The games was like a lot of LSU losses this year. Get up early on a team and then try to coast to the finish on too few runs. Something after jumping on first time starter Lindgren immediately, the offense just seemed to get complacent and settle for some bad swings. It got worse at the end where a few batters just stood there not swinging and taking a K. A single run would have kept this game out of extra innings.
Of course, stopping State from getting 3 runs in the last 2 frames would have prevented the extra innings as well. Starter Eades had his best outing for a couple of weeks. While it wasn't spectacular, it was steady, and when ever he'd get into trouble, the defense was always their to bail him out. It's such an odd contrast to see in these games, where their is a strong intensity on defense, but then to turn around and sleepwalk through the at-bats. Cotton was alright in the relief, though some will question using him two days in a row as opposed to some of the other relief that had pitched successfully against State on Wednesday and was better rested. The elephant in the room here is Nick Goody, who has looked shaky on the mound since the Vandy blown save and is teetering on becoming a liability. He seemed to labor at the mound as soon as he got behind in the count. Credit should go to the Bulldogs who never gave up and seemed to feed off the emotion as their team came back. I've seen some people pissed about the post game dogpile, but I wasn't remotely offended by it. They swept a rival, a team that beat them in a weekend series, and the tournament's #1 seed out of Hoover and that's plenty reason to be happy. I'm here for the rest of the weekend and I'll probably be cheering for them as the lesser of two evils. I'll be damned if an SEC East team is going to win this thing again.
(You want something to be mad about? How about Cohen stopping play to discuss Rhubarb pie recipes with home plate up Tony Maners for 5-10 minutes in the middle of a freakin' at-bat. Mainieri was right to be pissed as it threw off what little rhythm Goody had been developing. We'll never know what the excuse was, but Mainieri's got a decent complaint to bring up with the league if he chooses to.)
It was disappointing, to be sure, but then no LSU coach will ever be immortalized for winning in Hoover. We've got some extra days to prepare for regional and likely super regional hosting. Time enough to make sure the team knows a 3 run lead isn't going to cut it in the post season and to find out what's wrong with Goody. Despite the problems, this team has the talent to get to Omaha. It's making sure that talent is applied that will be the key.
LINKS OF INTEREST
In which Mainieri shares the same distrust of the MLB's proposed "partnership" as I do
Our SBN Blog Bros recap of the game
Preview of today's games
Preview of this weekend's softball super regional, all 3 games are live on ESPNU and ESPN3.com starting at 6pm tonight.