Daily Cuban League Action Update (for April 14, 2012)

Note: Ray Otero (Director and webmaster of http://www.BaseballdeCuba.com) is traveling in Cuba during the final week of the National Series season and first week of the Cuban playoffs. Because of the lack of regular internet connectivity in Cuba, Ray will not be able to update our main website regularly during that period. Therefore over the next two weeks I am posting daily website reports for Cuban League action on this blog page for the benefit of all our devoted Cuban League followers.

Frequent updates concerning Cuban League action and periodic video clips/links on Cuban baseball are also regularly available on my Facebook page. Those interested in Cuban baseball may also wish to “friend” me on Facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001753561208

Player of the Day: Joan Carlos Pedroso with two long blasts on Friday night moved into 9th slot the Cuban League career home run list.

Friday’s skimpy three-game slate featured a trio of contests that all held considerable importance for the still-unsettled playoff pictures in both leagues. With league batting leader José Dariel Abreu sitting out the entire series, Cienfuegos dropped the deciding series game at Isla and in the process blew a golden opportunity to gain ground on both Matanzas and idle Industriales in the Occidental League pennant chase. Isla closer Danni Aguilera worked the final three frames of the game in Cristobal Labra Stadium and notched his league-leading save number 25. In a second Occidental showdown, Sancti Spíritus recaptured some lost momentum by taking their rubber match with Mayabeque at Nelson Fernández Stadium in San José de las Lajas. With the much-needed victory the Gallos moved three full games ahead of defending National Series champion Pinar del Río and now stand in a solid position to grab the fourth and final Occidental playoff spot.

In an equally crucial night game between Santiago and Las Tunas, the Leñadores outslugged the visiting Wasps 13-7 to maintain a sold grip on third place and drop Santiago a half game off the pace in the five-team Oriente playoff battle. While most of the slugging news this winter has been made by Abreu and Despaigne, Las Tunas veteran Joan Carlos Pedroso stepped back into the limelight with his 15th and 16th of the season to impel the home club to victory. The pair of homers raised Pedroso’s career total to 286, moving him into a three-way tie with “Cheito” Rodríguez and Oscar Machado on the all-time career list. Pedroso (now in his fifteenth season) is the current long-ball leader among active players and has also smacked the most homers with wooden bats in National Series history.

Results of Friday, April 13, 2012

(Boldface team is home club)

Sancti Spíritus 4, Mayabeque 1

Isla de la Juventud 1, Cienfuegos 4

Las Tunas 13, Santiago de Cuba 7

Idle: All other teams

League Standings (April 13, 2012)

Boldface teams have clinched playoff appearance

Occidental League

Team Games Wins Losses Pct. Margin
Matanzas 89 52 37 .584
Industriales 90 52 38 .578 0.5
Cienfuegos 90 51 39 .567 1.5
Sancti   Spíritus 89 46 43 .517 6.0
Pinar del   Río 93 45 48 .482 9.0
Isla de   la Juventud 90 37 53 .411 15.5
Metropolitanos 89 35 54 .393 17.0
Artemisa 89 33 56 .371 19.0
Mayabeque 90 30 60 .333 22.5

Oriental League

Team Games Wins Losses Pct. Margin
Villa Clara 89 53 36 .596
Ciego de Avila 90 52 38 .578 1.5
Las Tunas 88 51 38 .573 2.0
Granma 89 50 39 .562 3.0
Santiago   de Cuba 90 50 40 .556 3.5
Guantánamo 87 41 46 .471 11.0
Camagüey 92 43 49 .467 11.5
Holguín 89 41 48 .461 12.0

Individual Batting Leaders

Ave: José Dariel Abreu (Cienfuegos) .386

Hits: Yordan Manduley (Holguín) 123

Runs: Ramón Tamayo (Granma) 83

HR: Alfredo Despaigne (Granma) 35 (new league record)

RBI: Alfredo Despaigne (Granma) 100

Slugging: José Dariel Abreu (Cienfuegos) .814

Individual Pitching Leaders

Wins: Ismel Jiménez (Sancti Spíritus) 16

ERA: Vladimir García (Ciego de Avila) 1.78

Complete Games: Vladimir García (Ciego de Avila) 11

Saves: Danni Aguilera (Isla de la Juventud) 25

Ks: Yadier Pedroso (Artemisa) 120

Ks: Odrisamer Despaigne (Industriales) 120

Innings: Ismel Jiménez (Sancti Spíritus) 177.0

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