• Ray Otero-Alonso

Playoffs 2021: Alazanes beat down Vegueros, take 12-1 blowout win in Game 3

Updated: Apr 14, 2021


The way César García had pitched this 2021 postseason the Granma’s right-hander didn’t need much run support to pull out a win. The Granma Alazanes made sure Tuesday afternoon he had more than enough for an important Game 3 victory in the 2021 National Series Cuban Semifinals (NSCS).


The Alazanes scored six runs before the third inning ended, and García shut down the Pinar del Río Vegueros over six innings for his second 2021 postseason win in a 12-1 rout by the mercy rule.


BOX SCORE


The Alazanes now lead the series 2-1 with Game 4 set for today at 1 pm (ET). Granma has Lázaro Blanco ready to go but they will rest him one more day and give the ball instead to righty Joel Mojena. For Pinar, veteran right-hander - and usually great postseason pitcher - Yosvany Torres is getting the start, but all the bullpen arms lined up to go behind him.

The offensive explosion came two days after the Vegueros beat Granma by the mercy rule, 13-3, in Game 2.


García gave up one run on six hits, struck out one and walked two. The 29-year-old righty improved to 9-4 this season – including regular season. García has become one of Granma' secret weapons this postseason. In two playoff games this year - agianst Industriales and now Pinar - the right-hander has thrown 13 innings allowing just one earned run.


Granma shortstop Yulián Matos erased his bad defensive performance in Game 2, where he made a costly error in the seventh inning when Pinar took the lead, and went 3-for-4 with a double and one RBI.


There were some movements in Granma’s lineup for Game 3. Carlos Benítez continued in the cleanup spot but struggling catcher Iván Prieto batted behind him this time. Because of his great defense skills Miguel A. González was inserted in the lineup and in charge of the second base, while Darién García – batting only .167 this postseason – was sent to the bench. First baseman Guillermo García, who was 0-for-6 in Games 1 and 2 of the semifinals, was also moved down to the seventh spot.


The changes worked. Prieto had two hits and two RBIs in Game 3, while Miguel A. González and Guillermo García combined for three hits, with a double, and 3 RBIs.



The Vegueros started Yaifredo Domínguez, and the right-hander lasted 2 1/3 innings, giving up four runs and five hits. Promising lefty Dariel Fernández came to his rescue but couldn’t get an out while Pinar’s bullpen struggled all afternoon, allowing six more runs. Only Branlis Rodríguez got Granma’s bats under control, pitching the last two innings and allowing just one hit.


After the third inning Granma kept adding to the 6-0 lead against the Vegueros bullpen, scoring at least a run in three of the last four innings.


For Pinar shortstop Juan Carlos Arencibia continued his great postseason and had half of Pinar’s six hits.


For Granma Juan Danilo Pérez threw a scoreless seventh inning and struck out one.

Following the departure of Pinar’ super stars relievers, closer Raidel Martínez and Liván Moinelo – both joined their NPB teams - and just before Game 3, it was announced that Pinar’s main reliever, Frank L. Medina, had a season ending surgery.


With Game 4 in the horizon and after the horrific Game 3, Pinar’s big dilemma for the rest of the series is to find relievers that can contain Granma’s bats.


Highlights



National Series Semifinals

Feb 20, Game 1: Pri 2, Grm 9

Feb 21, Game 2: Pri 13, Grm 3 (Mercy Rule - 8 innings)

Feb 23, Game 3: Grm 12, Pri 1 (Mercy Rule - 7 innings)

Feb 24, Game 4 - 1 p.m.: Probables, Lázaro Blanco/Joel Mojena, Grm vs. Erlis Casanova, Pri


Granma leads the best-of-seven series 2-1

(Top photo of Game 3: Guillermo Rodríguez)