It's not often a convincing series win feels like a disappointment, but this one kind of did. LSU really should have swept Ole Miss, but wasted a brilliant performance by Alex Lange on Saturday night. LSU would have to settle for beating Ole Miss in Baton Rouge yet again. Ole Miss is still searching for its first series win at LSU since 1982, a good two years before Skip showed up.
LSU thoroughly dominated the series, but only came away with a series win. The good news is, we'll never have to face that fat future accountant again. Sikes Orvis had a brilliant weekend, and it was good enough to steal a game.
CBI Composite: 3rd
CollegeBaseballInsider.com finally came up with something all of college baseball needed: a composite poll. They take the five writers' polls and combine them into one, useful ranking. Thanks, guys! That's now our go-to poll. LSU's rankings range from 1st to 4th, which is generous, given the loss this weekend. The RPI is still taking a beating, but LSU is beginning to show its strength in Boyd World's computer ISR poll. LSU is still comfortably a national seed.
The story of the weekend was the marvelous performance of Alex Lange, which resulted in a no-decision. Lange allowed only 3 hits over 8 innings, striking out 13 and walking none. He was thoroughly dominant, and his 13 K's match Aaron Nola's mark last season against Arkansas. So, yeah. This kid is good. And while I applaud a ton of strikeouts, did he really have to pitch the 8th inning agfter he had already topped 100 pitches? He's just a freshman, and he's got a long career ahead of him. There's no sense risking a pitcher's arm to win a game in March (one they would lose anyway, it turned out).
LSU lost on Saturday because Jesse Stallings blew his first save of the year while allowing his first run. He gave up a single on his first pitch, walked the next batter, and then gave up an RBI single to Orvis (that damned guy). That was the end of the night for Stallings, who has now pitched poorly in consecutive outings for the second straight weekend. This bears watching for the rest of the year, as we have a closer who apparently cannot pitch without a day's rest. That's not the biggest issue in the world, if you manage the bullpen effectively. But Mainieri has to recognize this is an issue.
Poche' had a nice Friday start and has solidified his role as the Friday ace, even as Lange asserts himself as the best pitcher on the staff. Jake Godfrey struggled a bit on Sunday, but the game was never much in doubt as he was staked to a huge lead. It might be tempting to call Godfrey a bit of a disappointment, which would be grossly unfair. He's not otherworldy like Lange is right now, but he has come in, as a freshman, and established himself as a viable SEC starter. That's no small feat.
Or What Lil Poseur Demanded We Watch Instead
Dora. God damn you, Dora. Look, I get the regular Dora cartoon. I'm not one of those parents that bitch about a children's program being, God forbid, aimed at children. And I like that the Lil Poseur learns the occasional Spanish word. That puts her ahead of her daddy, who is foreign language incompetent. I've got no problems with little Dora running around with her map and trying to avoid Swiper.
But what in the hell is this?
That, my friends, is Dora and Friends: Into the City. That is the Dora spin-off no one asked for, following the adventures of our favorite little explorer now as a tween! I swear, this show will drive me to drown a kitten. Never grow up, Lil Poseur.
Alex Bregman hit two home runs this weekend, including a shot on Sunday which may or may not have landed yet. He had a rough game on Saturday, but he was making good contact, so it's hard to knock his approach to the plate. Move his line drives a few feet in either direction, and he likely goes 3 for 6 instead of 1 for 6. The first four hitters in the lineup had a miserable night on Saturday, going a combined 2 for 25 on the night. Laird had a particularly bad night, lining out into a double play with one out the game winning run on third base. Still, it was good contact, it was just that sort of night.
Mainieri is slowly beginning to realize Scivicque is his best hitter. He's not doing anything so crazy as moving him into the top half of the order or anything, but he is at least playing all three games on the weekend, moving to the DH slot to give Papierski the start behind the plate on Sunday. He went 6 for 12 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored.
Connor Hale was the man of the weekend, though. He had a monster weekend, going 9 for 13 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, and 6 runs scored. He was a one-man wrecking crew.
Yes, the bats went silent late on Saturday, but it seemed more of an issue of general bad luck than a bad approach. Sometimes you make good contact and it's just right at the other guys. Outside of that rough six inning stretch or so to close out the middle game, the bats smacked around Ole Miss pitching all weekend, which is why LSU only trailed at the end of one inning all weekend long. Too bad that one inning was the last one of Game 2.
Tonight against Southern and then a three game set starting on Thursday against Arkansas. The Hogs are coming off a sweep at the hands of Vanderbilt, though the series was closer than it appears. The Hogs lost two of the games by a single run, and one in 12 innings.