This early in the season the numbers mean very little. In the past we’ve seen guys that see action early disappear as conference play begins and sometimes those you’ve never heard of play larger than expected roles. That was the case this past weekend.
I won’t bore you with the full on slate of numbers at this point as my confidence level in what that means for the season as a whole is about 5%.
Let’s start out with the most important number of the weekend: 3 – as in three wins for a team that went 25-27 last season and found ways to lose. Friday’s game was no contest with Mack Anglin throwing darts, but Saturday’s laugher felt like a game that could have gotten away last season despite it ending up being a 19-4 debacle.
The Tigers were down 4-0 early and their starter only lasted 1.2 innings. So yes, it ended being a blowout, but those who watched the game know it was tenuous until the 7th.
Sunday was closer than it should have been and the Tigers pulled it out by manufacturing 3 of their 5 runs including the game winner in the 10th. Again, it could have very easily gone the other way and did a lot of times last season.
On selection Sunday, getting 3 wins against Indiana instead of 1 or 2, could make a difference, either in making the field or perhaps in a seed or location.
Mack Anglin looked great on Friday, giving up 0 hits in 5 innings, but the two Nicks struggled on Saturday and Sunday. The bullpen was lights out, but you can’t expect them to throw 18+ innings every weekend. Anglin threw strikes on 33 of his first 50 pitches and then followed that up with 22 in his final 32.
Ryan Ammons did not look like a closer and it was curious for Monte Lee to go to his designated closer in the 6th.
Loved what I saw from Alex Edmondson on the mound.
Curious about Geoffrey Gilbert’s role moving forward given what I said about Ammons above. Gilbert looked sharp, but had only 1 appearance on the weekend and Lee went with Caden Grice in the 10th and not Gilbert. This is something we discussed on the Twitter Spaces with JP Priester. The longer role will limit Gilbert’s appearances.
Only 6 extra base hits on the weekend for Clemson. We’ve seen this before and the Tigers went on to hit for power, but just something to keep in the back of your mind.
Benjamin Blackwell has added something to the lineup and not just his first pitch home run on Friday. My numbers show the 9 hole hitter created 4.8 runs during the series, second only to Caden Grice (6.2).
Blake Wright had a tough series, going 1 for 12 with 5 strikeouts and failing to advance runners multiple times on Sunday.
Cooper Ingle finally looks like the guy Monte Lee said he would be since last year. Ingle adds something offensively from the catcher position, but I think French is better defensively and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out over the course of the season.
Caden Grice had a huge Sunday. Grice went 6-12 for the series, with 4 walks, a SF and a bomb that I’m not sure has landed yet, then topped it all off by pitching the 10th and getting the win on Sunday.
Weekday games are important. Win a couple more of those last year and the streak of winning seasons would still be intact.
Next up, a single game with the Charleston (3-0, RPI 63) tomorrow, before a 3 game set with Hartford (0-0, RPI 230) in Clemson over the weekend.