2019 Caribbean Series
The 2019 Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was the forty-ninth edition of the second stage of the Caribbean Series. It was played in Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá from February 4-10, 2019, at Estadio Rod Carew. It was originally scheduled to be held in Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela, but was moved to Panamá because of political unrest in Venezuela.
Panamá had not played in a Series since 1960 but wound up winning the title for the first time since 1950. The series was the first to feature six teams - from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Panamá and Venezuela and because of this a new format was introduced as the six teams were split into two groups of three, each group had their round robin playing each other twice.The group winners would then advance to the final. SS Javy Guerra of the champions was named Caribbean Series MVP.
|Toros de Herrera||Panamanian League||5||4||1||.800||Manuel Rodriguez|
|Leñadores de Las Tunas||Cuban Serie Nacional||5||2||3||.400||Pablo Alberto Civil|
|Estrellas Orientales||Dominican League||4||3||1||.750||Fernando Tatis|
|Charros de Jalisco||Mexican Pacific League||4||2||2||.500||Roberto Vizcarra|
|Cardenales de Lara||Venezuelan League||4||2||2||.500||Jose Moreno|
|Cangrejeros de Santurce||Puerto Rican League||4||0||4||.000||Ramón Vázquez|
- The Charros de Jalisco won the Mexican Pacific League title for the first time and were making their Series debut as a result.
- The Cardenales de Lara were playing in their fifth Caribbean Series but first in 18 years after taking the Venezuelan League championship.
- The Cangrejeros de Santurce were five-time Series champs and had just won their 15th Puerto Rican League crown. They were the only past champion in a field loaded with newcomers.
- The Estrellas Orientales had won their third Dominican League title but first since the Dominicans had joined the Series.
- The Leñadores de Las Tunas won their first Cuban Serie Nacional championship and were thus making their Series debut.
- Panamá was playing in their first Series in 59 years and was a late addition after getting the Series transferred there. The Toros de Herrera made their Series debut.
- Batting Average: .389 - Allen Córdoba, Herrera; Javy Guerra, Herrera
- Home Runs: Five tied with one
- Runs Batted In: 5 - Alfredo Despaigne, Las Tunas; Victor Mendoza, Jalisco; Elmer Reyes, Herrera
- Wins: 2 - Lázaro Blanco, Las Tunas
- C: Wilkin Castillo, Estrellas (.571/.700/.857, 4 RBI in 7 AB)
- 1B: Victor Mendoza, Jalisco (.375/.375/.563, 5 RBI)
- 2B: Alexi Amarista, Lara (.250/.333/.250)
- SS: Javy Guerra, Herrera (.389/.389/.722, 3 2B)
- 3B: Elmer Reyes, Herrera (.368/.368/.632, 5 RBI)
- LF: Alfredo Despaigne, Las Tunas (.350/.409/.450, 5 RBI)
- CF: Junior Lake, Estrellas (.313/.389/.375)
- RF: Moisés Sierra, Estrellas (.250/.471/.333, 5 BB)
- DH: Jilton Calderón, Herrera (.273/.273/.455)
- RHP: Lázaro Blanco, Las Tunas (2-0, 0.00 in 12 IP)
- LHP: Andy Otero, Herrera (0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 5 K in 3 2/3 IP)
- Manager: Manuel Rodriguez, Herrera
|Win: Nestor Cortes (1-0) Loss: Jonathan Sánchez (0-1) Save: Jumbo Díaz (1)|
The Estrellas won their first game ever in a Series and nearly got a no-hitter in the process. 3B Diego Goris led off the 2nd with a single off Jonathan Sánchez and with one out, they got three more singles (by 1B Edwin Espinal, C Audry Pérez and SS Alfredo Reyes) to make it 1-0. Puerto Rico tied it in the 4th. CF Johneshwy Fargas walked, LF Rey Fuentes was hit by a pitch with one out and 2017 Caribbean Series MVP David Vidal singled for the lone Puerto Rican hit today off Nestor Cortes (5 IP), Jenrry Mejia (2 IP), Roman Mendez (1 IP) and Jumbo Díaz (1 IP). The Dominican hurlers combine for 11 whiffs.
In the 5th, the Estrellas went ahead for good. 2B Gustavo Nunez singled, RF Moisés Sierra walked and CF Junior Lake hit into an error by 3B Jesmuel Valentin to load the bags. Nicholas Padilla relieved and walked Goris on four pitches to force in the winning run. In the 9th, the Dominicans added insurance against Fernando Cruz when Sierra hit a two-out single, Lake followed with a ground-rule double and Cruz threw a wild pitch.
|Win: Nestor Molina (1-0) Loss: Orlando Lara (0-1)|
A good day for pitchers named Nestor continued as Nestor Molina followed Cortes with a similar one run in five innings for a win. Venezuela, despite the turmoil back home, does just fine away from home. In the bottom of the 4th, Lara pounced on a pitcher that shared their name, Orlando Lara after he had faced the minimum through three. He hit 2B Alexi Amarista to open the 4th. With one out, 1B Rangel Ravelo singled and LF Stephen Cardullo made an error, advancing both runners. Veteran DH Luis Jimenez singled in Amarista and a sacrifice fly by SS Juniel Querecuto made it 2-0. CF Alejandro De Aza and 3B Carlos Rivero both walked. Jesus Anguamea relieved Lara and escaped the jam by retiring C Juan Apodaca.
3B Agustín Murillo singled in the 5th, stole second and made it to third on Apodaca's throwing error on the play. After an out, Cardullo grounded him home to make it a one-run game but Mexico wouldn't score again. In the 6th, the Cardenales got insurance. Jimenez drew a one-out walk from Alex Delgado and Querecuto doubled. De Aza grounded in a run. Francisco Moreno relieved but served up a two-run homer by Rivero. Rivero had been the victim of some of Venezuela's dangers earlier this season when he was the sole survivor of a car crash as the vehicle he was in tried vainly to avoid a trap laid by bandits and two teammates lost their lives.
|Win: Lázaro Blanco (1-0) Loss: William Oliver (0-1) Save: Raidel Martínez (1)|
Cuba wins their opener, as Las Tunas gets its first Series win ever. 2B Jorge Alomá doubled off William Oliver in the 3rd; with two outs, 42-year-old DH Danel Castro doubles as well. LF Alfredo Despaigne then singled in both runners. In the 5th, CF Yuniesky Larduet hit a one-out double and Castro drew a two-out walk to chase Oliver. José Oyervides relieved but Despaigne greeted him with a RBI single as part of a 3-hit, 3-RBI day.
While Despaigne led the offense, Lázaro Blanco provided the pitching with 7 innings of 3-hit, one-walk, shutout ball. Jalisco staged a late comeback after he left. SS Amadeo Zazueta led off the bottom of the 9th with a single off Vladimir García but the next two batters got out. DH Japhet Amador singled and Raidel Martínez relieved. LF Jesús Valdez singled home Zazueta, putting the tying run aboard and the winning run at the plate, but 3B Agustín Murillo flew out to end it.
|Win: Andy Otero (1-0) Loss: Jhan Mariñez (0-1) Save: Manny Corpas (1)|
Herrera became the third team in two days to win their Caribbean Series debut. SS Javy Guerra got the home fans pumped quickly with a homer off Yuniesky Maya in the 2nd. In the 4th, Guerra singled, C Rodrigo Vigil hit into an error by 2B Gustavo Nunez and a sacrifice fly by 1B Jonathan Gálvez made it 2-0.
Harold Araúz did a fine job on the hill, shutting out the Estrellas for five innings. The Dominicans tied it in the 6th after he left. Severino González relieved. With one out, CF Junior Lake singled. An out later, DH Aneury Tavárez singled. 1B Edwin Espinal singled in both runners. C Wilkin Castillo walked and SS Alfredo Reyes singled to load the bases. That was it for González as Andy Otero replaced him. He came up big with a strikeout of LF Rubén Sosa to leave the game tied. Otero, Enrique Burgos and Manny Corpas allowed no more hits or walks.
In the 7th, the hosts pulled ahead for good off Jhan Mariñez. Gálvez got plunked by his countrymate and was bunted over. After a wild pitch, CF and #9 hitter Rodrigo Orozco Jr. singled in Gálvez to make it 3-2. Maximo Nelson relieved and 2B Edgar Muñoz grounded Orozco over. Marlon Arias then took over on the hill and DH Gerald Chin singled in the insurance run.
|Win: Alexis Rivero (1-0) Loss: Freddy Asiel Álvarez (0-1) Save: Pedro Rodríguez (1)|
Cuba again got good pitching but didn't manage any offense today as Venezuela improved to 2-0. Lara's Wilfredo Boscán and Las Tunas's Freddy Asiel Álvarez each turned in shutout ball in the 6th; in the 7th, Alexis Rivero relieved Boscán with one out and finished the inning with the game still at a scoreless deadlock.
In the bottom of the 7th, the Cardenales got the game's lone run. 1B Rangel Ravelo hit into an error by SS Alexander Ayala. Yoannis Yera relieved Álvarez but walked DH Luis Jimenez. Liván Moinelo then came in and SS Juniel Querecuto bunted the runners over. A sacrifice fly by CF Alejandro De Aza brought in Ravelo. Ricardo Gómez struck out two batters in a 1-2-3 8th and Pedro Rodríguez also set down the side in order in the 9th to wrap it for Venezuela.
|Win: Enrique Burgos (1-0) Loss: Luis Cruz (0-1) Save: Manny Corpas (2)|
In the first high-scoring affair of the Series, the late addition/home team goes to 2-0 with a late rally. Iván Maldonado mostly held Panama in check, allowing only one run in 6 1/3; in the 2nd, he gave up singles to 3B Elmer Reyes and SS Javy Guerra, a double play ball to C Rodrigo Vigil and a RBI single to 1B Jonathan Gálvez. In the bottom of the frame, Puerto Rico tied it against Luis Mateo, who also turned in a strong start (1 R in 5 IP). SS Alexis Pantoja hit a two-out double and LF Jack López singled him home.
Things remained 1-1 until the bottom of the 6th, when Anthony Ortega relieved Mateo. With two outs, C Brian Navaretto singled. Anfernee Benítez relieved but gave up a RBI double to RF Danny Ortiz. 1B Yariel Gonzalez walked and a wild pitch brought in Ortiz for a 3-1 Santurce lead. The Crabbers padded it in the 7th with more two-out offense. Gabriel Ramos issued three straight full-count walks, to DH Iván DeJesús Jr., 3B David Vidal and CF Rey Fuentes. Navaretto then delivered a single and an error by RF Jhonny Santos on the play helped clear the bases as Puerto Rico now led, 6-1.
Herrera came back in the 8th, though. With two away, backup OF Keury De La Cruz singled off Tyler Herron. Jilton Calderón (fresh off a starring role for Nicaragua in the 2019 Pan American Games Qualifier) pinch-hit and singled. LF Allen Córdoba singled as well. Fernando Cruz came in and Reyes then hit a two-run single. After a wild pitch, Guerra smacked a two-run double to make it a one-run game.
In the 9th, Panama went ahead. Gálvez singled off James Pugliese and was bunted over. Luis Cruz replaced Pugliese and gave up a single to CF Rodrigo Orozco Jr. With two outs, Cruz threw a wild pitch. Calderón (who had stayed in at DH) came up with a big two-run double to give Panama a 7-6 lead, then came home on a single by Córdoba for some insurance that would prove critical. In the bottom of the 9th, Manny Corpas walked 2B Jesmuel Valentin and Valentin moved over on a grounder by DeJesús. Vidal singled to close it back to one. Corpas recovered to fan Fuentes and get Navaretto on a fly for his second save.
|Win: Sergio Romo (1-0) Loss: Liván Moinelo (0-1)|
Jalisco got their first Series win, but needed extra innings to persevere. Early on, it looked high-scoring as the teams combined for 3 runs in the first, but they would only score two over the next ten innings. Jalisco got going quickly against Yariel Rodríguez. CF Alonzo Harris walked, SS Amadeo Zazueta singled and Rodríguez threw a wild pitch to score Harris. After a one-out single by DH Japhet Amador, Vladimir García relieved and would shut out Mexico over the next 4 2/3 innings.
Las Tunas went ahead in the bottom of the first against Manny Barreda. CF Yuniesky Larduet hit into an error by Zazueta, going to 2nd. RF Jorge Jhonson's grounder advanced him to third. Back-to-back doubles by DH Frederich Cepeda and LF Alfredo Despaigne made it 2-1, but Cuba would not score again and would muster only four more hits against Barreda, Rafael Martin, Edgar Torres, Jake Sanchez and Sergio Romo. Romo would retire all eight batters he faced, three by strikeout, for the win.
In the 6th, the Charros finally got to García. Harris singled for one of his three hits today, Zazueta bunted him over and he scored on a single by 1B Victor Mendoza. It remained deadlocked until the 11th. With one out, Liván Moinelo fanned fellow Cuban Dariel Álvarez but a wild pitch on strike three let him reach. After a sacrifice bunt, Moinelo intentionally walked 3B Agustín Murillo. 2B Ramón Ríos singled to center to score the winning run as the two teams both went to 1-2.
|Win: Jumbo Díaz (1-0) Loss: Nicholas Padilla (0-1)|
Puerto Rico had won the last two Series and Santurce was the only team in this year's event to have won one in the past, but things were not going well as they dropped their third straight, due to a late Dominican comeback. 41-year-old Raúl Valdés (Dominican Republic) and 37-year-old Fernando Cabrera (Puerto Rico) traded goose eggs for three. In the 4th, 1B David Vidal singled for Santurce. After an out, RF Jan Hernández doubled and SS Iván DeJesús Jr. doubled to make it 1-0. 2B Irving Falú singled in Hernández.
The Estrellas punched right back in the bottom of the inning, starting with a homer by 3B Diego Goris. RF Moisés Sierra walked. 1B Edwin Espinal singled to right and an error on the play by Hernández made it 2-2. LF Aneury Tavárez bunted Espinal over and a sacrifice fly by C Audry Pérez made it 3-2. In the 5th, Santurce tied it up. LF Danny Ortiz and Vidal hit back-to-back one-out doubles, chasing Valdés as Maximo Nelson came in.
Puerto Rico took the lead again in the 6th. CF Johneshwy Fargas had a one-out single off Jenrry Mejia and 3B Jack López singled him to third. A sacrifice fly by Ortiz made it 4-3. That remained the score until the bottom of the 8th. With Fernando Cruz on the hill for the third straight game, Sierra drew a one-out walk. Espinal grounded him over and a single to left by Tavárez tied the game. In the top of the 9th, PH Rey Fuentes drew a walk from Jumbo Díaz and DeJesús hit a one-out single but Santurce stranded them. Then, in the bottom of the 9th, backup C Wilkin Castillo drew a walk from Nicholas Padilla. SS Alfredo Reyes singled and DH Rubén Sosa bunted the runners over. 2B Gustavo Nunez walked and CF Junior Lake hit a single to drive in Castillo with the winner.
|Win: Paolo Espino (1-0) Loss: Carlos Téller (0-1) Save: Jumbo Díaz (2)|
The hosts lost for the first time, interestingly enough to a fellow Panamanian, Paolo Espino. Herrera went ahead in the first against Radhames Liz. 2B Gerald Chin led off with a walk, LF Allen Córdoba had a one-out single Reand 3B Elmer Reyes hit into a run-scoring force. In the 4th, Córdoba singled but was out trying to stretch it to two, then Reyes hit a homer for a 2-0 lead.
The Dominicans got their first run in the bottom of the 4th against Carlos Téller. With two outs, LF Emilio Gustave singled. A throwing error on a pick-off attempt advanced him, then C Wilkin Castillo doubled him in. Things remained 2-1 until the bottom of the 6th. Téller began by walking 3B Diego Goris; after an out, he walked RF Moisés Sierra. Severino González took over but walked Gustave and Castillo followed with a big three-run double to right, giving him four RBI for the day (he would also have 3 hits).
The Estrellas got insurance in the 7th. With one out, CF Junior Lake and Goris had back-to-back singles off Ernesto Silva. Anthony Ortega relieved and got one out, while Goris stole second. Sierra was intentionally walked then Gustave got plunked to force in the 5th run. The hosts got one back in the 8th. After Espino had worked 3 shutout innings, C Rodrigo Vigil opened the 8th with a double. With one away, Fernando Abad relieved and Chin singled. Roman Mendez then took over on the hill and got one out before Córdoba's 3rd hit of the day made it 5-3. Reyes flew out to end the threat and Jumbo Díaz went 1-2-3 in the 9th for the save. For the second straight day, the Dominican team won with 5 runs on 8 hits while making one error.
|Win: Rafael Martin (1-0) Loss: Yohan Pino (0-1)|
The last unbeaten team falls as Mexico wins again to go to 2-2. Jalisco burst out of the gate against Yohan Pino with a walk by CF Alonzo Harris, singles by SS Amadeo Zazueta and 1B Victor Mendoza and a sacrifice fly by DH Japhet Amador for a 2-0 lead. In the 4th, 3B Agustín Murillo had a one-out double for the Charros and scored on a two-out single by C Gabriel Gutiérrez.
Marco Tovar held Venezuela in check for 4 2/3 innings. Then he gave up three straight singles, to RF Herlis Rodríguez, 2B Alexi Amarista and LF Ali Castillo. José Oyervides relieved and 1B Rangel Ravelo hit into a Murillo error to make it 3-2. Jalisco got back the runs in the bottom of the inning against Felipe Paulino. Zazueta and Mendoza hit back-to-back singles again and Amador hit into a double play. RF Dariel Álvarez singled in a run (the play was originally ruled an out, but was overturned on replay appeal). Vicente Campos replaced Paulino and LF Jesús Valdez singled in a run to make it 5-2.
Lara punched right back in the 6th. SS Juniel Querecuto and CF Alejandro De Aza both singled off Alex Delgado. Felipe González took over for Delgado and 3B Carlos Rivero walked to put the potential go-ahead run at the plate. C Juan Apodaco singled in a run and Edgar Torres replaced González. He got one out then hit Amarista to make it 5-4 and put the potential tying run on third. Rafael Martin became Jalisco's 4th pitcher of the frame and struck out Castillo then retired Ravelo to escape the jam.
In the bottom of the 6th, Campos plunked Gutiérrez and Harris bunted him over. Zazueta was intentionally walked and Elvis Araujo relieved. Mendoza took him deep, the highlight of a 4-hit, 4-RBI day. They got one more run in the 8th. With two away, Stephen Cardullo (who had replaced Amador at DH) doubled off Luis Lugo. Daniel Álvarez came in as Venezuela's 8th hurler and gave up a RBI single to his near-match namewise, Dariel Álvarez.
|Win: Lázaro Blanco (2-0) Loss: Raúl Rivero (0-1) Save: Raidel Martínez (2)|
Cuba got another gem from Lázaro Blanco to lock up a spot in the finals, winning their pool with a tiebreaker over Venezuela and Mexico. Blanco blanked Lara for five innings despite five hits and three walks, then Cuba got scoreless relief from Yoannis Yera, Yoalkis Cruz, Yudiel Rodríguez and Raidel Martínez. Cuba got all they needed in the 3rd. CF Yuniesky Larduet singled off Raúl Rivero for one of his three hits, advanced on one grounder and then advanced on another ground ball. LF Alfredo Despaigne singled home Larduet. 1B Yordanis Samón walked and Alexis Rivero replaced the other Rivero. SS Jorge Alomá and 2B Carlos Benítez drew back-to-back walks to make it 2-0. Cuba got the last run in the 6th. Larduet had a one-out single off Vicente Campos and again moved over on a grounder. He stole third and a throwing error by C Juan Apodaca on the play let him score.
|Win: Oriel Caicedo (1-0) Loss: Adalberto Flores (0-1) Save: Manny Corpas (3)|
Herrera shut down Santurce in another fine pitching display as Panama moved on to the finals as well. Adalberto Flores (for Santurce) and Oriel Caicedo (for Herrera) both turned in fine starts. The game's lone run came in the 4th; with one out, LF Allen Córdoba and 3B Elmer Reyes hit back-to-back singles and SS Javy Guerra hit a grounder to 1B David Vidal, who threw to SS Alexis Pantoja for one out but Pantoja then made a throwing error to score Córdoba. Caicedo threw 5 1/3 shutout innings then Angel Cabrera, Andy Otero and Manny Corpas wrapped up the whitewash.
Standings after Round Robin
|Leñadores de Las Tunas||2||2|
|Charros de Jalisco||2||2|
|Cardenales de Lara||2||2|
|Toros de Herrera||3||1|
|Cangrejeros de Santurce||0||4|
Game 13 Championship Game
|Win: Harold Araúz (1-0) Loss: Freddy Asiel Álvarez (0-2) Save: Manny Corpas (4)|
The hosts again rode their pitching to victory, giving Panama its second Caribbean Series title ever, 69 years after the first one, while Freddy Asiel Álvarez again pitched well in a loss. In the bottom of the first, DH Jilton Calderón hit a one-out double and LF Allen Córdoba singled him in, moving to second on the throw home. 3B Elmer Reyes then singled in what would be the winning run. In the bottom of the 5th, Cuba got their lone run off Harold Araúz as LF Alfredo Despaigne doubled and scored on a two-out single by 2B Carlos Benítez. The home team got thelast run in the 7th when Calderón cracked a two-out double. Vladimir García replaced Álvarez but C Rodrigo Vigil singled in the run. Vigil and Despaigne were the only players with multiple hits in the finals. After Araúz's strong five innings, the Toros got three shutout innings from Anfernee Benítez and Luis Mateo, who faced the minimum, then Manny Corpas wrapped it up for his 4th save. That tied Francisco Butto's 10-year-old mark for saves in a Series.
|Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Series)
|Most Valuable Player | Serie Interamericana | Confederación de Béisbol del Caribe|
|Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame|