Friday, April 10, 2009

Monar Goes the Distance as Hoosiers Win 6-2

In what we hope will be the first of many complete game efforts in a Hoosier uniform, freshman Blake Monar threw 9 strong innings and struck out a career-high 9 batters as IU downed Iowa 6-2 Friday evening. The lefthander scattered 10 hits and walked only 2, baffling the Hawkeyes batsmen on a number of occasions with his breaking ball and changeup. The win improves IU's record to 4-2 in the conference and 14-17 overall.

Leftfielder Kipp Schutz led the way at the plate with 3 hits (including a double) and 2 RBIs, while Jerrud Sabourin also contributed a pair of hits (both for extra bases) and RBIs. Josh Phegley (C) and Tyler Rogers (2B) each had 2 hits as well. The Hoosiers banged out 10 hits for the game, and none was more timely than Schutz's pivotal 2-out, 2-run single in the top half of the 6th that stretched IU's lead to 3-1. After Iowa tallied its 2nd run in the 7th, the Hoosier batsmen gave Monar some much needed breathing room by putting 3 runs on the board in the 9th and helping him pick up his 4th victory of the season.

This was the 2nd consecutive strong outing for Monar (he beat Illinois last Friday), and we can only hope for more of the same moving forward in the conference season. Although this was by no means IU's best performance of the season at the plate, it was very refreshing to see the team come through with timely hits and runs tonight. It will be critical for this to continue if IU hopes to remain among the top teams in the conference this season.

Eric Arnett will be on the mound for the Hoosiers tomorrow. Another complete game performance would certainly be nice! The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. Game time is set for 2:30ET. Go Hoosiers!


  1. Great performance by Monar. Hoosiers had some timely hits but also hit several balls well that the Hawkeyes made great defensive plays.

    Arnett on the hill Saturday (later today). Let's see the Hoosiers provide some run support early and often!

  2. 136 pitches for Monar. I would have liked to see us go to the bullpen in the 9th.

  3. George, I would agree if we were talking about a normal 4 day to 5 day professional rotation. But it will be 7 days before he throws live again - post game ice & stretching - some long toss and a light bullpen prior to that - he should bounce back well.

  4. Monar wasn't the only Friday starter in the conference throwing a complete game with over 130 pitches as Michigan's Fetter threw 138 pitches and Purdue's Bischoff threw 143.

  5. Not just his arm, but I just wanted to see the bullpen step up and close out a game. I said the same thing with Arnett although it was tougher to put in a reliever with a 1 run lead given their struggles but this game we were up by 4 and I thought it would be a good time to get them some confidence. It is interesting that other conference teams did the same though.

    Just curious, what's the number of pitches you think is ok Scott and others?

  6. George, that could depend on several factors. The player himself, the type of durability he's shown, the number of fastballs and changeups vs curveballs, and of course preseason and in season conditioning as well as where they are in the season - early season mid season, etc. (also is he struggling, shows negative telling body language, or is he still throwing with his normal fluid motion, etc)

    George, to answer your question since this is a little past mid season I'd say I would look at shutting the averge picther down anywhere from 115-125 mark - but I would also take into consideration the previously mentioned factors.

    Excellent point about getting the bullpen some postive performances too, though.

  7. Oddly enough, 136 pitches for Arnett today as well. I'm kinda with George in that I wanted to see the bullpen a little. Also, I'm more a 120 pitch kind of guy even if they only pitch once a week. They are still 18-22 year old kids with bright futures and I would hate for them to wear down over time by pitching too much.

  8. I don't think 10 - 15 extra pitches per outing will be detrimental to their arms.

    But let's face some reality - our relief pitchers have an ERA of 10+ - while our weekend starters are at around 4.00 ERA - that means - in a nine inning game once the relievers come in - it is a mathematical certainty that the opponents will score at least 1 run per inning.

    Currently our "tired" starters have been much more effective than our "fresh" relievers.

  9. And of course as I say that - Squires comes in and gets the DP with a couple of pitches...SWEET!