Welp, guess it's time to blow up the stadium and start again, right? The dirty, stinking, no good, awful, evil, Greenies stole an early lead off of some not-ready-for-primetime arms, then sat back and watched as LSU's offense spun it's wheels all night long to a 7-1 loss.
The Wave rolled to a 5-0 lead early thanks to a handful of miscues and some timely hitting. After a promising start last week in the Pontiff Classic, FR Cole McKay got the nod last night and showed that he needs a bit more time in the oven. He had the high velocity, but after after getting the first two batters out, he lost all control and threw 16 balls in 17 pitches, giving the Greenies 4 straight walks with a run before he could be lifted for the returning Collin Strall. While Strall ended the damage of the first, he lasted no longer than McKay, giving up double, single, single for 2 runs before being lifted for Devall. After another single, and a pair of errors from Robertson at SS and Diechmann at 3B gave the Greeines 2 more runs before the inning was over.
Per Chandler Rome's recap in The Advocate, Paul Maineri didn't mince words:
"Those first two or three innings were as bad a baseball as we've played as far as I can remember," Mainieri said. "As far as the pitching and defense on the left side, I haven't seen anything like that in a long, long time. I was trying to reflect back when we played so poorly for two or three innings to start a game. And obviously the pitching set the tone."
And that was about it. LSU's bullpen of 7 more arms would give up only 2 more runs in the game, but the utter lack of run production that has plagued LSU for 2 weeks now continued. The Tiger lineup picked up seven hits, although three came in a ninth inning that prevented the shut-out. The Tigers committed three errors in total and left six runners on base. The loss drops LSU to 16-8 on the season and, sin of all sins, was Tulane's first ever win in the new Alex Box Stadium. The Greenies hadn't won a game in Baton Rouge since 2007.
It's not entirely a joke to say it's time to blow it up. Diechmann at 3B is not working and I'm not sure we can afford to wait on Lochridge to get his back out of traction. Robertson at SS isn't really doing that bad, but Alex Bregman he ain't, and the lack of security in the infield right now is just making things more difficult. Frankly, no one in this lineup should have a secure spot. Offensive production has fallen off so bad that it's time to see if there's a spark sitting on the bench somewhere.
Over the last few games, I've noticed Ben McDonald mentioning that LSU has the lowest strikeout total in the SEC (currently 101 on the season, far below any other SEC team) which to me, and I'm spitballing here, says that maybe we're too afraid to take a K? If LSU batters are swinging at everything just to avoid getting struck out, they're swinging at stuff that's not going to give them production, which leads to all the men left on base. It matches with LSU being smack in the middle in SEC team BA, but near the bottom in run production.
This is almost an entirely new team compared to the 2015 squad in terms of the lineup, so these growing pains should have been expected, but I'm not sure any of us are prepared for how painful this might be. Mainieri has proven time and again in his LSU career that he'll find a lineup that works eventually. It's also time for hitting coach Andy Cannizaro to start showing us why he was picked for this job. Auburn blasted Bama 10-1 last night in a neutral site game, and the whole SEC can smell the blood in the water with LSU right now.