Cuba in World Baseball Classic II

Photos from Havana by Caridad

Watching the Classic at the Paris Café in Old Havana
Watching the Classic at the Paris Café in Old Havana

HAVANA TIMES, March 19 —While things didn’t turn out as most Cubans wanted, the island’s team in World Baseball Classic II managed a 4-2 record before being eliminated from the tournament, just shy of the semifinals. Frederich Cepeda was Cuba’s top hitter, seconded by Yoennis Cespedes.

In winning their group undefeated in the first round of play in Mexico City, Team Cuba beat South Africa, Australia and Mexico. However, in round two in San Diego, the Cubans weakness against the pitching of Japan once again came back to haunt them.

In a chance to avenge their loss to Japan in the final game of the first Classic in 2006, Cuba was shutout 6-0 on Sunday by the same pitcher, Daisuke Matsuzaka.

After a 7-4 win over Mexico to stay alive, Cuba fell once again to Japan on Wednesday, 5-0, this time a victim of the pitching of Hisashi Iwakuma and reliever Sugiuchi.

The loss sent the Cubans packing for their return to Havana.

With baseball the national sport, a good segment of the Cuban population was up late for the 11:00 p.m. ET game with Japan, which ended after 2:30 in the morning.

As usual in baseball, there will be lots of speculation as to why the Cuban team didn’t go further in the tournament. The photos by Caridad in this gallery give HT readers a flavor of the atmosphere and hopes in the capital during the beginning of the tournament.

Click on the thumbnails to see all the photos in this gallery