In a double elimination tournament, your second game is often your most important game of the week. Especially if you win your first game. This is the "marble" game, in which the winner gets to sit back and relax while the loser has to win a game to force a rematch. And then if they win the rematch that they forced with that one win, they have to win again. That's a lot of winning. A loss here not only puts LSU a game away from elimination, but it means that the Tigers would have to win three games to advance to the finals. A win here and LSU will have two chances to win one game to advance. That's a stark difference. This game is huge.
Today's Opponent: Arkansas
Record: 35-19 (18-11), 3rd in the SEC
When Last We Met:
LSU 6, Arkansas 2
Arkansas 8, LSU 3
LSU 5, Arkansas 3
Arkansas won four of their final five series after the LSU series, but a lot of that had to do with the soft landing that was their schedule. Their one series loss was to Auburn, so let's not get too crazy. Still, they finished strong and have been rounding into postseason form. Give them credit, they took advantage of their easier schedule. Still, they are still the same pitching and defense team they were when they played them. And I still hate them and hope the field at the Met opens up and swallows their team whole.
What Drive-by Truckers Album Should Serve as the Soundtrack?
Look, the idea of listening to the CSS crew for a full game is just too much for me to take. I highly recommend cranking up Spotify or the Cloud player of your choice, and listening to some southern rock n roll instead of the broadcast. For each game, I will roll with a different DBT album, on repeat.
This is a big game, and one that is likely to stress me the hell out. So you need some tunes that will match your stressed out mood throughout. We need the slower tempos and darker subject matter of Brighter Than Creation's Dark. Even the songs that sound happy are depressing as hell (Perfect Timing, Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife). I plan to be a big bundle of stress, listening to the piano chords of You and Your Crystal Meth, praying that we can scrape out the win. This is not a game meant to be enjoyed, it will be survived. We won't talk about what went down at the Goode's Field Road.
Likely Pitching Matchup:
Aaron Nola v. Ryan Stanek
Let's roll out some aces, y'all. This is a heavyweight tilt, and it's an all hand's on deck sort of game. You have to win this one. Let it all hang out. Other clichés. Let's do this. Actually, Stanek is not Arkansas' nominal ace, but he did beat LSU in his start, and that has to count for something.
TV: SPSO - SportSouth, Sun Sports, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Houston (Watch on ESPN3.com)
Radio: SiriusXM 91 (Free National audio stream from the SEC)
Game 11 - 9:30 a.m.
#3 Arkansas vs. #2 LSU - LIVE STATS
How They Got Here
Series Record - LSU 2-1 @ Arkansas
ARK - RHP JR Ryne Stanek (8-2, 1.54 ERA, 82.0 IP, 32 BB, 72 K)
LSU - RHP SO Aaron Nola (10-0, 1.99 ERA, 95.0 IP, 13 BB, 97 K)
Game 12 - 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 11
#9 Texas A&M vs. #5 Mississippi State LIVE STATS
How They Got Here
Series Record - State 3-0 @ A&M
A&M - RHP JR Rafael Pineda (5-4, 3.09 ERA, 58.1 IP, 15 BB, 31 SO)
STATE - RHP SR Kendall Graveman (5-5, 2.99 ERA, 87.1 IP, 23 BB, 55 K)