Cuban Baseball: Matanzas Nailed its Flag into the Final

Eriel SAnchez llega quieto a tercera base.  Foto: Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate. Victor Victor recibe pelotazo.  Foto: Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate. Victor Vicor llega quieto a segunda base,  Foto: Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate. Bustamante lanzo tremendo partido.  Foto: Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate. Aficionados a Villa Clara.  Foto: Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate. Los Cocodrilos celebran su pase a la final.  Foto: Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate. Celebracion de los Cocodrilos.  Foto: Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate. coco06

Article by Michel Contreras Strike 3: Matanzas plantó su bandera en la final

Translation: Marlys Rodríguez Francisco
Photos: Ismael Francisco

There’s going to be a new champ! Crocodiles peeled the orange in the Sandino Stadium, unleashing hell with 13 runs and 22 hits before five host hurlers.
Villa Clara surprised everyone with the starter Luis Borroto; still with velocity in his throws, but lacking the poisonous curve that took him to the stars a few years ago. Borroto allowed a couple of runs in the very first inning, though to be fair, he was not beaten the hard way.
But, in the end, runs are runs, earned or not, by chance or deserved. Moreira drove a rolling to the right field, Yadiel Hernández blooped and Eriel Sanchez took to good terms an amazing squeeze play. Afterwards, a new blooper-this one from Jose Miguel Fernandez-brought over home plate the second in a chapter ended with a masterpiece fielding play by Andy Sarduy.
On the visitors ‘side, Victor Mesa gave the ball to Yoelkis Cruz, and the veteran player from Las Tunas did not carry on with his mission, victim of an alarming loss of control that loaded the bases. Thus, with early rush, Alexander Bustamante came to rescue and the scenario looked promising for the newly called Leopards. However, the young reliever forced birthday boy, Ramón Lunar, to noble fly, and fans regretted it.
Too inclined to extending the horizontal line of the plate, Jorge Luis Pérez was not that fine with the counts, or in the play that turned into the 3rd run for Matanzas in the 4th. However, to be honest, we cannot blame the loss on the umpire, but on a team that was fully dominated by a 19 years old man with barely two experiences in National Series.
Crocodiles got to the middle of the match with a 6×0 advantage, and the despondency showed in the look of the local players and devotees. Then, in the 6th, visitors provided the coup de grâce by scoring seven more, and some things became clear: Matanzas had taken revenge from the previous season, and the title would be credited to a new monarch.
Ultimately, despite the sounded defeat on Tuesday, we should not be taking it with the outgoing champion, a team that had to overcome lots of Scylla and Charybdis-retirements and sanctions, desertions and injuries-to get to this stage.

However, I found no use on the victimized position some have adopted, the same that has damaged enormously-Mourinho willing-such and historic and respectable Real Madrid. You can find excuses and blame it on anyone or anything, but, beyond the Freddy Asiel issue, the truth is that Villa Clara had evident possibilities of reaching the victory and did not materialized them, especially on games 2 and 3.
That the Orangemen left 30 men on base in the three initial games, that they try some inappropriate bunts or that their 4th batter has his RBIs department in zero, is not the fault of the National Commission.
Positive: Matanzas bullpen took it again for the team. Negative: The errors of Villa Clara’s defense. Alarming: Matanzas’ starters are doubtful for a more demanding match in the Great final. Suggestion: Do not hide behind pretext. Unbelievable: 38 hits, three doubles and five homers, combined with 15 walks, three stolen bases, six hit by pitches, and Matanzas only scored 13 TIMES!!!!.

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