March 2 Hensley Meulens and Diegomar Markwell interview, Netherlands
THE MODERATOR: Why don't we start with talking about the performance of your team tonight?
HENSLEY MEULENS: Well, first of all, the name of the game is pitching and defense, and we played a very good game defensively. And we got a very, very good start from Diegomar, and went three more innings scoreless. Of course struggled a little bit in the game, but he also pursued from the first pitch and then powered through the finish with the strikeout there. But pitching, defense, and hitting. The big guys did their job today. Andruw had a couple of hits, Roger had a big hit for us, so did Balentien, and big, big performances for those guys. So that's a combination of a winning formula, and that's how we finished.
Q. Mr. Markwell, you played baseball in Taiwan, and you also played international tournaments in Taiwan. This time you beat the runner up of the Classic, the Koreans. How do you feel about that?
DIEGOMAR MARKWELL: I felt pretty good. I was confident through the whole off season I had and the whole spring training I had. I think I showed my team that I could pitch at a high level. For my team, I was there tonight. It always feels good to win. They are professionals. When I played, (Indiscernible) I didn't get a chance to succeed. But pitching nationally and showing everybody that I can still pitch at a high level and compete with anybody out there.
Q. So did you prepare anything special for Korean competition against Korea?
DIEGOMAR MARKWELL: I think throw strikes and get ahead of the hitters. That makes the game more easy for the pitcher. I think that's the key as well as success is to get ahead. Put pressure on the hitters instead of putting pressure on yourself. That's working for us because we kept getting low scores all the time.
Q. So you have experience with Korean baseball, and I think you have experience in Asian baseball. So how do you prepare for this game against Korea and how did it affect your game today?
HENSLEY MEULENS: Well, we had little information on this club coming in because of the teams we've played in the last few tournaments were not the same team here tonight, obviously. This was a very, very good team today that we beat. But we gathered some information from the last couple of exhibition games and also any of the information we have before that, we didn't have enough time to prepare for them, because we weren't able to go out there and watch them play and practice. But our game plan was like Diego said. The pitchers working the pitch count, and the first one is only 55 pitches. He would have loved to stay in the game, but he hit 17 pitches after four innings, so some guys fouled some balls off and got some pitches from him. But we had a plan, and have guys stay with their strength and not try to be too tricky. And that's what our pitching was. Our pitcher was trying to keep the ball down and move the ball in and out on the hitters. When we have to make a pitch, they made the pitch, and we kept them off balance. We beat a very, very good pitcher today. Give credit to that pitcher today. He was a very good pitcher. He had some plans to get some pitches early, but it didn't work -- the pitch count going into the fifth inning. We just were lucky to score a couple of runs. They made a couple mistakes defensively, and we were able to capitalize.
Q. The Korean folks said it was one of the worst games they've ever played. How do you rank the victory for the Netherlands?
HENSLEY MEULENS: Of course, any time you can beat a team like this on a stage like this in the World Baseball Classic. We've seen the first two classics, went to the semifinals both times. They were in the finals in 2009. This is a very, very good team. I know their managers don't think they played their best games, but we earned our A game today during this game.
Q. (No microphone)?
HENSLEY MEULENS: Of course, I think the guys we practice for so long. We never play in games that mean anything for so long. Obviously, when you get out there and you play a game like you played in tonight's game and you beat one of the best teams in the world, obviously, you look at that. But we have a game ahead of us 24 hours from now against another good team, so we have very little time to go prepare for this next game. We have to go get some rest tonight, and then wake up early tomorrow, go over some reports, and have a plan to attack the Chinese Taipei team just like we did today. Like you said, the lineup did some damage today. So we'll have to pitch too and play good defense to finally be able to beat them tomorrow as well.