Thursday, 15 January 2015 00:00

Alazanes de Granma 12, Cazadores de Artemisa 2

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My first visit to a baseball game in Cuba was stopped by the mercy rule (“regla chili” in Spanish) after 6 1/2 innings.

Granma loaded the bases in each of the first three innings. In the first inning, they got a run on an RBI double by 1B Guillermo Jose, a two-RBI double by RF Urmani Guerra, and another RBI double by 3B Lazaro Alfredo. They left the bases loaded in the second inning, but in the third inning, they loaded the bases on singles by Guerrai and C Yulexis La Rosa, and an intentional walk, then SS Adrian Moreno hit a grand slam. It was 8-0 after three innings. Granma made it 12-0 in the fifth, with a sacrifice fly by Jose, a two-RBI single by 1B Yordanis Samon, and an RBI single by Guerra.

Granma starter Lazaro Blanco had a shutout with two out in the bottom of the sixth. He should have gotten out of the inning with a double play, but a suspect call at first kept the inning going. On the next play, the shortstop lost the handle on a routine ground ball. DH Alberto Toledo ended the shutout with an RBI single, and RF Lazaro D. Perez hit a shallow single that scored another run. Blanco left the game after that with six hits (three of them in the sixth inning, and two more by CF Robersis Ramos), zero earned runs, and 3 strikeouts.


Guerra was 3-for-3 before being replaced by a pinch-runner. Artemisa starter Jose Luis Padron Mederos got the loss.

Moreno is hitting .308. Blanco is 7-3, 3.46 ERA, and 39 strikeouts.

Box score and play-by-play

Granma is 5-4 in the second phase of Cuba's 54th National Series, and Artemisa is 3-6. Some words of explanation are worthwhile here. The first phase of the season, which ended just before the all-star game at the end of December, involves all 16 of Cuba's teams. The top eight teams make it to the second phase, which started January 4. Granma finished second in the first phase, and Artemisa finished fourth. (Santiago de Cuba didn't make the cut.) The teams competing in the second phase also get to add seven players to their rosters. The basic idea is to get Cuba's best players competing against each other.

Artemisa is west of Havana. Granma is based in Bayamo, in eastern Cuba. It's upscale by Cuban standards, and has a population of 144,000. No, the name Granma does not come from the boat that Castro used to land in Cuba. It doesn't come from the Communist Party newspaper of the same name, either. It's the name of the province that Bayamo is the capital of.

Granma's ballpark is Estadio Màrtires de Barbados, and it's spartan. Tickets to games cost about a nickel. No alcoholic beverages are served there, which is remarkable because alcoholic beverages are sold in lots of other places in town.

Wikipedia article about the Cuban National Series


Last modified on Sunday, 18 January 2015 13:19


Bob Broughton started going to British Columbia home games in 2001, and was favorably impressed with the caliber of play. This led to annual trips to the NAIA Baseball National Championship in Lewiston, ID, a nine-hour drive from Vancouver. He retired in Guanajuato, Mexico in 2012.


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