Archive for the 'Mexico' Category

Big Four Appear Playoff Bound in Series del Caribe

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

Only one more day left of round robin pool play and the big four of Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Puerto Rico are ahead in the final four playoff run, with newcomers Colombia and Panama possibly left out of the picture. Colombia has been eliminated from playing in the final four. All three games yesterday were decided by one run. It even appears that Puerto Rico has clinched the fourth spot based on the tie breaker rules. So the final day is just fluff.

Mexico 7 Venezuela 6

Mexico sent Venezuela to their first defeat and improved their record to 3-1. They jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and then hung on to snag the victory. Both teams have clinched a spot in the four team playoffs.

Rico Noel scored three runs and drove in two while Joey Meneses drove in four to lead the offense. Meneses RBI single in the first inning drove in Noel for the first run. In the third inning his ground out scored Noel for the second run. In the five run fourth Noel drove in the first two runs with a double, then he stole third and scored on the catcher’s overthrow to third. Meneses drives in the last two runs of the inning with a two run homerun.

Venezuela showed no quit. In the sixth Carlos Rivera touched off on Anthony Vazquez for a three run homer. That ruined his shutout. Venezuela rallied in the ninth with Ali Castillo contributing an RBI single and Cesar Valera pulling Venezuela to within one with a two out two run double. The big bat for Venezuela, Alexi Amarista struck out to end the game. Alberto Baldonado got the whiff for his second save.

Dominican Republic 4 Panama 3

The Dominicans overcame a 3-0 deficit to rally for four in the seventh to down Panama. They have now clinched a spot in the playoffs. Wilkin Castillo had the big three run homerun to prove the game winner.

Isaias Velasquez delivered three hits for Panama and drove in two runs. Carlos Quiroz contributed two hits and scored both times on Velasquez singles. Andy Otero pitched six solid innings of two hit shutout baseball before tiring in the seventh.

Puerto Rico 3 Colombia 2

Puerto Rico eliminated Colombia from the playoff round. Ozzie Martinez drove in the tying run for Puerto Rico in the sixth with an RBI single. It was his second RBI of the game. Jonathan Morales was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth to score the go ahead run.

Andy Vasquez hit a solo homerun for Colombia in the fifth inning.

Venezuela continues to roll in Series del Caribe

Tuesday, February 4th, 2020

Venezuela remained the only undefeated team in the Series del Caribe, downing Puerto Rico 3-2 in 10 innings. There was also a triple play by the Dominicans in their win against Colombia.

Venezuela 3 Puerto Rico 2

Angelo Palumbo pitched five innings of four hit shutout ball for Venezuela. Adalberto Flores countered with 6.2 innings of one run ball for Puerto Rico. A Henry Ramos RBI double in the eighth inning brought the game to extra innings.

In the top of the inning Puerto Rico scored first on a two out RBI single from Jack Lopez. Things got a little crazy in the bottom of the inning. Adonis Garcia singled and advanced to second on a throwing error, with the placed runner on second holding at third. Puerto Rico walked Fernando Cruz intentionally to load the bases. Puerto Rico appeared to get what they wanted on a ground ball to third. They got the run out at home but the throw to first was a little behind the runner and got by the first baseman. The tying run scored and Puerto Rico tried to throw to third to get that advancing runner. That throw went into the crowd allowing the go ahead run to score to give Venezuela the 3-2 win.

Mexico 6 Panama 1

Mexico got ahead early with three runs in the second. Dariel Alvarez drove in the first run with a single and Jose Chavez drove in two with a double.

Panama did not get their first hit until the fourth inning, but he was wiped out on a double play. Mexico scored two more runs in the fifth on a Joey Meneses singly and a Alvarez sacrifice fly. Panama finally scored in the sixth but could never get their bats going to overcome a five run deficit.

Yoanys Quiala pitched seven innings to get the win for Mexico. He gave up just three hits, striking out four and walking none.

Dominican Republic 4 Colombia 0

Paolo Espino pitched six innings of three hit shutout ball for the Dominicans. Randy Consuegra was just as effective for Colombia going 5.2 innings. The Dominicans assaulted the Colombian bullpen while the Colombian bats could do nothing against the Dominican pen.

The leading homerun hitter in the Dominican League Peter O’Brien finally unloaded on a pitch for a two run shot in the seventh inning to break the scoreless tie. In the 8th the Dominicans added to the carnage scoring a run on a wild pitch, and the last run on a ground out.

Colombia did put their first two runners on in the eighth inning, but a bunt attempt was popped up, resulting in a triple play to end the inning.

Venezuela Remains Undefeated in Series del Caribe

Monday, February 3rd, 2020

Venezuela remains the only undefeated team in the Series del Caribe after two days. The top four teams after the five day round robin qualify for a single elimination playoff.

Venezuela 3 Dominican Republic 2

Both these teams came into the day undefeated. Venezuela came through jumping out to an early 3-0 lead and then hanging on for the win. Juan Apodaca got the scoring started for Venezuela with an early two run double in the second inning. Rene Reyes sacrifice fly in the third inning put Venezuela up 3-0. Venezuela scored all three runs against Jorge Martinez.

Will Ledezma pitched five shutout innings for Venezuela. A single and a walk to start the sixth ended his day. After one out Abraham Almonte singled in a run, but Venezuela was able to snuff the rally after Alen Hanson grounded into a double play.

In the bottom of the ninth a two out Wilkens Castillo ground rule double scored one run and put runners on second and third with two out. Perhaps if the ball had not bounced over the fence the Dominican Republic would have tied the game. Jorge Mateo came up with the opportunity to hit a walk off single. He flied out to end the game.

Mexico 4 Puerto Rico 2

Mexico prevented the host team Puerto Rico from entering the land of the undefeated. Jan Hernandez hit the first homerun of the Series del Caribe with a solo shot in the second inning to give Puerto Rico an early 1-0 lead. But Sebastian Elizalde hit the loudest homerun with a three run bomb in the fifth to give Mexico a 4-1 lead.

Puerto Rico scored a run in the sixth to close the game to 4-2. They had runners at second and third with no outs in the seventh but failed to score. Pitcher Derrick Loop picked off Alexis Pantoja for the second out. Two walks put two runners on in the eighth but they failed to score. Alberto Baldonado put an end to the game in the ninth, retiring the side in order, striking out the last two hitters to pick up the save. Manny Barreda worked five innings to pick up the win.

Panama 1 Colombia 0

Davis Romero limited Colombia to just one hit in 7.2 innings of work. Diego Moreno retired the last four hitters to close out the game. The only run of the game came in the fourth inning, after a two out error by Colombia put a runner on second. Rodrigo Vigil was able to drive him in with a clutch single.

Colombia did not put a runner on until the fourth inning when Romero issued a two out walk. Their first hit came in the sixth. It came after a fielding error, giving Colombia two baserunners with one out. A fly out and ground out ended that threat. After that Colombia could not get a runner past first base.

Mexican Violence Continues with Murder of ex-Major Leaguer

Monday, February 3rd, 2020

It appears the violence in Mexico continues. Whatever policy the current administration has tried to implement has not curbed the violence. Now ex-major leaguer, KBO and NPB pitcher Narciso Elvira and his 20 year old son were shot to death near a town of Medellin de Bravo. Their car was ambushed on Tuesday and they were gunned down as they tried to flee from their car. No motive other than random criminals seem to be involved in this murder. This seems to follow a pattern of many other car ambushes and the need to travel in convoys when using the Mexican roads.

Elvira only had one September callup in the major leagues and four appearances with the Brewers as a pitcher back in 1990. He finished with a 5.40 ERA in five innings of work. A decade later he was signed by the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes where he threw the first no hitter by a Latin pitcher in Japan on June 20. He finished his two years there 7-8 with a 4.79 ERA. After his Japan years ended he signed to pitch two more years in Korea with the Samsung Lions. His first year (2003) he went 13-6 with a 2.50 ERA, but he only lasted six starts his second year going 1-1, 7.06 before returning to Mexico to end his career.

He retired from baseball after the 2009 season to become a rancher. He was kidnapped in 2015 and survived 23 days of captivity, eventually found chained to a tree. He stayed in Mexico where five years later he was murdered.

Puerto Rico Wins in Walk off in Series del Caribe Openers

Sunday, February 2nd, 2020

The Series del Caribe had their opening day matches yesterday and if the results from those games are any indication, it will be competitive series. Many of the players may be unknown, but the games will be contested.

Puerto Rico 4 Panama 3 (10 innings)

In the extra innings Panama failed to score after a runner was placed on second. Puerto Rico moved the runner to third on a bunt and then drove him home on a Jonathan Morales sacrifice fly to give Puerto Rico the walk off win without benefit of a hit. The execution of fundamentals can be a difference maker in this modern day of baseball when you are allowed to put runners on base. Panama could not advance the runner to third in the tenth and they go down 0-1.

Panama had taken a 3-1 lead scoring three runs in the sixth. Two fielding errors by Panama allowed unearned runs to score in the sixth and seventh innings. A Henry Ramos walk in the bottom of the seventh tied the game. With the bases loaded and no out Puerto Rico had the opportunity to run away with the game but a line out and ground out double play left the game tied.

Jack Lopez was the big bat for Puerto Rico with three hits, including an RBI single in the sixth that made the score 3-2. Hector Santiago pitched five shutout innings for Puerto Rico before turning it over to his bullpen in the sixth to give up three runs.

Dominican Republic 2 Mexico 1

It was not a walk off but the Dominicans escaped with a victory. They scored both their runs in the third on Abraham Almonte and Diego Noris RBI singles to take a 2-0 lead. That held until the ninth, when Joey Meneses led the ninth off with a double. Juan Carlos Gamboa hits a two out RBI single to pull Mexico to within one. Anthony Giansanti could have put Mexico on top but his pop out to first ended the game.

Yuniesky Maya got the start for the Dominicans and pitched five innings of two hit shutout ball.

Venezuela 6 Colombia 4

The Series del Caribe debut for Colombia started out promising with an early 3-0 lead after six. Five innings of one hit shut out ball by Edgar De La Rosa gave the Colombians a lot to cheer for. The disaster that was the seventh inning turned their jubilation into despair.

Two walks sandwiched by a Rene Reyes single loaded the bases with no out. Gorkys Hernandez drove in two with a single. The Colombians were able to retire the next two hitters to give fans some hope the rally could be contained, but winter ball veteran Alexi Amarista drove in two with his clutch single to give Venezuela the lead. Osman Marvel roped a two run double to provide two valuable insurance runs.

A Jordan Diaz double in the top of the ninth scored one for Colombia to make it 6-4 with just one out and the tying run at the plate. Arvicent Perez, who had driven in a run earlier with a single, lined to Amarista for a game ending double play.

After the first day of play no balls have left the Hiram Bithorn park in Puerto Rico.

Colombia in and Cuba Out in Series Del Caribe

Friday, January 31st, 2020

Cuba was unable to obtain visas in time to compete in the Series del Caribe 2020 so Colombia was invited to play in their stead come Saturday in Puerto Rico. On the first day Colombia will play Venezuela, Mexico will battle the Dominican Republic and Panama will duke it out against Puerto Rico. The last time the Series del Caribe was played in Puerto Rico myworld was there. Not this year.

Cuba hopes to be able to participate in the next Series del Caribe when it is played in Mexico next year. Colombia hopes to repeat what Panama accomplished last year, winning the Series del Caribe in their first appearance. As the series struggles with name players choosing not to play in the event, the event has expanded to include other countries. First it was Cuba, then Panama and now Colombia, two countries that have been asking to play in the tournament for years. Nicaragua is another country interested in participating.

It will be interesting to gauge attendance to see what kind of participation Panama and Colombia brings to the group. In year’s past countries brought delegations to the games and it was a party atmosphere. As the name players have dropped out the attendance has sagged. Back in 1955 Puerto Rico had an outfield of Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and Bob Thurman, with Don Zimmer as their shortstop. That would have been fun to watch. Now Jorge Mateo will be playing shortstop for the Dominican Republic with Felix Pie, Junior Lake and Jordany Valdespino manning the outfield.

Culiacan Mexican Winter League Champion

Friday, January 31st, 2020

Not much stress in winning a game seven, 11-0. After Mazatlan’s Juan Pablo Orames retired the first two hitters in the bottom of the first, Culiacan hit back to back to back doubles and Efren Navarro ended the scoring with a two run homer to give them an early 4-0 lead. With Anthony Vazquez tossing six innings of shut out ball the game was over after that.

Culiacan continued mashing the ball, with Ramiro Pena slugging two homeruns and driving in five of the next seven Culiacan runs. He hit a solo shot in the third, added an RBI single in the fourth and blasted a three run homer in the sixth. Up 10-0 after six the Tomateros went to their bullpen to work the final three innings.

Culiacan is the last team to qualify for the Series del Caribe.

World Baseball Classic Officially Announces Qualifiers

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

The World Baseball Classic has officially announced their qualifiers, both to be played in Tucson in March. The games will be played at the Kino Sports Complex.

Pool 1 (March 12-17) - Brazil, France, Germany, Nicaragua, Pakistan and South Africa

Pool II (March 20-25) - Czech Republic, Great Britain, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines and Spain.

The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the World Baseball Classic that will be held March 2021. All 16 teams who participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic have qualified for the 2021 event. Those countries include the defending champion United States, Australia, Canada, Cuba, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Venezuela

Caribbean Leagues in their Finals

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

One league is finished with first place finisher Santurce winning in five over Mayaguez. Satnturce rallied in the opener coming back from a 3-2 deficit. They score one in the eighth and got a walk off single from Ryan Casteel to win 4-3. Jan Hernandez opened the inning with a double and was balked to third to set up the single.

Mayaguez won game two, their only win in the series. They bashed out 16 hits in the 9-2 win. Henry Ramos went deep with a three run homer and Emmanuel Rivera rocketed a two run shot, one of his four hits in the game. Giovanni Soto tied up the Mayaguez bats to just three hits in his eight innings of work to give Santurce a 3-0 win. Santurce won their next two games 4-3 to take the series.

The other three Caribbean Series are ongoing. Licey destroyed the league champion Toros in the opener 17-2. 16 of their runs were scored after the fifth inning. Socrates Brito led the charge with four RBIs. Toros won the next two games, winning 6-3 in extra innings in game number two. Jeimer Candelario blasted a two run homer in the 11th to break the tie. Jorge Mateo hit a solo shot in the third inning, the first of his three hits in the game.

Mateo homered again in the third inning of game three, a two runs shot and league homerun leader Peter Obrien hit a solo shot in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie. Christian Bethancourt added a two run shot in the sixth to pad the lead.

Licey evened the series at two games apiece, Lisalverto Bonilla tossing five shutout innings. Licey jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and Toros scored two in the eighth to break the shutout. Licey wins 6-2.

The bats of Jorge Mateo and Jeimer Candelario combined to go 4 for 5 to give Toros a 3-1 game five win. Licey evened the series with a 5-1 game six win in a best of nine series.

Down Mexico way Culiacan struck first blood with their 6-2 win. The Tomateros sent four balls out of the park, Ramiro Pena, Joey Meneses, and Efren Navorro hitting solo shots while Dariel Alvarez hit a two run blast. Meneses hit another solo shot in game two with Culiacan winning 4-3 to go up in the series 2-0. Culiacan used 9 pitchers to pull out the victory.

Juan Pablo Orames shut down the Tomateros for seven innings in Mazatl├ín’s 7-0 win. Ricky Alvarez hit a two run homer and drove in four to lead the offense.

In the finals in troubled Venezuela the Caribes are up three games to two in their series against Lara. In the opener, Lara scored four runs in the eighth inning to win 6-2. Yordanys Linares drove in the last of his three runs to break the tie and Luis Jimenez closed off the scoring with a two run single.

The Caribes got six solid innings from Wilfredo Ledezma to win game 5-1. Another 5-1 victory in game three with seven innings from Felix Doubront. Lara evened the series with their 5-1 win, Nextor Molina going six innings of two hit ball.

Caribes jumped on top with their 3-2 win in a controversy filled game. In the top of the ninth the Caribes manager was ejected after Lara scored a run to tie the game 2-2. Caribes stormed right, Williams Astudillo hitting the walk off single to give Caribes a 3-2 win. More excitement in the ninth with the ejection of Cardenales catcher Yojhan Quevedo.

Lara took it to a game seven with their 6-5 walk off win in the 10th. Yonathan Mendoza getting the big hit to end the game.

Japan is Number one in Both Men’s and Women’s Baseball

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Japan has achieved the top rating in both men’s and women’s baseball. The United States is second in men and fifth in women. For men the United States team bypasses a number of tournaments such as the World Cup Under 23, and play amateurs in the Premier 12, which prevents them from accumulating the points that Japan earns. The United States women are hampered by the culture of forcing talented players to pursue softball, where it is a high school recognized sport, abandoning baseball. This eliminates talented female baseball players from continuing with the sport.

Below is the Top 12 Ranking for each gender.

Men’s Top 12

1. Japan (6,127 points)
2. United States (4,676)
3. Korea (4,622)
4. Taiwan (4,352)
5. Mexico (3,375)
6. Australia (3,249)
7. Netherlands (2,690)
8. Cuba (2,641)
9. Venezuela (2,624)
10. Dominican Republic (2,512)
11. Puerto Rico (2,013)
12. Canada (1,873)

The top 12 is significant since a team qualifies for the Premier 12 by being ranked in the top 12 for baseball.

The women’s top 12.

1. Japan (2,505 points)
2. Canada (1,947)
3. Taiwan (1,852)
4. Venezuela (1,736)
5. United States (1,524)
6. Australia (1,182)
7. Korea (955)
8. Cuba (947)
9. Dominican Republic (717)
10. Hong Kong (520)
11. Netherlands (500)
12. Puerto Rico (371)

In women’s softball the United States is ranked number one with Japan at number two. For the men in softball Japan is ranked number one. The United States is sixth, behind Argentina, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.