The Netherlands has done a lot of travelling for the World Baseball Classic.
The journey started with a training camp in Arizona. Then the Dutch national team opened the international tournament in Taichung, Taiwan, flew to Tokyo for the second round and stopped in Arizona for a two exhibitions before they head to San Francisco for the WBC semifinals.
Andruw Jones hit a towering home run and the Netherlands defeated the San Diego Padres 9-3 Thursday night in their first exhibition. The Dutch will play against Seattle on Friday.
Few, if any, expected the Netherlands to rack up frequent-flyer miles. A first-round exit was realistic, and a second-round exit seemed certain in a pool with Japan, Chinese Taipei and Cuba.
The Netherlands kept on advancing, and these underdogs are now two wins from a WBC championship. Next up is a to-be-determined opponent in Monday's semifinal.
The Netherlands took Wednesday off to recover from jet lag, but got back to work Thursday with a focus that ...