From BR Bullpen
Noberto González Miranda
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 209 lb.
Norberto González has been a member of the Cuban national team periodically.
González pitched in the 1996 World Junior Championship (0-0, 0.96, 2 H in 9 IP) and the 1997 World Junior Championship (1-1, 3.24), helping Cuba win Gold both years. He went 10-9 with a 4.92 ERA for Cienfuegos in the 2000-2001 Serie Nacional. In the 2001-2002 season, he was 11-8 with a 4.31 ERA. He threw 10 2/3 scoreless innings in the 2002 World University Championship, going 1-0 as Cuba won Gold.
Norberto had a 9-6, 4.49 record in 2002-2003 season and followed by leading the 2003 Super Liga with 21 strikeouts. He made his senior national team debut in the 2003 Pan American Games. In the 2003-2004 Serie Nacional, the right-hander was 10-12 with a 3.75 ERA. He was 64-65 with a 4.57 ERA in his Cuban career through that year.
González was 1-0 with a save and a 0.75 ERA for Cuba in the 2004 Olympics. He allowed two runs (one earned) in 5 2/3 relief innings in a 6-3 loss to Cuba after replacing a struggling Vicyohandri Odelin. He tossed six shutout innings and allowed three hits in a fine start and win over Team Canada, which finished 4th in the Games. He retired Pete LaForest to rap up the semifinal win over Canada, the lone batter he faced in registering a save after relieving Pedro Luis Lazo. He tied Wei-Lun Pan for 5th in the Olympics in ERA, behind Luis Borroto, Hiroki Kuroda, Chris Oxspring and Norge Vera.
The Cienfuegos hurler had a record of 9-8, 4.97 in the 2004-2005 Serie Nacional. In the 2005 Baseball World Cup, Norberto walked 5 in 6 relief innings and allowed 3 runs while striking out eight. He again was at his prime against the Canadian squad, hurling 4 shutout innings after replacing Yulieski González to complete a 3-hit whitewash.
González went 6-10 with a 3.97 ERA in the 2005-2006 season. He had a busy international scene in 2006, appearing in five different events. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, he had a 3.86 ERA in three relief stints but allowed 6 hits and 3 walks in 4 2/3 IP. During the 2006 Haarlem Baseball Week, he had a 5.67 ERA and a save (versus Japan). He was with Cuba for the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games. In the 2006 COPABE qualifier for the 2008 Olympics, he fanned 13 in 10 scoreless innings and went 1-0 to help Cuba advance to Beijing. He tied Frank Montieth for the best ERA in the event. In the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, he had a 1-0, 1.29 record.
Norberto was 12-5 with a 2.76 ERA in the 2006-2007 Serie Nacional for his best year to that point. He was third in wins behind Elier Sanchez and Pedro Luis Lazo and tied for third in strikeouts (89), trailing Aroldis Chapman and Adiel Palma. He allowed a hit to the only batter he faced in the 2007 Pan American Games.
In the 2007 Baseball World Cup, he was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 5 games, once again beating Canada. He replaced Yadel Martí with a 1-0 deficit in the second inning of the Gold Medal game against Team USA and promptly walked both Colby Rasmus and Jayson Nix with the bases loaded to force in runs; the USA went on to a 6-2 victory, aided by his wildness.
González's record in 2007-2008 was 9-9, 4.74. His 79 strikeouts tied Chapman for 7th in the league. In the 2008 Haarlem Baseball Week, he allowed no runs in 3 2/3 IP. He was with Cuba for the 2008 Olympics, going 0-1 with 2 saves and a 1.69 ERA; in 10 2/3 IP, he allowed only 4 hits and struck out nine. Norberto saved a 7-6 win over Canada and tossed 2 shutout innings to save a 1-0 victory over the Taiwan national team. He struggled in relief against the South Korean national team, with a 2-run throwing error on a Yong-kyu Lee grounder that put the Koreans ahead for good; Vicyohandri Odelín took the loss. Despite his struggles in that game, Antonio Pacheco gave him the start against South Korea in the Gold Medal game. González allowed two runs in almost 6 innings, both coming in the first on a Seung-yeop Lee homer with Yong-kyu Lee aboard; he took the loss as Cuba failed to rally.
González had a 2.45 ERA in four games in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He struggled against Australia, entering with a 2-1 lead in the 6th - he proceeded to walk Luke Hughes, then balked him to second. Chris Snelling moved him to third on a fly. Pedro Luis Lazo came in and let the runner score to tie it; Cuba held on to win. He had similar problems against Japan, replacing Aroldis Chapman with the bases loaded and one out in the third. He threw a run-scoring wild pitch, then allowed a RBI single to Norichika Aoki and a sacrifice fly to Shuichi Murata as Japan went on to win.
González was 6-7 with a 3.86 ERA in 2008-2009. He was 9th in the league with 88 strikeouts.