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04/25/2006 Archived Entry: "45TH CUBAN NATIONAL SERIES PLAYOFFS 2006"


For many Cubans, the Industriales Lions and the Santi Spiritus Roosters should meet for the championship in the West while the Villa Clara Orange Growers and the Santiago de Cuba Wasps should meet in the East finals. However, the Havana Cowboys should be taken seriouly due to their strong pitching as well as the Granma Sorrels with their hitting. The Isla de la Juventud Grapefruit Growers is a team that plays hard all the time and the Ciego de Avila Tigers play very well as team. Games are played on the field so let's see which team becomes the Cuban champion.

In the East:

Ciego de Avila Tigers vs Santiago de Cuba Wasps (current champ)

The Cuban postseason starts Tuesday night at 6:00 P.M. Cuban time at Guillermon Moncada Stadium in Santiago de Cuba. The current champ, the Santiago de Cuba Wasps will send veteran RHP Ormari Romero against the Ciego de Avila Tigers lefty Miakel Folch. Romero played in the WBC for Cuba as well as Folch. Folch is a young pitcher who led the league in ERA with 2.50 and finished with 11 wins and 0 loses.

The Tigers have never won a playoff game in 9 tries. The have a strong lineup led by Roger Machado (287 ave, 15 doubles and 8 HR), Danny Miranda (310 ave, 17 doubles and 18 homers), Yorelvis Charles (344 ave, 14 doubles and 16 homers). Their main pitchers are Alien Mora, Michel Pino and reliever Lazaro Santana.

The Wasps will rely on their strong pitching. Besides Romero, the Wasps have two of the Cuban best pitchers in Norge Vera and Danny Betancourt. Both were absent from the WBC do to injuries but the Wasps manager have been saving them for another championship run. Norge Vera beat the Orioles in Baltimore when the Cuban team played them. Betancourt was the winning pitcher in the Athens Olympics games for Cuba. The Wasps have also a strong lineup led by C Rolando Merino (340 ave, 26 doubles and 7 homers), Pedro Poll (366 ave, 27 doubles and 7 homers) and CF Reutilio Hurtado (317 ave, 20 doubles and 11 homers).

The regular season series favored the Tigers 4-2.

Villa Clara Orange Growers vs Granma Sorrels at Agusto Cesar Sandino Stadium in Villa Clara

The Orange machine will feature C Ariel Pestano who played in the WBC, Cuban team Captain SS Eduardo Paret and young sensation Dayan Viciedo. Their pitching will have to perform well against the best power hitting team in the Sorrels.

The Sorrels will try to upset Villa Clara will their hitting. Luis Ferrales (300 ave, 13 doubles and 18 homers), young sensation and future Cuban team CF Yohenis Cespedes ( 351 ave, 24 doubles and 23 homers), Alfredo Despaigne (326 ave, 22 doubles and 15 homers) and Yordanis Samon (340 ave, 36 doubles and 12 homers).

The regular season series ended in a tied 3 games apiece.

In the West:

Sancti Spíritus Roosters vs La Habana Cowboys at Jose Antonio Huelga in Santi Spiritus

The Cowboys will rely on their pitching. WBC members RHP Yadiel Pedroso, RHP Yonder Martinez and LHP Yuliesky Gonzalez. The also have a good closer in Jose Garcia. The Cowboys best hitters are Pedro Arozarena ( 273 ave, 12 doubles and 13 homers) and Juan Carlos Linares ( 319 ave, 21 doubles and 14 homers).

The Roosters have a strong hitting lineup led by WBC participants Yuliesky Gourriel (327, 19 doubles, 11 triples and 27 homers), Frederich Cepeda (320, 19 doubles and 14 homers) and Eriel Sanchez (310, 17 doubles and 10 homers). The Roosters won 25 consecutive games and finished first ahead of the Industriales Lions. Their best pitchers are Yovani Aragon, Ifreidi Coss, Ramon Licor and Angel Pena.

The regular season series ended in a tied 3 games apiece.

Industriales Lions vs Isla de la Juventud Grapefruit Growers at Cristobal Labra in Isla de la Juventud

The Isla de la Juventud will be without their best player due to injury, WBC member 3B Michel Enriquez. Orlis Diaz ( 320, 19 doubles and 10 homers), Luis Fonseca (309, 14 doubles and 11 homers) and the sure glove of WBC member SS Juan Carlos Moreno will try to compensate for the lost of Enriquez.

The Industriales Lions are the main team in Havana City. They are the Yankees of Cuba. The have strong pitching in WBC members in RHP Yadel Marti and RHP Dennis Suarez as well as RHP Frank Montieh. Their main hitters are Alexander Mayeta (315, 12 doubles and 15 homers), Yoandry Urgelles (362, 19 doubles and 5 homers), WBC member CF Carlos Tavares (314, 21 doubles and 9 homers).

The regular season series favored the Grapefruit Growers 4-2.

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