by Pim van Nes
For the Netherlands national team they played together in the 2006 World Baseball Classic (that famous 65 pitches no-hit shut-out), in the 2007 European Championship tournament (winning the only Olympic ticket of the continent) and in the 2007 World Cup tournament (finishing fourth for the second time in two years). In present 2008 Minor League season in the United States they are back together again and play every week in the Double AA affiliate of the WASHINGTON NATIONALS in Harrisburg. The three SENATORS with Orange blood are starting pitcher Shairon Martis, infielder Yurendell de Caster and outfielder Roger Bernadina.
On April 5 the Dutch trio combined in the HARRISBURG SENATORS win over AKRON AEROS (8-5), on April 10 in the 3-1 against the TRENTON THUNDER and on April 15 in the 8-2 victory in Reading. The first and the third game were won by the SENATORS coming back from behind, disallowing the pitcher’s win for starter Martis. The Dutch starter was relieved in these two games when the SENATORS were trailing closely, but in his game two he left with a 2-0 lead and Martis got the pitcher’s win. In the two come-back-from-behind victories, important roles were played by the two Dutch batters Bernadina and De Caster. In Martis’ game one it was De Caster’s first hit of the season to bring the lead back to the SENATORS (6-4), as it was a homerun with a runner on.
Last Tuesday Martis pitched five strong innings in Reading allowing only two runs in the third. In three of the other innings Martis limited the local attack to the minimum of three batters in the box. He faced one man more than the minimum in the second, but without consequence for the scoreboard. It took his teammates almost eight innings to tie the game and with 2-2 the game went to extra innings. With one out in the eleventh it was right fielder Bernadina to single on his way to the first SENATORS lead in the game thanks to his teammates’ walk and singles: 3-2. Third baseman De Caster then doubled for another two runs (5-2) and minutes later he scored the seventh run in the rally on way to the final 8-2 road victory.
Martis (born in 1987) started in three games so far winning one and losing nil. He worked in a total of 14.1 innings striking out ten and giving up seven walks and 15 hits for an ERA of 4.40. Bernadina (1984) played in eleven games and got eleven hits from 46 at bats for an average of .239. With two doubles his slugging percentage rose to .304 and reached further by four walks with five stolen bases. De Caster (1979 as the senior SENATOR among the three Dutch in Harrisburg) after a slow start has increased his batting average to .347 with 17 hits from 49 at bats in 13 games. The 17 hits comprise five doubles and four homeruns, pushing his SLG to .694. De Caster has walked nine times and stole one base.
At this level all three players are realistic prospects for the Netherlands national team preparing for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Available players of Robert Eenhoorn’s selection will participate in the Haarlem Honkbal Week from July 4 thru 13 and will leave the Netherlands on July 26 in order to prepare for Beijing in the comparable climate of South-Korean city of Chuncheon, where the baseball players will join swimming, cycling and rowing athletes in a Dutch camp about 60 km away from the capital Seoul. On August 6 the baseball team will leave for Beijing, where the Opening Ceremony will take place on August 8 and the Olympic baseball tournament starts on August 13.
Pim van Nes
Baseball writer for