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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back to the drama

OMAHA, Neb. - Greetings from Day 13 at the College World Series.

Four steaks have been consumed, two restaurants from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives have been visited and one waffle iron at the Fairfield free breakfast was mysteriously broken.

Is it just me, or did last night's game seem like NBA sixth game that is fixed so there will be a do-or-die seventh game for maximum television and gate money?

LSU appeared to be scrimmaging. The Tigers had not looked so bad offensively since a 3-1 loss to Nicholls State back on April 15. LSU's approach in a 5-1 loss Tuesday night seemed to be resemble a mid-week game against an in-state opponent. They didn't want to over exert themselves what with an SEC weekend coming up.

Tonight, weather permitting, is the biggest SEC Friday Night of all. And LSU's lackadaisical effort Tuesday could end up helping it tonight.

Pitcher Anthony Ranaudo should be at his optimum level of performance. Closer Matty Ott threw three innings Monday night and got the 7-6 victory in 11 innings, so he did not need to move a muscle Tuesday night and didn't. It was good not to throw bridge relievers Chad Jones and Paul Bertuccini either.

Mainieri even gave clutch hitting Sean Ochinko the night off. Leon Landry looked very good, though. I would start him again. Texas is throwing a so-so right-hander in Cole Green (5-3, 3.07 ERA). Landry makes the outfield better and he is nearly as fast as Jared Mitchell on the bases. When those two bat back-to-back, it is a dangerous weapon.

I would also like to see Tyler Hanover back at third base. He has a double and a home run in just a substitution role. Derek Helenihi is batting .052 with one hit in 19 at-bats and that lone hit was way back on June 13 when I remembered what my house looked like.

Helenihi has also only walked once. He's struck out five times. He has made some great plays at third base, but keeping him in the lineup now is sacrificing way too much offense. And Texas is not even playing small ball any more than LSU is now. You have to hit to win in Omaha. And momentum has nothing to do with anything. That's a football mindset, coach Miles.

The biggest wave of momentum cannot stop a good pitcher, and that's what Texas threw Tuesday and that's what LSU will throw tonight.

Even if Ranaudo would have pitched Tuesday night, LSU would have lost. What if Ranaudo had pitched Tuesday and lost? Where would LSU be tonight? LSU's second line of pitchers actually threw well enough to win Tuesday, but the hitters were resting themselves for the real game.

That's tonight. The Tigers will need Ranaudo at least seven and then get to Ott as quickly as possible.

LSU 5, Texas 3. The Tigers have been winning two out of three all year. And that's how it will end tonight.

Now, if I could just figure how to get a waffle iron on my expense account.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Mainieri liked LSU's chances against UT's # 2 pitcher, regardless of who pitched for LSU. He was right. Brilliant move!

Ranaudo scared me tonight. Mainieri left him in there. Brilliant move.

As before, I hoped Chad Jones would get to pitch again!! How many NFL safeties have pitched in the majors?

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, how many D-I athletes have won national championships in two major sports? LSU has two, Mitchell and Jones.

Yeah for Coleman!! Finished on a high note.

What a great group of kids.

7:56 PM  

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