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Baseball Takes Two From Kentucky

I admit it.  I missed all of Sunday's double header because I was at a wedding.  It was a pretty wedding and you would have really enjoyed it.  But nobody threw a curveball or anything, or even wore an lLSU cap, so I'm kind of out of the loop on what happened.

OK, my girlfired has the internet on her phone and was kind enough to let me check the stat updates.  So I knew we spilt the series and knew the games were low scoring and close, but I have no idea how the games actually went.  So I'm 100% free of analysis of the Sunday games.  I'm glad we at least won the series.  Yay.

However, the Friday game demonstrated some of the problems the team has going forward.  There's an old adage in baseball: great pitching beats great pitching.  I'm sure you've heard my addendem: great hitting crushes good pitching.  Tonight, LSU gets to take out some of its frustations on NSU, so I expect the offense to score double digit runs. 

But LSU's offense has now been absolutely stagnant against great pitching.  Illinois punished our offense and Kentucky kept the bats almost equally quiet all weekend.  I'm trying to take the longview: how does theis team measure up come Omaha?  and eventually, its going to have to figure out how to score runs against goood pitching staffs because right now, the offense just craters once it runs into a good pitcher.

Also, since I'm in a negative mood in light of LSU basketball getting hosed with an 8 seed, let me once again say bad things about an excellent baseball coach.  On Friday, Ranaudo had thrown over 100 pitches through six innings.  Ranaudo also was obviously struggling in the sixth.  After being dominant in the first five innings, including 13 strikeouts of the 15 recorded outs, the 6th inning was pretty rough.  Kentucky got two hits and only failed to score because of a tag out at home plate.  It was the first inning in which Ranaudo didn't have a strikeout and he allowed 2 of the 4 hits he allowed to this point. 

Look, I'm not a strict 100 pitch count zealot.  I think it's good guideline, but I do believe that ptichers get hurt when they are pitching tired.  They also allow runs.  Ranaudo made it through six innings, and Mainieri sent him out there for the 7th, but even without knowing the pitch count, you could tell Ranaudo was tired in the 6th.  His strikeouts evaporated and the Kentucky batters started to put the ball in play.  In an effort to let Ranaudo get the win, Mainieri let him pitch the next inning when he was obviously out of gas, or close to it.  The result?  Ranaudo loses the win and a late rally bails out the bullpen. 

Ranaudo desrved the win.  Mainieri has to make the tough call and pull his stud pitcher when he's getting tired.