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Matanzas-Cienfuegos, unprecedented confrontation in baseball postseason

Tamara Caridad Mesa González 23 enero, 2021

The party of the «play offs» of the LX National Baseball Championship It will start on Tuesday 26th of this month of January in its quarter stage finals, in the José Antonio Huelga, Sancti Spíritus and September 5, from Cienfuegos, under strict sanitary measures due to covid-19.
The park in Espirituan will be the headquarters of Granma e Industriales and Matanzas-Cienfuegos, while at the La Perla del Sur stadium, They will do it Santiago de Cuba-Las Tunas and Pinar del Río with Sancti Spíritus. Of all these sets, the ones that will meet for the first time in postseason are the Matanzas Crocodiles and the Southern Elephants.
The history of duels between teams from these neighboring provinces began on August 4th, 1889, when a team from Cárdenas visited Cienfuegos and beat Jibacoa 10 races by 2. A year later another team from Carden, called Unión, repeated the visit and imposed 11 by 9. And then the confrontation would come in 1920, in the Palmar de Junco, between Cienfuegos Start and a Matanzas team, won by the Cienfuegos 7 × 1.
Other very fought games staged these teams in the Union Atlética Amateur de Cuba, including one from 1940 in which he pitches for the first time before Matanzas the star Conrado Marrero, who left in a hit and eight strikeouts to the the players from Matanzas team.
In revolutionary baseball the first meeting between teams of these provinces occurs in the National Series XVII, on the 15th of February 1978 at the Pérez Lozano stadium, where the locals They beat Henequeneros 4 by 3. The start of the baseball postseason at national competitions began in the XXV campaign, 1986 and a team from Cienfuegos did not appears in them until the event from 2002 to 2003, when they were measured Pinar del Río in the quarterfinals and fell 2 games to three, after a creditable season in which they won 52 games and lost 38.
The Southerners would return to the quarterfinals of season 49 of 2009-2010, in which they fell to Havana 1-4. Your best campaign would be the next when they qualified with a balance of 59 victories and 31 defeats, a team record, they retaliate against Habana in quarterfinals final 4 games to 1 and already in the semifinals they lose with Pinar 2 to 4 and they rank third. It was a formidable team made up of Osvaldo Arias, José “Pito” Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Erisbel Arruebarruena, Yoelvis Leyva, Yusniel Ibáñez, Juan Miguel Vázquez, Juan M. Soriano, Noelvis Entenza, Norberto González and Dunier Ibarra, among the most featured.
They also qualified in Series 51 (2011-2012), but lost to Industrialists in the semifinals. In season 52 they occupy the third place when falling against Villa Clara in the semifinals and they do not return to this stage until the current LX Series in which they classified in the sixth place and they will be rivals of Matanzas. Let us remember that with the name of Henequeneros between 1989 and 1992 this team won two national championships and a second place and won 15 and lost 13 in the postseason, under Gerardo Junco.
With the name of Matanzas, the great performances take place from Series 51 and until the last competition number 59, period in which who win the title in the last of them, directed by Armando Ferrer, in addition to two subtitles and 4 third places, commanding Victor Mesa and also a third place with Victor Figueroa, in front.
Matanzas has been the most winning team in the last ten years in our National Series with a balance of 544 victories and 375 losses to average of 592, including 36 successes and 39 failures in postseason. In the case of Cienfuegos, in this analyzed decade, has 322 wins and 331 failures and has won 9 games and lost 13 in play offs. Despite the difference in the results of the last years, Cienfuegos has managed to build quality machinery and plays Matanzas very well, supported by a great offense, although his pitching corps has some loopholes.
For the Crocodiles it will be It is important to hit a lot against that pitching in search of victory. Of the eight teams involved in these quarterfinals, seven have been national champions, only Cienfuegos has not been able to savor the victory. Of these, Industriales has won 12 contests, Santiago de Cuba 8, Pinar del Río 4 times, Granma 2 and with one each, Sancti Spíritus, Las Tunas and Matanzas.
Qualifiers’ postseason win-loss balance In the last ten years it has been led by Pinar del Rìo with 27 and 16 and average 628; Granma, 31 and 25 (554); Las Tunas 20 and 17 (541; Matanzas 36 and 39 (480); Industrial 19 and 24 (447); Cienfuegos 9 and 13 (410) and Sancti Spíritus 12 and 18 (400). In the case of Santiago de Cuba has not accumulated, since it has not classified for more than ten seasons.
The games are scheduled for the starting day of Tuesday 26th of the Wasps from Santiago before the Lumberjacks from Las Tunas and Alazanes Granmenses in front of Leones de la capital and the next day, 27th, will be

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