Middle Inning Mayhem
It’s not all the time that you can pinpoint exactly where a team gets into trouble. For Auburn? It’s easy. The Middle innings (4,5,6) have absolutely killed the Auburn pitching staff. Here’s a quick breakdown of Auburn’s first 14 games broken down by Inning Runs Allowed (iRA), Pitchers Used (PU) Leads Lost (LL) and Results (R):
Represented below graphically. Note the huge spike in the 5th Innings and 6th innings. Especially the 5th, where Auburn starting pitchers have struggled all year:
Compare that to the later innings (7-9). That huge bump up continues in the 7th, but tends to tape off a bit:
Again, represented graphically below. Notice the difference between the two graphs. For the most part Auburn is still recovering from inning 5 and 6 and it’s carrying over a bit.
Outside of the opening series against SEMO, Auburn has done a pretty good job of keeping guys off the board. There aren’t a lot of the consistent blips that you had in innings 4-6. A couple of those spurts (such as the 2 9th Inning runs against FAU) are when the game was already in hand (either in Auburn’s favor in the MU series, or in the opponent’s favor like in the ASU series).
Here’s the two sets of data back to back in the same spreadsheet:
And for a better look at the complete later innings of work, here’s the data above in graphic form where you can really see that innings 5 and 6 are the crucial innings that seem to kill Auburn. Focus more on the amount of bars, not the length of the bars:
It all heads back to the starting pitching and pitching deep into the games. In a perfect world, our starters should be able to go into the Sixth inning without a hiccup. Instead of Auburn heading to the ‘pen before it should have. Honestly, you want a Quality Start from all your starting pitchers (6ip/>3 ER). The more QS we can get the more wins that should favor us.
For closing here’s a culmination of the data above. Such as the total number of runs allowed per inning, Adjusted R/Inning (highest and lowest #s Removed), and Average # of Runs per Inning:
So you can see, up there in all those black and white and colored graphs, what’s really plaguing Auburn. We need our starters to work deeper and relieve some of the burden on our bullpen.
You’ll probably here me say it all week, but the UGA series this weekend is huge for Auburn. We really, really, really, need to capitalize. Going in, Auburn is 2nd in the SEC offensively while UGA is 8th. Hopefully that can translate to a better showing from our pitching staff.