By Gian Franco Gil
The 5th installment of the World Baseball Classic will be held between March 8 and 21, 2023, and Cuba will share Group A with the teams of the Netherlands, Italy, Panama and the local Chinese Taipei. Here we present in Swing Completo several facts you should know about the interventions of the Greater of the Antilles in previous editions.
The Cuban team in the four events played from 2006 to 2017 played 26 matches, winning 15 and losing 11. Among those duels were 13 teams it faced, leaving a negative result only against three countries: Japan, the Netherlands and Israel.
Although the Netherlands has dominated against the Antilleans in recent years, the Europeans are not the nemesis of the Cubans in this type of events. Japan, with five victories in six matches, maintains an almost absolute hegemony over the Caribbean team. Meanwhile, the Europeans are 3-1 overall and Israel won the only match they have played.
In the four previous championships, the Cuban team always moved past the first round and in that instance only lost two challenges, one against Puerto Rico in 2006 (12×2) and another against Japan in 2017 (11×6).
On the other hand, Cuba has played 12 games in the second round, of and has won only four challenges and half of them were in 2006, against Venezuela (7×2) and Puerto Rico (4×3). The other victories took place in 2009 against Mexico (7×4) and in 2013 against Chinese Taipei (14×4).
Precisely that last result along with the first round victory against Mexico in 2009 (16×4) are the only mercy rule scores achieved by Cuba. On the other hand, Puerto Rico crushed them (12×2) in 2006 and the Netherlands beat them (14×1) in the last edition of the competition.