Unearned Runs allowed

This has become common for this team! The pitchers are doing thier part and the defense lets them down. It reminds me of little league baseball at times. It’s hard enough to win against good teams and to gift wrap runs for them just adds to the challenge.
If this team plans to get to Omaha the defense will have to improve.

33 unearned runs on 31 errors

Sad to say the least.

Pitching is suspect at best.

Agree with you Swine. The defense is mediocre at best and have given away games. Don’t think our pitching depth is there at all. Really disappointed overall.

I can’t disagree completely, but let’s remember that Campbell was out last weekend & might not have been healthy when he pitched against UF. If he heals up & he’s not afflicted by a recurring problem, our pitching depth goes way up. It’d also be nice if McKinney came back strong.

It’s been the defense more than anything that has cost us games. What was it, four errors in Saturday’s game in Oxford? By the time we got to the 9th inning, I’m not sure we could have stopped OM from scoring 2 runs in B9, but it sure would have been nice to have gone into that with a 1 or 2 run lead to see what would’ve happened.

I am also disappointed in the defense. Plus, they make some bone headed decisions in the field. On the other hand, their record is respectable. I give some credit for a 10 game road trip. That had to be tiring. There is a lot of baseball to be played yet. There is time to clean up their act. Pitching seems a little thin because (a Campbell is still having problems and he is inconsistent, b) McKinney hasn’t been able to come back yet and c) Evan Lee and Jake Reindl have been inconsistent, d) Rutledge has great potential but hasn’t shown it consistently. Again, there is a lot of baseball yet to be played and I expect improvement.

I shouldn’t even mention this but I will. I still agonize over Fletcher’s approach at the plate. If there was ever a swing that was designed for popups Fletcher has it. He has pop in his bat and quick hands but its hard to overcome his long looping swing. From what I read, the coaching staff has tried to calm him down and get him to square up (swing level at) balls but so far he still struggles. I root for the guy and I think he will improve as the year goes along. If the weather permits, the next two games are an opportunity to fix some things.

I don’t know if Fletcher is trying to do this, but at the MLB level the focus has become “launch angle”, and to get the optimum launch angle, you must have a bit of an uppercut swing – which is exactly what Ted Williams was advocating 50-60-70 years ago (and Teddy Ballgame was as much a student of hitting as anyone who ever held a bat). There are sound reasons for that. An uppercut is the best way to get elevation; there are five defenders in the infield (counting the pitcher) and only three behind them, so getting the ball in the air is the best way to “hit 'em where they ain’t,” to quote Wee Willie Keeler. Second, an uppercut is the best way to hit a home run; very few line drives get out of the park, and no ground balls do. A 29 degree launch angle seems to be the optimum angle to hit one out of the park.

That’s an interesting observation and I appreciate your expressing it. I guess I just don’t agree with that philosophy. I want the kids to hit for average and home runs are secondary. That uppercut philosophy is the one I identify with Todd Butler when he was with the Hogs. He made some statement about teaching the kids to put spin on the ball. Butler presided over teams that were at the bottom of the SEC in batting average and toward the top in strikeouts at the end of his tenure. I know we had a bat issue during that later period but that does excuse all the strikeouts. He took two freshman who were outstanding and made them into average hitters. Jake Dugger was a freshman all-american his first year. He hit .293. Danny Hamblin hit .304. At the end of their career they were both known for striking out and hitting warning track fly balls. Dugger hit .268 and Hamblin hit .276. I am old school, admittedly, but I like the Charlie Lau style of hitting (look it up). He was a major league hitting coach that tutored major league batting champions and some very successful batting champions copied the style. That used to be the hitting philosophy when Doug Clark was hitting coach for the Razorbacks. I still remember Arkansas leading the SEC with a .349 team batting average.

I remember Doug very well; he and I were on campus at the same time. Of course I didn’t delve much at the time into what he was teaching our hitters, but it clearly worked.

Statcast has a searchable MLB database of this kind of information, where if you know what you’re looking for, you can find all kinds of details. I went back to World Series Game 5, which as an Astros fan I remember very well. Houston hit five homers that night. Statcast will tell you that George Springer’s 448-foot seventh-inning bomb off Brandon Morrow had a launch angle of 26.6 degrees, exit velocity of 111 mph and backspin of 2250 rpm. Jose Altuve hit one 415 feet off Kenta Maeda in the fifth, with EV of 104.7, launch angle of 33 degrees and backspin of 2325. Yuli Gurriel got Clayton Kershaw in the fourth, 389 feet, 101 mph off the bat, angle of 28.46 (pretty close to that 29-degree optimum) and spin of 2585. Carlos Correa basically popped one up off Morrow that landed in the second row of the Crawford Boxes; angle was 47+ degrees, backspin was 2279, came off the bat at 105.8 mph and traveled 328 feet. And Brian McCann hit an eighth-inning shot off Tony Cingrani, 34 degrees, 2096 rpm, only (?) 95.8 mph, traveled 363 feet.

Fletcher has been lunging at the ball! Dropping his hands and a long looping swing. It makes for a whole lot of pop ups and long lazy fly balls. He has been hitting the bottom half of the ball.
As it warms up and the wether improves he will hit!

Well I will bow to fusion for the geometry lesson. I have seen videos of Babe Ruth hitting home runs and he seemed to try to swing up at the ball. And…I guess if all I wanted to do was hit a home run I would probably try to lift the ball. However, I think in Ruth’s era a good fastball was the best pitch. I wonder how Ruth would have fared against a nasty curve ball pitcher who could consistently hit the bottom outside corner of the plate. I still like a hitter who can control his swing and deliver clutch hits when the team needs him.

Babe definitely had an uppercut, and as I noted earlier in the thread, so did Ted Williams. Both hit for high average as well as power. Williams hit 37 homers the year he hit .406. Babe hit .356 the year he hit 60 homers; of course he had Lou Gehrig batting behind him with 47 dingers, 52 doubles and a .373 BA, so you couldn’t pitch around the Bambino.

It seems to me the main issue about swinging for the fences is you can smoke a ball through the infield and it may still take two more hits to score you, but if you smoke a ball at a 26-degree launch angle, you’re probably going to be able to trot home for an immediate run. The homer is thus a more efficient way to score. Of course, with runners on second and third with two out, that ball up the middle works just fine.

I think Kjerstad just showed off the uppercut swing. Pitch down and in and he hit it over the scoreboard. We think. TV cameras couldn’t find the ball.

Brett Dolan came back later and said Kjerstad’s shot went about 420 feet with a 113 mph exit velocity. No launch angle, though.