Cuba Baseball Season Ends This Weekend

By Circles Robinson

Victor Mesa has led Matanzas turnaound from a second tier team to the almost sure Western Division title. Photo: Baseballdecuba.com

HAVANA TIMES, April 19 — The final series of the 2011-2012 Cuban baseball season runs Friday to Sunday with playoff slots in the Eastern Division still up for grabs.

Four teams, Las Tunas, Ciego de Avila, Santiago de Cuba and Granma all have a shot at the playoffs with only 2.5 games separating them.

Only Villa Clara, currently in first place, has clinched a place in the postseason.

Meanwhile in the West, the playoffs teams are already decided, Matanzas, Industriales, Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus.

However who will play whom in the first round of the playoffs is still up for grabs depending on the final games.

Las Tunas is in the fight for an Eastern Division playoff slot. Photo: Byron Motley

Theoretically, Matanzas, Industriales and Cienfuegos all have a shot at first place in the division, or least a tie.

However the schedule favors Matanzas, which also has a two game lead, to keep the top spot with either Industriales or Cienfuegos finishing second.

Sancti Spiritus has clinched fourth place, eliminating last year’s league champs, Pinar del Rio, from playoff action.

The final season match ups involving the playoff teams, or those still with a chance to make it, are (Home club first):

Industriales vs. Las Tunas, Cienfuegos vs. Ciego de Avila, Matanzas vs. Camaguey, Villa Clara vs. Sancti Spiritus and Santiago de Cuba vs. Mayabeque.

The other season-ending series are Artemisa vs. Guantanamo and Holguin vs. Metropolitanos.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Batting:

Home Runs:  Jose Dariel Abreu (Cienfuegos) and Alfredo Despaigne (Granma) are both tied with 35 (a new Cuban League mark).

Runs Batted In: Alfredo Despaigne 101 and Jose Dariel Abreu 96.

Batting Average: Jose Dariel Abreu .391 and Daniel Castro (Las Tunas) .370.

Runs Scored: Guillermo Heredia (Matanzas) 86, Ramon Yosvani Tamayo (Granma) y Alfredo Despaigne 85.

Pitching:

ERA: Vladimir Garcia (Ciego de Avila) 1.78, Ismel Jimenez, (Sancti Spiritus) 2.48

Wins: Ismel Jimenez, 17, Odrisamer Despaigne (Industriales), Yoelkis Cruz (Las Tunas), Norberto Gonzalez (Cienfuegos) and Vladimir Garcia, 13.

Saves: Danni Aguilera (Isla de la Juventud) 27, Duniel Ibarra (Cienfuegos) 21.

Strikeouts: Odrisamer Desaigne, 128,  Yadier Pedroso (Artemisa) 124.

STANDINGS THROUGH APRIL 19, 2012

TEAMS W L PCT GB
1 Matanzas 55 38 .592
1 Industriales 53 40 .570 2.0
1 Cienfuegos 52 41 .560 3.0
1 Sancti Spíritus 48 44 .522 6.5
1 Pinar del Río 47 49 .490 9.5
1 Isla de la Juv. 39 54 .420 16.0
1 Artemisa 36 57 .388 19.0
1 Metropolitanos 36 57 .388 19.0
1 Mayabeque 31 62 .334 42.0
TEAMS W L PCT GB
1 Villa Clara 56 37 .603
1 Las Tunas 53 39 .577 2.5
Ciego de Avila 53 40 .570 3.0
1 Sgo de Cuba 52 41 .560 4.0
1 Granma 51 42 .549 5.0
1 Camaguey 43 50 .463 13.0
1 Holguín 43 50 .463 13.0
1 Guantánamo 42 49 .462 13.0

 Standings courtesy of Baseballdecuba.com

 



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