Hurricanes Lay Egg in Series Against Duke

There's wrong and then there's wrong. My prediction for how this weekend series would go down was certainly the latter.

I figured the Canes would put themselves into a position to sweep the Blue Devils and get off to a great start in ACC play. I thought they might lose one game in the series because it's just tough to sweep a conference foe, but I never would have thought they would come into Sunday trying to fight off a sweep.

Maybe the term "laying an egg" is a bit strong, but I think that comes close to describing what happened this past weekend.

I don't have to tell you that there were more downs than ups this weekend, but I still managed to come up with three of each.

Three Up:

- Dale Carey seemed to fight his way out of his slump a little this past weekend. He went 0-for-4 on Sunday in the win, but prior to that, he had been making a habit of putting together good at-bats. He was a combined 3-for-4 with a walk in the first two games of the series. I said last week that the Canes needed Carey to hit if they were going to fulfill their potential. He hit this weekend and they still lost the series, but I think that still holds true.

- Alex Hernandez continues to be steady. I haven't talked about him much so far this season, but I think that's as much a tribute to him as it is an oversight on my part. He's just so dependable and predictable (in a good way) that you can easily overlook him if you don't stop to appreciate him. All he did over the weekend was go 5-for-10 and play error-free baseball at second base.

- Andrew Suarez really stepped up and got the job done on Sunday. He had been pretty hittable so far this season, but on Sunday, he dazzled the Blue Devils. He threw seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) with one walk and four strikeouts. Before this weekend, I figured it was a lock that he would go to the bullpen when Whaley and Radziewski inevitably return to the rotation, but now he might be in a battle for the midweek starter role with Javi Salas (more on that in a minute).

Three Down

- Javi Salas was very hittable in his start on Saturday. He gave up eight hits and five earned runs in 3.2 innings. Because of his experience in the role, Salas was likely the frontrunner to take over the midweek role after B-Rad and Whaley return to the rotation, but with how Suarez has pitched and with this tough start for Salas, he's now locked in a battle for the role.

- The Canes experienced a major power outage over the weekend. The only extra base hit Miami managed was a triple by Grant Heyman in the second game of the series. It's going to be tough to win games on a regular basis with that kind of output.

- The overall lack of fight in the first two games is a bit bothersome. It's one thing to just get beaten by a hot pitcher, and I think that may have been the case on Friday, but getting just five hits and two runs (both in the ninth) on Saturday just can't happen against an opponent the caliber of Duke.


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