Monday, February 25, 2013

9 Reasons to Not Give Up on the 2013 Tigers

1 Brett Graves has to be considered the "Ace" of the starting rotation at this point, with a 3.18 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 11.1 innings over his two starts. Opponents are hitting just .159 against him. Ian Kinsler has been quoted as saying Graves is pitching like a big leaguer.
Graves has been very impressive this year with the bases empty, and he was dominant for most of his outing against Memphis as he retired the first 13 batters he faced, carrying a perfect game into the fifth inning. (The Extra Nine: A Mizzou Baseball Blog - Week 2,
2 Rob Zastryzny has struggled in his first two starts (0-2, 6.75 ERA, 14 hits and 8 earned runs in 10.3 innings), but this is actually pretty much in line what Rob Z did last year. His first 2 starts in 2012 lasted a combined 8.2 innings and netted a 5.78 ERA, but he finished the season with a 3.80 ERA.

3 Eric Anderson had a good start in his first time back on the mound
The highlight of the day for the Tigers was the season debut for redshirt junior Eric Anderson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), who made his first start and first pitching appearance since March 9, 2012, after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May of 2012. Anderson went 2.0 innings, allowing two hits, a walk and an earned run in his 2.0 innings of work. He threw 31 pitches in the start, 19 for strikes. (
4 Alec Rash has started the season well (2 APP, 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, .056 Opp BA) and will continue to get more innings and more appearances.
Mizzou spoiled a great relief outing by freshman Alec Rash (Adel, Iowa), who went 4.0 innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out three. He was a tough-luck loser on the day after the leadoff man in the seventh reached on an error at short and eventually came around to score as the go-ahead run after three wild pitches. (
5 Jace James has given up 4 hits in his 5 innings over 3 appearances, but has surrendered no runs, earned or not, and only a single walk. He is on his way to being the anchor of the bullpen.

6 Dylan Kelly has gotten off to a good start in the opening weekends. He leads the Tigers in hitting (.412 BA, 7-for-17, 2 R, .444 OBP, 1 BB, 4 SO), and has distinguished himself as a tough take-charge catcher behind the plate.
Arguably the best weekend performance for Mizzou went to catcher Dylan Kelly, who batted an unconscious .556 (5-for-9) at the dish against Memphis. (The Extra Nine: A Mizzou Baseball Blog - Week 2,
7 Kendall Keeton (.286, 6-for-21, 2 2B, 1 RBI, leads regular starters with only 2 strikeouts) and Dane Opel (.278, 5-for-18, 1 3B, 2 RBI, .458 OBP, 2 BB, 4 HBP, 5 SO)aren't hitting in the .400s like Kelly, but they're doing better than the rest of the lineup, and providing some leadership for the offense.  They've been helped by Keaton Steele, whose .222 batting average may be unimpressive, but his contributions to the offense have come in other ways:
He currently stands at 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position, and he leads the team with four RBI, tallying two RBI in each weekend of the season. (The Extra Nine: A Mizzou Baseball Blog - Week 2,
8 Breckin Wiliams sticks out among a struggling bullpen with his inning and two-thirds work over two appearances, with only a single hit and no runs - earned or not - to his credit.

9 Missouri seems to always start the season slowly, especially in offense. After the first 9 games in 2012, Missouri's record was 4-5. Scott Sommerfeld and Dane Opel led the team with batting averages of .348 and .333, but from there it went downhill quickly. Ben Turner .276, Brannon Champagne .242, Blake Brown .240, Conner Mach .219, Eric Garcia .219

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