CUBA'S NATIONAL BASEBALL SERIES SEPTEMBER 13-SEPTEMBER 24, 2018
CUBA'S NATIONAL BASEBALL SERIES
SERIE NACIONAL DE BEISBOL SEPTEMBER 13-SEPTEMBER 24, 2018
One of the most exciting Cuban league baseball seasons in years is in its fourth week, and it continues to surprise with less than a month before ten of sixteen teams are eliminated before the start of the second phase of the season. Rookie manager Eduardo Paret has the Villa Clara Naranjas on a path to the second season, with Villa Clara shifting in and out of first place since the start of the season. Havana’s Industriales have proved worthy of veteran manager and ex-player Rey Anglada, who was tasked with managing the team two months before the season started. Industriales is currently in first place with a .648 winning percentage, 22 wins and 12 losses, and a guaranteed spot in the second phase of the season. Just one game behind Industriales is Ciego de Avila and Holguin, with Villa Clara two games behind. Rounding out the top six teams are Las Tunas and Santiago.
The big surprises this season have been the poor showing of Matanzas and Pinar del Rio, two of the leagues best for the past few seasons. Matanzas ends this week with 9 wins and 23 losses. Champion Granma is attempting to replace Matanzas in last place and ends the week with 14 wins and 20 losses.
Offensive leaders at this point are Industriales’ Stayler Hernandez with 36 RBI, and Artemisa’s Dayron Blanco 35 RBI and Jorge Aloma with a .431 batting average. Stand-outs on the mound are Industirales Frank Montieh who is undeafeated thus far, Las Tunas’ Pablo Civil who is 2 and 0, and Ciego de Avila’s Maikel Folch who is 4 and 0.
In the coming weeks the four best teams continue to the second phase of the season, and the number five through eight teams compete in a short play-off for the number five and six spots.
By Frank Gonzalez & KMOA