Baseball usually comes down to a few basic things, Pitching, defense and who has a hot inning or two. [Yeah, forget about the old "see the ball, hit the ball, catch the ball Little League stuff...]-- da Coach
When I analize baseball matchups, I look at the pitching matchups first because good pitching usually shuts down good hitting and the first indicator of good pitching is the respective ERA of the pitching matchups, you know, Rex Barney's "Pitching and Defense."
That's why I expected at least a split, and more likely 3 wins, out of last weekend's series between the Wildcats and the Wolverines. NU seems to have been able to come up with some pretty good pitching performances when they've needed them, and Left Handed Pitcher J.A. Happ [ERA 2.69] had been the Rocky Miller version of Courtnay Foster.
But unlike the softball version of the Wolverines, their Diamond Guys touched up Happ for 3 runs in the Saturday opener while their pitcher, with a 4.42 ERA shut out the 'Cats. Looks like the ERA thing wasn't working up in Michigan.
Earlier, on Friday, NU pitcher Dan Konecny with his 2.63 ERA, was facing a Michigan pitcher [Penn] with a 5.35 ERA and the 'Cats' gave up 9 runs in the loss. It was that kind of weekend.
Even Dan Pohlman [ERA 6.18], who has been winning of late, couldn't stop the bleeding on Sunday, altho its hard to win when the other team turns four double plays, known affectionately as the "pitcher's friend." The Cats lost that one 3-1 to a pitcher with a 3.21 ERA. [NU did manage one win in Saturday's 2nd game]
So I'm putting my ERA theories back on the shelf until the tournament. Michigan State's Softball team needed a sweep going into the last weekend of the Big 10 tournament and got it. This weekend our baseball team plays their baseball team. The last thing I want is the Baseball Spartans to emulate the Softball Spartans at the end of the regular season.
Now if they want to be like both Michigan softball teams in the tournament...
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