(Coqui Baseball)— Santurce is one win away from reclaiming the championship title for the first time since 2016. The Crabbers obtained their third straight victory over the Mayagüez Indians tonight with a final score of 8-3.
Santurce started the night where they left off last night at the Bithorn Stadium by jumping to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. But the Mayagüez Indians responded immediately in the second inning to tie up the game.
However, Jan Hernández’s bat was not to be contained, and with his second triple of the series, brought in an additional 2 runs to make it 4-2 over the Indians. Hernández has batted in 7 RBIs in two games and is batting .462 in the series so far. He is most likely going to be named the MVP of the series if Santurce is able to clinch this and sweep the Indians tomorrow night.
Mayagüez struggles continue to confuse their fans and analysts because this is simply not the team we saw in the last two months. The once solid pitching staff performance from the tribe has not made an appearance in three straight games. For a second straight night, the pitching staff has given up 15 hits and an additional 8 runs totaling to 34 hits and 19 runs given up in only three games.
The offense has not faired any better, but tonight the attempted to force something to happen and simply fell victims to the same woes plaguing them in this series: groundouts and pop-ups.
The Indians had almost the same amount of hits and scoring opportunities as the Crabbers, but simply could not convert on them. Tonight they went 4-for-10 with RISP leaving 9 runners on base, while the Crabbers went 5-for-15 leaving 10 of their runners stranded.
The difference? When the Crabbers scored early in the game, they did it for damage bringing in 2 at a time and then extending their lead one run at a time in for innings after the 3rd. Once again, the Crabbers scored in 5 out of 9 innings played, compared to the Indians who only did so in 2 out of 9.
Full box score and recap for tonight’s game can be found here.
There’s not much hope for the Indians and their fans who are on the verge of being swept in the finale series. An unfathomable thought for such a dominating and consistent team throughout the 2018-2019 season.
Tomorrow game 4 will be held at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, where the Crabbers will have the opportunity to shut it all down and reclaim their title in front of their home fans.
A team that I described as “consistent”, “steady” and eventually “stale”, proving all their critics that slow and steady wins the race (which was the Carolina Giants’ slogan but somehow Santurce took ownership of that).
Tomorrow will be a must watch game as we will see the Indians trying to fight their way back and force a game 5, or Santurce winning it all at home and focus on the next stage: Caribbean Series.
Speaking of which, the Caribbean Series right now is in jeopardy of not being held in 2019 due to the political and social crisis developing in Venezuela who was scheduled to host the event in a week’s time.
As of today, the governing body of the series, the Confederación de Béisbol Profesional del Caribe announced today that the series will not be played in Venezuela and that they will announce tomorrow about whether or not it will still be carried out or postponed until next year. So far, Mexico has offered to host the series (if the costs of planning and scheduling an international sporting event in a week’s time is rational), so we’ll see what the decision comes down to.
MLB on their part, have directed players with MLB affiliations suspend all travel to Venezuela due to the events of this event citing the obvious concerns regarding their safety and ability to travel in and out of the country.
Honestly, this has been a saddening turn of events, but none so more than for the people of Venezuela who continue to struggle and survive the turmoil that they have endured for so many years. In a situation like this, it is understandable that baseball is inconsequential. Yet, Venezuelan players were forced to play out their games the same day that their country experienced a tumultuous day of protest, violence and uncertainty. I hope that the day of peace finally arrives for our brothers and sisters in Venezuela; it is long over due.