The print edition of BA went to press before the WBC rosters were released, so we needed a feature that would guide print readers without the benefit of rosters. We came up with a national tendencies chart (here for subscribers), compiled through years of covering international baseball.
That tendencies chart looks accurate tonight, after Cuba turned it up in the late innings against Australia. Like an NBA team realizing it’s the fourth quarter and time to play, the Cubans started swinging in the eighth innings. Yulieski Gourriel, 1-for-7 in the Classic ’til now, lined a single to lead off the inning, and pinch-hitter Yosbany Peraza slammed a line-drive, two-run homer off Rich Thompson (Angels) to give Cuba a 5-4 lead.
Cuba’s other national tendency is to play with more, let’s say, mustard, than any other team. No one else pimps their home runs like Cuba, as Alfredo Despaigne did earlier in the Australia game, and as Peraza did with a long bat flip after his homer. And perhaps no player in the world is as grating on the nerves as catcher Ariel Pestano, who seems liable to instigate a confrontation with each one of the three Aussie hit batsmen tonight. Luckily for the rest of the world, Pestano is retiring after this year.
But no one closes like the Cubans. Chris Snelling couldn’t solve reliever Ismel Jimenez in the ninth (nor could any other Aussies), and Snelling grounded out to end the game, igniting a spirited Cuban on-field celebration.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog