Tulane Recap: Week 3

Weekly Recap:

Overall Record: 8-5

Mar 09, 2008 UC Irvine Anteaters 5, Tulane Green Wave 1 Box score
Mar 08, 2008 UC Irvine Anteaters 7, Tulane Green Wave 3 Box score
Mar 07, 2008 Tulane Green Wave 2, UC Irvine Anteaters 0 Box score
Mar 05, 2008 Tulane Green Wave 14, Southern Jaguars 6 Box score
Mar 04, 2008 New Orleans 4, Tulane Green Wave 2 Box score

Midweek games don't usually come as tough as UNO -- the team is solid (if not spectacular) top to bottom, and features a first team preseason All-American second baseman in Johnny Giavotella. The basic recap: Tulane starter Jonathan Garrett struggled with his control for much of the game; UNO starter Bryan Cryer was dominant. Still, the game ended in dramatic fashion, as Tulane junior Andrew Rodgers damn near parked a 2-out grand slam in the 9th.

Things eased up a bit with the Southern game, which gave us all a glimmer of hope as the bats got going. Unfortunately, UCI and their top-ranked pitching staff were coming to town (yeah, it's early, but these guys are top-5 legit in the pitching department).

Friday night: Shooter 1, UCI 0. You have to think that Hunt, a dominant 6'3" sophomore righty, is a legitimate All-American candidate ... and draft-eligible at that. Saturday and Sunday were similar thematically for Tulane: no hit, shaky outings by the starters, and solid relief performances from Nick Pepitone and Preston Claiborne, respectively.

Hitting stats through 3/10:

AVG SLG% OB% EqA(Nat.)
Jared Dyer....... 0.333 0.511 0.392 0.287
Aja Barto........ 0.333 0.556 0.415 0.315
Warren McFadden.. 0.270 0.378 0.372 0.264
Rob Segedin...... 0.265 0.327 0.321 0.197
Sam Honeck....... 0.239 0.348 0.352 0.229
Drew Allain...... 0.234 0.319 0.321 0.212
Seth Henry....... 0.233 0.302 0.283 0.178
Anthony Scelfo... 0.171 0.390 0.382 0.264
Steve Moritz..... 0.750 0.750 0.667 0.447
Scott Powell..... 0.250 0.250 0.400 0.194
Andrew Rodgers... 0.231 0.423 0.333 0.243
Josh Prince...... 0.161 0.161 0.257 0.049

I get the feeling we're going to see more of Rodgers, who at least has shown some pop in limited at bats. Again, Prince and Henry have been awful ... and really, it's unfair to limit that statement to them. ALL of the hitters, with the limited (and brilliant) exceptions of Barto and Dyer. But for those two, Tulane would be what -- 3-10? The team has to get some production out of Segedin and Honeck -- too many punchless at bats at power positions are going to those guys. Granted, we've seen some decent pitching, but man ... bats need to warm up. You've got to hand it to Coach Jones -- he's juggled the lineups and attempted to play the hot hand, but that's tough when nobody's performing. The big question is, whither Warren McFadden? After a stunning freshman year, WoMac has regressed to being an average (if useful) player ... fine, but far from the first team All-American we had expected. Some observers have mentioned that he's developed hitch in his swing ... let's hope he can get that ironed out and put up some numbers.

What We've Learned:
  • The weekend rotation may not yet be set. Broach and Loup have both been shakier than their ERAs indicate (high WHIPs, low K rates), and RJ had a pretty hook attached to Loup this weekend. I'm guessing we'll see a new face on the hill this Sunday.
  • Tulane has lots of pitching depth, but not lots of pitching dominance (i.e. power pitchers capable of putting up a Shooter-like performance). In my view, this is a good thing -- it gives the team a decided advantage in midweek games, and will pay dividends when we hit tournament time.
  • We can't hit. At all. There's really no silver lining in the stats -- the K rate is too high, the BB rate too low, and there's no pop from the power positions. It's not time to panic yet, of course, as the season is young and the sample size is small. Perhaps it's the weather, maybe we've run into some tough pitching (likely something of a factor) or some bad umpires, or maybe the hitters are just a bit behind the pitching.
The Week Ahead:

03/11/08 vs. NORTHWESTERN STATE New Orleans, La. 6:00 p.m. CT
03/12/08 vs. NORTHWESTERN STATE New Orleans, La. 3:00 p.m. CT
03/14/08 vs. OAKLAND (Mich.) New Orleans, La. 6:00 p.m. CT
03/15/08 vs. OAKLAND (Mich.) New Orleans, La. 2:00 p.m. CT
03/16/08 vs. OAKLAND (Mich.) New Orleans, La. 1:00 p.m. CT

To put it as nicely as possible, these teams are patsies. Both have put up average numbers against poor competition, but have been steamrolled by anyone with a pulse.

We should note, though, that Northwestern is exceptionally patient at the plate, which could be a bad mix with our pitchers. Not throwing a ball within ten feet of Mike Jaworski might be a good idea, too -- he comes into the game sporting a .739 slugging percentage. These two midweek games should be easy wins, but a loss in either would signal that Tulane's early-season flaws are a bit more serious than we'd hoped.

Oakland, on the other hand, should be easy pickings. The team sports an ERA over 8, but their bats have kept them semi-competitive. Hopefully, this series will be a good opportunity for Tulane's hitters to build some confidence at the plate.


Brady said...

What are your thoughts on the new MLB style 5-game schedule?

Irons said...

My guess:

Pitching depth is going to be a bigger deal than it has in the past -- the shift is mostly beneficial to teams with the institutional ability to carry large rosters (i.e. SEC, major conferences, to some degree us). By having a couple of extra super-gimmes midweek, those teams will be better situated come tournament time.

Guesses on possible side effects:

-The season will give a more accurate idea of the kind of tournament success a team will have. Teams with two good starters and not much else just got devalued.
-Fewer transfers among pitchers, as more will see action.

We're in good shape ... if we can hit.