Monday, March 28, 2005

We Have A Problem

Is it too early to start asking some serious questions about the baseball team?

I think not. I am getting a little nervous.

Maybe the team is hitting a little bit of a wall. The early schedule was tough- they played admirably. Maybe the focus is starting to wander as the Wave settles down to play the conference slate in front of lackluster crowds totaling 400. They would not be the first college team to cruise a bit. But I cannot handle many more weekends like the last one.

My worry is that if the Wave doesn’t win the regular season, then they have to win the league tournament- or Tulane has no right to get all crazy if they aren’t picked to host a Super Regional. And they have a few series coming up, where if they play like they have the last two weekends, Tulane could quickly find themselves a few games back.

Right now, the starting pitching, in a word, is not consistent- particularly at the top of the rotation- and does not go deep in games. Tulane can get outs out the ‘pen. They’ve proven that. But nine outs a game- each game- over three days?- that is tough. Also, in a short series against a legit top-15 team- it is hard to imagine Tulane not conceding the pitching edge in the first game. That is a problem best-of-three.

I am also worried about the guts of the order. A lot of these guys Tulane counts on to put up RBI totals are dinged or struggling. At some point, these on-going dings get re-quantified as nagging. They ask Bogusevic to do so much- and they need him to do lot frankly. So when does he get to sit a spell and get better? It is obviously impossible- but maybe this is all we get from the kid this year. And just watch Owings swing the bat; he is clearly in some distress. Is he ever going to be right this year?

The point is I am increasingly finding it hard to believe that some of these key people are ever going to contribute at 100% this year- or that a pitcher will emerge as a legit top-of-the-rotation option. And I don’t believe you can be a Top 5 team if your key people are hurt or struggling- or you cannot dominate the first game in a tournament setting from the hill.