2008 Caribbean Series - Summary

Summary

Licey, managed by Héctor de la Cruz, finished with a 5-1 record to clinch the club's 10th Caribbean Series title since the country began participating in 1970 and the 17th overall for the Dominican Republic. Pitcher and Series MVP Ramón Ortiz posted a 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA in 11⅔ scoreless IP against the Águilas, including five of relief. RF Héctor Cruz provided the offensive support for the team, leading the Series hitters in batting average (.407), hits (11), doubles (3), SLG (.630) and OPS (1,037). Licey also got fine work of starters José Capellán (1-0, 3.37 ERA) and Francisco Rosario (0.00, five SO in 6.0 IP), as well from relievers Jailen Peguero (1-0) and Carlos Mármol (two saves). Other contributions came from 3B/OF José Bautista (.250, two home runs, four RBI, six runs, two stolen bases, .440 SLG), 2B Ronnie Belliard (.273 BA, four RBI, .455 SLG), LF Emilio Bonifacio (.250, five runs, two SB) and C Matt Tupman, who batted .364 (8-for-23) and was the only Licey's player with at least one hit in each game.

Managed by Félix Fermín, the Dominican champions wasted home field advantage, ending in second place with a 3-3 mark. The Cibao's team was characterized by an ineffective pitching staff and a poor offensive, while the defense committed crucial errors. Two hitters carried much of the offensive weigh – 2B Rafael Furcal (.400, 10 hits, five runs, four RBI, .560 SLG) and SS Tony Peña (.429 BA, .524 SLG), while DH Miguel Tejada provided a substantial (if discreet) contribution (.208, five runs, two HR, .318 SLG). Pitchers Joselo Díaz (1-0, eight strikeouts, 1.50 ERA in six IP) and Arnie Muñoz (1-0, one save, 0.00 in 1⅔ IP) headed the staff. Supporting them were Randy Choate (0.00 ERA, 4.0 IP), Joel Peralta (0.00, 2.0 IP) and Francisco Cruceta (1.69, 5⅓ IP), but Denny Bautista (1-0), Bartolo Colón (0-1), Sergio Ramírez and Alfredo Simón, combined for a 8.00 ERA in 18 innings.

Mexico was guided by Homar Rojas and finished with a 2-4 record, tying for third place with Venezuela. DH Robert Saucedo (.346, seven runs, six RBI, .577 SLG), SS Alfredo Amézaga (.381, five runs, three SB, .435 OBP) and OF Armando Ríos (.312, two SB, .375 SLG) paced the offense, while the top pitcher was Nelson Figueroa (1-0, 0.81, seven SO in 11.0 IP). The Obregón team also included players like Justin Lehr (P), Óscar Robles (2b), Dan Serafini (P) and Reggie Taylor (OF).

Venezuela, piloted by Buddy Bailey, played with a depleted line-up. This year, 15 players from the Venezuelan finals roster were unavailable for the Series, including Miguel Cabrera, Ronny Cedeño and Edgardo Alfonzo, due to Spring Training reports. Luis Maza, the man charged with filling Cabrera's shoes at third base, responded by hitting .348 (8-for-23) with six runs and a .435 SLG. Other help came from outfielders Selwyn Langaigne (.357, four RBI) and Alberto Callaspo (.346, four runs), as well from pitchers Giovanni Carrara (1-0, four hits, four SO, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP) and Ramón García (three hits, three SO, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP). The only homers were hit by sub-batters Alex Delgado (C, .100) and Luis Ugueto (OF, .222), while Andrew Lorraine was the only pitcher to lose two games in the Series that year. The Aragua club also featured RF Robert Pérez and pitchers Orber Moreno, Víctor Moreno and José Santiago, among others.

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