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.
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
|Pinar del Río||93||45||48||.482||9.0|
|Isla de la Juventud||90||37||53||.411||15.5|
|Ciego de Avila||90||52||38||.578||1.5|
|Santiago de Cuba||90||50||40||.556||3.5|
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