some injuries and some guys might not be able to play into the next round. You have I understand some people who really want to play for you; what's your comments? Do you have somebody at each position to fill in?

HENSLEY MEULENS: We had 50 guys on the roster that we asked before the tournament started and we had to bring it to 28, so we still have 22 guys on that 50 man roster that we can pick from and we can play guys if need be. De Caster had the most severe injury running down the third baseline yesterday, and you know, today Isenia sustained an injury to his elbow. We don't know to which extent that is. We'll have to find out.

We have until Saturday to make the moves. So we are going to take that flight tonight, and hopefully when we get to Arizona the next couple of days, we'll really determine if we need to make any moves and who they are going to be.

We have obviously Jurickson Profar playing with Texas. We have got by Didi Gregorius playing with the Diamondbacks, also, two big league players. And we have two big league pitchers in Johnson and Jergens (ph) for the Orioles.

So those are the four main guys that possibly we could pick from, and also they will have to be sure that they can come join us. But first and foremost, we have got to make sure that the guys that are hurt are truly hurt and we need to replace them before we contact the other guys.

Thank you very much, and wishing you well.