08.Jun.2011 Baseball: Oregon State @ Vanderbilt

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Vanderbilt will throw Sonny Gray (11-3, 2.01 ERA), Grayson Garvin (13-1, 2.37) and Taylor Hill (5-1, 2.84) at the Beavers this weekend. The Beavers will throw…Sam Gaviglio…either Friday or Saturday, depending how his arm feels. That's all we know right now, with the biggest series a few days away. This is the downside of Gaviglio starting Saturday's game and throwing 136 pitches.

Man, the Josh Osich charade couldn't have come crashing down at a worse time. Bite my tongue or go on an Osich diatribe? Hmm. *Bites hard*

At this point, I think we all agree Casey went way too long with Osich [in the rotation], but he has also pitched Schultz just enough where everyone has confidence he can step in and keep us in one of these games. We'll probably see the same strategy as last week, where Osich starts but is on a short leash.

Can they get away with it for one more weekend?

Really tough call. The Beavs play best as scrappy underdogs. All the pressure is on Vanderbilt. Beavs have beaten the #1 and #3 draft picks. Yada yada. From what I saw last weekend, I thought this game would come down to something nobody's been discussing: umpiring. Anyone watch the Vandy series last weekend? They got every borderline call. However, after doing some research, I found out last weekend's crew chief will be in Gainsville on Friday. Whew. Still, it made me want to look into these guys' allegiances:

Crew Chief, Mark Ditsworth: He is currently on the staffs of the Big Ten, Big East, Atlantic Ten and Mid-American Conferences.

Chris Coskey: not much information, but he runs an umpiring school in Missouri.

Philip Benson: As of 2009, worked the Pac-10. Cannot find any updated information.

Daniel Collins: ACC umpire.

I know it's beyond lame to preemptively blame loses that haven't yet happened on umpires. Trust me, I get it. But they were so bad last weekend it has left that strong an impression in my mind. Even with different guys, I can't shake the idea that something's amiss in Nashville.

Prediction: This is impossible without knowing our rotation, but I'll give it a shot. Beavs play well, but lose both games. Beaver fans will be left pulling out their hair (do 70 year old dudes have hair?) and cursing off umpires. Angry bloggers will be left writing petitions to the NCAA.

Game 1: 4-2, Vandy

Game 2: 6-2, Vandy

If the men in blue don't cold deck the boys in orange, I think this series goes three games and then all bets are off.
 

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  • angry angry says:
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    An interesting side note: Vanderbilt fans have bashed the Beavers all season. Felt they deserved the #2 slot. Settling that debate on the field should make for an interesting side story.

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      It will be an interesting side story, but I do think they were justified. I was astonished at the #2 ranking. OSU won a lot of series through midseason but they weren’t really dominant enough. Missed a couple of sweeps that should have been in reach for a top-five team. I always figured about #8 was more reasonable.

      • tim says:
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        Agreed Daveman. But why are these people so wrapped up in midseason rankings? I was leary of the high ranking for OSU, because fans and players can start believing the hype and not focus on the important.

        Angry – you’ve been high on Boyd all season as a possible starter. Do you still feel this way?

        • angry angry says:
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          Yep, I mentioned it below, actually. He’s been hittable of late, but I still trust him more than any other option (Schultz is up there, too). If we pitch Schultz/Body game 2 I’d be happy.

  • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    I think the Beavs will play well against Vanderbilt but ultimately their offense won’t be able to keep pace with Vanderbilt’s. Vanderbilt’s offense is VERY potent–batting over .300 as a team. I think OSU might win one behind Gaviglio, but winning the series would be too much.

    Sadly, I won’t be able to attend. It’s a short drive but the series starts on Friday and I have to work. Five hours is too long to drive if I’m only guaranteed to see one game.

  • Beavker says:
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    I’d love to see the old Beav magic take hold, but I can’t see it. But maybe this regional was the start of the next hot streak. Iknow in baseball huge win streaks are tough, but they’ve won 3, and if they could win 7 more…they win it all.

  • FatDog says:
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    This is on ESPN.com

    Oregon State at No. 6 Vanderbilt: The Commodores are one of just two SEC teams to never reach the CWS (Kentucky is the other). That includes the 2007 team, featuring Pedro Alvarez and David Price, which was the top seed nationally but lost to Michigan in the regional. Oregon State has made it to Omaha all three times that it made the final 16 (2005-2007), including back-to-back national titles. Vanderbilt pulled the rare feat of leading the SEC in both ERA and batting average during the regular season; with Sonny Gray and Grayson Garvin on the hill, the Commodores should end their Omaha drought.

    Full article with all super regional match ups at:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=6637751

  • angry angry says:
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    Osich out for the weekend.
    I like our chances a little more.

  • Quatre Quatre says:
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    I said days ago the Beavers get swept if this takes place in Nashville, and people jumped all over me even though the writing was on the wall. Now Angry says the same thing and nobody says a word. Bunch of hypocrites.

  • angry angry says:
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    Here’s to hoping Matt Boyd finally gets a start!

    • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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      Very doubtful Matt Boyd starts. My guess is Casey goes with a Gaviglio-Nygren-Wetzler weekend rotation. I’d hate that rotation but it’s what I think Casey will end up doing.

  • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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    This series I think goes three games and the games will be close. I think Vandy wins a game three to advance to the CWS. I think Gaviglio pitches big in game 1 and the Beavers win 5-2. Game 2 I think Vandy wins 5-4 and then wins game 3 6-5. The Beavers offense will be fine. The ball will fly out of this place due to the warm weather and it being a hitters ball park. The huge 35 foot fence in left is just 310 feet down the line and the ball travels well in the gaps. Offense will be fine but behind Gaviglio the Beavers don’t have a reliable starter. That will be their downfall. They’ll have to start Wetzler or Nygren at some point and that won’t go well. I’d like to see Schultz start game 2 if Gaviglio wins game 1. That would be their best shot to win this SR.

    If the SR is tied at 1 going to game three the Beavers are in trouble because Nygren and Wetzler cannot be depended on to get the job done.

    An interesting thing about this SR is how much pressure Vandy puts on themselves. There has been a ton of talk going back to 2007 that Vandy chokes and doesn’t have what it takes to make the CWS. They’ve had countless chances to advance but haven’t got over the hump and have blown leads. If that gets in their head the Beavers could win this SR 2-0. I think Vandy finally gets it done but there’s only the chance that the pressure gets to them again.

  • FatDog says:
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    I think if we can win the first game it will be an interesting series. Winning game 1 could get into their heads as BeaverBeliever20 said.

    • angry angry says:
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      I agree…as noted, Vandy has all the pressure. That is a legit point. Win game 1 and it intensifies. Beavs are a good team (and better without Osich), so this is not a complete mismatch. Vandy doesn’t have a huge edge, and as good as their rotation is, everyone is flawed and every pitcher throws a bad game. My big fear is getting a fair game…and it’s based on what happened last weekend. If that negative thought wasn’t plastered in my mind I’d feel pretty good about the Beavers, so I can see why some guys are optimistic. No reason not to be optimistic if you didn’t watch Vandy last weekend.

  • FatDog says:
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    Just an observation. If our basketball team was in the sweet 16 there would be a lot of buzz in the state. The hard life of the boys of summer I guess.

    • angry angry says:
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      Yeah, it’s a shame since baseball is a better sport.

      • JackBeav says:
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        During a night game on the third Tuesday of the month when at least one lefty is starting and it’s partly cloudy, then it’s better. At least that’s what the statistics show.

    • Beavker says:
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      Funny how MLB can be so popular, but College Baseball barely gets a whiff. NFL and CFB are big, as the NBA (sort of?) and College hoops. But baseball…nothing.

      Maybe if there was less draft pilfering the product accross the board would be better? Plus the Minor Leagues wouldn’t need to be so rediculously vast as College Baseball would further develope the HS kids. Plus they’d get an education, probably have a cushier set up. So many kids lanquish in the minors for a long time while failing to receive that free education they could have received.

      I hate when College Hoops and Football has to deal with the guys that leave early, leaving your team in the lerch, as well as shafting some other kid that would have rec’d that Schollie that WANTS the education. But throw in the mass exodus of the Sophs, and add in the ones that don’t even get to campus and it’s disheartening as a fan.

      • mckalk mckalk says:
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        That’s true, but college baseball get’s a hell of a lot more coverage and notice than 15-20 years ago in this state. You would have had to dig deep into the back pages of the Oregonian to find anything about OSU baseball then. When I played high school baseball, I think I was only vaguely aware that college baseball even existed. It was all minor league and the pros to us.

      • angry angry says:
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        College baseball has gained in popularity over the past few years.

        There are five main reasons it’s not more popular, though

        1. Metal bats–baseball is full of purists who just don’t like them. The new bats are an improvement.
        2. Minor leagues–too much of the best talent doesn’t go to college.
        3. Warm weather schools have too great an advantage.
        4. It’s hard to find a bookie/lines for these games, and let’s face it, that’s why many people watch sports.
        5. Games are never on TV–a culmination of all the points above, but also part of the problem.

        • jim says:
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          3+ games a week doesn’t help either

        • JackBeav says:
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          1. Agreed… throw in the DH while you’re at it. You would think today’s technologies could develop a composite material that looked and acted (sounded?) like wood bats.
          2. Meh… a lot of kids who go to the minors wouldn’t go to college if they missed on the minors. Perhaps that changes if college is their only option, but I don’t think football and hoops did themselves any favors by making it so.
          3. Hard to agree or disagree with this one since warm weather allows crowds to substitute for #5 without the hype. Facility upgrades make for more parity, and more northern climes have adapted. So I think in the end it comes down to the priorities set by each school for that sport. Support for your argument would come in the form of unequal revenue sharing leading to the same at the MLB level. #5 has made the argument moot.
          4. If anyone out there ever has an itch to wager on something outside their immediate control, you can simply send me your money, and I will just tell you that you lose.
          5. Probably the most important. Out of sight, out of mind.

          • JackBeav says:
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            On #2… I don’t think the pro sports did the NCAA levels any good is what I meant. Those rules are a huge success for the pro leagues. They ween the Terrell Pryors and Maurice Claretts of the world out before they reach the pros and destroy one of their teams. It’s hard to argue against maturity gains on any level. But the pro leagues’ gains are the NCAA’s losses.

      • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        Another one of the problems that college baseball faces compared to other sports is the relative dearth of scholarships. Baseball teams only have 11.7 scholarships to give for 35 roster spots. It’s not even a matter of getting a free education for a lot of guys. Better to try their luck in the minors out of high school and at least make a little dough, instead of playing for free, or getting a small scholarship. I think we’d see some better talent in college baseball if they had more scholarships to offer.

      • helmsley says:
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        I could see leaving a college program – for baseball – if you were a top draft pick, but in the late hundreds?

        • osbeavs says:
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          A guy making minimum salary in single a can make more than he will in entire careers worth of scholarships. Not too mention the debt that is insured for education when you don’t have a full ride.

          • brownale9000 says:
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            Minor league players don’t make squat.

            First year contract players make under $1000 a month.

            Of course bonus money can be sizable, but their actual pay is very small.

          • osbeavs says:
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            Unfortunately, a partial scholarship also only pays a few thousand a year also and that does not come with a sizable bonus. Not to mention, you are not allowed any “extra benefits”. You can get these in minor league ball.

  • sparkyd73 says:
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    There are only a few possible outcomes and any and all of them are possible. The Beavs could come out and dominate, they could just as easily get swept or this thing goes 3 and who knows what happens. That is the great thing about baseball, so much variability. There is a 1/4 inch difference between a homerun and an easy fly ball out or even a routine grounder to the infield.

    What we know about this Beaver team is that they have been tested for a full year. They have passed those tests and have kept fighting. The team has the ability to deal with adversity, they have even thrived in the midst of it. Anyone that dismisses this team and their ability to achieve is making a big mistake. Does anyone remember the UNC teams that we beat to win the CWS? They were stacked with drafted players and on paper we should not have had much of a chance. But baseball is not played on paper.

    Angry, I appreciate what you do here and your football and basketball coverage, while a bit jaded, is usually spot on. But baseball is not black and white and when you (or anyone) try to put it into a box, you typically look silly. To say this team is better without Osich is absolutely crazy. There are few people in this country that can throw a baseball 95 mph and to lose one of those people is not a positive thing. Obviously, Osich has been up and down all year, but without him this team most likely does not achieve what they have.

    I just HOPE (because I’m not going to be out on the field HOPING is all I can do) the Beavs are able to hold it together for this weekend. Play a solid defensive series and have their bats stay alive. I feel that if they do that, we have a solid chance of continuing this season into Omaha (if Omaha isn’t under water in a week).

    • angry angry says:
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      I already said they have a chance, and would be more optimistic if I didn’t see Vandy have games handed to them last weekend.

      I agree…as noted, Vandy has all the pressure. That is a legit point. Win game 1 and it intensifies. Beavs are a good team (and better without Osich), so this is not a complete mismatch. Vandy doesn’t have a huge edge, and as good as their rotation is, everyone is flawed and every pitcher throws a bad game. My big fear is getting a fair game…and it’s based on what happened last weekend. If that negative thought wasn’t plastered in my mind I’d feel pretty good about the Beavers, so I can see why some guys are optimistic. No reason not to be optimistic if you didn’t watch Vandy last weekend.

      I just think that ultimately the Beavers lose. I’d be far from shocked if they win, though.

    • JackBeav says:
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      We’re better off without Osich because Osich hasn’t been Osich for about five weeks. If he could still throw in the mid to high 90’s, then we have a different argument. But he hasn’t been clocked there for quite a while. And gutting it out when your team needs the full-focus you is detrimental to the whole.

      So yes, we’re not better off without Osich. But we’ve really been without Osich for a month and a half now.

      It’s time for the frosh to step forward. I think an all-star rotation with short leashes works in this series. Start Duke, follow with Wetzler and lock it down with Schultz. The variation in styles can keep the Vandy bats on their heels, and our youth get quality throws… which they’re going to need in order to take whole games in Omaha.

      The knock on Gray is his control and a barely existent third pitch. But he’s a bulldog. And pitting our youth against him would do them huge favors in every department.

      Whether that works or not doesn’t matter. Gaviglio against Garvin is the key game. If we go into it with a win… look out. If not, and Sam forces a third game, then Schultz has proven that he can throw middle/late relief on short rest, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Nygren try to extend his college career.

      I think games one and three are swapped in Casey’s plans, but this is how I would throw it.

      • JackBeav says:
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        Superstition dictates that I continue playing the mad scientist. 🙂

      • oneoldbeav says:
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        Jack, I’ve got to echo your second and third paragraphs. We certainly have not had the Osich we want for several games.

        Really agree with the “all star” rotation especially the “with short leashes” caveat.

        Sam G. is the real key for me, can he continue coming through? Not easy to answer, but I believe so. Along with Sam the Beavs D has to be right on for all three games.

    • Quatre Quatre says:
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      What, so Angry predicting a sweep isn’t a dumb statement all of a sudden? Gotta love the lectures coming from you.

      • Quatre Quatre says:
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        Don’t get me wrong Sparky, I have no problem with you saying my prediction of a Vandy sweep is a dumb statement, but now you’ve backtracked and it’s only been a few days. A man needs to stand by his statements, or admit he might have been wrong.

  • gotmilk says:
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    Go You Beavs, I miss Omaha in June. I don’t care who throws when, I don’t care who gets hot with the bat, as long as they are the good guys.

    Vandy all talent no heart, show them how to play the game, you scrappy bastards.

    • helmsley says:
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      Clearly, I don’t know how to use the rating icons – meant to add to it – instead subtracted – gotmilk should have 2 votes (mine and someone else’s)

  • Beavker says:
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    Might be the only way to get me out to the new park…unless Irvine makes it again (wife’s Alma Mater), or someone at work is giving the Tix away.

  • Beavker says:
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    I’m calling it, Florida is headed to Omaha. They might want to bring their swamp boats:

    http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/123557729.html

  • Beavker says:
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    Cardinal need to take the bats off their shoulders…

    • JackBeav says:
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      That was hard to swing on though. The ump was calling it almost a foot outside on the righties. He started about three inches off, and ended with the C setting up outside and still lunging to the right for called strikes.

      How do you swing on something you can’t possibly reach?

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