In the qualifying stage of the 53 National Series there are only 6 games left and no one can predict exactly what the two crossings will be in the play offs . Matanzas is the only one who has managed to clinch the berth to ensure a comfortable spot in the postseason; behind it, four teams are fighting for three spots : Pinar del Río , Industriales , Holguin and Villa Clara , because Artemisa, Isla de la Juventud and Santiago of Cuba are already out of combat.
The 52 wins the team coached by Victor Mesa achieved so far will let them relax this week, even though they may be smoothing some strategies to be implemented in the semifinals. The current leaders of the tournament have ousted one by one each opponent; have imposed their style as a seal on the diamond to make it to the top of the standings.
At the end, when bats are heavier and fatigue intensifies, the Crocodiles managed to escape the peloton struggling to get a ticket to the next phase and have attacked the first post alone. In the second seat we find Pinar del Rio led by Alfonso Urquiola, two games away from the leaders and three over its closest pursuer: Industriales.
Meanwhile, the Blues (Industriales) come to this one to last series, where precisely they will face Pinar del Rio as home club, with a win ahead of Holguin and Villa Clara that are marching embraced in the fourth.
Panorama to the one to last series
The table of standings does not yet allow predictions for the three seats that are still in play but subseries ahead will take care of clarifying things a bit more. Let us therefore analyze the midweek’s matchups.
Holguin versus Matanzas: Locally the Hounds have to try to wrest pair of wins at least to try to stay well positioned in the final sprint. It is not an easy task, of course. But we think that Victor can give some rest to some of his main players, since he already has the ticket in the pocket, to avoid injury and ensure that the arms of his pitching staff are ready for the playoffs. If so, Holguin should take advantage of this situation and get a good dividend in this series, which will be the last to be played at home, especially considering that the last series will be a life and death matchup against Villa Clara on the road.
Villa Clara vs. Artemisa: These games will come in handy to the crestfallen Oranges. After being swept at the hands of Matanzas, they have no other choice but to recover and try to emulate what Matanzas did to them and prescribe the same dose to the Hunters of Artemisa. It is vital to get the advantage in the standings before that final series in which both teams will clash for one of the tickets to the semifinals.
Industriales vs. Pinar del Río: Probably these games at the Latino are a rehearsal of a possible semifinal between them. However, Industrial despite going third in the table it must not relax at all, since their difference from the two fourth places is only a game. The same happens with Pinar del Rio, in case of a disaster they may end up within the struggle that comes close behind. Therefore, this should be a hard fought series from beginning to end and for the sake of the two no one should be swept.
Isla de la Juventud vs. Santiago de Cuba: These games only count for individual statistics; the collective records of these teams no longer have any relevance and undoubtedly eyes will be perched on the other stadiums.
1 MATANZAS 81 52 29 .642 –
2 PINAR DEL RIO 81 50 31 .617 2.0
3 INDUSTRIALES 81 47 34 .580 5.0
4 HOLGUIN 81 46 35 .568 6.0
5 VILLA CLARA 81 46 35 .568 6.0
6 ARTEMISA 80 39 41 .488 12.5
7 I. JUVENTUD 80 38 42 .475 13.5
8 STGO. DE CUBA 81 34 47 .420 18.0
AVE: Maikel CaceresDor. (HOL) .366
R Roel Santos Mtnez. (PRI) 74
H: Maikel CaceresDor. (HOL) 117
2B: Maikel CaceresDor. (HOL) 27
3B: Alejandro Jaime Ortiz Arias (IJV) 8
HR: Yulieski Gourriel Cast. (IND) 16
SLU: Yulieski Gourriel Cast. (IND) .566
SB: Luis Yander La O Camacho (SCU) 24
CS: Yuniet Flores Argšell. (VCL) 12
RBI: Yulieski Gourriel Cast. (IND) 69
DB: Dainer Moreira Ramirez (MTZ) 13
BB: Frederich Cepeda Cruz (ART) 91
SO: Lisban Correa Sanchez (IND) 59
WP: Yosvani Torres Gomez (PRI) .824
ERA: YasmanyHernandezRom. (VCL) 1.57
G: Carlos Juan Viera Alvarez (MTZ) 38
SG: Yoelkis Cruz Rondon (MTZ) 23
CG: Yosvani Torres Gomez (PRI) 5
JR: Carlos Juan Viera Alvarez (MTZ) 38
W: Yosvani Torres Gomez (PRI) 14
L: Luis Manuel Suarez Aldana (IJV) 10