Watch Las Tunas vs Matanzas Game 4 Live via Cubadugout Thursday, March 11th, 2021. Matanzas staved off a series massacre and a 3-0 deficit with a tidy 1-0 win in game 3. Each starter went six plus innings and scattered a combined 10 hits in the rare pitchers duel. Hitters have dominated the 60th Cuban National Series, but veteran pitchers have been key in many playoff games. Sloppy defence did in the Cocodrilos in the first two games but they looked crisp in turning the semi-final into a competitive series.
Both teams were kept off the scoreboard before Matanzas broke through in the 7th inning. Yadir Drake has been chastised by some fans for a slow start in his return to Cuba. Drake is one of the growing number of players who played professionally and have returned to Cuba. He signed with The Dodgers and played in their minor league system. He has repatriated in Cuba, fortifying the overall ranks of the league after successful stints in Japan and Mexico. His double set up the eventual RBI from Eduardo Blanco which would hold up as the only and winning run.
Reiner Rivero pitched the biggest game of his career for Matanzas. The relatively young hurler is in his 5th season. To this point has been a surplus arm for the Cocodrilos as his career 4.83 era attests. He stepped up when it counted and improved his record to 11-5 on the season. Because reliable young starters are hard to find in Cuba Reiner could be a big piece for Matanzas moving forward. The Crocodiles will look to tie the series Thursday afternoon.