New Year, New Champion

The first week of action has kicked off in the LBPRC postseason with the Mayagüez Indians taking a dominate lead in the standings, once again, and quickly leaving the Santurce Crabbers and Carolina Giants to fight amongst themselves for the second ticket to the championship series.

With the 5-0 win over the Crabbers tonight, the Indians have secured their 4th straight win and remain undefeated in the Round Robin playoffs. With three more wins, the Indians can secure the first ticket available and lock in on their mission to bring the 19th championship title in franchise history.

The last time Mayagüez was able to bring the title to the west side of the island was in the 2013-2014 season. The players have been admit and focus of completing this mission having nicknamed themselves “Los Niños Malos” or “The Bad Boys.” They have demonstrated this confidence since mid season and willing to leave the ghosts of the 2017-2018 season in the past.

That’s not to say that they haven’t had issues this season, but it is evident that they have been able to make the most of their opportunities to score runs which was not necessarily the case last year.

In fairness, it is hard to compare any of these teams during the 2017-2018 season, since it was cut short to 18 games in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. In addition to that, the constant rotation of prospect players participating in off season leagues leaves many of these teams changing much of their composition season to season (or even in the middle of the season when some contracts expire).

So the fact that Mayagüez has been able to have the season that they’ve had, in spite of past performance, is quite remarkable. The same can be said of the Carolina Giants who surprised most fans and analysts by securing their ticket for the postseason and keeping both the Santurce Crabbers and Caguas Criollos from 2nd place.


However, success has been hard to come by for the Giants so far this playoff season who have lost all three games played in the first week of playoff action. So far they have given up 18 runs and scores 7 runs in response in just these three games alone.

But the Giants have proven not to be a team that should be overlooked, having kept up to speed with Santurce for most of the regular season and are only one game behind the Crabbers in the playoffs standings. So there is still a lot of baseball to be played and to be still determined.

This is of course dependent on how the Giants fair off in the second week of the Round Robin. Time will tell if the Giants have anything left to showcase or they left it all back in 2018.


For Santurce’s part, they have simply been out matched by the Mayagüez offense. In their first matchup, Santurce was winning the game up to the 8th inning by a score of 4-0.

A single, double, walk, single, single and a triple later, the Indians were up 5-4 and had no response to Joshua Torres, the dominate closer for Mayagüez who also led the league in with 10 saves in 17 appearances (Note: not all were save opportunities).

The Crabbers were able to bounce back against the Carolina Giants on January 4th, thanks in great part to Jan Hernández’s grand slam to break the tied game in the bottom of the 6th inning.

They will attempt to gain their second win in the postseason when they face the Giants again on January 8th.


So after 5 games played we know that Mayagüez is the team to beat since they show no signs of stopping, and once again, we will see Carolina and Santurce try to edge each other out.

Either team has had relative success against each other, but we will see what type of performance the postseason will bring out of these rosters.


Coquí Baseball podcast episodes will return on January 15, 2019 and hopefully by then my voice decides to come back to me.

In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter at @melmora_ where I have been providing in game updates. You can also send your feedback at coquibaseball@yahoo.com.


 Coquí Baseball Podcast

Providing you with current news and action on La Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente

CoquiBaseball(available on iTunes & Spotify)

 

 

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