I got this idea from the guys over at Inside the Hall (a fantastic blog on all things IU basketball), and I am going to try to do a "Good, Bad, and Ugly" after every weekend of baseball this season. With that, here's a recap of this past weekend's season opening series at the University of San Diego.
- Drew Leininger: 5.2 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 4 K, 0 BB
When Leininger took the mound in the 2nd inning of Game 3, the Hoosier hurlers had given up a combined 32 runs in 17.1 innings of work, and it seemed as if nothing could stop USD at the plate. However, Leininger came on to hold the Toreros scoreless for 5.2 innings and kept the game from getting completely out of hand yet again. I would have to think that he pitched his way into consideration for a weekend starter spot moving forward with that effort.
- Walker Stadler: WIN, 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 5 K, 2 BB
The Hoosiers needed a win and a solid effort out of a starter on the mound in the worst kind of way on Sunday, and Stadler came through with a very strong effort in his first career start. He too will obviously be in the picture for a weekend starting spot, especially if he continues to put forth this type of outing on a regular basis.
- Sterling Mack: 4-8, 3 2B, 3 RBI
Offensively, Mack may have had the most surprisingly good performance of all IU hitters last weekend. Three doubles in 8 at-bats is certainly impressive. The RS Junior may have played his way into the lineup with his output in San Diego.
- Big 3 Lefties (Dickerson, Lyon, Sabourin): 18-47, .383 BA, 6 2B, 3 HR, 9 R, 11 RBI
As expected, the middle of the order produced in a big way this past weekend against some top-notch competition. Let's just hope they continue to hit at a high-level moving forward.
- 7 errors in 4 games
With the significant amount of youth and inexperience IU will have on the mound this season, the team can ill-afford to give the opposition extra opportunities at the plate.
- Strikeouts at the Plate: 42 (against just 15 BB) in 141 at-bats
This means that the Hoosiers are striking out in nearly 1/3 of their at-bats. And for those keeping score at home, that is nearly a 3:1 K:BB ratio. For comparison's sake, USD struck out only 23 times in 4 games last weekend. Not good. Plate discipline must improve moving forward.
- Middle Infield Starter Production (besides Ethan Wilson who was 1 for 1): 1-22 (.045 BA)
Production up the middle must improve dramatically. Granted, the sample size is rather small and Coach Smith did shake up the lineup quite a bit each game, but the combination of Jerry Kleman, Michael Basil, Brian Ritz and Tyler Rogers struck out 13 times, walked just twice, and had a combined on-base percentage of .143. The team simply cannot afford for the guys at 2B and SS to be virtually non-existent at the plate.
- Games 1-3 Starting Pitchers (combined) - 6.2 IP, 15 hits, 9 BB, 6 HBP, 4 HR
I was most surprised and disappointed by these stats, and in particular those put forth by our starters in the first two games. IU simply cannot win many games this season with this lack of production from the starters.
I am sure the Hoosiers were disappointed to return to Bloomington with a 1-3 record to start the season, but when you consider how highly touted San Diego is and how many key players they returned from last year's team, there are definitely a number of positive things to take away from last weekend's series. Hopefully the team can build on the win in the finale and carry some momentum into this coming weekend's Big Ten/Big East Challenge.
Stay tuned for a preview of the upcoming weekend's games. Go Hoosiers!