The story all weekend was pitching, pitching, and more pitching. Lance Lynn and Scott Bittle put on a show on Friday night, and Drew Pomeranz baffled the Tigerz on Saturday evening.
When I saw that Jared Bradford was slated to start for LSU, I had a sinking sensation. I did not know what to think. Well, do you want the good news or the bad news first?
Ok, so the good news: Bradford figured out 10 minutes before game time that he could not pitch due to a blister on his throwing hand.
The bad news: Ryan Verdugo pitched a three hit complete game against the Rebels. That's right, the Rebels bats went silent once again. Satterwhite could not locate his fastball once again.
Really, that's ok. The Rebels have won nine out of their last ten. I can deal with that. I can deal with a 3 game lead in the Western Division.
Positives from the weekend: Lance Lynn, Scott Bittle, and Pomeranz on Friday and Saturday. Brett "B-twice" Basham's homer in the eighth on Friday night. A decent offensive showing on Saturday.
Negatives from the weekend: Bases loaded, no outs: we do not score a run. Actually, Matt Smith hits into an unassisted double play by the third baseman. First and third, no outs: see above. Looking towards the future: Tuesday's game against State will be a big one for the Rebels as they need the momentum heading into the weekend. That game preview will go up tomorrow.
Inside Info: On Friday, I was playing tennis on the "Stephen Head Home Run Memorial" courts. One of the players was catching BP behind the fence, and we stood and talked for a while. Firstly, I would like to say he was incredibly nice, and he shared a lot of great inside info with me about the team.
Scott Bittle: has a great attitude this season, and he is trying to teach our other pitchers how to throw "The Thing." The player I spoke with said McKean has almost mastered the pitch, and others are continually trying. Drew Pomeranz: in the Fall, he was not that impressive. His fastball may have been 90-92 range, and his curve was low to mid 70s. However, Drew has been slinging it this Spring with his fastball in the mid 90s and his curve in the high 70s.
Nathan Baker: The player I spoke with said Nathan was handling the mid-week role very well, and he kind of felt sorry for Nathan due to our poor run support on Sundays.
Cody Overbeck: Night and day difference from last year. Really improved his attitude and defensive skills at third, and he was compared to Chris Coughlan.
Evan Button: Out for the season with a back injury.
Logan Williams: Really hit the ball in the fall, but he has not seen live pitching this Spring because they had planned on reshirting him. He is really good, but it will take time for him to catch up.
Matt Smith: Tries to hit a home run every time he is at the plate, and this takes away from his plate awareness. (This became painfully obvious to me every time he came to the plate this weekend)
Tim Ferguson: Knocked the cover off of the ball and made every defensive play in the Fall, but he has really struggled in the Spring. He was really cocky, but the 6-11 lull in the season took a lot out of his cockiness. He works hard.
Jeremy Travis: Could not even hit the ball in the Fall but now is on fire. Just shows how crazy baseball is.
Jordan Henry: Teams are pitching him to the inside, and his former chop swing does not work anymore. So, the coaches have changed his swing to teach him to pull the ball. The double against Vandy last Saturday was probably the first pitch he has pulled in his life.
Fuller Smith: Night and day improvement from last year. Coming out of high school, it was said that he could not handle D1 pitching, and he proved that last year. He had a really tough Fall in 2006 and an equally tough Spring in 2007. Now, he has caught up to the pitching and is doing excellent.
Michael Guerrero: His foot is hurting him now, but he is trying to play through it.
Jake Morgan: Our midweek pitcher who is said to have more of a "closer" mentality. Has shown significant improvement. Also, the player I talked to said Jake liked to pitch under intense situations and that is why he did not do as well in Starkville during the Friday night game when we were up 15-0. Brett Basham: My favorite quote from the guy I talked to was, "He does not swing the bat, the bat swings him." (Note: I was happy when the bat swung him for a homer in the bottom of the eighth just three hours later) He said that B-twice would do a lot better if he would use a 33-30 bat instead of a 34-31.
Cliff Vaughn: is going to be a star here, but he is caught in a numbers game behind Matt Smith and Cody Overbeck.
Brett Bukvich: The player explained the injury to me about Brett and said he is back at 100%. He will be valuable out of the pen.
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