09.Apr.2010 Beaver Baseball: UCLA @ Oregon State

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This is a big weekend for the baseball team. They can declare themselves contenders, or fold like pretenders. The game’s first pitch is about 30 minutes away as I write this, and I have to say, this is about as psyched as I get for a regular season series.

First let’s look at how the teams compare in the vital statistics:

Team batting| .347 vs .271. Advantage: UCLA

Team slugging| .510 vs .408. Advantage: UCLA

Team OBP| .429 vs .380. Advantage: UCLA

Runs per game (offense)| 8 vs 7.2 Advantage: UCLA (if there’s a reason for Beaver fans to hope, it’s that this number is relatively equal).

Team ERA| 2.43 vs 2.94 Advantage: UCLA. A statistic you’d think would be won by the Beavers is not.

Opponents BA (pitching)| .192 vs .228. Advantage: UCLA

Fielding %| 9.72 vs 9.70 Advantage: UCLA

UCLA has the edge in every statistic that matters, but to me, the most glaring mismatch is that of slugging percentage. In college baseball, extra-base hits win games, while peppering the outfield with the occasional single does not.

Just like the football and basketball programs, the Beavers baseball team is not ready to win this kind of series. Though to be fair, they are more capable than the other two programs. Earlier this season I said the Beavers would win three-games series (i.e. 3-0 or 2-1) versus weak or equal competition and lose series (i.e. 0-3 or 1-2) versus elite competition. I’m holding steady with that prognostication, and thinking that at home, the Beavers find a way to eke out one victory (think something close, like a 4-3 score). After all, what statistics do not show is that the Beav’s baseball team has the best coach at Oregon State, and Oregon State has the best  coach in college baseball. That’s worth at least one win, right?

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  • angrybeaver says:
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    Beavs gifted a run with 3 walks and a hit batsman. Gerrit Cole all kinds of control issues, but strikes out Jared Norris and Rob Folsom with the bases loaded. Beavs score a run on zero hits. Could not get the timely (sound familiar?) hit with the bases loaded.

  • JackBeav says:
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    I figured I’d spur a baseball article out of you. 😉

  • JackBeav says:
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    UCLA manufactured a run in the fourth, but Peavey has pretty much set them down since.

    Cole was lucky today. He pitched himself out of a couple jams today… or the Beavs didn’t take advantage.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Would it be an understatement to say that bringing Beacom in was a mistake?

    • angrybeaver says:
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      They had to bring in someone, Cole had a pitch count going (10k, 7w, 29bf).

      Peavy is pitching a gem. Bases loaded, nobody out. They need to get some of these runs across.

      edit: and there it is, 3 run double by Berberet. Finally clutch hitting.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Timely hitting by Berberet. Three run double!

    Now I see why Cole looked like he was holding on by a thread.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Is it me, or is Peavey getting better as the game goes on?

    • angrybeaver says:
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      That was what you call a masterpiece. As a former pitcher, more than anything I appreciate efficiency, command, and confidence on the mound. This was a coming of age performance.

      For those who didn’t see: complete game, 2 hitter.

      Winning the first game is paramount in taking a series. The Beavers have an excellent chance to do that now. Tomorrow Berberet, who had all 4rbi tonight, likely won’t be in the lineup (2pm start). I think we drop that game and it comes to a rubber match on Sunday.

  • JackBeav says:
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    That was just nice. Peavey only allowed three balls out of the infield over the last five innings. One of them was Uribe’s fly ball to end the game. Another was a foul out in the 7th (6th?).

    Not bad.

  • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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    Roble’s better do a better job on the mound next inning or it will be up to the defense to bail him out!

    GO BEAVS!!! Get some hits and runs!!!

  • angrybeaver says:
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    I can’t believe Berberet is starting this afternoon.

    Robles with a shaky start, but he gets out of it and has an easy 2nd.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    Wow.

    Folsom doesn’t run home on a ground ball with 1 out and the infield back. That’s going to cost them the game right there. What a bone head.

    • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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      Angry,

      I was stunned at that. That will cost them the game if they can’t execute with 3 outs left! They would be in a tied game right now. bonehead is one word btw.

  • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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    That’s a make up play!! Awesome!!

    • angrybeaver says:
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      I like it!

      Thing is that would have been the win. Gotta make this happen now…if it goes to extras I don’t like our odds. Bunt the guy over, take a few shots at the win.

      • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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        What’s up with the Morse code? lol

        At this point try to get a base hit to move the base runner over. A double wins the game right?

  • angrybeaver says:
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    Ducks come back to beat Stanford. Ugh.

  • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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    Ya that’s alright though, they have a double header right? Well at least the ump got hit by a foul ball. Serves him right for the inconsistent strike calls.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      What is with this umpire? Who is in charge of these guys? That’s at least 5 ball/strike calls that went against the Beavers. Most sound like obvious strikes.

      Nice throw out at the plate.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    This broadcaster is an idiot. Why is he asking if Smith will lay down a bunt with a runner on first and second with one out? What good would that do?! Banking on a wild pitch?? UGH!

  • JackBeav says:
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    Just got in from a b-day party. What’s going on?

    I see two errors, and a bunch of hits. Is their run earned?

  • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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    He isn’t as observant and aware of the game like MP, but he does know the terms of the game. I’d prefer them to know the terms and possible decisions that could be done, but ya a bunt with 1 out and players on 1st and 2nd would be a waste of an out and a batter. COME ON BEAVS!!! HIT THE BALL!!!

  • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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    I didn’t know Oregon State had Tommy Callahan from Tommy Boy on their team!?!? lol This announcer is not very creative or exciting. I try to imagine how MP would announce this game. :-\ I would call in and say, “Next time MP can’t make a game, find a temp to take over. or did they do that today?”

    • angrybeaver says:
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      Yeah did they hire this guy off KForce or something?

  • angrybeaver says:
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    Please get a hit here.

  • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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    “Where is everyone going? We still have a lot of baseball left here at Goss Stadium here in Corvallis!” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It’s been 12 full innings and starting the 13th inning, I’m guessing they’re going to the bathroom or concession stands. That’s just a guess on my part, but that sounds LOGICAL to me!

    How bout you angry?

  • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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    Or perhaps this site?

    http://www.sportsmanagementworldwide.com/courses/sports-broadcasting

  • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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    this is ridiculous! 14 innings now! This game should have been over if Folsom didn’t stay put at 3rd! UGH!!! If this goes 18 innings, both teams will have played basically 2 games/4 games in this series. That’s ridiculous!

    • angrybeaver says:
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      Folsom is an idiot.

      That dude ruined my night. I was supposed to be doing other things and now I’m stuck listening to this game that has had the feeling of a loss all along imo. Beavs can’t hit at all, so I’d be shocked if they win this.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      How is Berberet still in this game? He caught 9 yesterday in a night game, then 14 in a follow up day game??

  • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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    Catchers have knee savers now-a-days and the back up might not be as good as Berberet, I used to be a catcher and I started every game without the knee savers cause they weren’t invented until about 4-6 years ago. Well my knees are bad condition from it….so who knows why he’s in for 24 innings in 2 days

    • angrybeaver says:
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      UCLA just hit a lead off double for what seems like the 3rd inning in a row (been sipping the gin, not sure).

      These are those extra base hits/slugging % i was talking about. They haven’t cashed in yet but it’s looming.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    Looks like these umpires want to go home.

    • Beavocalypse says:
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      In the words of Mortal Kombat, “FINISH HIM!!!!!’

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    Game over.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      Yep.

      Had this feeling looming all night that it would turn out this way. Mainly because the Bruins were leading off every inning with a double/putting constant pressure on the Beavers, while the Beavers were getting a guy on with one or two outs and eking him into scoring position before failing to get a clutch hit. This pattern stayed true all night, and I think because of that we all saw this coming. If the Beavers were to win it would be due to luck, not skill. I think they will come out flat tomorrow and get hammered–this loss will take time to get over.

      The better team won.

  • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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    It all came down to one mistake by one player on the beavers tonight….Folsom. IF he had ran into home, the outcome might have been different, but then again, it may have ended up the same. That right there cost them a true chance to win the game though.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    2nd and 3rd, no outs, and the Beavers score…ZERO!

    ha ha

    All you can do is laugh at this point.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Your favorite pitcher.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    “I think they will come out flat tomorrow and get hammered”

    Understatement!

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    I thought the Bruin batting stats were inflated from their non-conference schedule, but their pitching is for real (or else the Beaver bats are just that bad). And damn Horton and the Ducks, I think they may also be for real in just their second season back. I would have liked a couple more 14-42 seasons before they were able to compete in the league, but that is not going to happen. Beavers beware!

    • angrybeaver says:
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      I concur, mckalk, the Ducks will be at least respectable and possibly good. I think any of us who thought otherwise were really just *hoping* otherwise. Don’t you think? When you have that kind of money and glam and hire that guy as a coach…I mean…it’s not going to take much to be good.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Yes, new ball park, great coach, lots of money behind the program. It was a matter of time, I am just surprised it happened this fast. They are very close to breaking into the top 25 and could very well make the playoffs if they do not have a complete collapse. ESPN has them as the biggest surprise of the college baseball season at the mid point. I am thinking so much for any long term Beaver domination in baseball.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      I think what is going to happen is the Beavers will remain a top program for a few more years, but gradually you’re going to see the Ducks pluck a recruit or two until they’re better. Throw in losing a few guys going to the draft, the inevitable key injury, and it’s easy to see that the Beavers margin for error will get increasingly slim with their own success and the Ducks reemergence.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    This series played out exactly as I thought.

    1. The Beavers pitching is good, but not elite–they shut down UCLA pretty good, but elite pitching dominates a series like this wins it on their own. Beavs pitching is just good.

    2. UCLA slugging percentage–thought it was the key stat going in, and we saw it in the extra-inning game with the constant pressure (leadoff doubles, etc) and the exclamation point in the rubber match.

    3. UCLA two out of three–the better team won the series, as you’d expect judging the teams objectively.

    The kicker is that if Folsom ran home they would have obviously won the series, but likely would have swept. I can’t imagine UCLA coming back with mental fortitude for today’s game having lost in that manner and on the road. But they knew the Beavers were down, smelled blood, and took it to them. Beavers mental toughness is not there. Can’t say I blame them, as that was a draining game even for a fan, but it’s their job, not mine, to come back ready to play. They’ll make the tournament, but I expect an early exit as I just don’t see the toughness needed to win tight games or elimination games.

    Also, can someone teach the Beavers how to lay down a bunt?
    If I were Casey I’d bunt every time I had a runner at first with no outs. It’s the best odds for this particular light-hitting squad. That is, if anyone could lay down a bunt.

  • JackBeav says:
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    I agree about the bunting. The offense needs to be the pesky, poke you in the side, make them work the stretch, drag the bunt for a surprise hit… kind of team. Make the other team always think about what you’re doing, so they don’t have time to focus on their own game. We had a chance to be that team yesterday in the fifth inning. Three batters up and we had one run in, and runners advanced to second and third on their mental lapses… with no outs. Instead of pushing the issue to stay inside their heads, we bowed out of the inning without trying anything creative. That needs to change as the season wears on, or our offense is going to bore our own team to death.

    Give them just a little offensive character, and I think this team might surprise some people in the post-season. We do have two outstanding pitchers in Peavey and Robles. The offense just can’t–or won’t–support Robles early in the season. When we get down to a condensed set, and the back end of the rotation joins the relievers, those two can dominate a series. And some relievers have shown well over the past couple weeks.

    So I think we need the offense to play head games with the opposition, and we need to find our signature closer. Rhoderick doesn’t have the closer mentality yet. He’s more of a set-up/jam man. Sitton isn’t strong enough to shut down a game. Gaviglio is good as a starter. I think Casey pulled him at the right time yesterday for his confidence going forward. I liked what Gorton did on Saturday despite the final outcome. I think he can be a star in whatever role he’s given. So he needs to be given a role soon.

    I hate to think that the draft affects us in any special way, but I imagine this team would be better with Kyrell Hudson on the field. Oh well.

    Maybe these kids warm up with the weather. Who knows? There’s a lot of baseball yet to be played.

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