Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: 2nd straight series win

A&M Pitching: Earned runs before this weekend/ earned runs vs. MU
  • John Stilson: 5 / 6
  • Joaquin Hinojosa: 1 / 2
  • Nick Fleece: 2 /1
  • Michael Wacha: 7 / 4
  • Ross Stripling: 16 / ???
■ From the cheap seats
• from the Baseball Forum @ TexAgs.com:
  • This is ridiculous. Did we forget how to play baseball?
  • Is the ball buttered?
  • What is going on with the pitching staff and the infield? This is the absolute worst two games of the year. We lose this game I seriously doubt we'll catch the sips in the Big 12 regular season championship chase.
  • obviously we were paid off to lose this series...
  • Is this their normal Friday guy? Or do we still have to see him tomorrow?
  • You're missing the point. THIS team, RIGHT NOW, does not have a history of overcoming large deficits.
  • I think you're missing the point. This is baseball. Yesterday, Mizzou didn't have a history of overcoming ANY deficit... but it happened.
  • Your help is needed tomorrow. Please sneak a few sacrificial chicken bones on to the field tomorrow!
  • Do they have to go on the field or can I just eat the chicken in the stands?
  • Or hide a chicken bone somewhere in foul territory!
  • Uh, don't you mean fowl territory?

from Tigerboard.com:
  • Gotta give props to the reincarnation of the Simmons Savages. They've been great this series at their craft.

• Baseball is such a game of confidence and momentum...just like curling. #ilovebaseballnohomo (Hunter Mense on Twitter)

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: #10 > #1

A royally upsetting day in college baseball (College Baseball Today)

Click this link, if only to see the picture.

I never thought I’d say something negative about the Aggies pitching staff, but here we are. The Aggies have one of the best staffs in the country, but gave up 10 runs and 12 hits, along with issuing six walks and five hit batsmen in a stunning 10-9 loss at Missouri. John Stilson, one of the best aces in the country went 6.2 innings, giving up nine hits, six runs (all earned), two walks and one hit batsman. The Tigers rallied from a 6-1 deficit, scoring seven runs in the 7th and two in the t9th to get a jog-off win.
27 Takes (Perfect Game)

Texas A&M relief pitching: The Aggies appeared to be somewhat in control of Missouri in the last couple of innings, but their relief pitching failed them in a disappointing 10-9 loss to struggling Missouri. First reliever Nick Fleece allowed two runs and recorded just one out while closer Joaquin Hinojosa hit three batters and walked two in the ninth inning to help the Tigers capture a victory. The Aggies have to figure out their bullpen sooner rather than later.
Missouri baseball rides momentum swings, upsets Texas A&M (Columbia Missourian)

"We made the decision that we weren't going to let our seven-run inning go to waste," MU catcher Ben Turner said. "We've had pitchers who have picked us up all year, and it's about time we picked them up."

Who needs hits? MU walks to win (Columbia Tribune)


After watching film of Texas A&M, Missouri’s baseball players thought Aggies closer Joaquin Hinojosa tended to leave pitches over the plate. The Tigers believed he was hittable.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mizzou Baseball: #1 @ #10

BoydsWorld.com has finally been updated this week, so here are the numbers and rankings:
  • Record: MU 17-24 (4-10, 10th place Big 12); A&M 29-12 (14-4, 1st)
  • RPI: MU 122nd; A&M 9th
  • ISR: MU 144th, A&M 19th
  • Strength of Schedule: MU 52nd, A&M 37th
Boyd's World also had updated their RPI Needs list. According to their number-crunching, MU would need to finish out the season 13-0 in order to finish at or near the top 45 in RPI and have a shot at an at-large bid to Regionals. Of course, this does not take into account additional opportunities for wins in the Big 12 Tournament.

Big 12 weekend preview (College Baseball Daily)
Texas A&M has the easiest series this weekend, as they face off against Missouri. Top versus bottom will be all in the Aggies’ favor as they boast the most well-rounded team in the league. Missouri’s best chance of a win will come on Sunday when they march top freshman Rob Zastryzny to the mound.
What we learned in April (espn.com)
Texas A&M may be the best bet of all the 31 conference-title chases. Sure, the Aggies lead the Big 12 by only one game over Texas right now, but after last week's series sweep of Oklahoma State, the well-armed Maroon Crew has only last-place Missouri, scuffling Nebraska and the offensively derelict Longhorns remaining. The Ags would need a major meltdown to not win this conference.
New positions no problem for Mach (The Maneater)
“I’m just trying to use the whole field," Mach said. "Early in the year I was pulling off on a lot of pitches middle-in, and my coaches really helped me with my approach. I feel really good at the plate.”

Sophomore Eric Garcia, another Tiger enjoying similar success offensively, said the team has faith in Mach no matter where he appears in the lineup.

“He’s a great hitter,” Garcia said. “We can all trust him at the plate to get the job done.”

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: Texas A&M Aggies

■ From the Cheap Seats:
  • I have a hard time seeing the Aggie Baseball Team losing any game this year in which they score 5 runs. Their starting pitching is that dominant. (iamthe12thman.com)

  • The game was marred by Oklahoma State pitchers throwing at our hitters; apparently, Rob Childress called a double steal on OSU when we were up big in the 6th inning. If this is true, it is one of the first things Childress has done in a long time that I approve of. OSU shortstop Hunter Bailey was ejected in the bottom of the 8th inning, and Aggie shortstop Brandon Wood was hit by a pitch, then came home on a Tyler Naguin triple. Wood was then ejected from the game. (iamthe12thman.com)
Bearkats rally to beat Aggies (aggiesports.com)
The game just wouldn't let Mark Johnson leave.

In his final regular season game at Olsen Field, the two teams Johnson has coached for the last 26 years needed 12 innings to decide a winner. It had a fairy-tale ending for Johnson as his Sam Houston State Bearkats defeated No. 8 Texas A&M 8-5.

"We haven't beaten the Aggies, so it's nice to have a win here," said Johnson, whose jersey No. 7 was unveiled before the game in the right field corner opposite former A&M coach Tom Chandler's number. "The fans were very nice to me tonight. Tom Chandler's in another category for me. If my name's up there with his, that's pretty high cotton for me."


Sunday's Winners and Losers (College Baseball Today, 4/24)
It was a showdown weekend in College Station and the Maroon crew came through big time. The Aggies were a model of efficiency, striking out 24 Oklahoma State batters, walking just two and giving up only 19 hits in 36 innings. Today, A&M completed the sweep with an 8-1 rout.

Aggies beat OSU to take sole possession of Big 12 lead (aggiesports.com)
Texas A&M was essentially snatching runs on the basepaths Saturday, so it was only appropriate that the Aggies took away three runs to end the ballgame with a 5-1 win over Oklahoma State at Olsen Field.

With two outs and two on, Brandon Wood sprinted to the left-field foul pole and without slowing down put a foot up on the padding of the fence and reached over to steal a home run from Devin Shines.

Wood hit the ground, looked down in his glove and then took off again, this time to the infield to celebrate a second straight win over OSU and sole possession of first place in the Big 12.

No. 9 A&M moved to 28-11 overall and 13-4 in the Big 12, one-half game ahead of Texas, which lost 4-2 at Kansas on Saturday. No. 20 OSU fell to 28-11 and 10-7.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tough Tigers: Past, Present & Future

Changes help Mach excel for Missouri baseball team (Columbia Missourian)
The fielding switch was more jarring. Mach replaced his brother at third base at Missouri, and, besides "goofing around" in the outfield while playing in the Texas Collegiate League last summer, he had played on the infield throughout high school and college.

Former Missouri outfielder Hunter Mense, back in Columbia after a minor league stint to announce baseball games for ESPN Radio, worked with Mach. Mense knew Mach had played defensive back on the football team in high school (where he also caught passes from friend Blaine Gabbert), and he said the footwork was basically the same.

"He's right," Mach said. "I've been taking what I know about just being an athlete out there and making plays."


Graves set to return for Francis Howell (stltoday.com)
Maybe the Francis Howell baseball team got a bit lucky, or maybe Brett Graves is just that tough.

Either way, the Vikings dodged a bullet this week after their senior standout and Missouri signee was struck on his pitching hand by a comebacker and exited his start Tuesday against visiting Holt.

Howell coach Tony Perkins said Thursday that Graves is OK and could return to the lineup as early as Saturday.

"He's fine," Perkins said. "He worked out (Thursday), and he'll throw Tuesday (against Timberland). I wasn't real worried about it. Others were. My phone has been ringing off the hook and message boards have been buzzing."


Griffey imparts wisdom on Mavs (vvdailypress.com)
It wasn’t so long ago when Ken Griffey Jr. was “The Kid.”

The athletic baseball protege with the smooth swing that left children imitating him in the backyard.

Now 41 and in his first year of retirement, he is spending a little time with the Seattle Mariners’ new kids.

Griffey, who works as a consultant with the Mariners, spent Monday and Tuesday analyzing, coaching and assisting the High Desert Mavericks players, spending time mostly on their swings and approach at the plate.

“He brings so much experience and so much success … it’s hard to not gravitate towards him,” Mavericks catcher Trevor Coleman said. “He’s got the personality that you just want to be around, but he also brings the mechanical and mental experience. You just try to soak up anything you can, but it has been a great experience having him here.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: Missouri State Bears @ Simmons Field

■ Missouri State in mid-week games: 3-4
  • Wins: SEMO (2-1), Kansas (6-0), Kansas (5-1),
  • Losses: Arkansas State (6-5), SEMO (8-7), Arkansas (2-1), Kansas State (10-4)
Bears happy with split (Springfield News-Leader, 4/23)
Missouri State's baseball team was not in the best of moods after letting the first game of Saturday's doubleheader slip
away.

"We felt like we beat ourselves," third baseman Brent Seifert said of a 7-6 loss to Indiana State.

Thanks to clutch hitting by Seifert and a strong start from Blake Barber, the Bears walked away from Hammons Field feeling
much better.

"It was huge to bounce back," Seifert said after a 4-1 victory that gave MSU a split and series victory over the Sycamores

MSU closer makes a name for himself (Springfield News-Leader)
A right-handed reliever, Dan Kickham is only five away from Shaun Marcum's MSU single-season saves record. He has a 1-1 record, with the loss on an unearned run in the 13th inning last month against Southeast Missouri State.

"The numbers don't lie," Bears pitching coach Paul Evans said. "Dan has been good. Very good."

Late error proves costly for Bears (news-leader.com, 4/12)
It became obvious as the starting pitchers dominated early that Missouri State's baseball game with Arkansas could boil down to one glaring mistake.

The Bears made that mistake in the eighth inning and No. 16 Arkansas walked away
with a 2-1 victory Tuesday night before 1,208 fans at Hammons Field.

"Close games, you have to execute plays," MSU coach Keith Guttin said after Arkansas
(24-8) beat the Bears (19-12) for the eighth straight time. "We didn't."

MSU's Pierce Johnson took a six-hit shutout into the eighth. He hit leadoff hitter Kyle Atkins with a pitch before Bo Bigham's single past third base.

Johnson then fielded Matt Reynolds' sacrifice bunt and threw wildly past first
base. The game's lone error sent Atkins home and left runners at second and third.

"Throwing that ball away, that's all on me," Johnson said.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Big 12 Player of the Week: Conner Mach

Conner Mach became the first MU player to be awarded the Big 12 Player or Pitcher of the Week in 2011.

Quartet Collects Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Weekly Accolades (big12sports.com)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Conner Mach, Missouri, INF, Jr., 6-0, 197Chesterfield, Mo. (Parkway West)

Mach hit .543 on the weekend, helping guide the Tigers to a pair of wins at Baylor. The junior started all three games in the leadoff spot for the first time this season and tallied six hits in 11 at-bats while driving in a team-best five runs on the weekend. His six hits accounted for 10 total bases as he slugged a team-best .909 on the weekend with his first home run of the year, a two-run shot in Friday's contest. He finished the game 4-for-4, reaching base in all five plate appearances as he was hit by a pitch after hitting safely in his first four at bats. The Chesterfield, Mo, native fell a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. He scored the game-tying run in the Tigers' series opener and drove in an insurance run with a an RBI in the seventh and also recorded a pair of RBI in the series finale on Saturday. Mach finished with a team-best .600 OBP on the week, leading Mizzou in runs (two), RBI (five), OBP (.600), slugging (.909) and total bases (10) while ranking second in hits (six) and extra-base hits (two).

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: Eastern Illinois Panthers @ O'Fallon, MO

The numbers (BoydsWorld.com, 4/25)
  • Record: MU 16-23, EIU 14-22
  • RPI: MU 126th, EIU 228th
  • ISR: MU 143rd, EIU 224th
  • Strength of Schedule: MU 47th, EIU 160th
■ Eastern Illinois is 4-5 in mid-week games
  • Wins: Chicago State (1-0), Illinois (4-1), Illinois College (20-0), Illinois (10-2)

  • Losses: Mississippi State (9-4), Southern Illinois (7-4), St. Louis (7-2), Indiana State (5-2), Western Illinois (4-0)
Mizzou vs. EIU, 4/26 (rivercityrascals.com)
University of Missouri vs Eastern Illinois University
Tuesday, April 26
6:30 PM - Game Starts
5:30 PM - Gates Open
@ T.R. Hughes Ballpark, O'Fallon, MO (directions HERE)
Tickets available by clicking HERE. SponsorID=3440
All tickets $5.00
Panthers come back to split double header (jg-tc.com, 4/23)
Jacob Reese went 2-for-2 and Brent McNeil pitched four innings of three-hit relief allowing only an unearned run as Eastern Illinois beat Murray State 5-3 for a split in Saturday's Ohio Valley Conference baseball doubleheader.

Jake Donze pitched a four-hitter in Murray State's 4-1 win over Eastern Illinois in the first game.
EIU baseball rides early lead to win over Illinois (jg-tc.com)
The Eastern Illinois baseball team scored early and never looked back as they dropped the University of Illinois for the second time this season, 10-2, on Wednesday evening at Illinois Field. The Panthers have now won five of the last eight meetings.
. . .
Barton (3-3) posted the win, striking out two batters and not allowing a hit in 2.1 innings of relief work.

Thoma paced EIU at the plate, turning in a 4-for-5 performance with three RBIs, two runs and three doubles

Ohio Valley Conference to play Friday-Sundays in 2012 (College Baseball Daily)
The Ohio Valley Conference has announced a change to the format of its Conference regular season series for baseball starting with the 2012 season.

Currently the OVC plays a three-game series spread over two days, with the teams playing a doubleheader on Saturday (with one of those games being a 7-inning game, the other a 9-inning affair) and a single 9-inning game on Sunday.

Starting in 2012 the series schedule will move to a three-game series over three days (Friday-Sunday), with a single 9-inning game being played each day. Games on Friday will begin no earlier than 3 p.m. local time and no later than 6 p.m. local time.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mizzou Baseball: Wood bat game at O'Fallon tomorrow

Mizzou vs. EIU, 4/26 (rivercityrascals.com)
University of Missouri vs Eastern Illinois University
Tuesday, April 26
6:30 PM - Game Starts
5:30 PM - Gates Open
@ T.R. Hughes Ballpark, O'Fallon, MO (directions HERE)
Tickets available by clicking HERE. SponsorID=3440
All tickets $5.00

Sunday, April 24, 2011

K.I.D.: Black & Gold - Baseball

http://www.mediafire.com/?6y8ekpa8hjx8aww
" yeah, we hittin' it down the line
hey fastball, meet Dan Devine. . . "

Mizzou Baseball takes series from Baylor

■ From the Cheap Seats
BaylorFans.com:
  • Time for a change. Losing a series to the last place team in the conference. 3 errors and currently losing 10-1 in the 9th inning. Sorry Smittyites, but it is time for a change. Offer him to retire so it's not a messy firing but this is ridiculous. This program went from Omaha and challenging for titles to straight up LOL.

  • . . . and do it on monday please. my god, we suck.

  • It's almost as if he's blowing it up on purpose. The good ship smitty is now officially rudderless and he has soiled his once good reputation. Unfortunately, it seems mote clear than ever that he just doesn't care.

  • Today was my first time to be there in two or three years, and the whole atmosphere seemed uninspired, not even saying anything about the team. I know it's Easter weekend and all but the Ballpark was a desert wasteland compared to games of years past, and you could hear the softball game rockin' and rollin' amidst the silence. I went over there after the baseball game ended and there may have been MORE fans there than at the baseball game.
Tigerboard.com:
  • Sweet. Loved seeing some of the seldom used players getting a chance and doing great in this game. CJ Jarvis, Andrew Thigpen....bat came alive today baby... Love it. Best weekend of the year.

  • Looks like Jarvis earned himself some serious playing time the rest of the year. He played really well today, as did Schmidt and Mach.

  • For the first time since March 23rd (17 games) the Tigers have surpassed five runs in a baseball game.

Today's Question: Are you surprised by MU Baseball's sluggish season? (Columbia Missourian, April 22)
MU's baseball team (15-22) is last in the Big 12 Conference and the only team not to have reached the 20-win mark this season. The Tigers are 3-9 in conference play.
Baylor Baseball: Highlights vs. Missouri (Saturday) (You Tube)

Baylor Baseball: Highlights vs. Missouri (Friday) (You Tube)

Baylor Baseball: Highlights vs. Missouri (Thursday) (You Tube)

Missouri Baseball takes series from Baylor (KOMU-TV) - Includes VIDEO
It took them nearly a month, but the Missouri Tigers baseball team won it's first Big 12 series of the season today when they took down the Baylor Bears. The 10-1 victory marked the Tigers' biggest conference victory, and the first time Mizzou has scored double digit runs on a Big 12 team since May 23rd, 2010 against the Texas Longhorns.

MU Baseball falls to Baylor (KOMU TV)- Includes VIDEO
It took them nearly a month, but the Missouri Tigers baseball team won it's first Big 12 series of the season today when they took down the Baylor Bears. The 10-1 victory marked the Tigers' biggest conference victory, and the first time Mizzou has scored double digit runs on a Big 12 team since May 23rd, 2010 against the Texas Longhorns.
Missouri Baseball takes series from Baylor (KOMU) - includes VIDEO
Despite receiving a boost in the form of four hits from junior Conner Mach, the Missouri Tigers failed in their bid to record their first series win in Big 12 play, losing on the road to Baylor, 6-3.
27 Takes (perfectgame.org)
Missouri: The Tigers are having a miserable season, but they finally had something to smile about on Saturday. Missouri split the first two games of its series against Baylor before dominating the Bears 10-1 in the series finale. Missouri starting pitcher Matt Stites struck out nine and allowed just a run on four hits in 7 2/3 innings, while Jonah Schmidt and C.J. Jarvis combined for nine hits at the plate. Perhaps this series win will get the Tigers going moving forward.


CBD Quick Hits for April 23 (Collegebaseballdaily.com)
The season is winding down, and many teams are working on postseason bids. The Big 12 looks to have at least four teams that are already set to get bids, but the rest of the league is battling it out to get there. Texas Tech, Kansas State and Nebraska are the closest three that appear to be either headed in, or in the extreme front of the bubble. Kansas and Baylor are on the fringe, and headed in different directions. Missouri, at 129 in the RPI, are pretty much out of the race, barring a conference tournament miracle

Resurrection

Warning: Some strong language

video

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday

What is the darkest place you've ever been?

Hang in there. Sunday's coming.

College Baseball in the Majors


One of the many great reasons to watch College Baseball is the opportunity to see the future MLB stars play. According to a recent detailed list at CollegeBaseballInsider.com, more than 325 former D-1 players are now playing in the Major Leagues. Without doing detailed research, I count at least 3 dozen of those 325 that I saw play.

In the very first game I ever saw at Simmons Field, back in the 80's, I watched Oklahoma State third baseman Robin Ventura pound out the hits. He went on to a pretty decent career in the major leagues.

A few examples from this past week of players in the big leagues that Tiger fans once saw at Simmons Field:

Pepperdine came to Simmons Field on a cold, blustery weekend a few years back, and the Tigers managed to beat their ace pitcher, Dan Haren, but then Haren turned around and beat Mizzou with his bat on Sunday. A decade later, Angels' Dan Haren named AL co-player of the week (LA Times)
On Monday, Haren was named the American League's co-player of the week, sharing the honor with Tampa Bay's Johnny Damon. Haren was 2-0 last week with 14 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings, holding opponents to a .148 batting average. Including in that was his third career shutout, a one-hitter against the Cleveland Indians. It was the first time Haren has won or shared the player of the week honor. (Damon batted .375 in 24 at-bats with two homers, four runs and 11 runs batted in.)

■ He was once an annoying and surly Cornhusker, but Hard work finally pays off for Alex Gordon (USA Today)
Also unknown is exactly what the lean, laconic Nebraskan did to cure his ailing swing during long and intense sessions last winter with batting coach Kevin Seitzer.

What is plain for everybody to see about Alex Gordon is the .354 batting average and 15-game hitting streak he'll take into Friday night's game at Texas.

Finally, after enough problems and frustrations to last an entire career, Gordon may be starting to fulfill the vast promise everyone saw in the overall No. 2 selection from the famous draft of 2005.
■ And here's a 2-for, Ryan Howard (Southwest Missouri State) facing Shaun Marcum (SMS/MU: Ryan Howard, Phillies, look to feast on Marcum (Philly Sports Daily).
Milwaukee sends righty Shaun Marcum to the mound. Marcum was acquired from Toronto in the offseason and enjoyed a strong 2010 campaign spent in the perilous AL East. He has faced the Phillies three times, going 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA and a clean 1.08 WHIP. In a recent article about effective pitchers who don’t boast great velocity, Marcum vetted out well due to substantial movement on his fastball.

Raúl Ibañez has seen the most of Marcum of the current Phillies and in 18 career plate appearances he’s been held to a .235 average but did take Marcum yard once. Ryan Howard has two hits in four plate appearances against Marcum and they both were home runs, something a power-hungry Charlie Manuel has to be excited about. But much like with Blanton versus the Brew-crew, there’s not much history here between Marcum and the Phillies.

■ And let's not foget Mizzou alums Ian Kinsler, Max Scherzer and Aaron Crow: Crow's role with Royals is far from settled (kansascity.com)
“The more I pitch, the more video there will be of me and the more hitters are gonna get a better idea of what pitches I throw in different situations,” Crow said. “I’ll keep doing the same thing, but if guys start to pick up on tendencies, then I’ll adjust.”

To that end, Crow — who has primarily been using a devastating fastball/slider combination to retire hitters — said he’s been working on his change-up and curveball, though he rarely uses them in games.

“I feel a lot more comfortable with my fastball and slider, so I prefer those pitches,” Crow said. “But if I need to throw a third one, I’d throw a curve. I just started throwing it last year, but I consider it my third-best pitch now.”

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: Tigers feast

■ #Baylor drops the opener of a home series against #Missouri, 4-2. #Tigers have an RPI of 131. This is clearly a must-win series for #BU. (@KendallRogersPG on Twitter)

■ “It’s not (a must-win series), because we won’t get anything if we win it,” he said. “Must wins, for me, are when you get a ring. We’re not there yet. . . ." (Baylor Coach Steve Smith, quoted on BaylorFans.com)

■ Comments from the fan forum at BaylorFans.com:
  • I don't even care if we win this game, it's so obvious these guys are just going thru the motions. a comedy of errors over the last month. never seen so many stupid errors at this level

  • Missouri's starter tonight had an ERA of 9 and they were 2-9 in conference!? Supposedly the team had a serious players-only meeting and this is the result? We've now lost 11 of our last 15. Pitiful.

  • Wow, and Misery has an even crappier record than us.
Tigers feast on Bears defensive errors, weak offense (The Lariat)
Smith’s unhappiness with his team’s flyouts surfaced in the box score as well. The Bears flied out nine times, at least once in every inning except the fourth.
Conversely, Missouri feasted on Baylor’s errors and stuck to its own game plan for the win. The Tigers first got on the scoreboard in the fifth. Jonah Schmidt, one of only two batters in Missouri’s starting lineup with at least one home run this season, knocked a leadoff double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. He scored with Brannon Champagne’s RBI single.

The Tigers scored again in the seventh using two singles, a sacrifice bunt and a RBI groundout.

“You have to be able to execute. That’s all [Missouri] did was execute,” Smith said. “The team that executes best is going to win the game. It’s not really rocket science.”

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Time running short on slumping MU (Columbia Tribune)
Missouri is scoring 1.9 runs per Big 12 game while leaving 9.6 runners on base. That doesn’t take into account the number of runners lost while slogging through a team-record-tying nine-game skid.

But Jamieson said he didn’t expect to be making any major changes to the lineup.

“It’s an option, but I don’t think it’s the right option at this point,” Jamieson said. “I think we’re playing the guys that give us the best chance.”


Kyle Gibson 1-hitter (tigerboard.com)
Another Kyle Gibson update: absolutely dominant today. Pitching for Rochester (Twins AAA team) at Buffalo (Mets AAA team), he throws six no-hit innings, strking out six and walking zero. Two runners reached on errors, one of which Kyle picked off.

Unfortunately, starting the seventh with a no-hitter and a 1-0 lead, Kyle gives up a home run to tie the game and is then is pulled. A very tough no-decision, but unquestionably Kyle's best start at this level.
KOMU VIDEO feature on Phil McCormick

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: Baylor Bears

Schedule Note: If you hadn't noticed, the MU-BU series is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday. Sunday is Resurrection Sunday.

■ The numbers (from BoydsWorld.com):
  • Record: MU 14-22 (2-9); BU 20-18 (6-9)
  • RPI: MU 130th; BU 38th
  • ISR: MU 158th; BU 49th
  • Strength of Schedule: MU 47th; BU 12th
  • Team Batting Avg: MU .258; BU .276
  • Team ERA: MU 4.77; BU 4.47


BU ballpark vendors cover all the bases (The Lariat)
A new concession stand behind the third base bleachers known as the Hot Corner offers a wide selection where everything is served straight off the grill or fryer, as opposed to steamers at the other concession stands. Chicken fajitas, sandwiches, onion rings and jalapeno peppers are among the popular choices at the stand.
The untraditional ballpark food offered at the Hot Corner gives fans all the more reason to come out and enjoy another day at the ballpark.
“People want to experience different types of food. The Hot Corner brings a lot of people back to the ballgames,” Tino Juandiego, assistant concessions director for Baylor, said.
. . .
“There is something for everyone … from a [small snack] to a catfish dinner. Everybody wants to eat; the more variety you give them, the more they will eat,” he said.
There are also various options for people with different sized wallets, as prices range from $1 to $7.

Pitching can't contain UNLV in Bears' loss (The Lariat, April 20)
Baylor pitching and hitting alike appeared bogged down as the Bears dropped the muggy Tuesday night matchup to the University of Nevada Las Vegas, 7-4, at Baylor Ballpark.

Three UNLV pitchers held Baylor’s (20-18) lineup to seven hits while the Rebels (25-14) posted 15 hits against the six Bears’ pitchers they faced.

“We hit some balls good, but timing is everything when it comes to hitting,” head coach Steve Smith said. “I don’t like taking anything away from the way they pitched, particularly the left-hander, because he did a good job himself of changing speeds. They played a good ballgame.”
Baylor pounds A&M 12-1 to even baseball series (Houston Chronicle, April 16)
“I kind of stood there for a second, I’m not going to lie,” Evatt said of watching his second home run of the night at Texas A&M sail along the left-field line.

The ball bounced off the foul pole, and Evatt quickly started his trot toward first base in the eighth inning of the Bears’ 12-1 whipping of the eighth-ranked Aggies before 7,409 fans in Olsen Field. Evatt, a junior from Grapevine, has five homers in 51 at bats, and raised his batting average from .188 to .216 courtesy of his two hits and five RBIs on Saturday, as the Bears (20-16, 6-8) evened their series with A&M (25-10, 10-4).

“It was almost a reversal of (Friday) night’s game,” Baylor coach Steve Smith said.
Then in Waco, the Aggies defeated the Bears 5-1 behind John Stilson’s strong outing on the mound. On Saturday it was Trent Blank’s turn, as the Baylor junior from Columbia, Ill., allowed a lone run over 5 1/3 innings.
Turley helps BU to lone weekend win vs. Texas (Baylor Lariat, April 12)
Baylor starting pitcher Josh Turley wasn’t used to the media attention he got following the Bears’ 7-6 win over Texas Saturday. But if having a career day means pushing back postgame plans because of interviews, Turley welcomes it with open arms.

“I’d rather pitch well and get the win than pitch poorly and go eat dinner,” Turley said.

Turley tossed eight innings, holding the Longhorns (23-8, 8-3) to three runs on seven hits while striking out five and allowing just one walk. His innings thrown set a new career high, as did his 114 pitches.

“For us to have a chance, Josh had to be special today. And he was,” head coach Steve Smith said.
The brief Baylor football career of baseball coach Steve Smith (Waco Tribune)
"Eventually a couple of the little girl trainers grabbed me and hauled me inside the old training room, put me on the table. I waited there until the doctor came. He sewed me up on the table in the training room.

"It was never X-rayed. It was sewed up right there on that training room table on what we now know as Floyd Casey Stadium. That basically ended my football career. I missed a whole week because I wasn't going to be doing anything, and I wasn't going to be doing anything anyway. I found out later on that Mickey (Sullivan) had talked to Corky and told him this kid's got a chance to help us in baseball, so don't kill him."
CBD interview with Steve Smith, Baylor (College Baseball Daily)
The biggest challenge will be to replace the innings that we lost from last year. Replacing (catcher) Gregg Glime will also be a challenge. I expect that we will be a very competitive team. We’re talented across the board and we’ve got a lot of experience with position players. We’ve got to replace some innings on the mound, but we’ve got some guys in the pipeline that are ready to get after it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Greg Folgia slugs 2-run, 2-out walk-off homer to give Captains a 5-4 win (marylsommers.typepad.com, APril 6)
RF Greg Folgia (.255) slugged a two-out, two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning in Eastlake to give the Captains a Midwest League win over Bowling Green (Ky.).

Folgia's sixth homer of the season capped a three-run rally
. . .
Greg Folgia is 9-for-17 (.529) with a homer four RBI and four runs in his last four games


Current, former 'Jacks helping programs (Kilgore News Herald)
Two former Pump Jacks are still in Arizona, getting more work in before the opening of short-season professional ball. Brett Nicholas, the Texas Rangers’ 6th round pick last year, will return to the Spokane Indians (Northwest League) this summer
Minor Lines, 4/15 (McCovey Chronicles)
Fresno: SP Doug Mathis: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K--1 HB, 1 WP

Mathis had a solid start, getting 7 K and having a 9/0 GO/FO line. He did have a high pitch count, though, throwing 102 pitches (64 strikes) in five innings.

San Jose: LF Ryan Lollis: 4 for 6

Dominguez had his 3rd and 4th HRs this year. Hitting in the bottom third of the order, Liles and Lollis combined for nine hits.
Minor Lines 4/19 (McCovey Chronicles)
Fresno: 2B Brock Bond: 2 for 3, BB, CS

Batting in the top two spots in the lineup, Burriss and Bond combined for four of the Grizzlies' seven hits.
'Hawks continue to tee off on Mavericks pitchers (vvdailypress.com)
Catcher Trevor Coleman had two RBIs and right fielder Kalian Sams was 1-for-3 with two runs scored.
. . .
As the winds have begun to pick up and balls have begun to fly out of Stater Bros. Stadium, it helps having an experienced catcher like Trevor Coleman to get his pitching staff through the tough times when everything seems to be a hit.

Coleman, a 2009 9th-round pick out of Missouri, caught 81 games for the Mavericks last season and has caught nine of the first 13 games this season.

“It’s important to keep the ball down, you’ve got to pitch to the wind a little bit,” Coleman said. “With the wind blowing out to right, you want to use the opposite side of the plate, make them hit the ball the other way. It presents a different kind of set of challenges but we’ve got the pitching staff to do it.”

With seven of the team’s 13 active pitchers playing for the first time in the High Desert, having a catcher like Coleman to walk them through it has been a benefit according to Mavericks manager Jose Moreno.

“It’s real good to have him catching,” Moreno said. “He handles the staff real well. He has been working with the pitchers, has good communication, takes charge … it’s a big plus having a catcher that has been in the league.”

Coleman was also quick to point out however, that the pitching staff’s mentality and balance has made things easier.

“We’ve got a pretty even-keeled pitching staff,” he said. “They understand that balls are going to go out, and it’s going to be difficult for an outfielder to catch the ball. But they’re also going to reap the benefits from it when we’re on offense, so it goes both ways and both teams have to play out there. They seem to have a good grasp on it.”

Alexi Ogando rewards patient Rangers (espn.com)
Ogando kept working with the Rangers' coaching staff in the Dominican Republic, including manager Jayce Tingler and pitching coaches Jose Jaimes and Pablo Blanco.

"They taught him how to pitch from the stretch, to throw a breaking ball [slider] and figure out his changeup," Preller said. "They did everything from holding on runners to how to approach hitters. They deserve a lot of credit."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors: MizzouTube

video

It's about the ball, the bat, the mitt

"I never blame myself when I'm not hitting. I just blame the bat, and if it keeps, up I change bats. After all, if I know it isn't not my fault that I'm not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?" (Yogi Berra)

Baseball's power surge drops after introduction of new bats (NCAA.org)
Data from the NCAA statistics staff reveal that in Division I games through April 3 (essentially the midpoint of the season), scoring is down by more than a run per game per team compared with the same time last season (from 6.98 per team in 2010 to 5.63 in 2011), and home runs have dropped from .85 a game per team in 2010 to .47 this year.

Batting average has also declined sharply, from .301 per team at midseason last year to .279 so far in 2011. Conversely, earned-run average has improved, from 5.83 in 2010 to 4.62 this year. In addition, more shutouts have been thrown this year (444) compared with this time last season (277).

2011 Division I Baseball Midseason Trends compared to 2010 (ncaa.org)
Detailed statistical comparison
■ ESPN Sports Science presents BBCOR Bats Explained (youtube.com)

video


Chucking the wood? (ncaa.org)
With the new metal bats in college baseball performing more like wood, some people are asking why not just return the game to its roots, both figuratively and literally?

The wood-bat discussion in college ball is not new, but it strikes out more often than not. It may be closest to a reality in Division II, where three conferences (the Northeast-10, the East Coast Conference and the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference) use wood during the regular season and in their postseason regional.

Also, at its October 2010 meeting in Phoenix, the Division II Conference Commissioners Association resolved to support the idea of wood bats, with the intention of Division II collectively moving toward being a wood bat-only division by 2012-13.

While that sounds promising, the old factors of cost, quality and competitive equity always retire the side in Division I.

“It becomes a rather circular type of conversation,” said Big 12 Deputy Commissioner Tim Weiser, who chairs the Division I Baseball Committee. “And now technology has gotten us to a point where we’re able to mirror the performance of wood without the cost/quality issues we know we always face when we talk about the discussion of using actual wood bats.”

Jeff Schaly, the director of compliance at Lynn and chair of the Division II Baseball Committee, said people on both sides of the same argument are using this year’s results in the wood-metal debate.

“Those who support metal say let’s play with these new aluminum bats for a year or two and see if they really do perform like wood,” Schaly said. “If they do, then we don’t even need to talk about wood anymore. But those who favor wood are using these same data to support their case, too. If the metal plays just like wood, then why not go to wood?

“Each side of the argument is using these results to bolster their case, and neither side is wrong.”
What is the best BBCOR bat for 2011? (compositebats.com)
We hit every BBCOR bat on the market for three weeks straight. Combined, we put in over 10,000 swings on these bats. It all came down to sting, vibration and balance of the bat. All BBCOR bats have a smaller barrel than their BESR counter parts. All BBCOR bats feel heavier because more weight is distributed to the end of the barrel.

Here is the ugly truth about BBCOR bats… The “pop” is almost indistinguishable between bats. However, that is where the similarities end and the testing begins.

There were clear “winners” in the shootout. Not because one bat hit the ball further every time, but because one bat allows you to control the bat better and put the sweet spot on the ball more consistently. While they all hit the ball approximately the same distance, several bats had advantages in comfort and swingability that will ultimately help you be a better hitter.

Analysis of Baseball (May Swenson)
It’s about
the ball,
the bat,
and the mitt.
Ball hits
bat, or it
hits mitt.
Bat doesn’t
hit ball, bat
meets it.
Ball bounces
off bat, flies
air, or thuds
ground (dud)
or it
fits mitt.

Bat waits
for ball
to mate.
Ball hates
to take bat’s
bait. Ball
flirts, bat’s
late, don’t
keep the date.
Ball goes in
(thwack) to mitt,
and goes out
(thwack) back
to mitt.

Ball fits
mitt, but
not all
the time.
Sometimes
ball gets hit
(pow) when bat
meets it,
and sails
to a place
where mitt
has to quit
in disgrace.
That’s about
the bases
loaded,
about 40,000
fans exploded.

It’s about
the ball,
the bat,
the mitt,
the bases
and the fans.
It’s done
on a diamond,
and for fun.
It’s about
home, and it’s
about run.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mizzou Baseball Recruits

Baseball is catcher's business (Star-Telegram.com)

It's a thinking man's game.

Southlake Carroll catcher Patrick Quintanilla loves baseball for that very reason.
. . .
"I acquired an opportunity to play at Missouri with the Mizzou Tigers. I'm pretty excited. I'll be able to continue the dream of playing. I'll keep working hard and whatever happens, happens."

". . .academics are first always. I've been taught since I was a little kid you are a student-athlete. So I'll get my degree in international business. But baseball is life for me.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mizzou Baseball: What's that smell?

"You may go a long time without winning, but you never forget that scent." (Jim Busby)
"When you're hitting, you hit, and when you're not hitting - well, you just don't hit." (Roy Campanella)
"Hitting is an art, but not an exact science." (Rod Carew)
“Give me some scratching, diving, hungry ballplayers who come to kill you.” (Leo Durocher)
“A full mind is an empty bat.” (Branch Rickey)
“Let’s not get panicky.” (Branch Rickey)


College Baseball Daily CHAT, April 17 (collegebaseballdaily.com)

Tomas1976: Top 4 freshman (any position) in the Big XII?

William Knox: Texas' Corey Knebel and Erich Weiss, and Missouri's Rob Zastryzny are easily the top 3 (in no order).

Kansas takes series from Missouri baseball team (Columbia Missourian)
"We trust everybody on this team that they'll drive us in," Turner said. "Nobody is thinking someone's not going to drive us in. We have confidence in the next guy, and the guy after that."

Santo agreed: "If I get on base, I have confidence that the next guy will be drove in. We feel comfortable that we're going to have more guys on base. We're just waiting around for that big hit."

When looking at them stand on the base, it's hard not to think of Santo or Turner as the last kid patiently waiting on the curb hours after parent pickup at school.

Baseball takes series at Missouri (kansan.com)
Kansas can now take the momentum of winning three consecutive Big 12 series into a showdown with Texas on April 21-23.

“We opened conference play with four series wins out of the first five, and the great thing now is every week can become bigger than the last,” Price said.

PHOTOS: Mizzou baseball loses rubber game to Kansas, 6-0 (KBIA Sports Extra)

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: Turning over a new streak

PhotobucketMissouri baseball snaps record-tying losing streak (Columbia Missourian)
Something changed for the Missouri baseball team in the fifth inning of its 3-2 win against Kansas on Saturday.

With two outs, Missouri finally caught a break. A wild pitch by Kansas pitcher Tanner Pope led to the Tigers' first run of the game. A moment later, senior Jonah Schmidt got an RBI hit with a runner in scoring position, something the team has struggled to do over the past month.
Tigers put a stop to losing streaks (Columbia Tribune)
“There was tension,” Brown said of the Tigers’ mentality during the skid, “but I thought overall we’d come to the park each day with a solid approach: Try to stay relaxed and stay calm. We knew it couldn’t last forever, so we were just waiting for our opportunity. I think today is going to be the start of something good for us.”
Brown delivers for Tiger baseball (The Maneater)
If Missouri was ever going to get the monkey off their back, this was the time to do it.

The Tigers beat the Kansas Jayhawks 3-2 on Saturday at Taylor Stadium, thus snapping a grueling nine game losing streak, as well as a six game skid against Kansas

PHOTOS: Mizzou baseball gets a walk-off win against rival Kansas (kbiasportsextra.wordpress.com)

30 under 30: Jonah Schmidt (Vox Magazine)
When he's not studying finance and economics, he enjoys playing Call of Duty on his Xbox and taking his 2-year-old yellow lab to the dog park — he spends a lot of time there, he says. He also volunteers at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Columbia, likes Southside's pizza more than Shakespeare's and enjoys karaoke.

If baseball doesn't work out, Schmidt jokes his backup plan is to move to California with some teammates and start a boy band. For now, though, he might just lead the seventh-inning stretch.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mizzou Baseball: Records are made to be broken

Tiger baseball stays positive despite rough stretch (themaneater.com)
Although they have undoubtedly started slow, there’s still a lot for the Tigers to look forward to in the near future. Four of the Tigers’ six remaining Big 12 opponents are currently in the bottom half of the league’s standings (Baylor, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Nebraska). Missouri took their lumps against traditional powerhouses Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State early in conference play, but this upcoming stretch will serve as an opportunity to climb the Big 12 ranks.
Missouri baseball players don't let go of losses after leaving Taylor Stadium (Columbia Missourian)
Jamieson said it takes maturity for the players to leave games behind. He's not able to. Not even when Missouri is winning. He goes home and can't shut his mind off. There has to be a way to get better. There has to be a way to snap out of this.

But what is it? He said he's tried yelling, tried patting them on the back, tried kicking them in the butt. He sees how with every loss, the hill becomes that much steeper. The hole gets that much deeper.
Kansas extends Missouri's history-making misery (Columbia Tribune)
Missouri (13-21, 1-8 Big 12) matched a program record with its ninth straight loss as the school’s latest Friday night starter allowed the light-hitting Jayhawks six runs — five earned — on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings. It was also the last-place Tigers’ sixth straight loss to rival KU — the longest streak in the series in eight years.
. . .
“The greatest thing about baseball is there’s tomorrow,” senior Jonah Schmidt said. “You have a bad loss, well, who says you can’t turn it around tomorrow? Tomorrow’s going to be the day.”

“The sun will come up,” Jamieson said as he walked away from a postgame briefing with reporters.
Missouri baseball limps into weekend series with KU (Columbia Tribune)
Rival Kansas comes to town for a three-game series boasting a five-game winning streak against the Tigers.

“I’m sure they’re loving every bit of it,” Mach sneered, the memories of the Jayhawks’ one-hitter against the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium fresh in his mind. “We got to make sure we turn it around. With Kansas coming to town, it’s a whole new ballgame, and we’ll be ready. We’re going to put it on them.”

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mizzou Baseball: Rock Choke Jayhawks


■ "Yeah, I think so. You grow up being a Kansas fan your whole life and everyone hates Missouri, and wants to beat them as bad as they can. It's good to come out here, beat Missouri and get the win." - Jordan Dreiling (rockchalktalk.com, April 7)


2011 Preseason Big 12 Baseball Coaches Teleconference - KU Coach Ritch Price:
Q: Ritch, I gotta ask you. What's it gonna be like, not coaching a Price?

A: It's definitely going to be different. I jokingly tell people, If my wife hadn't cut me off, I'd have a lot better team.
Jayhawks fight way into finale (Lawrence Journal-World, May 29, 2006)
In a road rendition of the Border Showdown, bad blood spilled in the second inning when KU's Ryne Price, rounding the bases during a home-run trot, dipped a shoulder into Missouri third baseman Brock Bond.

The two players locked up and soon were on the ground scuffling. Players from both schools immediately scurried to the scene from positions, the dugouts and the outfield bullpens. Fists were flying in some confrontations.

Several players had to be restrained by teammates as the two sides faced off near the Kansas dugout.

The umpires and coaches eventually cleared the field, and the two head coaches met with the umpires to discuss ejections, which were handed out to Bond and Price, the sophomore son of Jayhawks coach Ritch Price.

Big 12 officials later ruled that Price and Bond were suspended an additional game, meaning today for Price and next week for Bond, should the Tigers make the NCAA Tournament.
. . .
Price said he thought the incident was unintentional.

"I honestly believe none of it was on purpose,'' Price said. "Ryne is running the bases, he's got his head down, and the third baseman just turned around and walked into him as he's running. They collided pretty hard.

"I don't think that either guy was intentional in what happened. I think it's something that just unfortunately happened. He got hit pretty hard, and he responded.''

■ Quotes:
“We’re the good people, they’re the bad people. That’s the best way I know to explain it. I don’t like their people, I don’t like their players, I don’t like a damn thing about ’em.” (Former KU coach Don Fambrough)

“They’re a bunch of thieves is what they are. And you can look it up in the dictionary. What the people in Kansas did I’m sure they felt was justified. And what we did over here we know was justified.” (Missouri historian Richard Sunderwirth regarding the Burning of Osceola, Mo., which predated Quantrill’s Raid of Lawrence by two years but was not nearly as bloody)

“Anybody that’s involved in a rivalry game like this, they can say they treat it like any other ballgame, but you don’t. They’ll run faster, they’ll jump higher and they’ll make plays in that ballgame that they wouldn’t make in any other ballgame.” (Former Mizzou basketball coach - and former MU Baseball pitcher -Norm Stewart)

“It doesn’t matter if you go 0-10 — you want to beat Kansas. It really hurts to lose against them.” (Ex-MU wide receiver Tommy Saunders after KU’s 40-37 victory in 2008)
■ It never gets old:

video

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: Kansas Jayhawks

■ The numbers (from Boydsworld.com, 4/14)

  • Record: MU 13-20 (1-7 Big 12); KU 16-17 (6-6)

  • Current RPI: MU 136th, KU 59th

  • Current ISR: MU159th, KU 89th

  • Strength of Schedule: MU 50th, KU 26th
There are still only 6 wins/losses separating the #1 teams in the Big 12 (Texas and Texas A&M, 9-3) and the #10 team (MU, 1-7), with 18 Big 12 games left to play for MU. Other than Texas A&M, MU's remaining opponents are 5th through 9th ranked teams. The Tigers reached 1-7 playing the current #1, #3 and #4 teams. ■ Baseball America Weekend Preview: Slumpin' (baseballamerica.com)
"I'm not making any excuses: The bottom line is we're playing well enough to stay close, not well enough to win," Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said. "The common denominator in those games is we've gotten good starting pitching, but absolutely no timely hitting. All those games we had either bases loaded or second-and-third situations late in the game, and all we needed was a hit, and we didn't get any hits. We just have not gotten that from this year's club.
Baseball turning the season around (kansan.com)
The Jayhawks’ youth and inexperience often led to underwhelming results when they first traveled away from their cozy nest at Hoglund Ballpark, going 3-10 on the road during the first two months of the season. But things have been different in April. Their slumping bats almost brought an end to the heartbeat of the Jayhawks’ season before it even began, and now, after being shocked by a defibrillator and brought back to life, the pulse of the lineup is beating stronger than ever. Senior outfield Jimmy Waters played a major role in the team’s turnaround. Waters has been on a roll since Big 12 play began, boasting the fifth best batting average in the conference at .378. “He is the heart and soul of the team,” Price said. “He made some really good adjustments about three weeks ago, and all of his hard work has paid off for him.”
Jayhawks break record for most hits and runs of the season (kansan.com)
The Jayhawks first hit in Tuesday evening’s game against Iowa flew over the left field fence, and junior first baseman Zac Elgie proceeded to take a lap around the bases. Elgie’s solo shot to leadoff the second inning gave Kansas a 1-0 lead to open the inning, and the Jayhawks ran away with the lead from there. The Kansas baseball team now sits just one game shy of .500, at 16-17, after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes 12-4 in Iowa City. The 12-run, 13-hit performance marked the most runs and hits the Jayhawks have had in a game all season. . . . The win continues to add to the momentum that the Jayhawks have recently gathered in Big 12 play. Kansas has won three of the four Big 12 series they’ve played this season, and this win marks their second road victory of the season. The Jayhawks hope to take their added momentum to Columbia this weekend, when they take on rival Missouri. “The win sets up the weekend to be really special,” Price said. “It’s rivalry week, and it’s going to be a really exciting weekend in Columbia.”
Former SF Prep star thriving during his first season with Kansas (sfexaminer.com)
In 14 appearances in relief this season, Frank Duncan has a team-best 1.19 ERA, only allowing three runs while striking out 23. This all coming from a guy who was largely overlooked by Division I schools. “It’s something that I never would have thought I would be doing, but here I am and I’m enjoying it,” Duncan said. “He’s been an impact guy for us as a freshman, which is really rare in our conference,” Kansas coach Ritch Price said. . . . “Coach Price took the chance on a small-school kid with 37 kids in his graduating class, which was another thing that I really liked,” Duncan said of his choice to attend Kansas. Duncan hasn’t let his new coach down. “When he got to our place in the fall, he was only throwing about 82 miles an hour,” Price said. “Now he’s throwing 88, touching 90 now, too. He’s made remarkable progress in one year.” Price sees Duncan as his go-to closer next year. He said if Duncan continues improving, he may break into the team’s starting rotation, a move that could force MLB to take notice. “I think he has a chance to make it to the big leagues if he continues his development,” Price said.
Tigers drop 8th straight (Columbia Tribune)
The base paths: Where Tigers go to die. . . . Since 2003, the Tigers have regularly ranked among the top half of the Big 12 in runs scored despite languishing in the bottom half in team average. The Tigers have totaled 150 runs this season, ranked ahead of only Kansas in the conference.
MU SOFTBALL Along with the baseball games and the Black & Gold Football game this weekend, be sure to wander across the Taylor Stadium "back yard" to University Field and join in on the excitement as MU Softball plays in front of the TV cameras. ■ Missouri softball enjoying sudden surge in popularity (Columbia Tribune)
Overflow crowds. ESPN cameras. Gary Pinkel throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Are college softball games officially becoming an event in Columbia? As No. 9 Missouri prepares for one of its biggest home series in history this weekend against preseason Big 12 favorite Oklahoma, the local — and national — spotlight has again gravitated to University Field.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mizzou Baseball: The morning after

Baseball Tigers continue swoon with loss to SIU-Edwardsville (kctv5.com)
“It’s been the story of our year so far. We haven’t been very good with runners in scoring position,” Schmidt said. “Tonight, we just couldn’t take advantage of our opportunities.
. . .
“We came out with low energy today,” said Mach. “A lot of us are struggling right now, and it’s important to just stay positive.”
. . .
“It’s just about execution,” Sommerfeld said. “People have been too anxious (at the plate), but we have to focus on slowing it down.”
. . .
“When Kansas comes to town, it’s a whole new ballgame. If anything, maybe it will jump-start us a little bit,” Conner Mach said. “Any win right now is a big win.”

Missouri baseball team drops eighth straight (columbiamissourian.com)
Silly base running. Hits into double plays. An inability to maintain momentum. In a 7-2 loss to Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, each mistake battered a team already displaying numerous bruises.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors & Majors

Three former Mizzou pitchers excel as pros (foxsportsmidwest.com)
The hill brings them back. Though Scherzer, Crow and Gibson have moved onto mounds under brighter lights, their time spent on The Summit has marked them. The lessons will never leave.

"If you were falling behind hitters, you ran the hill," Scherzer said. "It enforced the importance of working ahead against hitters, because that makes you successful."

Said Crow: "One time, when I was a freshman, I was supposed to run 15 or 16. I quit after 12."

Added Gibson with a laugh: "I think that was half my motivation to sign after my junior year."

Success binds Missouri's pitching lineage. Drive and discipline connect the players forever.

Read the rest of the story here. Excellent article.

Mizzou Recruits

Francis Howell wins again' Graves exits early with hand injury (stltoday.com)
A horde of people packed the stands at C&H Park on Tuesday to catch a glimpse of Francis Howell senior pitcher Brett Graves.

But the hearts of Vikings fans collectively skipped a beat when the hard-throwing right-hander took a comebacker off his pitching hand in the fifth inning of Howell's Gateway Athletic Conference South game against Holt.
. . .
"I'll have to go get it checked out tomorrow, but the trainer didn't say it looked too good," said Graves, a University of Missouri recruit. "I'm just being positive about it right now. I won't jump to any conclusions. It's definitely a scare, but we'll have to see how it goes."

Busiek pitches Lafayette over rival Eureka, 7-1 (newsmagazinenetwork.com)
In his first two starts of this season Lafayette senior lefthander Jake Busiek had been struggling to find a groove on the mound. But on Tuesday afternoon, the hard-throwing lefty got himself rolling early and he and the host Lancers dispatched Eureka 7-1.

Busiek was virtually unhittable as he went the distance, striking out seven Wildcats hitters and allowing just three hits.

“I just kept them off balance,” Busiek said. “I tried to get ahead with my fastball and them mix in some changeups and they worked pretty well.”

Getting just his third start of the season, Busiek was eager to erase a pair of forgettable starts that left him saddled with an 11.20 ERA and he looked comfortable and in control from the start of the afternoon.
“It felt good to be able to go out and throw strikes and get ahead of the hitters,” Busiek said. “It was my third start, so I wanted go out and hopefully find a groove and I think today was a good day.”

Francis Howell wins with offensive approach (stltoday.com)
Howell, the No. 1 team in the most recent STLhighschoolsports large school baseball rankings, scored in every inning but one in just about every way possible in its 8-5 win over Fort Zumwalt West.

"This felt good," Howell senior outfielder Jake Ivory said. "Top to bottom in our lineup, I feel like everyone can come up big in any situation. Everyone can do the job."
. . .
For Ivory, the home run was sweet. It was a part of a day in which he went 2 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
. . .
Ivory managed to close the game out, though, as he struck out Tony Baker to end the game.

Though he threw well, Ivory chose to credit the Vikings' starter for being the key to the win.

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: SIU-Edwardsville

■ The numbers (from BoydsWorld.com, 4/11):
  • RPI Ranking: MU 126th; SIU-E 258th
  • ISR Ranking: MU 148th; SIU-E 252nd
  • Strength of Schedule: MU 47th; SIU-E 233rd

After slow start Cougars baseball purring along (The Telegraph)
Gary "Bo" Collins is smiling more these days. His Southern Illinois University Edwardsville baseball team is giving him reason to grin.

The Cougars, once 1-11, have won nine of their last 13 games and are sitting at 10-15 heading into tonight's home game at 6 against Saint Louis University. Five consecutive home wins since March 29 has SIUE humming.

"We're getting better," said Collins, owner of 983 victories in his 33 seasons of coaching the Cougars. "We are starting to believe a little bit and we are getting good pitching and timely hitting.

"Things are rolling along right now."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mizzou Baseball: Crunched by the numbers

BoydsWorld.com has their RPI Needs chart up.
"This report lists the record each team would need for the rest of their schedule to finish higher than the team currently in the shown key RPI positions, those that correspond to the various seeding or at large thresholds, assuming that all other teams maintain their current winning percentage. It's highly speculative, since those RPI levels will move up or down, and the committee is highly unlikely to just take the top 8 in RPI for the national seeds, for example, but it can be useful as a rough guide."
For Missouri, currently ranked 127th in RPI, the chart says it is statistically impossible to win enough games to reach the top 32 in ranking, which would virtually guarantee an invite to the NCAA Regionals. Missouri would have to go 21-1 from here on out to reach the top 45, which would put them in contention for the final dozen or so spots in the bracket.

Again, as Boyd Nation says, this is all "highly speculative". And it doesn't factor in the possibility of the team reversing fortunes and going on a run that's not quite 21-1, but building momentum going into the Big 12 Tournament, the winner of which gets an automatic invite to the NCAA Tournament. MU still has Texas A&M to play, but other than the Aggies, the remainder of the Tigers' Big 12 schedule is against the teams currently in 5th-9th place in the conference standings. Only 3 wins or losses separate the 5th place team (KU) from the 10th place team (MU).

To see how these odds compare to the same time last season, check out this post on SimmonsField.com. MU was in a better position a year ago than they are now, statistically - and did not make the Tournament.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

■ Update: Nick Tepesch has been assigned to the Hickory Crawdads (Low-A South Atlantic League), Texas Rangers organization.

Rangers Farm Report (thenewbergreport.com)
Stars of the Game: Low-A: Nick Tepesch.
Nick Tepesch permitted a hit and struck out three in a 1.1-inning professional debut

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What's the problem????


The Problem is Taylor Stadium !!!
"The stadium is below par relative to other Big XII schools but . . . it is a vast improvement over its predecessor.

The school went cheap on it, but very few care about baseball at Mizzou, at least among big money boosters so there wasn't much that could be done about it.

Mizzou has made it clear that football and men's hoops are the priority. All other sports will fight for scraps and make due as best they can."

"The most beautiful thing in the world is a ballpark filled with people." (Bill Veeck)

"You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church." (Bill Lee)

The Problem is a Lack of Focus !!!!
Taylor had allowed 33 hits in 23.2 innings coming into the game, allotting to a .337 batting average against, but Missouri made him look good in his one-hitter.

“He was good, but he wasn’t great,” said Missouri outfielder Blake Brown. “We got good pitches. We made solid contact a lot, but we hit it right at guys and some people, like myself, were maybe trying too hard.”

“I don’t know if it was that he threw that well or we were that bad at the plate,” explained Missouri coach Tim Jamieson. “Guys [were] not focused.”
"We just want to win. That's the bottom line. I think a lot of times people may become content with one championship or a little bit of success, but we don't really reflect on what we've done in the past. We focus on the present." (Derek Jeter)

The Problem is Too Many Errors!!
• March 6 - Mizzou committed five errors in Saturday’s series opening 11-7 loss. Those errors compounded starter Matt Stites’ rough outing, as the junior college transfer allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits, four walks and four strikeouts over just four innings of work.

Error cost MU baseball game (Columbi aTribune, 4/9)
Shortstop Jesse Santo bobbled a ground ball, allowing the winning run to score with two outs in the ninth as the Missouri baseball team lost to Oklahoma State 3-2 in Stillwater, Okla.
"Bobby Knight told me this: 'There is nothing that a good defense cannot beat a better offense.' In other words a good offense wins." (Dan Quayle)

The Problem is Not Enough Strikes !!!!
“He struggled to throw strikes and that’s kind of been his downfall,” Jamieson said of Smith. “The whole pitching staff, when we’ve thrown strikes, we’ve been good. When we haven’t, we haven’t been good.”
"Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don't move." (Satchel Paige)

The Problem is the #$%^ BBCOR Bats !!!!
"Through seven games Mizzou, as a team, has shown about as much power as former St. Louis Cardinal and current Philadelphia Phillies infielder Placido Polanco.

The Tigers’ team isolated power (ISO, slugging percentage minus batting average—which measures a player’s true power) sits at .087 through 230 team at-bats. In 2010, Polanco’s ISO was .088.
. . .
So it’s not altogether shocking Mizzou’s power stats aren’t high to begin the season. What is surprising is that the team’s power numbers are those of a slap-hitting infielder. And that’s where the NCAA’s new bat regulations may just come into play."
"I struck out with two men on base. I was so angry, so frustrated, I turned and without even thinking about it, snapped my bat over my thigh. The bat split right in half. Afterward, reporters asked me if it was the first time I'd ever broken a bat over my thigh. "I broke an aluminum bat over my knee in college," I said. I was just kidding." Bo Jackson

The Problem is the middle of the order !!!!
• February 16th: “It’s been a while since we potentially had that much offensive production from those [positions],” said coach Tim Jamieson. “Usually we’ve had one guy at the top of the lineup and one guy at the bottom of the lineup, but with those two guys you’re talking about the 3-4 hole hitters.”

Both players fit perfectly into those spots in the lineup, with Garcia possessing plus on-base skills for a No. 3 hitter and Mach bringing good power for a No. 4 hitter.

“Conner especially is going to show some power—Eric’s gonna show some power too, but I think he’s a guy that’s gonna hit more for average,” added Jamieson. “Those are two guys who have a chance to be really good offensive players, not only for us but also relative to the other middle infielders in the Big 12.”
Opel shows signs of life for Tigers (Columbia Tribune, April 8)
The middle of Missouri’s lineup has been more vacuum than vaunted, especially early in Big 12 play. If the Tigers are going to make a charge at reaching the Big 12 Tournament, they’ll need their run-producers to get back on the assembly line.

Jonah Schmidt has been the best of the bunch, hitting .350 with four RBI in five conference games entering this weekend’s series at Oklahoma State. Around him, though, Opel, Conner Mach and Eric Garcia are hitting a combined .128 (6 for 47) with 10 strikeouts and just one RBI.

“Those guys need to perform well for us. Dane’s one of those guys, and you’re starting to see some of that,” Missouri Coach Tim Jamieson said. “For us to win in the Big 12, we need to have at least three of those guys, at least two of those guys, swinging the bat well, and we haven’t had that yet.”
. . .
If Opel can get back to last season’s numbers — he hit .270 with eight doubles and 30 RBI — Jamieson believes it will help the rest of the order. Pitchers tend to make more mistakes under pressure, and making mistakes to the likes of Garcia, Mach and Schmidt could come back to haunt the hurler.
"The math professor who taught us that it wasn't the answer to a specific problem that was important but, rather, learning to appreciate the interlocking coherence of the whole scientific view of the world. The English teacher who showed us the agonies of patience that went into crafting a poem so precise in its choice of words that we could read it a hundred times over fifty years and always find it powerfully true. The teachers, in other words, who taught us that love of learning --- for itself --- not love of grades, was the beating, enduring heart of education.

So too in games, the guiding principle that most often keeps people oriented through all their passages and changes is a governing passion for excellence. In baseball, that's what you discover at the heart of the order."
(Thomas Boswell)

The Problem is a Lack of Passion !!!!
"U could ask any and every player that had played missouri baseball in the past 10 years (since they went on there regional run) and they will all tell u the same thing about each team, each team played with passion and fight. They had "swag" and would do anything and everything to win each game. The teams the past few years doesn't have that. The swag left when u lost players like Bond, wendte, lawless, crow, gibson, fry."
"Passion, not pedigree, will win in the end." (Jon Bon Jovi)

The Problem is Kerrick Jackson !!!!
When Jackson held up the stop sign for Champagne, he took the pressure off LeMoyne, a 3-9 team that is prone to mistakes, and put it on Sommerfeld, his own player. A team that tries to bunt with its three-hitter in the first inning, cannot simply wait for the big hit in the ninth inning of a one-run game. If the Tigers do not anticipate the hit at the beginning, then why do they expect it at the end?

“You just had a guy thrown out at the plate a batter or two before that, so you’re going to be a little bit gun-shy,” said Jamieson. “It’s easy to second-guess, but that’s one out of six or seven plays that you could point at that make a difference.”

However, there is a flaw in that logic. It does not matter that a runner has already been thrown out at the plate – never mind that it was a completely different outfielder making the throw. That logic only justifies the fear of sending Champagne home, not the decision to hold him at third. If the Tigers want to be aggressive, then they also have to manage the consequences of those game-swinging decisions. For every few runners that take an extra base, one is going to be thrown out. When Jackson held Champagne up at third, he suddenly reversed Missouri’s offensive priorities.
“Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing-the result” (Vince Lombardi)

The Problem is Matt Hobbs !!!!
"His management of the pitching staff has been awful.. He, not our pitchers, should be to blame! He has several great arms on the bench that he is not even using.. Also, he is using guys in the wrong situations. How this guy got the job I have no idea."

"I have an idea what to do about the bullpen: napalm." (Stanley Wilson Williams, Seattle Mariners Pitching Coach, 1998)

The Problem is a Failure to Consistently Execute the Game Plan !!!!
Throw out the baseball textbook with this team. Throw out the rules that say you should not have your third hitter bunting in the first inning. Those rules do not apply to this club. Missouri should be playing that type of exaggerated small ball. A team without many power hitters – or even gap hitters – has to put the pressure on the defense before the pitcher puts pressure on its hitters. A team with only 20 extra base hits in its first 13 games – and only five in its previous six – is forced into that strategy. However, there is something to be said for consistency.

A philosophy this exaggerated can work and absolutely can lead to success, but it needs to be the team’s only identity. Missouri has attempted 29 stolen bases – persistent considering they have only been successful on 18 of them – but that is what the team needs to do to win. They need to continually put pressure on the opposition. They need to keep running and they have.
. . .
Now it seems as though that scratch-and-claw style may not be the key to their season, but consistency might be.

"My best game plan is to sit on the bench and call out specific instructions like 'C'mon Boog,' 'Get ahold of one, Frank,' or 'Let's go, Brooks.'" (Earl Weaver)

The Problem is the Team is in a Slump !!!!
In a 162-game schedule, clubs will generally lose 50 games and win 50 games. But it's what they do over those remaining 62 contests that either makes them a championship-type caliber team contending for the pennant, or an also-ran that finds itself out of playoff contention.

Obviously no player wants to be on a team that loses on a continuous basis. Victory is the main objective, and the more you win, the better it feels. And according to Catalanotto, all it takes is an instant to feel the pulse of a team and whether or not they are hot or cold.

"I think you can walk into any clubhouse and know whether it's a winning team or a losing team," he said. "There's definitely a different atmosphere. When we were playing good baseball and winning, the clubhouse seemed different. It seemed a lot looser and it was a fun place to come to. We looked forward to coming to the clubhouse. But earlier in the season it was very dreary and very blah and you could just kind of feel the tension in the air."
  • "Slumps are like a soft bed. They're easy to get into and hard to get out of." (Johnny Bench)

  • "My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging." (Hank Aaron)


The Problem is . . . That's Baseball
In everyday life, there are good days and bad. Everybody has them. In baseball, it's no different.

But unlike everyday life, bad days incurred by baseball players and teams can be quantified. Whether by batting average, earned run average or wins and losses, baseball's numbers tell us who's hot and who's not. Numbers, though, certainly don't tell the whole story.

So the next time you try to analyze these numbers, remember that there is no rationale, no hypothesis, no formula for extending streaks or curtailing slumps.

"Baseball is a funny game," said Kapler. "It's one of the hardest ones to explain and describe. There's a lot of feeling that goes on and the feeling is difficult enough to try and describe for someone who has gone through it but even more difficult to describe to somebody who is on the outside. There's really no terminology for it. It's just something in your body."


"When I played ball, I didn't play for fun. . . . It's no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It's a contest and everything that implies, a struggle for supremacy, a survival of the fittest." (Ty Cobb)