The Weekly Ouch ListAnalysis
This was a pretty painful weekend all the way around, even for me. I’m not going to infuse myself into the Ouch List again this time, but damn, I sat through some painful baseball games.
My Thursday night game at Stanford was just two-hours, 33-minutes, so no problem there. But Friday night’s USD 11-10 win at LMU lasted a full four-hours, two-minutes, and that included a 15-minute stoppage of play because the lights inadvertently went out at the ten o’clock hour and had to be turned back on.
Then, on Saturday night, with the ESPNU cameras burning, Cal State Fullerton outlasted UC Irvine 3-2 in 14 innings, even though it felt more like 20 innings. That game lasted five-hours and nine-minutes.
To decompress from that I decided to give myself some “comfort baseball” and drove up the coast to Malibu and saw Pepperdine host Santa Clara. Just a game to go to for the sake of enjoying a game, not feel compelled to write all about it, shoot over 200-plus pictures of and analyze it down to the bone.
There was no real pressure here for either of these teams as they are both sitting on the outside-looking-in of making the four-team WCC tournament field. But the Broncos came into the weekend with a record of just 8-31. yet swept the Waves 8-6, 2-1 and today’s 8-2 score, putting a depressing explanation point on the Waves season so far. And yes, the Waves get a seat on the Pain Train for this week as well. Sorry boys, don’t mean to pile on you guys while you’re down.
Not to delve into it too far, but the Broncos got a complete-game, six-hit effort from senior Jacob Steffens on the mound. Steffens also peppered in seven Ks and two walks to improve to 3-5 on the year. Also, in the ninth inning, big strapping Jake Brodt put the game out of reach with a grand slam, pushing the lead from 4-2 to 8-2 and taking the air out of the sails of the Waves for good. Brodt was a pest to Pepperdine on Saturday as well, knocking in the game-winning RBI single in the 10th inning for the 2-1 win.
Okay, now lets get on to the list that really matters. And the one that is the most hated.
The Ouch List…
– AIR FORCE
What Happened: Took two games from Nevada
Why It Hurts: Because “The Streak” came to an end.
I come to you with a heavy heart StitchHeads, ‘coz I wanted this streak to go on through the end of the 2017 season, but I have to sadly report that Bradley Haslam saw his 44-game hit streak come to an end in Sunday’s 4-3 Falcon win as he went 0-for-4 on the day. The 44-game streak was the sixth longest in D1 baseball history before getting cut today. Oh sure, Haslam is still hitting .407 with nine home runs and 43 RBI on the year. But still…
What Happened: Lost three straight at Stanford
Why It Hurts: Because when you couple that with last weekend’s results… Ouch.
Here is what I wrote about the Wildcats last night in my “Three-Up, Three-Down” summation after the Wildcats lost their third game of the series…
“You know these guys are headed for the Ouch List. And I like these guys too, coz when we were in Omaha last June they allowed me pose with them for one of their post-game pictures they take after every win. Well, dang-me guys, it’s been a while since they’ve been able to do the post-game picture thing. Today’s 3-1 loss to Stanford was the Wildcats’ sixth straight Pac 12 loss. Today they were victimized by SU’s Chris Castellanos, who K’d a career-high 12 Cat batters and held them scoreless for his entire eight inning stint. I really should be giving Stanford more props here than bagging on Arizona because they are really putting things together here in late April, sporting an eight game win streak with the three wins this weekend.”
What Happened: Swept in three at North Carolina
Why It Hurts: Because someone out there will unfairly bring up the phrase “Clemsoning”
Okay granted, this IS three losses to an in-conference, high-ranked rival. But how much of an “Ouch” is this? Even though the Tigers lost all three games at UNC, their RPI isn’t going to drop out of the top eight and they’re still in fine shape to become a National Seed as long as they don’t totally tank it from here. Then again, the Heels managed to post THREE come-from-behind wins in the late innings. Friday’s game saw UNC score five runs in the seventh inning to win 5-1. Saturday’s game saw Clemson blow a 4-1 lead, giving up four runs in the eighth inning to lose 5-4. Then Sunday, I got this from the Dr. of College Baseball, who was at the getaway game at Boshamer Stadium…
“Two of UNC’s three runs were unearned (and all three should have been). All three runs were driven in by Tyler Lynn. UNC scored in the fourth when CU second baseman Jordan Greene missed a relay throw that probably would have resulted in an inning ending double play, and then Lynn grounded out to drive in a run from third. In the sixth Grayson Byrd committed a two-out error that kept the inning alive for an RBI single from Lynn. The winning run scored in the 10th when Greene threw a two-out chopper wide of first base with a man on third. I saw later the play was scored a single for Lynn but it really was a makable play that should have been an error.”
What Happened: Lost three of four games with Columbia
Why It Hurts: They couldn’t finish.
As I stated in my Saturday write-up, all Penn needed to do was win at least two games out of four vs. Columbia to lock up a spot in the Ivy League playoffs vs. Yale. But by dropping three games instead, the Quakers now end up tied with the Lions in the Gehrig Division and will have to go to Manhattan on Saturday for a one-game playoff at Satow Stadium to determine the Division winner. Also, the Penn arms came in as the 17th-best pitching staff in the country, sporting a 3.30 ERA. But the Lions teed off on them, scoring 39 runs on 50 hits and winning all three of the games in come-from-behind fashion.
What Happened: Lost all three games at UT-Arlington
Why It Hurts: It validated my suspicions about the Ragin’ Cajuns.
I have to admit, I have disagreed with the Cajuns’ inclusion in the D1baseball Top 25 that Aaron and Kendall put together. Nothing against Tony Robichaux’s boys, I dig the Fighting Peppers. I just looked at their ISR ranking hovering in the upper 50s and their strength of schedule in triple digits and thought “I don’t think they are quite the bees knees.” Well this weekend, it might have reared its ugly head as they lost 5-4 on Friday and then got tattooed on the last two games on Sunday, 10-2 and 9-3. And the Mavericks aren’t exactly world-beaters either. Hell, now I wonder if UL is going to make the NCAA tournament as an at-large team?
What Happened: Went 1-4 this week
Why It Hurts: The Mid-Major bugaboo that is hard to overcome.
You know what I’m about to write here StitchHeads. The Bears lost four games this week, two to Georgia Southern and two to UNC-Greensboro. The way the cards are stacked against mid-majors in the RPI, this one bad week saw their RPI drop from No. 32 to No. 50. Sadly, that is just the risk these mid-majors take when they don’t play up to snuff. The Bears can make some ground up as they’ll play a mid-week game at Florida State this week, but from there on out the remainder of the Bears’ schedule is against teams in the triple digits of the RPI.
What Happened: Lost two of three to Washington State
Why It Hurts: Hurts the ego, hurts their conference mark, KILLS their RPI.
As I wrote about earlier this week, how does a team go from sweeping the No. 2-ranked team in the RPI on the road last week at Arizona and then lose two of three to the last place team in the Pac 12 at home? Bizarre. The worst part was seeing their RPI plummet like a limp noodle all the way from No. 34 on Thursday morning down to No. 52. They also find their Pac 12 mark fall to 9-12. A far cry from last year’s title team who had an ugly overall record.
– OKLAHOMA STATE
What Happened: Lost twice to Texas
Why It Hurts: You wouldn’t think that two losses to the Horns would be THAT painful.
The Cowboys have trouble on two fronts. First, they saw their RPI start the week at No. 41, but after two losses to Texas, they now sit down at No. 53. The other thing the Orange and Black is now saddled with a losing record in Big 12 play, at 6-11. They will play only six more Big 12 regular season games, against Baylor and Oklahoma. So no matter what, the Pokes will most likely end the season with a losing mark in conference play. Now granted, the Big 12 is still the No. 1 ranked conference in Boyd Nation’s ISR rankings, but do they get the kind of free pass that an SEC team with a losing record has gotten in the past?
What Happened: Got woodshedded by Texas Tech on Sunday.
Why It Hurts: Because you StitchHeads out there called for it.
I sent out a tweet on Sunday afternoon on my twitter feed (@Stitch_Head) asking who should be added to the Ouch List and TCU was the one who got the most votes. And they did deserve some admonishment for losing a pair of games on Sunday, the second of which was by an ugly, nasty 21-3 score in a game that was stopped after seven innings by the mercy rule. But like Clemson above, this one bad day probably didn’t cost them too much in the grand scheme of things, especially since it came on the road against a top-flight Texas Tech team. They’re still in striking distance of a National Seed and stay in the top 10 of the RPI.
Okay, one last thing. If this doesn’t soothe your pain, I don’t know what will…