Cuba in the Classic: We Are in Semis!

Cuba in the Classic: We Are in Semis!
Fecha de publicación: 
18 March 2023
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Four Classics later, Cuba returns to a World Baseball Classic semifinal after defeating Australia in spectacular fashion at Japan's iconic Tokyo Dome.

Despite the fact that it was an easier crossover than expected against South Korea, it was known that Australia would not be a walk in the park, and they made things very difficult, with a strategy that sent practically one pitcher per inning.

Yoan Moncada was once again essential, getting to base four times (two walks and two singles) and Luis Robert Jr. and Alfredo Despaigne pushed the first two without hitting.


Key was a hit from Yoelkis Guibert, whose performance had dropped significantly in recent games, but he connected the only single achieved by our team with men in scoring position in the entire game.

Starter Yariel Rodríguez did quite well, but he had to leave the box very early due to excessive pitches, mainly walks because Australians showed a lot of patience on the home. Miguel Romero was superb once again, and was confirmed as one of the great discoveries for Cuban fans.

Once again, "Inning 6" was fateful, that inning in which the team has suffered greatly. Until today's game, we only leave the score in zero in the match against Chinese Taipei. This time the curse returned and they scored two runs, due to a ground ball that Erisbel Arruebarruena dropped and a huge home run by Rixon Wingrove, who drove in all three of the Aussies.


All runs batted in were against left-handed Roenis Elías, one of the best presented by our staff, but that's the way baseball is. However, from then on the man from Guantanamo regain control in his pitches, finished that inning and was impeccable in the seventh, to make way for the two stellar closers from Pinar del Río.

It was precisely control that Liván Moinelo lacked, but he managed to leave the end the eighth despite giving up two walks, and Raidel Martínez closed as expected.

For manager Armando Jhonson it’s a dream debut on the senior team, something that surely never crossed his mind when he temporarily left command of Isla de la Juventud.

Although this is by no means over, it’s worth acknowledging his ability to bring together talent, from here and there, something that from afar may seem simple but is not, because regardless of whether everyone goes out of their way for their homeland, they have different ways of thinking.

For this reason, it’s good to thank those who were brave in stepping forward, and to our good fortune that sent us to this stage, because otherwise some might be questioning the integration methodology.

Whatever happens, Cuba won, but we can go further.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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