Thoughts from a Smoke Loving Observer

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by TigerEducated, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. TigerEducated

    TigerEducated Founding Member

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    It was a game of baseball fortune...Miami had it, LSU did not...

    Miami dinked with ridiculous duck farts and seeing eye singles to get one run, and then our still wet behind the ears pitching coach totally set up the 2nd home run - as beautifully explained by Jeff Brantley in the booth post tater - and that was that.

    LSU hit the ball hard on Carillo all the way through. It's just that after the 2nd, the Miami team made good plays, and it seemed all our hard hits were right to someone. We honestly tatooed the ball. The shortstop and the 2nd baseman both had stellar plays in the field to rob LSU of base hits, and momentum to perhaps mount a rally.

    As Skip Bertman would say, "That's baseball." In the 1st & 2nd, the fortune we had was what we should have capitalized on. We did not, and that in and of itself-amongst what else I saw-was that.

    Nate Bumstead has now failed three times on the largest of stages. Last year in the opener in Omaha, he screwed the pooch. He did it again versus Texas A&M. Now, Bumstead has honestly failed against Miami. I like the guy, and I am never one to down a player, but it is obvious that Bumstead does not have the mental makeup to pitch in anything other than non-pressure situations.

    Nick Stavinoha should not have seen another pitch after his 2nd at bat. He is playing tentatively, his swings in both the first and 2nd at bat were unsure. His facial expressions, his approach at the plate, and his results were all indicative of a scared, pressing, defeated player. His first at bat was galling. After the FIRST PITCH, I called the strikeout to my father. The kid just did not bat with confidence of any sort. The third at bat in which he grounded out to the left side of the infield should be taken by Stavinhoa as a moral victory, as at least he put the bat on the ball and put the ball in play.

    The only problem is, we're in the College World Series. You're on what is considered the best program in college baseball's modern history. You're the designated hitter, and you're up there scared and totally off your game.

    Where Jon Zeringue has used his time in the outfield, bettered himself from a fielding standpoint, while at the same time continuing to get better at bashing the baseball, Ryan Patterson has done....Well, I don't know what Ryan Patterson has done. I thought it interesting when the broadcast staff said early before his 2nd at bat that, "Patterson was puzzled as to why he was not drafted..." or something to that effect. I almost agreed.

    Then, after that whiff, and the next at bat when he swung at a "Little League Special" about as high up on his forehead as a Botox injection normally would be to retire himself, coupled with that fiasco out in left field on national television, I said out loud, "Well, Ryan, watch the tape of this game. I'm sure you won't be puzzled anymore as to why you weren't drafted."

    Lastly, the umpiring...What can you say? If LSU wins 5-3, this is something to grumble about, but not to outright bash...But, we did not win. We had pitchers who given consistently inconsistent strikes. In one inning, hell, in one at bat, the 6 inches off the corner low heat retires Clay Harris. The next inning, that walks the leadoff man for the Canes.

    I'll admit that the umpire was an equal opportunity bullsh!t call issuer, as Carillo was also on the brown and smelly end of a few calls. But, I think that had we had an umpire who did not view the strike zone in the same way that Picasso would view a bowl of fruit on a table (IE-as abstract, and up for interpretation), this game would have been much different.

    Bottom line, this team suffered only from bad baseball fortune. The Texas Leaguers and seeing eye singles made it through our gaps, and we couldn't quite get to them. We hit laser beams that were caught, or line drives right to left or right center. We did not him them where they ain't. Miami did. Simple as that.

    We had our chances, and Carillo is more smoke and mirrors than flamethrower, but fortune did not smile on us.

    It's now time to focus-for the 2nd year in a row-on the South Carolina elmination game. Geaux Tigers!
     
  2. SabanFan

    SabanFan The voice of reason

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    Good post.
    I realize the Umps are amateurs and have other jobs, but the blue behind the plate needs to find another avocation. He is the worst, most inconsistent umpire I have ever seen. How he got the CWS gig is a mystery to me. And this is not sour grapes. He sucked no matter who was on the mound or at the plate.
     
  3. TigerEducated

    TigerEducated Founding Member

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    Again, even Carillo was on the short end of the stick.

    I hate to say this, but his umpiring also affected Wiederhold, and Brady's CONTINUAL learning curve is going to wear thin on Tiger fans. The 2nd home run that the Canes his was totally and unequivocally on the shoulders of Widerhold. He basically set up the Miami batter to get his hands through the zone quickly and strongly, and in no uncertain terms, allowed the man to hit a home run.

    Jeff Brantley said what's been on my mind since the Super Regional against Baylor last year: Why isn't Determan given the ball in the 1st? Why isn't this Baton Rouge product a fricking starter?

    Does he have Carillo-itis? Does he take awhile to warm up? Is it mental for him? Is he afraid to start? What is it?

    This kid has pitched brilliantly in two Super Regionals and a College World Series. As much as Bumstead has proven he can't cut the mustard, Jason has proven he deserves to be on that hill in the 1st to battle for the Purple & Gold.

    Why has he not been given the opportunity to start?

    If Determan is not at least given an opportunity to start next year, then something is gravely wrong. Then again, with Mestepey, Dirks, Determan and Meier all coming back, it's going to be difficult to explain not trying to insert at least one right handed arm. We're top heavy with leftys next year, and if Dirks returns to his early season form next year, it's going to be a logjam.

    I just think that Determan deserves to get the ball on the weekend next year. He's earned it.
     
  4. SabanFan

    SabanFan The voice of reason

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    Damn. I agree again!
    The only thing I can think of is that Smoke feels Determan is his best long reliever. If Bumstead performs, then he's got Jason for the next game. I agree though, that Nate has been a disappointment. Still, without him, we may not have made the SEC tournament so I'm not going to be too hard on him.
     
  5. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

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    What bothers me is that every umpire has his own strike zone and none of them call balls and strikes according to the rule book strike zone. Some of the "strikes" called last night were barely above the batter's ankles.
     
  6. friday

    friday Founding Member

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    TigerEducated

    couldn't agree with your assessment of the game any more. baseball is a game of opportunites and breaks. miami made the great plays in the field and the ump was the most inconsistent that i've seen all year - moving strikezone. that bases loaded with one out in the second which yielded only one run really hurt the tigers. in regard to bumstead, some guys have good stuff, they just don't understand how to pitch. I think bumstead falls into that category. he'd throw a few great breaking balls in a row and then a high fastball that eventually would take him to an early shower. the 0-2, 1-2 counts when miami got hits were just unexcusable in this big a game. if mestepey were the starter yesterday, LSU wins that game. I think the stage is just too big for bumstead. freshman meier better get that arm warmed up.
     
  7. islstl

    islstl Playoff committee is a group of great football men Staff Member

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    I agree that Bumstead needs to sit the pines the rest of the way.
     
  8. TigerEducated

    TigerEducated Founding Member

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    I think that Smoke was standing behind his guy and his decision yesterday in the post game press conference. I don't think they're seriously going to roll Bumstead back out of the rack and onto the hill again in Omaha, unless out of necessity or desperation.

    Bumstead should be charting pitches for the rest of his LSU career. No slight to Nate, but he's done. Make way.
     
  9. swoop

    swoop Founding Member

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    Well this is the second year in a row he has made a bad call when it comes to who to start the first game with. Thats not a bash on smoke, its just a fact. BTW, their ace pitcher and who is the next closest thing to god according to the announcers, was at 60 pitches after the 2nd inning. They have the setup and closer suspended, so what do we do? Start swinging at the first pitch?? Someone explain that to me.
     
  10. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

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    "Bad baseball fortune" is a good way to describe the Tigers problems Saturday. There was some good ball played, but LSU did not get many breaks.

    Still, I think that our pitching staff is just not what we are used to around here. This is not the kind of year for Mestepay to get injured or Bumstead to get in a slump. Me, you, Smoke, and everybody else would like us to be a little deeper in SEC-quality pitchers.

    Determan will surely get a chance to start next year based on this years performance. The color man on ESPN all but said so. Brantley was a much better TV analyst than usual and really seemed to know pitching.
     

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