65th Caribbean Series: Agricultores' offensive collapsed in Game 2 - Analysis
Updated: Feb 9
—Despite the Dominican roster being silenced by two relievers from Agricultores, the Cuban hitters failed to rally
For the second straight game, the Agricultores' offensive strength, which defined their path to Gran Caracas 2023, was limited. Cuba's offense collapsed against the Tigres del Licey on Friday afternoon, losing 3-1 to the Dominican team in the 65th Baseball Caribbean Series.
The Dominican left-hander Domingo Robles - the winner -, 24, dominated the Cuban team in five innings at the Jorge Luis García Carneiro stadium, in La Guaira.
It was Dominican Republic's first victory in the 2023 Caribbean Series.
The Cuban starter, right-handed Jonathan Carbó, left the mound in the third after giving up all three Dominican runs. Though one could have been avoided if a double play was completed, second baseman Yordanis Alarcón fell and threw wide of first.
Despite the bases being loaded, Kelbis Rodriguez took the mound in that inning and held the Dominican roster scoreless until the seventh. Left-handed Miguel Paradelo finished the job in a similar fashion, but there was no offensive reaction from the Agricultores.
During the fifth episode, there was controversy, but Agricultores scored its first run. Andrés de la Cruz doubled down the left field line, but the crew had to review the play after referee Carlos Leal called it in the foul zone. The double was validated, and Guillermo Avilés scored.
Yennsy Díaz completed two episodes without issue for the Dominican Republic. Afterwards, Keury Mella gave up a single and a walk in the eighth. However, Jonathan Aro struck out both Alarcón's brothers and Jairo Asencio closed the game in the ninth.
Licey had four players with two hits, while Guillermo Avilés did it for Cuba (2-for-4, one run scored).
With the victory, José Offerman, the Quisqueyan manager, can breathe easier with the same 1-1 record as the Cubans.
Dominican Republic 3, Cuba 1/Final: A review
Cuba: 1-7-1 (R-H-E)
2B: De La Cruz (1, Robles)
RBI: De La Cruz (2)
GIDP: De La Cruz
Team RISP: 1-7 (Yos. Alarcón 0-1, Abreu 0-1, Larduet 0-1, Yor. Alarcón 0-1, De La Cruz 1-2, Santos 0-1)
Team LOB: 7
E: Yos. Alarcón (1, tiro)
DP: 1 (Abreu-Yor. Alarcón-Viñales)
Assistances: Larduet (Rojas Jr. at 3o base); Santos (Barrera at 3o base)
Dominican Republic: 3-10-1 (R-H-E)
2B: Barrera (1, Rodríguez)
RBI: Canó (1), Hernández (1)
Team RISP: 1-6 (Canó 1-2, Rivas 0-1, Hernández 0-2, Barrera 0-1)
Team LOB: 6
-RUNNING THE BASES-
CS: Gutiérrez (1, 2o base de Paradelo/Yos. Alarcón)
CS: Gutiérrez (First base, Paradelo)
E: Rojas Jr. (1, fielding)
DP: 1 (Canó-Núñez-Hernández)
Notable Slash lines: The "6-7-8" tandem of Denis Laza (3-2), Guillermo Avilés (4-2, a run) and Andrés De La Cruz (1-for-4, double and RBI) were 5-for-11 combined, generating most of the short-lived reactions from Cuba.
Performance of pitchers:
-Jonathan Carbó: 2 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, SO
-Kelbis Rodríguez: 4 ⅓ IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0, BB, 3 SO
-Miguel Paradelo: 2 ⅓ IP, 2 H
Strikes/Batters facing on the first pitch: Carbó 6/11; Paradelo 6/8; Rodríguez 10/17
Strikes called-Strikes fanned-Foul balls-Strikes in play: Carbó-5-3-12-8; Paradelo-5-2-6-8; Rodríguez-18-4-11-13
Ground balls and fly balls: Carbó 2-4; Paradelo 4-2; Rodríguez 4-3
How did victory escape?: Against Dominican pitching, the first through fifth hitters, the team's most offensive players, were 2-for-20 with four strikeouts. With runners in scoring position, four of those inefficient at-bats occurred.
What adjustments should they make: Changing the lineup? It would be reasonable in short tournaments, but the real issue has been the lack of quality at-bats: in the 19 innings they have played on offense, only three batters have reached base. As of now, 57% of Avilés' connections have been strong, while Viñales has gone 0-for-8 with two strikeouts and five non-contact swings.
As a point of reference, we should keep the following in perspective: Cuba has led on the scoreboard only once in 19 innings. Even so, there have been chances for victories due to the pitching so far.
(Photos: AP y Calixto N. Llanes)