HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 30 (acn) Cuban pitcher Livan Moinelo had a perfect performance for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks and became the fourth Latin reliever with 60 appearances in the Japanese Professional Baseball (NPB) regular season.
The lefty reliever pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, with three strikeouts, in the 1-5 loss of his side to the Buffaloes Orix in the final match of the regular season.
Moinelo closed his performance in the preliminary stage with terrific ERA of 1.52, and finished third among the best setuppers of the Pacific League with balance of 3 wins, 1 loss and 4 saves; while his compatriots and teammates DH Alfredo Despaigne and LF Yurisbel Gracial did not batted hits, thus decreasing their batting averages to .259 and .319, respectively.
The Hawks, current NPB champions, finished second in the Pacific League (PL), two games behind the Saitama Seibu Lions and 5 matches ahead of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.
Meanwhile, the Central League (CL) was topped by the Yomiuri Giants, followed by the Yokohama DeNA BayStars and the Hanshin Tigers, in that order.
The 2019 NPB postseason will begin on October 5 on both circuits, with the matches Hawks vs. Eagles (PL) and BayStars vs. Tigers (CL) in the first stage of the Climax Series.
The winner of each confrontation, to the best-of-three, will then face (October 9-14) each league leader, teams that will begin the decisive second phase with a win ahead according to the NPB regulations.
The Japan Series (October 19-27), between the champions of each league, will start on Pacific soil, as the current NPB king (Hawks) plays in this circuit.