With a loss to be eliminated, the Lions of the Chosen One will have to work hard and play their best baseball against the Eastern Stars, if they want to hope to tie in the miniseries to the best of three games for the last qualifying position to the semifinal
A few years ago fans of the Lions of the Chosen One popularized the phrase “hard to kill”To refer to the feats carried out by his team to avoid elimination in past versions of the Dominican winter baseball tournament. For some time now, Lions they have been the protagonists of agonizing tiebreakers or final games with all the bets against them, today they face this scenario again.
He Selected arrives at the second meeting of “Play-in” LIDOM against the Eastern Stars, seeking to avoid elimination in the miniseries scheduled for the best of three games, after losing an important first meeting in San Pedro de Macorís. Several were the causes of their defeat, such as the fact that their pitchers allowed three home runs, but the main reason is the inability to produce runs, a problem that has affected them throughout the season.
The Lions they were one of the worst offensive teams in the regular series LIDOM in the 2020 season. They finished last in on-base percentage (OBP) with .304, last in batting average with men on base with .210 and last in average with running backs in scoring position with .185. They finished as the team with the most players on base with 286, averaging 8.1 per game, also the highest regular-series mark.
The story was no different during the first encounter against the Stars, leaving 10 men on the trails and connecting three hits in thirteen at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The Lions they have no margin for error if they want to prove again that they are “hard to kill”And they must begin to solve their problem there, in their inability to produce runs, despite reaching runners.
This offensive problem causes another situation for the Selected, they cannot compete playing from behind. The dimensions of the Tetelo Vargas Stadium probably helped the home run problem that the scarlet team had in their first meeting, in which Robinson Cano he hit two home runs and Jeremy Pena added one more, a situation that they may not have to confront at the Quisqueya Stadium, a more favorable setting for pitchers.
However, the Lions They can’t afford to have to fight big leads, as the team averaged 3.5 runs per game (105 scored in 30 games), adding more pressure to pitchers who have to avoid playing from behind at all costs. This means throwing better, controlling the number of walks awarded in the game and avoiding 13 hits as in the first game.
Enny Romero, starter in charge of the second game, will have to draw all his arsenal to keep as many innings as possible in the game, after the Selected was forced to use five pitchers from his reliever corps in the first game against the Stars. The Lions they were slightly better than the Orientals in this department, which means they have the ability to silence green bats.
All this means that scoring early, constantly attacking the pitching of the Stars and prevent races will be the three missions of the chosen players if they want to have a chance to tie the actions and force a decisive game. Otherwise, Stars They could sweep their opponent and go to the semifinal where the other three qualifiers await.