Cuba Not Off to a Good Start

The Cuban team had an unhappy debut against Canada in the Premier 12 Tournament because its offense never stuck out its head in the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium in Taipei China

By: Raiko Martin

Email: raiko@juventudrebelde.cu

2015-11-11 | 17:39:08 EST
The Cuban team had an unhappy debut against Canada in the Premier 12 Tournament because its offense never stuck out its head in the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium in Taipei China.The Cuban team had an unhappy debut against Canada in the Premier 12 Tournament because its offense never stuck out its head in the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium in Taipei China. Photo: Ricardo López HeviaZoom
Let us say it from the outset. The Cuban team had an unhappy debut in the Premier 12 Tournament because its offense never stuck out its head in the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium in Taipei China. There was in the duel the occasional questionable detail, but none more crucial in the defeat than the inability to interpret the pitches of Canadian Chris Leroux weight. Nor those of Andrew Albers nor Scott Richmond, and even if it is only the first skirmish in the tournament, timely corrections must be imposed to end the power of attack on the Asian diamonds.

The northern opener had to adjust the window to navigate without further damage the first encounter with the Cuban team, so that they could only connect one hit, one of the three runs in the game. But from now on, his pitches began to wreak havoc, more from the mobility and precision than from the extreme speed he never had.

Quite the opposite happened with Yosvani Torres from Pinar, who was barely able to complete his first entry into the tournament. He met with an error by Rudy Reyes just as the curtain was drawn back, and the experienced Peter Orr, one of seven lefties lined up by the helmsman Ernie Whitt, maximized the punishment with a long homer over the fence on the right. Another run came in a most undeserved way with the hit to the same area by ​​Taylor Green, because, it must be said, Styler Hernandez doubled for the third with the ball, literally in hand.

Manager Victor Mesa was right to avoid what aimed to become a massacre. The Canadians were patient and disciplined in the selection of pitches, and did not take long to feel at leisure against the Vueltabajo right-hander, down almost always in the count against the hitters he faced.

But the opposite happened with Livan Moinelo, also from Pinar, the projected rescuer who eventually became almost an emergency opener. The lad, who just turned twenty, turned out to look what he now is: a star. And even the two runs in the seventh could not hinder an extraordinary presentation that lasted more than recommended, because by chance -and this game has a lot of that- the loss of effectiveness after 122 pitches, was not far from possible.

Finally, Moinello covered a route of 6.1 innings with six strikeouts before handing over to fellow southpaw Norberto Gonzalez. The final three outs were the work of Santiago’s Danny Betancourt, who spent most of the game waiting for the call for help.

With less than a day apart, the Cuban team leaves at press time looking for a victory over the Netherlands -its "Coco" in recent times- that would downgrade the tension. The victory over the Tulips was, given the circumstances, almost a matter of survival, as a new stumble would significantly reduce the margin of error in the remaining matches.

Frank Montieth, from Havana, had been announced for the transcendental opening, but beyond his pitching reliability, the need seems even more urgent to jump-start an offensive machine that, however far it is from being an old blunderbuss, has on its account more than the four runs scored in his past three encounters.

Looking around

The match between Cuba and the Dutch opens the day for group A, which also has scheduled duels between Puerto Rico-Canada and Taipei of China-Italy.

The Puerto Ricans had a successful debut 7-1 against Italy, so the intersection of the Europeans and the hosts gives both the opportunity to stroke the first success in the tournament.

Meanwhile, in the group B Mexico went from being the push over to being the surprise team after outdoing Venezuela 6-4, and now defend their undefeated status against the hitherto unbeatable and favourite squad, Japan.

Also in pursuit of their second win, with Venezuela as rival, are the representatives of the USA, who opened with smile against the Dominican Republic 11-5. The Dominicans have complicated opening their victories as they stumble upon South Korea, who despite losing at the start against the Japanese has one of the strongest teams in the contest.

Translated by ESTI

Cartoonists Views

Peace pigeon?

Highlights

Reflections by Fidel Castro Ruz

Photo Gallery of Fidel Castro

Interview whit Raul Castro

Juventud Rebelde Photo Galleries

Juventud Rebelde's Photo Galleries