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Deivi Garcia (Robert M Pimpsner/Pinstriped Prospects)

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LIDOM 2020: Deivi, Listless Licey Lose Once Again; Sánchez Keeps Rolling

In his second start of his maiden LIDOM campaign, Deivi Garcia was charged with reviving the flagging fortunes of his lifeless team. He couldn’t live up to the task, taking the loss in a 5-1 setback on Monday against intra-city rivals Leones del Escogido. It’s the sixth straight loss for Tigres.

Garcia Knocked Around in Brief Start

Once again, the leash for the Yankees’ prized young prospect was very short. It was clear almost immediately that Garcia did not have his best stuff, but he battled valiantly through the first inning, scattering two singles between batted-ball outs. It took him 18 pitches to make his way through the first frame, and he generated just one whiff among them, a slider to the number two hitter Otto López. 

Garcia retired Tommy Joseph to open the second and then notched his only strikeout of the night by fanning Yankee teammate Estevan Florial with a high fastball. He then walked Mariners mega-prospect Julio Rodriguez on four pitches before disaster struck. Garcia grooved the first-pitch heater to Leones catcher and number-nine hitter Brett Sullivan, who jumped all over it. Sullivan crushed a mammoth homer deep into the Santo Domingo night, giving his side a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish. Garcia retired the next hitter and sat down for the evening. He threw 32 pitches with just two whiffs: the slider to López, and the fastball with which he struck out Florial. In his two innings of work, he gave up three hits and two earned runs while striking out one and walking one.

Florial’s Cold Start Continues

Garcia has his teammate to thank for gifting him a strikeout by expanding the zone, as he has been known to do in his nascent professional career. Florial entered the night hitting a paltry .143 with one extra-base hit in six games for Leones. In his first at-bat of the game, he fell behind in the count 1-2 before flailing at a fastball about a foot outside the zone. Florial then grounded out in the fourth and sixth. He did draw a walk to finally reach base in the ninth, coming around to score on Franchy Cordero’s monstrous home run that put the game firmly out of reach. Licey’s ice-cold bats made it feel like garbage time.

Gary Goes Yard Once Again

Toros del Este dropped their contest with Leones 6-4 on Sunday, but Gary Sánchez continued his hot start. He doubled sharply up the third base line in the second inning and then blasted a three-run homer to left-center in the eighth to bring Toros back into the game. Gary’s first homer on Saturday was a laser; the follow-up effort was a much more familiar moonshot that hung in the air for an eternity.

Toros had the day off on Monday. They’ll resume action at home against Aguilas Cibaeñas sitting in second place after their first 16 games. 

News and Notes

Tigres bring a record of 4-7 into Tuesday’s road tilt against Gigantes del Cibao. These two teams have played by far the fewest games of any LIDOM outfits as both dealt with significant COVID-19 outbreaks in November…The loss to Leones was bad enough, but the way in which it happened was even worse. Pablo Reyes made an absolute howler of an error in left field that led to an unearned run: he reached up nonchalantly to grab a routine Tommy Joseph fly ball, which glanced off the top of his glove and rolled to the wall. After the game’s leadoff hitter scored the team’s only run of the night and they recorded three hits in the first two innings, they did not record another until the game was out of reach in the ninth…43-year-old Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless sixth, striking out one. The beloved journeyman has appeared in seven different seasons for Leones, posting a 2.52 ERA in his LIDOM career…The man who took Garcia deep in the second inning spent 2020 playing for a team called the Sugar Land Lightning Sloths. Sullivan, a 26-year-old utility player and 17th-round draft pick of the Rays back in 2015, put in a few games in the Constellation Energy League, an independent circuit assembled because of the pandemic. The CEL contained four teams and played all its games at Constellation Field, normally the home of the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters. Sullivan hit .154 in five games with the Lightning Sloths and counted former Yankees pitchers Johnny Barbato and David Huff as teammates. An opposing team, called Team Texas, was managed by Roger Clemens and his son Koby, while another was skippered by former Yankees pitcher and pitching coach Dave Eiland.

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