In one of the stranger games you'll see, LSU defeated Georgia 16-0 in what will be the first game of a double header, as LSU stays alive in the SEC Tournament. The LSU offense got started with a weather-aided 7-run first inning, against Georgia starter Alex McCree before a 4 hour rain delay. It continued a few innings later against the first Georgia reliever, as we put up a 6 run 4th, and then a 3-run sixth.
I don't want to belabor a point, but I really think this could have been a much different game had it not gotten started in the middle of a downpour. Georgia was set up to give us a game, with a left-handed starting pitcher and a number of left-handed relievers ready to follow him up. The rain seemed to affect him, and when the teams came back after the rain delay, McCree did not return to the mound.
Meanwhile, Daniel Bradshaw pitched a whale of a game, throwing a complete game (7 innings, thanks to the Mercy Rule, so-named because its application here was merciful to the fans) 3-hitter.
Georgia is probably going to come right back at us with another left-handed pitcher, Jason Leaver, but his ERA is quite high. I suppose we'll counter with Chris Matulis.
At this point, our bullpen is really is good shape. So far this week, we have thrown the following relievers:
Daniel Bradshaw (4 batters faced)
Chad Jones (5 batters faced)
Paul Bertuccini (4 batters faced)
Matty Ott (10 batters faced)
Buzzy Haydel (5 batters faced)
Bradshaw is clearly spent, having pitched 7 inning tonight. Other than him and the other starting pitchers, though, we should have our entire bullpen available. Plus, we still haven't seen Nolan Cain, Ben Alsup, Ryan Byrd, or Jordan Nicholson, all of whom have seen significant action this season.
If we're willing to rely heavily on the back half of our bullpen, I really think we can win this tournament without killing our pitching staff.
The big thing in my mind is to resist the temptation to pitch Austin Ross if we make it to the championship game against Vandy. We would have the option of pitching Ross in the first game of the regional if we don't pitch him anymore this tournament. I'm not saying we should pitch Ross in Game 1, but it would be nice to have the option.
The second game of the double-header will probably be over before you read this, but I don't know if I'll be staying up to watch it. We'll see.