It wasn’t a surprise to see LSU struggle in Game 1 vs Florida, but that doesn’t make the reality of the situation any easier to cope with. Rather than risk a bad short rest start for Poché or Lange, Coach Mainieri decided to play the long game and patch together what he could for Game 1. The sad thing is, it almost paid off spectacularly. If not for Russel Reynolds staying in a bit longer than he should have, a mistake Mainieri admitted happened because he “got too greedy”, LSU could well have pulled an upset against one of UF’s best arms.
But it was not to be, and now the Tigers are on the razor’s edge. You can have all the confidence in the world in Poché and Lange, but you also have to deal with the panic of no tomorrow. This is it. Win or go home. The stakes do not get any higher.
If LSU is to see another sun rise on Omaha, then Poché will have to re-write 2 records tonight. He’ll set one just by starting. It will be the 70th start of his LSU career, breaking his own record that he set when he passed the great Lane Mestepey last week. More importantly, Poché will also need to break his own record of 39 career wins. And it needs to be a deep run, as LSU will need everything and the kitchen sink to fend off a rumored appearance by UF’s ace Alex Faedo in Game 3. He’ll be up against Fr RHP Tyler Dyson (3-0, 3.55 ERA, 33 IP, 23 App, 1 GS, 45K, 8BB) Dyson has only gone more than 2 innings once in his career (5 in relief vs Wake Forrest in the Supers), so I’m not sure Florida expects him to go very far. getting to him early, and destroying the UF bullpen in the process, will be key if LSU wants to pull this off.
Poché going long will be critical, but he’ll have some backup...
70 Starts. 40 Wins. Those are nice round numbers. Let’s go get’em.