I realized that with our drunken fearless leaders out having babies, they dumped all of their responsibility onto Royal. Then I realized that I hadn't written anything since after the Bedlam debacle shit storm game. An entire three months without my bad jokes and pictures of attractive breasts, an eternity, I know. So here I am to drop some hardball knowledge on the masses.
A sweet picture, I know
Due to school interfering I've decided to do this in two parts. Pitching this week and hitting/fielding next week.
The one thing we have had consistently this season is quality pitching, as the bats have not been there at times (see: 15 innings against Texas last Friday)
I'm going to classify the starters the weekend starters, and the relievers as the rest, even though most relievers have started a midweek game or two.
Brad Propst- The hero of Saturday's game against the Longhorns, going the distance, while allowing only 7 hits and 1 run. Propst, a JUCO transfer has found his place this year, after spending 2009 as middle relief and 2010 as a closer. This year Propst is 4-1 with a 1.51 ERA, and earned Big 12 pitcher of the week last week due to his performance in the Texas series.
Mike Strong- Another JUCO transfer, Strong is 2-0 this year with a 1.05 ERA. In 2010 Strong had 11 starts, and was drafted in the 22nd round of the MLB draft by Oakland, but decided to return. Which is a good idea, since Cincy was drafted in the 23rd round and doesn't even play baseball. Strong took the mound in Fridays loss, going scoreless through 8 innings, only allowing 4 hits and recording 9 K's. So, blame who you will, it's not Mike's fault.
Andrew Heaney- Heaney, who is not a JUCO transfer, is a sophomore lefty. Last season as a freshman he lead the team in wins, which is badass. And which also may explain some of our struggles. This year he is 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA.
Randy McCurry- McCurry, a redshirt sophomore righty has become this teams go to closer. This year he's 2-0 in 6 appearances with a 0.55 ERA. 0.55 ERA! If that doesn't give everyone who reads its wood, you're gay. And, you know it. McCurry redshirted last year after injuring his elbow and having Tommy John surgery, but appears to be back to form this season. McCurry was in relief this past Sunday against Texas and didn't allow a run over the last 4.2 innings. In short, he's a stud.
Blake Barnes-Barnes, a junior JUCO transfer (who's team won a national championship in 2009) is 3-0 this year in 9 appearances with a 1.89 ERA. Barnes was drafted in the 48th round by the Ray's (but seriously, 48 fucking rounds of a draft? Shit I'm probably drafted and don't know it). Barnes, however, elected to return to school and has had a good season so far, and is partly responsible for the dominate pitching of the past few games.
Chris Marlow- 1-2, 3.04 ERA
Jason Hursh- 1-0, 1.54 ERA
Hunter Herrera- 1-0, 3.86 ERA
Andrew Heck- 1-1, 2.25 ERA
Josh Neilson- 1-1, 9.64 ERA
Well, what have we learned so far this season? One, our pitchers are pretty good. As a team we have an average ERA of 2.18, giving up 56 earned runs and only 7 home runs through 25 games. I would say that is solid. We also have 2 Big 12 pitchers of the week (Propst this week, and Chris Marlow as Newcomer of the Week 2 weeks ago), with only A&M having more than 1 pitcher of the week (they also have 2). Sadly, our pitchers are stuck with feast or famine from the bats. For example, against Texas on Friday we went 15 innings with zero runs. That, my friends, sucks. Then we come back Sunday and get them 10-3, with a chance at a run rule. That, does not suck. That is good. I will get into our hitting struggles in my next post, but I know we will be able to count on solid pitching the rest of the year. Whats scary is, if the bats can get consistent, we can make one hell of a run in the Big 12 and possibly the CWS, but that's a big if.
As it stands right now we're taking a 3 game winning streak into Nebraska in what, barring post season meetings, will be the last time we face our former Big 12 foes (and, Fuck em, by the way). The Huskers, at 16-7, with a 298 BP (average) and a 3.23 ERA (also, average, duh) and are totally beatable. Even though it's on the road, I would consider this a disappointment if we don't at least take 2 of 3. Last weekend Nebraska dropped 2 of 3 at Lubbock, and I believe we are better than the Red Raiders, now it's time to prove it.