Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekend Recap: Turning the Red Hawks Blue

 

Weekend series like this are the hardest to measure a team by. It’s almost a lose-lose situation. If you do manage to drop a game to an opponent like Miami (OH) then it can decimate any type of confidence or roll you might be on. If you sweep (as expected) then there is not much else you have learned about your team. At least, that’s what I thought going into the weekend. Auburn took care of business winning 13-5 on Saturday and hanging on 5-4 on Sunday. As usual, the official recaps are linked above. Here are some things I observed:

  • Hunter Morris busted out of his slump in a big way. He had four hits in a game for just the second (Saturday) and third (Sunday) times in his career. His line for Saturday and Sunday: 8 for 10 with 4 rbi/2 HR/2 doubles/1k That’s phenomenal
  • The addition of Casey McElroy at SS seems to have calmed some of the infield errors problems. The Tigers only committed 1 error all weekend (and that was a questionable call by Brian Fletcher in RF)
  • I hope we face more right handed pitchers so we can get Kevin Patterson in the lineup more. He continues to rake with his limited at-bats. Granted he’s an all or nothing but when that all is a triple (Sunday) and a Homerun (Saturday) I’ll take it.
  • Justin Bryant seems to have supplanted Dan Gamache at 3B. Part of me feels sorry for Gamache, but having him as our first pinch hitter has proven effective (at least this weekend). Gamache is one of more patient hitters on Auburn’s team.
  • Grant Dayton probably bought himself another week on the weekend with his Saturday performance (5.2 ip/7h/4r/3er/2bb/7k on 94 pitches) It wasn’t pretty, but he was effective and outside of the two walks he was highly effective
  • Stephen Kohlscheen’s yips seem to have calmed down. He shut down Miami in the late frames Saturday, preserving a win and picking up an extended relief save (3.1 ip/3h/1er/1bb/3k)
  • Cole Nelson wasn’t at his best on Sunday. However, when 7ip/7h/2er/0bb/8k isn’t your best, then your best better be lights out (which it is for Nelson). He had a couple (3) wild pitches on the day which messed with his effectiveness a bit.
  • All in all our bullpen had a pretty solid weekend. Zach Blatt picked up a save and recovered nicely from a little 2 run bump in the 8th inning on Sunday.
  • One thing I did observe Sunday that had me a little worried was the downside of Auburn’s new patient/small ball/etc philosophy. In order to work properly our base runners have to be at the top of their game. We killed a couple of opportunities by stretching out doubles and getting caught stealing. All in all, Auburn was caught stealing 3 times Sunday. The most peculiar of which were from Tony Caldwell and Ryan Jenkins (two catchers) guys who aren’t the fleetest of foot to begin with.
  • Auburn has an SEC high .373 average and are averaging 9 r/game. Last season AU hit .286 and averaged just under 7 runs a game. A huge improvement.

Hitter of the Weekend: You could go with the obvious with Hunter Morris or Brian Fletcher, but I’m going with an unsung hero at the plate. Creede Simpson. Through the weekend Creede was 5 for 6 (3 rbi/1k/1 double/2 runs) Friday; 1 for 5 with a HR Saturday; and 3 for 4 with an RBI Sunday. Great numbers.

Pitcher of the Weekend: Cole Nelson. Obviously.

 

Auburn is back in action Tuesday, against Alabama. First pitch is at 7pm (although the forecast calls for rain) and Cory Luckie will take the mound for Auburn, looking to continue his performance from last Wednesday against Davidson.

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