Well it's about time Ranaudo came back to form. He looked just fantastic out there as he pitched 7.2 excellent innings, his longest outing of the season. He was probably left in longer than he should have been in the 8th, but as he had the last out on a full count before walking him, I'm not worried about it. His line for the night was 5 ER,8H,5W,5K (2 of those runs after Bertuccini came in). It was unfortunate that Bertuccini had to come on with 2 on, as it seems he still takes a batter or two to find his groove. He was able to find it and stymie the late Florida rally, securing a 10-6 victory.
Meanwhile, It's safe to say the offense is nearly firing on all cylinders. We still left a few too many men on, including yet another instance of leaving them loaded, but that tends not to matter when you get 19 hits and a 5-run 2nd inning. I was worried about Watkins being subbed for Katz, but in his 3rd or 4th ever start Mason came to play for 3 hits including a 2 run single and some very heads-up plays on defense. He was also part of another big surprise in back-to-back singles with Edward, which happened twice in the game and suddenly adds that spark to the end of the lineup we have been looking for all year. Hell, even Mahtook got off the skid for 2 hits and a RBI.
Don't discount this as UF sleeping through the tourney with a host site already locked up. They pitched their Sunday starter and when Ranaudo started to fatigue they struck very quickly. And we'll be getting an even more focused opponent in Vandy tonight as they are trying to play themselves into a hosting spot.
Ross gets the start and Ott is waiting in the pen. When CPM brought Bert in, he sent a very clear signal that Ott has slipped in the pecking order of the bullpen. Maybe that will be the motivation he needs to get things going again.
Check the SBNation Vandy Blog Anchor of Gold for recaps and their thoughts on their game against a battered Arky last night that ended around 11:45pm, a time when the 4th game used to start on Day 1. I have to say that if I didn't already know that there was a pitch clock, I never would have noticed. It seems just the threat of being penalized for taking too long is enough to speed up pitchers and batters. This may be the first rule change ever instituted by the league that has gone off so successfully.
For the locals, today's TV coverage is entirely on Cox Sports, with Dave Neal and the Zombie Crew calling the morning shift.
EDIT: Vandy will start Taylor Hill. And I need better Photoshop skills....