Saturday, June 11, 2005

$#!&* Owls.

Okay, today was disappointing. In the most important game of the year, Tulane played one of its worst: skittish and immature. They took their tone from their starting pitching- and the day was insufficient.

But it is just one day, one game, right? Baseball, of all major sports, is among the least deterministic. By that I mean one game, standing on its own, does not tell you too much about the relative merits of the clubs. Yes, they only have to whip the Wave once more. But Tulane only has to beat them twice.

Anyone who was a student of the Wave this year knows the Wave’s singular weakness heading into post-season play was their lack of a dominant #1 starter. I know Bogey is a first round pick and all that. But all Wave fans know that our weekend rotation this year, series in and series out, always felt like a collection of three solid “number two” starters. Not one of these guys seemed consistently capable of start after start of 110 pitches and 24 outs- scattering seven hits.

I wrote on here earlier this week this was the game the Rice was most likely to get- if just because the pitching match-up was at least even- if not slanted toward the Owls. Certainly the result was. But the next two games that match-up tilts toward the Wave. They’re still at home. Most of the big bats did hit some today. We got into their ‘pen a bit.

If we were in Vegas, and there was an individual line for each of these upcoming games, the Wave would be 7-8, maybe even 9-11- something like that. Of course, Tulane would prefer to be up one-love. But Tulane has at least four quality, pressure-tested arms left to throw at the Owls. And sure, Rice probably came in with one starter, going well, that could handle a big spot. Let’s see how the back-end of Rice’s rotation handles the pressure the rest of the weekend. I, for one, bet they can’t. For one thing, I just cannot imagine Rice coming in here and sweeping Tulane.

Point is, Rice needed this one- and to there great credit they exploited Tulane’s top of the rotation inconsistency and got it. But Tulane has beaten teams like this twice in a row all year. While it will be hard, they are hardly done.