LSU fans are so spoiled that sweeping a top 25 is generally greeted with relief. Hey, thanks team for not choking away a three-game sweep of the entire weekend! But that's where we are right now. We've gone past the point of expecting victories and now we expect total domination. Luckily, the team is mostly up for the task.
The only team ahead of LSU in both computer polls is UCLA, who is becoming a real thorn in the side of LSU baseball. If LSU can lock down the regular season SEC title this weekend, then there is simply no possible way for LSU to not get a national seed. The real question is whether LSU will get a #1 overall seed. Right now, I'd guess no. Not just because of the #5 RPI, but because LSU only has gone 3-1 against the RPI top 25. Only one other team in the RPI top 10 has as few victories over the top (#10 Missouri St. at 2-3), and the next highest ranked team to only have played four games against the RPI top 25 is #16 Houston. Bulk up the schedule, guys.
Mainieri spun the giant Wheel o' Pitchers to find his third starter this weekend and it landed on Kyle Bouman. Bouman was probably auditioning for a spot on the postseason roster, as he's been pretty well buried on the depth chart all season. This was a second chance for him to shine. Ummmm... it didn't go well. Bouman recorded one out, never a good sign for a starter. He left the game have only faced four batters, and the team down 3-0. Austin Bain swooped in and pitched 5.1 quality innings to give LSU a chance to come back and win the game.
LSU's bullpen went up in smoke in the late innings again on Sunday. Zac Person got through the 8th without much trouble, so Mainieri decided to stick with him instead of going to his nominal closer, Jesse Stallings. Person allowed a base runner due to a pretty bad error by Zardon, so Mainieri decided to bring in Stallings not to start the inning, but with a runner on 2nd and 1 out. Stallings wasted no time in giving up a game-tying double to the next batter, but then worked out of the rest of the inning. Stallings started the 10th by allowing two hits, including a double, and it seemed like Mizzou was set up for the big inning. However, Russell Reynolds came in and worked his way out of a bases loaded jam without giving up a single run.
The short story is, now instead of not having a third starter, LSU's pitching problems have extended to not having a third starter or a closer. We're going into the final week of the season and I think its safe to say everyone's role in the bullpen is up for grabs (except maybe Bugg, who is the lock down emergency relief ace to bring in with runners on).
Not all the news is bad, as Alex Lange had his best start in a month, looking a lot more like a Golden Spikes nominee than he has over his last few starts. He and Poche' flat out dominated Missouri in the first two games which were, to be honest, rather dull.
What Lil Poseur Wanted to Watch Instead of Baseball
This was also a bit of a Daddy call because, like I said, the games were sort of dull. But Disney announced this week that the world's longest summer vacation is finally coming to an end this year. Yes, the greatness of Phineas and Ferb is finally coming to a close (well, it will live on in syndication for eternity). It will close with a 73 hour marathon on June 9th, so parents, get your DVR ready.
Phineas and Ferb is the greatest children's TV show of the past decade. It's funny, creative, and it doesn't make you want to drive an iron spike through your eardrums as a parent. In fact, there are times I enjoy the show more than the Lil Poseur, though of course, for different reasons. The evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz is just a brilliant character, and I root for him the same way I root for the Coyote. You know he's doomed, but that just makes him more loveable.
This is a bigger deal at Poseur HQ than Mad Men ending.
Let's pour one out for Jay Frosty, who was ruled academically ineligible last week and will be unable to play again this season. As a senior, this marks the end of his LSU career. It's a terrible way to end your career, but LSU is a school first. You have to keep your grades up. We'll miss Jared Foster in the lineup.
LSU pounded out eight runs in each of the first two games, turning both into laughers pretty quickly. The big weapon for LSU was that the Tigers were able to run at will against the Missouri battery. The Tigers stole eight bases on Friday and another two on Saturday. The well dried up on Sunday, but we'll get to that in a second. LSU blew open the games early and never looked back in the first two games.
Sunday was a different story. The Tigers found themselves in an early 3-0 hole, and spent most of the game trying to dig out of it. The final three innings was LSU trying to protect a narrow one-run lead, which they never really threatened to extend. However, when down, LSU kept threatening until coming up with the runs. And in the 10th, LSU set up and then knocked in the winning run without giving up a single out. If ever there was a clutch performance, this was it. When LSU needed the bats to come through, especially with the pen struggling, the lineup responded.
LSU is virtually guaranteed to have pitching problems in the postseason, so it puts a premium on the lineup to get clutch hits. They came through in style on Sunday. That's going to be the formula for LSU to advance: winning it with offense in the late innings. This team can't rely on the arms to get the big outs, it needs to rely on the bats to get the big hit.
Final week of the season! LSU goes on the road to New Orleans, and then closes out the year in Columbia against South Carolina. USC is 12-15 in the SEC and fighting for an at large spot in the NCAA tournament. This is a huge weekend for them. LSU has a two game lead over both A&M and Vandy, and likely needs just one win to lock up the SEC title, but let's win the series just to be safe.