These midweek games are killing me. After blowing out SLU, LSU had to turn around the next night to face ULL. This forced Mainieri to find a fifth starter. Now, most Major League teams don't have a reliable fifth starter, but LSU needs to have won because of the shortened schedule. So Mainieri looked down his bench and settled on Nolan Cain. How did that work out?
Well, LSU was down 7-1 midway through the 4th. Cain and Mathews combined to make ULL look like the '27 Yankees. To LSU's credit, they rallied back and tied the game in the eighth, overcoming the deficit, a rain delay, and an ever shifting strike zone from the home plate umpire. Then, Ott picked a bad time to throw his first bad pitch of the season, and ULL won on its 9th inning home run.
LSU simply doesn't have the pitching depth to handle two midweek games. Then again, almost no one does. So, as we head into the SEC schedule this weekend, what does the staff look like?
Ranaudo and Ross are locks for the rotation. There's been noise about moving Bradshaw out of the weekend rotation because, um, he had one bad outing. This makes no sense to me, but whatever. The talk is that Coleman will be the Sunday starter. Matulis will be our Tuesday starter and whoever steps out of the locker room first will start on Wednesday.
If Coleman is a starter now, then Bradshaw takes over the Coleman swingman role in the pen. Bertuccini is still our fireman, coming in at the worst moment with runners on. And Ott is the closer.
After that, the pen is pretty thin. Byrd only has thrown 2 innings and I'm not sure why. He could be the other midweek starter or he could be on of the few lefties in the pen. Zeigler's the other lefty option after converting from the outfield.
Who's left? Cain, Nicholson, Alsup, and Mathews have all been varying degrees of unreliable. I honestly don't want any of those guys pitching in a close game right now. Which means, during the weekend, we have a three-man rotation and three-man pen (maybe four if you count Byrd).
Which means I can't wait until we're done with two midweek games. It's killing the staff.