SANTIAGO, D.R.–If Licey and Aguilas both win today and Aguilas knocks off Licey Thursday, the two would meet in a one-game playoff to decide which Dominican team is the Caribbean Series champion.
But no one’s getting ahead of themselves.
"Thursday’s a lifetime away," said Licey catcher and Royals farmhand Matt Tupman, who’s finishing up his first season in winter ball. "We can’t think about Thursday at all. We have to focus on now. We’re in the driver’s seat in the Series, but nothing is close to over."
Licey and Mexico are currently tied 1-1 in the third inning of the early game, but there’s more focus, at least among big league clubs in the States, on tonight’s matchup.
Aguilas righthander Bartolo Colon is essentially pitching for a chance to earn his way back to the majors, and at least 12 clubs have representatives at El Stadio Cibao to see Colon’s final start this winter.
"It’s big for him to show he can still pitch in the big leagues, that he can still handle the pressures and that he has the stuff," a scout from an American League club said. "If Bartolo wants to keep pitching and if Bartolo wants a big league deal, this is his night."