Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cats fall in season finale

vs Magallanes
Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Aragua 8 at Magallanes 9

W: I. Maldonado (1-3, 3.54); L: K. Tolar (0-2, 3.94)
HR: None.

Los Tigres de Aragua dropped the last game of the regular Venezuelan Winter League season to finish in 3rd place in the standings, 7 games back from the League leading Caribes de Anzoategui. As always with the last game of the season, the goal was to see which team could get the most players in their line up.

With 2 outs in the bottom of the second inning Arturo Rivas (F/A) walked for los Navegantes del Magallanes and moved to 2nd on an Erold Andrus (Tampa Bay) line drive. Gustavo Molina (Baltimore) doubled Rivas in, Andrus would be taken out home plate to end the inning.

The Cats answered back in the top of the 3rd with Alex Delgado (F/A) getting to first on a single to center, then moving to 2nd on a wild pitch by Navegantes starter Jean Machi (Toronto). Following a strike out to Jose Martinez (St Louis), Luis Rodriguez (San Diego) was hit by a pitch. Former Miracle Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) went down swinging for the 2nd out, but another wild pitch by Machi saw Delgao to 3 and Rodriguez to 2nd. Mike Aviles (Kansas City), also struck out, but pitch went went wild allowing Delgado to score, Rodriguez to move to 3rd and Aviles to first. An errant throw on a pick off attempt by Machi saw Rodriguez cross the plate and Aviles get to 3rd before Gimenez would like out to end the inning.

With one out in the top of the fifth, Martinez doubled, followed by a Ramon Castro (F/A) single. Maza reached on a fielding error allowing Martinez to score. Aviles lined out, but Giminez singled to bring in Castro, who'd replaced Rodriguez in the line up. Ruben Salazar (F/A) doubled bringing in the two runners to give Aragua a 6-1 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Oswaldo Soso (Minnesota) replaced starter Cory Bailey (Cichago Cubs) on the mound for the Cats. Gustavo Molina (Baltimore) opened with a single. Johan Silva (F/A) walked and Richard Paz (F/A) singled to load the bases. A sac fly by Edgardo Alfonzo (F/A) brought in Molina. Jose Leon (F/A) then doubled to bring in Silva. Bobby Korecky (Minnesota) would be brought in to replace Sosa. He allowed a single to Pablo Sandoval (San Francisco) which plated Paz before getting Jesus Merchan (Philadelphia) to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Wilson Ramos (Minnesota) who had been with the Aragua developmental team that recently won the 2007 Championship, entered the game to pinch hit for Delgado and lined out to right. Martinez and Castro would hit back-to-back singles before another pitching change for los Navegantes saw Clevelan Stanteliz (Chicago White Sox) on the mound. Maza ground out, but Martinez was able to score on the play. A wild pitch moved Castro to 3rd, and a single by Aviles served to bring him home, making the score 8-4.

But Magallanes did not rest, as Rivas doubled and Andrus was hit by a pitch. Saloman Manriquez (Texas), pinch hitting for Molina, ground into a double play, but Silva followed that up with a triple that plated Rivas. Following a walk to Paz, Jose Mijares (Minnesota) would replace Korecky on the mound. Marcos Vechionacci (NY Yankees) reached on a throwing error by Castro that also allowed Silva to score before Jose Leon (F/A) struck out swinging.

The bottom of the 8th saw Andrus score. He'd reach on a missed catch by Aragua pitcher Jason Karnuth (Detroit) and moved to 3rd on a single by Manriguez.

Kevin Tolar (F/A) would be brought in to close out the game for the Cats, but a single to Vechionacci and pinch hitter Jose Munoz (Pittsburgh) followed by a sac bunt by Sandoval put 2 runners in scoring position. A single to Merchan brought in the pair, giving los Navegantes the go ahead run and ending the game.

Ramos finished up 0-for-2 catching the rest of the game after the replaced Delgado. Rodriguez was 0-for-1 with a run. Maza was 0-for-5 with a run and 2 RBIs. Romero was 0-for-3, and finishes up the season hitting .186. Merchan, a former Miracle, was 1-for-3, while Andrus was 1-for-3 with a run.

On the pitching end off things, Sosa allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and 1 walk in .1 inning, finishing up the season with a 5.63 era in 23.2 innings pitched. Korecky faired a bit better, allowing 2 runs, 1 earned) on 3 hits in 1.1 inning and end with a 3.08 era in 36.2 innings pitched. Mijares struck out 1 in .2 innings, concluding the regular season with a 1.86 era in 18.2 inning pitched.

Yohan Pino (Minnesota), who did not play in the game finished up with a 2-2 record and a 1.69 era in 26.2 innings pitched.

The first games of the round-robin playoffs are being played in Puerto La Cruz and Barquisimeto Wednesday, January 2nd, with the Bravos facing los Caribes and the Cardinales going up against los Tigers. does not list the games, so I do not know if they'll be covering the playoffs.

Tigers de Aragua

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