Uruguay's gritty run is over, and the Netherlands are in the Finals for the first time since 1978.
Netherlands 3, Uruguay 2
While this game was closely fought, the Netherlands were clearly the better finishing team. Once they were able to navigate around the Uruguay defenders congesting the middle, they were able to open the game up and pull away. Wesley Sneijder scored his 5th of the tournament. Diego Forlan ended his World Cup in style with a long-range goal. But it was Gio van Bronckhorst's missile that might wind up being the goal of the tournament.
With the Netherlands facing either Spain or Germany, it means an all-Europe final for the second consecutive World Cup. The last time there's been back-to-back all-Europe finals was in the 30s. This also means that a European team will win the World Cup on another continent for the first time ever.
Germany vs. Spain this afternoon. Uruguay gets the loser on Saturday, the Netherlands gets the winner on Sunday.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
The Red Sox lost another close game to the Rays, thanks in part to some shoddy bullpen work. But more worrisome is that they might lose yet another key player. Kevin Youkilis left the game before leading off the 4th inning. He was in the on-deck circle, preparing to hit, when he gingerly tested his right foot, then went to the ground in pain. The Sox are describing the injury as "right ankle pain," so you can probably guess that he's still being diagnosed.
The Sox were forced to replace Youkilis with Niuman Romero. So not only did the Sox lose Youkilis, they lost Ortiz, as Romero's presence behind him in the lineup allowed the Rays to intentionally walk him 3 times.
Felix Doubrant was serviceable, allowing 2 runs in 5.2 innings. Okajima returned and really disappointed, giving the Rays an insurance run they'd wind up needing.
Without Youkilis, the Sox lineup really is toothless. And this team is getting unrecognizable. Imagine if you took a vacation 2 weeks ago to some remote place with no internet or TV. You come back and you'd think that you traveled through time. There are so many "video game players," on the Sox. These are the guys whose names sound like the token names that video games give new players when you do franchise mode stuff.
It doesn't look good for tonight's game, either. Wakefield opposes David Price, who's 11-4 with a 2.42 ERA.