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2007-2008 Cuban National League

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The 2007-2008 season was the forty-seventh season of Cuba's national baseball system. The season was noted for its offensive explosion thanks to the introduction of the Mizuno 150 baseball. Several records were set at the plate, most notably by Alexei Bell. Bell, a slugging outfielder for Santiago de Cuba despite his small frame, set new league marks for home runs and RBI. Alfredo Despaigne, another young outfielder, set a new record with 58 extra-base hits. Due to the increase in offense, pitch counts in the league were increased during the season from 100 to 120 to allow starters to work deeper into games.

A couple pitchers also set records in the 2007-2008 Serie Nacional. Yulieski González went 15-0 to set a new record for most consecutive wins in a season, breaking the old standard of 14. Pedro Luis Lazo, meanwhile, set a new career record for Cuban pitchers with his 235th win late in the year; Lazo picked up 9 victories during the season to show he was still productive.

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[edit] Serie Nacional

The 47th Serie Nacional was won by Santiago de Cuba, 4 games to 0, over Pinar del Río. Pinar del Río was a surprise contestant given their .500 regular season performance, but some playoff upsets enabled them to make it to the finals, where they were a heavy underdog and proved to be no match for Santiago de Cuba. It was the third title in four seasons for Santiago de Cuba. Santiago de Cuba was managed by Antonio Pacheco. Rolando Meriño set a new postseason record with 25 RBI in the playoffs and finals; he was named MVP of the playoffs.

Game one of the finals was won by Santiago de Cuba, 8-2. Veteran hurler Norge Vera went the distance and did not allow a run until the 6th, by which point his team was well ahead. 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. went 3 for 5 with 4 RBI to pace a balanced attack. Pinar del Rio turned to Pedro Luis Lazo for game two but Cuba's all-time win leader allowed 7 runs in 6 innings in a 9-2 loss. Catcher Rolando Meriño went 3 for 4 with a homer, 3 runs and 2 RBI while RF Alexei Bell homered twice and drove in four. Santiago de Cuba starter Alberto Bicet was knocked out after one-third of an inning but reliever Yaumier Sánchez allowed only one run in 8 2/3 innings after replacing him to pick up the win.

Meriño drove in 3 runs in a game 3, 10-4 win for Santiago de Cuba. They won it with 6 runs in the 6th. Olivera was 3 for 5 with 2 runs while Pedro Poll doubled twice and drove in two. Santiago de Cuba completed the sweep with a 2-1 pitching duel in game four, the only close contest of the finals. 3B Ronnier Mustelier homered off of Yuniesky Maya in the third to put Santiago ahead, but Pinar tied it in the bottom of the third against Ormari Romero. In the 8th, Olivera reached on a fielder's choice. With Lazo on the hill for Pinar, Olivera stole second and Meriño was walked intentionally. Santiago star Bell singled in Olivera for the winning run. Reinier Roibal was the winning pitcher and Vera got the save.

[edit] Standings

Bold indicates Zona champion; Italics indicates Serie Nacional champion

[edit] Zona Occidental

Grupo A Grupo B
Team G W L WPCT GB Team G W L WPCT GB
Pinar del Río 90 45 45 0.500 -- La Habana 90 61 29 0.678 --
Isla de la Juventud 90 40 50 0.444 5 Industriales 88 53 35 0.602 7
Matanzas 90 34 56 0.378 11 Sancti Spíritus 88 48 40 0.545 12
Metropolitanos 89 28 61 0.315 16.5 Cienfuegos 90 33 57 0.367 28

[edit] Zona Oriental

Grupo C Grupo D
Team G W L WPCT GB Team G W L WPCT GB
Villa Clara 88 55 33 0.625 -- Santiago de Cuba 90 61 29 0.678 -.-
Ciego de Ávila 90 53 37 0.589 3 Guantánamo 89 44 45 0.494 16.5
Las Tunas 90 49 41 0.544 7 Holguín 90 41 49 0.456 20
Camagüey 90 35 55 0.382 21 Granma 90 36 54 0.400 25

[edit] Playoffs

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
                           
  OCC2  Industriales 0  
OCC4  Pinar del Río 3  
     Pinar del Río 4  
Occidental
  OCC4  Sancti Spíritus 3  
OCC1  La Habana 1
  OCC3  Sancti Spíritus 3  
    OCC4  Pinar del Río 0
  OTE1  Santiago de Cuba 4
  OTE1  Santiago de Cuba 3  
OTE4  Las Tunas 0  
  OTE4  Villa Clara 2
Oriental
  OTE2  Santiago de Cuba 4  
OTE2  Villa Clara 3
  OTE3  Ciego de Ávila 2  

[edit] All-Star Game

The twenty-second Juego de las Estrellas (All-Star Game) was held at Guillermón Moncada Stadium. In the game, the Occientales defeated the Orientales by a score of 6 to 5 behind a home run from MVP Yosvani Peraza. The winning pitcher was Alexei Gil and the losing pitcher was Jorge Longa.

[edit] Leaders

Bold indicates either wooden bat record or aluminum bat record (1976-1977 to 1998-1999), Italics indicate Serie Nacional record

[edit] Batting

Stat Leader Team Number Notes
Batting Average Yoandy Garlobo Matanzas .398
Runs Scored Alexei Bell Santiago de Cuba 96
Base Hits José Julio Ruíz Santiago de Cuba 126
Doubles Alfredo Despaigne Granma 33
Triples Ariel Sánchez Matanzas 12
Home Runs Alexei Bell Santiago de Cuba 31
Runs Batted In Alexei Bell Santiago de Cuba 111
Base-on-Balls Frederich Cepeda Sancti Spíritus 93
Intentional Base-on-Balls Yosvani Peraza Pinar del Rio 37
Hit-by-Pitch Dainniel Galvez Isla de la Juventud 24
Strikeouts Vismay Santos Guantánamo 74
Sacrifice Hit Maikel Caceres Holguín 16
Sacrifice Fly Yasser Gomez Industriales 8
Stolen Bases José Julio Ruíz Santiago de Cuba 32

[edit] Pitching

Stat Leader Team Number Notes
Wins Yulieski González La Habana 15
Win-Loss Percentage Yulieski González La Habana 15-0
Earned Run Average Jonder Martinez La Habana 1.55 133 1/3 IP
Innings Pitched Pedro Luis Lazo Pinar del Rio 147 1/3 IP
Games Pitched Yoandry Barrios Villa Clara 53
Games Started Leyan Lores Guantánamo 22
Games Relieved Yoandry Barrios Villa Clara 53
Complete Games Pedro Luis Lazo Pinar del Rio 7
Shutouts Jonder Martínez La Habana 4
Hits Allowed Yanier Gonzalez Granma 154
Strikeouts Yulieski González La Habana 111
Base-on-Balls Maikel Folch Ciego de Ávila 68
Intentional Base-on-Balls Vladimir García Ciego de Ávila 16
Hit Batters Frank Navarro
Jorge Martinez
Guantánamo
Matanzas
14
Saves Sergio Espinosa Isla de la Juventud 14

[edit] Award Winners

The Most Valuable Player (Jugadores más Valiosos) was Alexei Bell of Santiago de Cuba. Yosvani Perez of Villa Clara was the Series' Rookie of the Year (Novatos del Año). Manager of the Year was Antonio Pacheco of Santiago de Cuba.

All-Stars were C Rolando Meriño (Santiago de Cuba), 1B Yoandy Garlobo (Matanzas), 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. (Santiago de Cuba), SS Yadil Mujica (Matanzas), 3B Yulieski Gourriel (Sancti Spiritus), Bell, OF Alfredo Despaigne (Granma), OF Yoandry Urgellés (Industriales), DH Yosvani Peraza, UT Adonis García (Ciego de Avila), RHP Jonder Martínez (La Habana), LHP Yulieski González (La Habana) and RP Sergio Espinosa (Isla de la Juventud). Gold Glove winners were C Ariel Pestano (Villa Clara), 1B Garlobo, 2B Raiko Olivares (Industriales), SS Eduardo Paret (Villa Clara), 3B Jorge Rodriguez (Cienfuegos), Bell, OF Juan Carlos Linares (La Habana), OF Andy Zamora (Villa Clara) and P Yoelkis Cruz (Las Tunas).


Cuban National League Seasons
1962 1962-1963 1963-1964 1964-1965 1965-1966 1966-1967 1967-1968 1968-1969
1969-1970 1970-1971 1971-1972 1972-1973 1973-1974 1974-1975 1975-1976 1976-1977 1977-1978 1978-1979
1979-1980 1980-1981 1981-1982 1982-1983 1983-1984 1984-1985 1985-1986 1986-1987 1987-1988 1988-1989
1989-1990 1990-1991 1991-1992 1992-1993 1993-1994 1994-1995 1995-1996 1996-1997 1997-1998 1998-1999
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