The defection of star pitcher Aroldis Chapman apparently hasn’t had a negative affect on the Cuban National Team, at least not on the field. Cuba opened the 2009 World Port Tournament in Rotterdam, Holland with six wins and a tie in their first seven games wins last week, and is the only team in the four-nation tourney above .500.
Cuba opened the World Port Tournament on July 2 with a 1-0 shutout of the host Netherland team as Miguel Gonzalez outdueled Diegomar Markwell for the win. Rolando Merino’s RBI single in the top of the third plated the game’s only run. Gonzalez came back six days later to combine with Yadiel Pedroso on a one-hitter for a 10-0 whitewashing of Japan. Taiwan won the second game on Opening Day, 4-3, over Japan as Kun-Sheng Lin’s single in the 11th inning gave Taiwan the lead and ultimately the win.
Cuba ran their record to 6-0-1 through last Thursday, when they tied Taiwan, 1-1, in a makeup game of an earlier rainout, then beat the Taiwanese team again, 5-4. Taiwan is now 2-4-1 for the tournament. The Netherlands topped Japan, 4-3, in the third game of the day in Rotterdam to bring their record up to 3-4. Japan brings up the rear at 2-5 as of Thursday.
The tournament is scheduled to conclude Sunday, July 12 with the title game.