Monday, April 18, 2011

SURPRISING AGUILAS LEAD LMB SOUTH STANDINGS

Not a great deal was expected from the Veracruz Aguilas in 2011.  The team missed the Mexican League playoffs last season and was considered to have an outside shot at reaching the postseason this time around.

However, the Aguilas have come out of the gate with 18 wins in their first 26 games to pull in to a four-game lead in the LMB South standings ahead of 14-12 Yucatan and Quintana Roo. Veracruz has won eight of their last ten games and gone 10-3 at home. A big reason has been the Liga-leading 43 homers the Aguilas have hit, 28 of them coming from Victor Diaz and Jorge Guzman alone. Starter Joel Vargas has been one beneficiary, going 4-1 to start the year.

In the LMB North, things are a little tighter. Mexico City and Monterrey are tied for first at 16-10, two games up on 13-11 Puebla. The Diablos had a huge 14-13 win over Saltillo Sunday night at Foro Sol. After the defending champion Saraperos scored twice in the top of the ninth to go ahead 13-10, the Diablos scored four in the bottom of the frame to win it.

Mexico City first baseman Japhet Amador leads the Liga with a .433 average while Diablos second baseman Jose Castillo is second at .403 but overall, batting is down a little in the LMB thus far as only five of the usually hit-happy circuit’s 14 teams are above the .300 mark.