Monday, May 26, 2008

Beavers don't make the tournament...I blame the new compressed schedule

That's a major bummer. It looked like we'd squeak in again. I can't wait until Oregon gets back into the league so maybe the Pac-10 can start getting 6 teams in. The SEC got 9 of 12 teams in. Seriously? Plus, they only had 2 national seeds which the Pac-10 also had.

Honestly, I think that the new schedule cost us a trip. By requiring the season to start so late teams like the Beavers had to play a ton of games on the road to get in over 50 games. For teams in the SEC and California thats easy. But we had to play all over to get it in. How does ASU play 2-3 times more home games than us in a compressed season? That's a HUGE advantage.

Quite honestly, I think the late schedule start date was a hindrance rather than a help to us northern schools. That rule must be repealed. The kids are basically pros playing 5 games a week. When are they going to class? Ugh. I can see why Pat Casey is tired. Lots of travel and lots of games back-to-back-to-back.

Well, lets start a new run next season! Thanks for another fun season Beavs!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ouch. Baseball Team Takes a Major Blow

The Beavers may have just done what they couldn't afford to do against USC.  They got swept.  They had every opportunity to win the game, but it seems their close game luck has run out.  And to think a hit batter on a curveball would let in the tying run.  That's the breaks I guess. 

I was pretty surprised by the decision to start Peavey.  I think you stick with Robles.  But the coaches went for a hunch and it almost paid off.  His line was pretty good.  Too bad the bullpen couldn't pick him up.  I'm also surprised that they went with Keitzman in a game that meant so much. 

Now even if they win out, they may not be able to ride the National Champion card to get a berth in the playoffs.  Seems like the National Champs should get an automatic berth, right?

Well, one last shot to beat a decent team today.  Long Beach State tonight.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Will the Beavers Baseball Team Make the Tournament?

It's been a bit of a frustrating year this year in baseball. Maybe not quite as much so as last year (before the playoff run) but frustrating nonetheless. Its the up and down nature of the thing. Playing well against great teams and bad against bad teams. Losing series to Wazzu and Gonzaga was not good.

All that said, even losing the two games to USC, we're still in it. What do we need to do to get in?

Here's the remaining schedule:

Long Beach State

I'd say we need to win the last game at USC to finish .500 in the Pac-10. Then if we can beat Pacific 2 out of 3 at home, we're probably safe. Although a sweep would be nice, because they don't look all that good. A win against LB State would look very good as well.

I think the NCAA wants the defending champs to make it into the playoffs so if we just do OK down the stretch, we'll probably make it in.

Why has this year been so tough? Clearly, its the pitching and defense. We've never been a much better hitting team than we are this year, but our pitching and defense was a lot better the last 3 years. This year is particularly bad.

Stutes - He's never really been dominating in his career, but he has been OK this season. Very up and down but at least keeps things close most outings.

His 5.56 era is a little misleading. A 1.49 WHIP ((BB+H)/IP) is not great, but good enough to win you some games. 8.2 K/9 is pretty good and helps get out of some jams. A 63% LOB% seems low but since our team rate is around 60% maybe our defense just doesn't have great range. The 4.4 BB/9 is pretty high for me, but this is college. Our team BB/9 is 4.8 and opponents are walking 5.0 per game. Wow. If Stutes gets hot at the end of the year, then he can be an ace. Otherwise, he's a 2 not an ace.

Reyes - Not a good year. 1.68 Whip is very high. 4.6 BB9. Almost a .300 batting average against. Yikes. If he was a rookie, he would not be pitching every week. He was expected to be our ace. Is his stuff still good? I don't know. But he needs to improve next year or he may be out of a job. One indicator that he's kinda getting unlucky is that his LOB% is 48%. Thats the lowest on the team. Maybe the D hasn't been great or he can't pitch with people on base, but when over 1/2 the people who get on base score, thats not good.

Robles - Our best starter all year if you look at his season stats. His ERA is high, but most other numbers show he's been a solid #2. 1.175 WHIP. 7.3 K/9 (anything over 6 is good enough). .181 average against and .226 batting average on balls in play. Another stat, fielding independent pitching is a low 2.89 (Stutes is 5.14, Jorge 7.05, and Peavey 10.16). And he hasn't allowed a HR all year. So that huge 5.61 era is very misleading. His LOB% is a little low too so that proves that his ERA is a bit of a fluke. If he's not hurt he needs to be pitching every weekend.

Peavey and Osich have started this year too, but they are struggling mightily. Peavey would be fine if he could up his K rate a little and get that hit rate below 1 per inning. He gets hit hard when he gets hit (8 HR and 15 2b in 38 IP - thats the same as Stutes in 1/2 the innings). Osich just walks way too many. 9.3 BB/9. Over one per inning. Plus people are hitting .307 off of him.

I say give James Nygren a shot against the big boys. His numbers look pretty good. Only 3.1 BB/9 - best on the team among pitchers who play regularly. K's are a little low at 5.9 K/9 but he has a 63% LOB% and 1.250 whip. Both very good for our team. He's pitched mostly against lesser teams, but given his numbers he deserves a shot to prove himself.

Just a quick note on hitting. Two things surprised me when I looked at the hitting numbers. First, Lonnie Lechelt is having a great year. He's the second best hitting on the team next to Ryan Ortiz. If he could ever talk a walk, he'd be very good.

Second, Joey Wong is not as good of a hitter as I thought. Even with his 5 HRs a .705 OPS (OBA+SLG) is basically a weak hitting SS. He does make up for it by walking a lot and what appears to be clutch hitting. But, I was surprised because my impression was that he was having a pretty good year.

The only criticism I'd have for the lineup recently is that Jordan Lennerton isn't playing more often. He's a good hitter who has pop and is the best defensive 1B on the team. I realize Ortiz needs rest from time to time, but the Moose needs to play!

Here's to beating USC, LB State, and sweeping Pacific!

Go Beavs!

Must read article on Sammy

Great article on Sammy Stroughter's ordeal and how he made it back.

Stroughter's long road back -

Gotta read that one.

The baseball team got some national exposure as well.

Casey, Oregon State build for the long run on diamond - USAToday

They are predicting another playoff appearance for the Beavs. Good read.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Spring Game aftermath

Looks like the D will be good again in 2008 if the Spring Game is any indication. Even without Simi Kuli and Ben Terry the D Line was tearing it up much of the game. Granted, we have had a ton of O-Line injuries, but even so, they looked really good.

The biggest surprise was some of the unknowns. Like Justin Engstrom who may have had the best day as a QB. Also, the big WR out of Eugene looked pretty good. He may not get much PT, but it may bode well for the future. Then there were all the new LBs, CBs, safeties, and everything else that we got our first look at. Good stuff.

Looks like only one of the QB walk-ons will be kept for Fall:

Riley, Beavers to choose from walk-ons

Only one of three walk-on quarterbacks — sophomore Brennan Sim and freshmen Justin Engstrom and Zach Anderson — is likely to be invited to training camp. The 6-5, 205-pound Engstrom was the most impressive in the spring game, completing 10 of 15 passes for 108 yards.

Overall, I'm pretty excited. The D looks as good as ever. The kicking game doesn't look like it will miss a beat. The O should be OK with all the new RB talent coming in. Moevao looks very confident and the TEs looked good.

If the offensive line can come together and the running backs can improve, we should have a great team in '08!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Sweet Visual 2008 Pac-10 College Football Schedule

A Cal blogger must have spent some time on this. Pretty cool:

Its a visual helmet schedule of all the teams in the Pac-10! That should get you ready for the spring game!

Thanks Flickr user bearsnecessity!

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