JP's Weekly Walk-Off: Stanford

The #1 Beavers travel to Palo Alto to take on the Stanford in the famed Sunked Diamond. BeaverBlitz's Jeff Perry breaks down the match-up.

Fresh off back-to-back series sweeps against the Arizona schools, and out to their first 6-0 start in conference play since the unification of the conference, the #1 ranked Beavers look to continue their winning ways at a road venue that has proved oddly hospitable in recent history.

THE WEEK THAT WAS

After trailing in very few games (let alone let in the game), the Beavers certainly showed they have the ability to win one in the late innings.  Friday saw the Beavers overcome a 3-1 deficit with 2 runs in the 8th and the winning run with 2-out in the bottom of the 9th as JK Harrison punched single up the middle to plate the winning run.  Saturday’s conclusion was bizarre, but no less dramatic, as the Beavers lost the lead in the top of the 9th, but broke the tie with a walk-off win via a wild pitch as pinch-runner Preston Jones scored all the way from second base.  Tuesday had the look of a mid-week letdown as the Beavers trailed 3-1 after 4 innings and had done little offensively, but a two-out rally in the top of the 9th saw a Grenier single and a pair of walks set the stage for Nick Madrigal’s 2-run single to win it.

  • Friday (1):  OSU 4 – Arizona 3
  • Saturday:  OSU 5 – Arizona 4
  • Sunday:  OSU 11 – Arizona 7
  • Tuesday:  OSU 4 – St. Mary’s 3

THE WEEK AHEAD

Game Times:

  • Friday: OSU (LHP Heimlich 4-0, 0.42) at Stanford (LHP Bubic 2-3, 3.48) 6:00pm PDT
  • Saturday: OSU (RHP Fehmel 3-1, 2.31) at Stanford (LHP Miller 1-1, 3.14) 2:00pm PDT
  • Sunday: OSU (RHP Thompson 5-0, 1.42) at Stanford (LHP Castellanos 4-0, 1.82) 1:00pm PDT
  • Tuesday: OSU (TBA) at Portland (TBA) 6:00pm PDT

Notes:

  • No changes expected in the OSU rotation, but interesting to note that Castellanos typically throws the middle game of a series with Miller pitching Sunday, but the Stanford weekly game notes has them switching days (certainly not the case of a “demotion” for Castellanos who only gave up 2 hits and 1 run last Saturday against Utah – though he only threw 77 pitches so I’m curious if maybe there’s a minor injury there that they’re trying to give him an extra day to work out – but that is purely a WAG and reckless speculation on my part).
  • The Beavers have won the last 6 series against Stanford, and 10 of the last 12.  OSU has won 10 consecutive games at Sunken Diamond, and has not lost a series at Stanford since 2003.  
  • Sunken Diamond fast facts: Natural grass; capacity 4,000 (including the outfield beam seating area); 335 down the lines, 375 in the alleys & 400 to center; fence height 10’; ample room behind the plate and in foul territory.  
  • No TV this week but all three Stanford games will have a free video feed via: http://pac-12.com/live/stanford-university

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • Closer Colton Hock: 3-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 saves, 17 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 7 K.
  • CF Quinn Brodey: .333, 5 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 22 RBI
  • 3B Mikey Diekroeger: .329, 4 2B, 1 3B, 6 RBI

RANDOM TOPICS OF THE WEEK

A few Cardinal notes…

The Cardinal staff talked a few weeks back about the fact they had hoped to see Tristan Beck return from a back injury last weekend, but it appears the super-talented right-handed pitcher will also miss the OSU series.  Entering the season, Beck was considered the conference’s top draft prospect and a potential top-10 pick as a draft-eligible sophomore.

Along those lines, closer Colton Hock was widely considered the second best draft prospect in the conference and another likely top-half of the first round pick this June.  

If the Diekroeger name sounds familiar, Stanford has had one or more in the infield save for 2014 every year since 2010.  I think Mikey (3B) is the end of the run, after Kenny (SS) and Danny (2B) – I’m a little sorry there isn’t a Timmy or Tommy that plays 1B just so they could field a complete infield lineup.

Mark Marquess will be retiring following the 2017 season after 41 years as the “Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball” (known simply as “coach” at other less highbrow schools), and he sits one short of his 1600th win at the school.  Aside from not wanting to ever see the Beavs lose, I especially hope he has to wait another week to get that milestone after his opposition to the unification of the Pac-10/12 back in the day.  I guess it turned out he had good reason not to want to face OSU, but let’s remind him of that fact a few more times before he hangs it up.

A few Beaver notes…

After hovering around the dreaded Mendoza line during the out-of-conference portion of the schedule, Cadyn Grenier leads the team in conference batting (.455) and has upped his season average 100+ points the past month to .296.  His glove kept him in the lineup, but it seems the light has come on for a guy that came in with a track record of hitting well with a decent bit of power. If he can keep it up and go from being a player Casey had to slot at the bottom of the order to a consistent threat, that boost could be the shift between an offense that has been solid, but not spectacular, to one that suddenly is much more dangerous.

Way too early to talk about such things, but Nick Madrigal would have to be the POY in the conference at this point, and with all due credit to the seasons that Cole Gillespie and Michael Conforto put up on their way to conference POY accolades, it feels to me like Madrigal has meant more to the success of this team than any player I can think of at OSU the last decade.   

One guy I have not talked nearly enough about is Trevor Larnach.  After injuries turned 2016 into a bit of a lost season, it is easy to see why the staff had sky-high expectations when he arrived at OSU and why the scouts see the tools that can translate successfully in the professional ranks.  As you come to expect and accept goes with the territory with a big bat are the strikeouts (18), you see a good eye and growing discipline via the 19 walks he’s drawn.  

I’m working on a larger piece/data project for later, but if you want to know why Jake Mulholland (2-0, 2 saves, 0.00 ERA, 20 IP, 12 H, 2 BB, 20 K) has been so good and has contributed more than some of his more heralded fellow freshman… the kid throws strikes.  I know, I know: “everyone is trying to throw strikes and good pitchers throw lots of them, JP”.  Well, just a quick comparison or two: I think we all grasp what a dominant season Luke Heimlich has been having, and he’s thrown a pretty crazy 67.4% of his pitches for strikes.  Engelbrekt (save for the one regrettable pitch for a HR), has been putting up amazing numbers thanks in large part to throwing 67.2% of his pitches for strikes.  Mulholland… 68.7%.  

PAC-12 NEWS/NOTES/STATS

Something a little different this week via a couple of new tables – let me know if they are of interest and worth updating on a weekly basis.

Pac-12 Offensive Category Rankings

Ave.

Slg %

OB %

Runs

2B

3B

HR

BB

K*

OSU

2

3

T-2

T-3

T-4

T-2

11

6

1

UA

1

1

1

1

1

1

T-3

1

3

ASU

9

9

9

8

8

T-4

7

9

7

Cal

5

4

4

10

T-9

T-10

1

10

10

uo

11

11

11

9

11

6

T-8

2

2

Stan.

7

10

10

11

T-6

T-10

10

11

5

UCLA

10

6

6

6

T-6

T-8

2

T-3

8

USC

6

8

8

2

T-9

T-8

T-3

T-3

9

Utah

3

5

5

5

T-4

7

6

7

6

UW

8

7

7

7

3

T-2

T-8

8

11

WSU

4

2

T-2

T-3

2

T-4

5

T-3

4

*1st = fewest/best  



Pac-12 Pitching/Defense Category Rankings

ERA

Ave.

K

BB*

WP*

HBP*

HR*

Fld.

SB*

OSU

1

1

5

2

3

T-4

5

6

3

UA

9

8

2

4

8

T-7

T-6

11

6

ASU

11

9

6

10

10

9

T-3

10

8

Cal

10

11

11

11

9

10

T-9

8

7

uo

2

4

1

1

4

T-4

T-6

5

2

Stan.

3

2

10

3

1

1

T-3

2

4

UCLA

6

5

3

8

7

6

T-9

4

9

USC

8

7

4

9

6

T-7

T-9

1

11

Utah

5

10

9

7

5

2

T-1

7

5

UW

4

3

8

5

2

3

T-6

3

1

WSU

7

6

7

6

11

11

T-1

9

10

*1st = fewest/best  

 

PARTING SHOTS AND PREDICTIONS

This series feels a bit like the inverse of the Arizona series, in that UA was clearly the best offensive team we had faced to date (albeit a team that was not strong in pitching), and Stanford is by a wide margin the best collection of pitchers we’ll have seen up until this point (though a team without a particularly stout offense).  

Pitching and defense has been the Pat Casey model that brought a lot of success this year and in past seasons and Stanford is very good at both.

The Beavers have the edge on offense, so it may seem like a cop-out to pick another 2-1 OSU series win, but what else can I do?  On one hand, a team riding a 16-game win streak is just about due for a dud – but on the other hand, a team riding a 16-game win streak has been playing so well you’d be foolish to bet against them.

As always, if you have questions/comments/suggestions you’d like me to cover, by all means feel free to let me know either on the board or you can always e-mail me at jp@beaverblitz.com.    

 

NUMBERS TO GNAW ON…

OREGON STATE

STANFORD

Wins and Losses

Overall Record

21 – 1

14 – 6

Pac-12 Record

6 – 0

2 – 1

Home

10 – 0

11 – 2

Away/Neutral Site

11 – 1

3 – 4

Last 5 Games

5 – 0

4 – 1

Last 10 Games

10 – 0

7 – 3

Streak

Won 16

Won 3

Offensive Stats

Runs/Game

5.68

4.20

Batting Ave.

.293

.266

OB %

.376

.331

SLG %

.400

.363

HR Per Game

0.32

0.40

Stolen Bases

28 – 34

16 – 20

Pitching Stats

Team ERA

1.55

2.81

Opponent Bat. Ave.

.179

.211

Team WHIP

0.89

1.13

K per 9 Innings

8.45

7.71

BB per 9 Innings

2.41

3.32

HR Allowed Per Game

0.41

0.40

Defensive Stats

Fielding %

.971

.982

Stolen Bases Allowed

6 – 8

11 – 17

Rankings

RPI*

1

52

SOS*

21

88

ISR*

1

24

Polls**

1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1

14 – 17 – 11 – 15 – 19  

*RPI via NCAA.com - SOS via Warren Nolan - ISR via boydsworld.com

** Polls = ESPN/Coaches - Baseball Writers - D1 Baseball - Baseball America - Collegiate Baseball  [NR = Not Ranked; RV = Rec’d Votes]


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