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Liga Mexicana de Beisbol: Cano Extends Hitting Streak to 27 Games; Playoff Picture Coming Into Focus

 Leif Skodnick - World Baseball Network  |    Jul 9th, 2024 11:00am EDT

Robinson Cano of Diablos Rojos hits the ball in the second inning during a spring training game between Diablos Rojos and New York Yankees at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu on March 25, 2024 in Mexico City, Mexico, LMB. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

The Tigres de Quintana Roo got to Diablos Rojos del Mexico starter Ronnie Williams early on Sunday, torching him for eight runs on seven hits in 2.1 innings on their way to a 12-5.

At 20-48, the Tigres have long been playing out the string, but a win over the first-place team, which they trail by 33 1/2 games, is something they can celebrate.

More notable, though, is that Sunday’s game marked Robinson Cano’s 27th consecutive game with a base hit. The Dominican Republic native extended the streak with a single in the ninth inning. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI in the game.

Cano’s season in the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol has been nothing short of incredible, with the 41-year-old posting numbers that border on the absurd thus far. In 61 games, Cano is slashing .457/.505/.697 with a 1.202 OPS. He’s scored 47 runs, driven in 65, clubbed 13 homers, and has 115 hits in 254 at-bats.

Cano last appeared in Major League Baseball in 2022, in 33 games with the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, and San Diego Padres. In 2,267 games over 18 MLB seasons, Cano batted .301/.351/.488 with a .839 OPS and 335 career homers.

Meanwhile, the Diablos Rojos continue to run roughshod over the rest of the LMB. The Diablos have the league’s best record at 55-16 and a run differential of +178, 80 runs better than the Acereros de Monclova, who have a +98 run differential and are 40-30 for the season.

Bauer’s Upcoming Starts Are Appointment Viewing – The Diablos Rojos announced which five games Trevor Bauer is expected to pitch in July.

Bauer, who leads the LMB with a 1.78 ERA, 110 strikeouts, and a 10-0 record, is slated to start July 10 at home against the Bravos de Leon and on the road on July 15 at Quintana Roo, July 20 at Veracruz, July 25 at Leon, and July 30 at Yucatan.

Looking Ahead to August and the Playoffs – With 22 games remaining in the regular season for most teams, playoff matchups are rapidly becoming clearer.

In the Zona Norte, the Algodoneros de Union Laguna and Sultanes de Monterrey are tied atop the division at 42-28. The Acereros de Monclova (40-30) and Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos (41-31) are tied for third, two games back. Tijuana is 39-32, 3 1/2 games back of Union Laguna and Monterrey, and Saltillo currently holds the sixth and final playoff spot in the Zona Norte at 36-35. The Rieleros de Aguascalientes are one game back of Saltillo and could still find their way into the LMB playoffs, while the Charros de Jalisco, now 12 1/2 games back of first place and six games back of the final playoff spot, are a longshot to reach the postseason.

There’s no doubt who’ll win the Zona Sur this year, with the Diablos Rojos (55-16) running away with the division like Secretariat at the Belmont Stakes. For those unfamiliar with horse racing, Secretariat won the 1973 Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths, or approximately 110 yards – an incredible margin in a sport where photography is routinely used to determine race winners. At 36-29, the Leones de Yucatan are in second place, 16 games back of the Diablos.

Charging ahead in their first season in the LMB are the Conspiradores de Queretaro, tied with the defending champion Pericos de Puebla at 37-32 in third place. The Olmecas de Tabasco (37-34) have a sole position of fifth, while the Guerreros de Oaxaca (35-35) and El Aguila de Veracruz (34-34) are tied for sixth, 19 1/2 games back of first. At 28-42, the Bravos de Leon are seven games behind Oaxaca and Veracruz and are a longshot for the postseason.

The first round of the LMB playoffs will be played August 3-12. The winners of the three first-round series will advance, along with the team that won the most games despite losing its first-round series.

The second round will be played August 13-22, and the Serie Campeonato for each division will be played August 23 through September 1. For the LMB championship, the Serie del Rey will be played September 3-11.

Esta Semana en la LMB – The two best series early this week in the LMB are in the Zona Norte, with Monclova heading to Union Laguna July 9-11 and Monterrey visiting Saltillo July 8-10.

Over the coming weekend, Monclova visits Monterrey and Veracruz visits Puebla.

You can watch Liga Mexicana de Beisbol on Jonron.tv, YoutubeTV, and LMBenvivo.

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Leif Skodnick - World Baseball Network