Before I get into the recap of the two midweek games (and oh, what a pair they were), a couple of things to close out the previous weekend:
As you can see Michigan dropped out of the Writer’s poll finally and the RPI took a hit, too. The Coaches Poll still manages to get Michigan votes, but why – I just don’t know. This team is playing nowhere near the caliber of play to deserve a ranking. Some of these coaches need to do nothing more than look at our 8 losses. As for RPI, our soft schedule and poor showing lately have left us now in the bottom half of Division 1. There is no way to make the tournament without winning the BigTen title now.
Links From Earlier in the Week
Michigan Daily Sports blog “The Game” named Kenny Fellows athlete of the week for his performance on Sunday. Apparently they didn’t pay much attention to the rest of the weekend
The Daily also featured a column by Tim Rohan about needing to play more small ball. I think article dances around the subject a lot, but I agree that we need to move the runners around a bit more. The strikeouts are worriesome, so are the pickoffs. Coming into the mid week games, we’ve been picked off 11 times. In comparison we’ve only picked off 6. The national average is a shade below 6.
Timmy Kalcyznski did a liveblog-ish type post over the weekend at Iowa. Bus trouble was rampant, crazy antics everywhere, veterans treating rookies like rookies. Very entertaining read.
Dufek, Cislo, and Fetter all make the BigTen Hardball All Weekend Team. Fetter’s complete game only earns him the #3 starter, and rightfully so. There were plenty of complete games in the BigTen this weekend. Iowa had 3 pitchers make the team.
W – Gerdeman (1-2) L – Brandon Sinnery (1-2) Sv – Hawk (2)
Thank goodness for automatic bids to the NCAA; it is our only chance to make the dance now. I was lucky enough to be working during this game, as the box score looks ugly as I don’t know what. Michigan lost every aspect (pitching, offense, baserunning, and defense) in this game. It was just all around ugly.
We’ll start with the offense. Michigan had 5 hits in this game, 3 of them came in the 7th. Dufek opened the frame with the longball, scoring the first run of the game. After a McLouth walk, Oaks followed up with a homerun of his own. Toth knocked a single (his second of the game) with two outs, but he was caught stealing.
That’s pretty much it. Fellows had a double in the 6th with 2 outs but was stranded. Three runs against a team that ranks 232 out of 288 NCAA teams ranked in ERA? Striking out 9 times against a team that only averages 5.7 a game? Ouch.
On the mound, things didn’t fair much better. Brandon Sinnery threw four innings, and I’m not entirely sure why. His pitch count was on 66, and judging by the play by play, he had really settled down nicely after the rough first inning. The first inning saw Brandon give up 3 runs on four hits and a hit batsmen. He followed up by retiring 9 for the next 11 batters.
Matt Miller came in to relieve Sinnery and started things off by giving up a lead off home run. Great start. He gave up a single right after that, but managed to work his way out of any further damage.
The 6th inning run can be placed squarely on Lorenz. With one out and a runner on first, Lorenz fielded a ground ball and went for two. This was the throwing error of the inning, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. During the next at bat, Lorenz was charged with a fielding error on a pick off attempt at third base allowing the run to score.
Bowling Green added another run charged to Miller in the 8th. After giving up a walk in a bunt single, Miller was removed for Dufek who gave up a sacrifice bunt and fly to score the run. Dufek would give up one more earned run in the ninth from a double and single back-to-back with two outs. On the same single, LaMarre misplayed the ball allowing runners to advance, including one run to score (unearned). Another run would come in on the next batter as he singled to right – that run also unearned.
Just ugly everywhere. As said at the outset of this recap, it’s BigTen Tournament title or bust for this team now. The rest of the mid week games mean absolutely nothing.
- Anthony Toth – 2/3 hitting streak at 10 games
- Dufek/Oaks – All 3 RBIs on a pair of 7th inning homeruns, Dufek’s hitting streak is 15
- John Lorenz – 2 Errors in an inning leading to a run
- Ryan LaMarre – Error lead to two runs (this may be less of a problem if it was wind induced, but I haven’t heard the game yet, somebody leave a comment if they have details)
- Offense as a unit – 5 hits? Really?
- Kevin Cislo – 0/4 First time he hasn’t reached base in 68 games
- Michigan Daily – We got outplayed, got to be consistent
- Sentinal Tribune (Bowling Green local) – Michigan gives BGSU coach his 500th victory
W – Eric Katzman (4-2) L – Welke (2-3) Sv – Dufek (2)
Wow, wow. This game was ugly. Just how ugly? Let’s let Ann Arbor News writer Kevin Ryan tell you how bad it was:
The victory, which put Michigan at 16-7 on the season, came after 3 hours and 57 minutes of play. The game needed 14 pitchers, featured 10 doubles among 29 hits, 48 base-runners and had more foul balls than fans in the stands at 6:30 p.m. (there were 94 on-lookers, to be exact).
In all fairness to the fans, the game started with 694 fans at the game when it was still sunny and warm out. Both teams looked pretty horrible for large stretchs of this game driving down attendance.
I’m not going to try and recap all of the game, but we’ll walk through a couple key points, starting with pitching. It started really badly. Kolby Wood showed signs of rust in the 2nd and 3rd innings, the latter he would never escape from. Reliever Jeff DeCarlo was worse. He only gave up one hit in his 1/3 of an inning pitched, but he did manage to walk 3 and hit a batter while giving up 4 runs. In all, he threw 23 pitches, 8 were strikes.
Gerbe came in to finish the third inning, but the damage was pretty much done already. He worked himself in and out of a few jams, allowing an unearned run in the 6th (Lorenz throwing error). He lost control to start the 7th and would eventually be credited with a pair of earned runs.
Burgoon came in here and couldn’t get out of the inning. He ended up leaving early with an yet undisclosed injury. Katzman came in to stop the bleeding and pitched 1 1/3 innings allowing only one baserunner via hit by pitch. Dufek asked for the ball on short rest to close out the ninth.
Offense went a little bit better. Four batters (Fellows, LaMarre, Dufek, and Kalcyznski) each had multiple hit games. Six starters had multiple RBIs, four had multiple runs scored. Out of the 15 hits, 9 were doubles. Mike Kittle, filling in for the supposedly injured Cislo, was the only batter without a hit in the game, but even he walked once.
- Ryan LaMarre – 3/3 3 R, 3 RBI, 2b, 2 BBs (5/5 on base)
- Mike Dufek – 3/5 R, 3 RBI, BB, 3 2bs, BB (hitting streak 16 games)
- Kenny Fellows – 3/5 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 2bs, BB (hitting lead off)
- Fellows and Lorenz – each had an error, neither lead to runs though
- Jeff DeCarlo – 1/3 IP, H, 3 BB, HBP, 4 ER; honestly I never expect from DeCarlo, but this was just pretty bad.
Cislo was supposedly hurt coming into this game and was held out of the starting lineup. He did make an appearance as a defensive replacement in the top of the 9th inning making a pretty good bare hand play to get a ball deflected off the pitcher Dufek’s glove. The injury hasn’t been disclosed to any media outlet I’ve seen; hopefully he’s back to 100% by the weekend.
Speaking of injury, I missed the exit by Burgoon, so I’m not sure what happened there. MGoBlue.com generally has a day or so lay over before you can go back and listen to games, so if anyone heard the call or has the information, leave a note in the comments. Hopefully its something minor and we’ll have him back by mid weekend.
And while this game may be one of the few higher scoring ugly games we see all season, at least it was close unlike this 49-1 routing of Kentucky State by Eastern Kentucky.
Headed to the Weekend
Penn State comes to Ann Arbor this weekend for the home opener of the Big10 season. I hope to get out a preview sometime tomorrow night late. Tomorrow is my day to catch up on everything before another busy weekend. I’ll miss the first two games of the series as I head over to Austin for a little tourism in Hippie Land.
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