So great baseball is that even in games where it floats too much the main reason it was removed from the Olympic movement , time , and fail some of its attractions as timely hitting and quality pitching , those we love it are able to enjoy it no matter how long it takes or all exhibiting deficiencies .
Proof of this was the fifth game of the final of Cuban baseball between the teams of Pinar del Rio and Matanzas, because despite lasting nearly five and half hours and the constant winking of the pitching staffs of both, that imitates the quality and quantity of balls, all the ratings we give it are close to the positive: sensational, spectacular, epic, full of strategic moves, etc. .
Not that I consider that the game this Sunday does not deserve these ratings, but in my personal opinion the summary is not defined by the spectacular walk off homer by Osniel Madera in the eleventh inning or the persistence shown by both for victory and making of the scoreboard a rollercoaster, as it is defined by the fact that fatigue showed up the shortcomings that keep our baseball away from the existing quality in international tournaments.
Using seventeen pitchers between the two best teams in Cuba this year, six by Matanzas and eleven by Pinar del Rio, once again reaffirms that there is overdependence on a few effective starters and general poverty of in the different pitching bullpens.
It was forecast that it would be a game with many runs because both Urquiola and Victor Mesa were deprived of the services of their best men, used on Friday and Saturday, and relied on their starters will advance, a variable that was not met for neither. Erlys Casanova could not be consistent with his last performance against Industriales, which guaranteed him a spot in the final with his team, and left the mound in the very first inning to the fury of some crocodiles motivated by their second victory, again in a game started by the best pitcher of the season, Yosvani Torres. Meanwhile Cionel Pérez , Matanzas starter, could not go much further and was removed after a walk in the second inning .
However, the first relievers, Isbel Hernandez for Pinar and Lazaro Blanco for Matanzas, could advance enough in the game. Isbel managed to contain the offensive of Matanzas until the sixth inning, when after one out he lost control and had men in first and second base by walk and dead ball, while Lazaro was able to finish the sixth inning, but his performance did not justify opening the end of the seventh to defend the advantage achieved by his team.
After the two of them began the parade of pitchers and the competence on who gave away more walks, some intentional. The game slowed down and lost its magic, becoming for over a third in a sport of waiting and not hitting, until finally appeared in the ninth Yaifredo Dominguez and Alexander Bustamante, two pitchers who stopped the affront and managed to leave the score in a tie at eight runs.
Thus, despite some other walks, the game advanced to the eleventh, when Madera managed to catch a fastball from Bustamante, with one out, and sent it past the stands. Enough for the game to regain some of the magic stolen by partial decontrol and Pinar del Rio fans saw that all hours of fidelity were not in vain.
Some might say it’s no big deal; walks are part of baseball and it was a continuous epic comeback for either side, where Pinar del Rio took the best part by the relief of Dominguez and Maderas swing. Another reading is valid too, but out of step with international standards, where walks are increasingly anachronistic as we saw in the recent Serie del Caribe.
The truth is that Pinar reigned again at hime and if not swept the series, now it is 3-2 in their favor. Itjust needs a good performance from one of its two best pitchers for a victory that will allow them to be crowned, more affordable than the two that would have required had not won the last match.
Now Matanzas, though it will play at home, is going with considerable disadvantage. Besides being against the wall, forced to win two games, it must again overcome two of the best starters in the country, who surely will come to give everything to prove that the third time’s the charm.