It's nice to start the season off with a sweep. Winning is always better than losing, just ask Alabama fans.* So let's start things off on what matters most - LSU is 3-0.
*Yeah, I know FAU is a pretty good baseball team, but getting swept? At home? It ain't football season anymore.
Lessons learned? Well, it's pretty hard to draw any conclusions off of a weekend sweep of Air Force and Alcorn St. AFA didn't even win 20 games last season. Alcorn St. did win the SWAC, but they failed to have a winning record overall. Neither of these teams are very good, so let's not read too much into these games.
Then again, 33-2 is pretty darn impressive.
All of the starters were as impressive as advertised. Only Kevin Gausman allowed a run, earned or otherwise. The combined line of the starters was 17 IP, 1 R, 8 H, 4 BB, and 19 K. One first inning home run ruined a nearly perfect weekend for the starters. Eades, especially, was great. And he needed to be, staked to a mere 19-run lead.
Seeing Mainieri go to the bench early and often made me happy. He's been reluctant to use the bench early in the season in the past, which has hamstrung the offense. If you don't know what you have on the bench, you are less likely to use it.
12 players got a start and 16 players got at least 3 at bats. Sure, a lot of it was emptying the bench in a blowout, but this is when you need to play with the bench. That's not even counting Alex Edward, who missed the series with an injury. Of these 16 players, all but two got a hit, and only Arby Fields failed to reach base.
So, 33 runs, all of the offensive problems are solved, right? Well, not quite. Even without accounting for the quality of opponent, there are still some causes for concern. Though I am excited by the fact that there was not a single sacrifice all weekend long. Even in the 4-0 Sunday game, Mainieri avoided the bunt game.
You score 33 runs, you expect to see some gaudy offensive numbers. However, that wasn't really the case. LSU hit 304/442/422 on the weekend. Believe it or not, LSU had a higher OBP than slugging on the weekend. Part of that is because the team had a great weekend in terms of getting on base, but also it is a problem with a lack of power.
LSU had 8 extra base hits all weekend, which is a low number given the offensive explosion. Not a single player had more than one extra base hit all weekend. This was a well-balanced attack, which is both good and bad. It's good for the obvious reason that last year's biggest issue was lack of balance, but you would still like to see one guy trying to step up as the man. You're guess is as good as mine on who the team's best hitter is.
Even after 33 runs in three days, hitting is still a question mark. It's just the opening series. Let's just enjoy being 3-0.