26.May.2015 Dallas Regional Discussion
My initial feeling is the Beavs got a tough 3 seed in Texas, when you consider Columbia, Stony Brook, Wright State and Oral Roberts are three seeds. If they committee were going to hose the Beavs, at least they could have sent them to an easier bracket.
Texas seems to be playing their best baseball, and though I couldn’t find much about their team, you have to assume that being Texas they have the usual under-performing talent that could dominate at any time, plus they’ll essentially be playing at home. Beavs will also be in hot and humid weather. Rough.
On the flipside, as I wrote earlier, the Beavs should have more than chips on their shoulders, and are also playing good ball, so that emotion might propel them through this tough regional.
Beavs weakness, from what I saw, is lack of slugging. If you take out Gabe Clark beating up on bad pitching, the Beavs slugged under .390. Their conference slugging percentage was .337. That’s a bad OBP, never mind a slugging percentage. Speaking of OBP, their slugging percentage was lower than the team OBP (.340) in conference play. Weird. So while I think many are focused on the poor bullpen, this team has other problems. I actually think the starters are good enough to get to the 7th each game, and at that point Heimlich (pitching good ball, lowing his ERA to a respectiable 3.57 and 2.45 in Pac play), Church, and Hickey they can close out the 8th and 9th with those three guys. I’m more concerned about the lack of pop. Decent speed can make up for that in some regard (i.e. turn a single into a double via the SB), but their two best base-stealers are only at 66% combined. Statistically, they are hurting the team with that rate (i.e. anything under 75% makes the stolen base risk higher than the reward). So the question in my mind is this: can the Beavs get enough starting pitching, play effective enough station-to-station ball, and win in Texas’ backyard vs two Texas schools, and in hot/humid weather? It’s possible Hendrix and Harrison have big series and negate the slugging talk. But the Beavs are missing one bat. It’s too bad Gabe Clark only puts up numbers vs bad pitching, because he’d be the 3rd guy they desperately need.
If OSU wins this regional it will be a feat. My gut says they’ll have to do it by playing a fiery, emotional brand of baseball and out efforting the opponents.