Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Rivers (FL), Acuna (Venezuela) Score After Steals for Split

 Mickey Rivers pinch ran after an Andre Dawson single, stole second and then scored the game winning run in the top of the 8th to give Florida a 2-1 win.

Then in the bottom of the 7th Ronald Acuna singled and stole second, and scored the game-winner to give Venezuela a 3-2 win and series split. Acuna homered to lead off the Game against Sheffield's uncle Dwight Gooden, and his game-winner was on a single for Omar Infante, who went 3 for 5 in the series after coming in for Jose Altuve - who was injured on a line drive.

It was the first game in which we had all lefty and righty identified on the sheets (see first photo below) and having them identified led to our first platoon series of the year. Lefty Bobby Abreu is listed as the Venezuela cleanup hitter, but as a lefty against Chris Sale in the first game he sat for righty 1st baseman Andres Galarraga. Miguel Cabrera moved from right field to 1st base for that first game to allow the shift. While you will see Cabrera is listed at first base, his "other position" space lists his positions as 35D79 - the last two being that he can play left field or right field.

The split still leaves Florida in first place due to allowing a league low five runs in their first four games in this league, to 10 runs allowed by Venezuela. That means if Florida and Venezuela are still tied for 1st after the last two games, then Florida will get 1st and the bye unless they give up at least five more runs than Venezuela in the final two games of the first round. 

The standings are below. # indicates Puerto Rico has clinched not only the playoffs but first place and a bye in the next poll to play in the final championship pool for four teams. & indicates four other teams that have clinched at least a playoff game. If the first pool ended today, then the Dominican Republic would play Asia in a 1-game playoff with both No. 7 starters pitching in a matchup of the third place team in the Pacific and the South to see which teams joins the three second place teams in the first playoff pool.

As of today the winner of that game would join Pennsylvania, California and Venezuela in the first 4-team playoff pool. Only the winner of that pool would then advance to the championship pool, which as of now would pit them against Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.

The first 2-game series for all 12 teams averaged exactly 3.00 runs per game - as some of the best pitchers in the history of baseball faced off with the top two ever in each of these nations/states/regions. We expected slightly more runs in the 2nd round pitting the 3rd and 4th best pitchers on each team, but it was actually slightly lower at 2.92. The remaining 3rd round of the 1st pool should allow some more runs with the 5th and 6th starter for each team. 

To win the Pacific, California would not only have to beat Hilton Smith from before World War II, but then beat Nolan Ryan. However, if Texas only splits with California, then Asia could surge from 3rd to 1st to take the bye if they can shut down the weaker Central American team.

RankDivision/TeamW  L   RunsAllowedGames Left
Stand     North (top 2 advance)W  L   RS   RARemaining
1Puerto Rico #401810Canada
2Pennsylvania221617New York
3Canada131112Puerto Rico
4New York13612Pennsylvania
StandPacific (top 3 advance)WLRSRARemaining
1Texas &311612California
3Asia221113Central Am
4Central America13917Asia
StandSouth (top 3 advance)WLRSRARemaining
1Florida &3195Cuba
2Venezuela &311510Dominican Rep
3Dominican Republic &2288Venezuela


The bottom sheet is the scorebook for the Florida vs. Venezuela split with stats compiled by each team. We put both games on one sheet for each team. Each column is a time through the order, not an inning.

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