Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
As The Ghost of Jay Cutler has already informed you, the Rebels took the series from Vanderbilt in Nashville. The Rebels again put together a nice offensive performance, and they took the first game of Sunday’s double-header 6-1. Philip Irwin battled hard as he pitched a complete game (7 innings) and only allowed a run. However, game 2 was not as good for the Rebels. Mike Bianco started the third game of the series against Vanderbilt off with a grave error: letting Aaron Barrett pitch. I’m not sure if Mike is watching the same guy pitch that I am, but he is starting a guy in the SEC rotation that has an 11.20 ERA.
The issues of the second game:
First, our starting pitching was atrocious. Secondly, I feel bad for Scott Bittle. He came in to record the final out of the 5th inning, and he accomplished that. He did not allow a hit in 2.1 innings, but he gets the loss due to an unearned run. That drops him to 1-2 on the season, and it isn’t looking like he will have the same impressive stats as last year. We still have 9 weeks to go, but I am worried that he isn’t the same shut-down pitcher from last year.
We scored 6 runs, and that is satisfactory, especially against Vandy pitching. We have to find a way to string it all together.
All in all, we cannot be disappointed with the Rebels showing in Nashville this weekend. I am very impressed with started the season 2-1.
The Rebels return to action on Tuesday in Jonesboro against Arkansas State. Wednesday, the Jort Nation comes to Oxford when the Memphis Tigers make the drive from the Bluff City.
In other news: After a poorly officiated game which magnificently spread the misery around (like Socialism!) the Mississippi State Bulldogs have won the SEC Men's basketball title. The game was characterized by a bunch of wacky threes, generally sloppy ball, and something like four turnovers in one second (literally). All of that aside though, the win was legitimate. Y'all know I'm no State fan but a punched ticket to the dance is nothing to make fun of. Also, Jarvis Varnado is the best defensive player the SEC has seen since Shaq, hands down.
We're never going to hear the end of this. "LMAO We Я dAnCiN' and Ole PISS ain't BITCH!!! RATTLERATTLE!!"
Friday, March 13, 2009
We've now got a Friday night guy in Drew Pomeranz. He had a solid night tonight going four innings and only giving up two runs. My only concern is the five walks he issued tonight. McKean went three innings and gave up a run. Morgan and Barbeck both worked one inning and only allowed one hit a piece.
So, I'd say our bullpen is solid. We did commit two errors, but I will give the defense a pass due to the awful weather.
As far as our offense is concerned, we are impressive. We got to Mike Minor tonight which is something no team has done this year. He started really strong by only allowing one hit through 19 batters faced, but he lost control and ended up getting the loss. Tyler Hill was impressive in relief, and he had 8k's.
We scored 9 runs on 12 hits, and that production came mostly in bunches. We scored 4 in the 4th, and 3 of those came on a Travis homerun. We scored 3 more in the 6th on a bases loaded, two-out double from Logan Power. This season, Power is batting 1.000 with the bases loaded. CLUTCH
They are a different team from last year. They haven't shown the power they have had in the past without Flaherty and Alvarez in the line-up. The want to play small ball, but they cannot string the hits together.
Their pitching has had a solid season until tonight, but I bet they get it together by the next game.
Ole Miss showed some guts tonight by getting the first one under the belt against Vandy. I personally think the game tomorrow will be postponed due to weather, and we can expect a double header on Sunday. As someone commented on a earlier, free streaming video is available through the Vanderbilt site. If you feel I left important information out of this post, feel free to comment and add one.
We all know how much we loved trouncing Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl. The Rebel fans that attended the aforementioned trouncing probably noticed how weird (but really nice) the Texas Tech fans were. Some were dressed as pirates and wore eye patches, and all of this is part of Mike Leach's ploy to get a role in Pirates of the Caribbean 3: The Quest for the Big XII South. Anyway, the Pirate's Guild recently named Mike Leach as the coach "most likely to be run through with a sword and be fed to the sharks."
The guild is trying to send the same message the Texas Tech administration was trying to send a month ago: we don't want you either.
In other news, the never ending search for the 12th game for THIS fall's football season was thought to have found some new life. Chris Low reported earlier this week that some schedule shuffling had freed up September 12th for Colorado, and that would have been a perfect match for Ole Miss. I was initially writing this post to encourage Pete Boone to book the game because of this article I found that shows the QB position for Colorado is still up for grabs and will be until August.
As I sit writing this post, Lowe has made another report...
Colorado not a likely foe for Ole Miss.
Dang't Pete Boone. Dang't.
Could scheduling a 12th game really be that hard?
As you can see, Houston Nutt is a very spiritual, sensitive, and emotional man. Godspeed, Houston.
Alabama Crimson Tide
The Tide boast a gaudy 11-1 record thus far, but have not played the type of competition Ole Miss has faced. Of Alabama's competition that has even sniffed the top twenty-five, they beat Miami (4-0) and lost to Pepperdine (3-4) at the Malibu Qualifier for ITA Nationals. Since then, Alabama has slain a row of baby kittens, except for their reasonable wins at Indiana (4-3) and Clemson (5-2), neither of which, though, is particularly good. To open up SEC play, they beat Arkansas 6-1 and #44 LSU 5-2. All three of the Tide's doubles teams are ranked in the Top 80, a claim not made by Ole Miss, who generally fields strong doubles. And Junior Syketh Myeni is currently the #66 player in the nation.
The rankings would seem to indicate that the Rebels might struggle at doubles, however, earlier in the season the Rebels dominated the doubles point against Florida, who currently boast 3 teams in the top 60. My gut feeling is that our #2 and #3 teams (Britton/Vorster and Norber/Sauer) just have not been together long enough for the ITA to take notice, especially of Norberg and Sauer, who have been business-like in their winning ways, as of late.
The X factor is the forecast of rain in Tuscaloosa. Ole Miss is, usually, a better team outdoors. The difference, though, is slight, and will unlikely be enough to make up for Alabama's talent gap against the Rebels.
Prediction: All Day Rebs 4-1 with wins at doubles and by Norberg, Britton, and Thiemann.
The Tigers are currently #20 in the nation, 7-2 overall, and 2-0 in the conference. Their loss against #1 Stanford is certainly understandable.
I'd say more, but it's time to go to the match.
This weekend the Rebels load up the Callahan charter buses and head to Nashvegas for a weekend series with Vandy. Just looking at Vandy's overall record(10-4) they seem to be a solid baseball squad yet again. Last season they won 41 games and choked miserably during the Tempe Regional losing to OU twice in a few days.
Ole Miss was 4-1 against Vanderbilt last year sweeping the 'Dores in Oxford and then knocking them out of the SEC tournament. I would hate to say there's any animosity between the two teams, because while Vandy knows the meaning of the word animosity and can probably give you a dozen synonyms, they've never given me a John Cohen type of feel. "NICHOLLS STATE, GET OFF YOUR DAMN BUS AND PLAY US! FINE! WE WIN!"
Vandy has only lost one game at home to powerhouse University of Illinois-Chicago. As a team, they are batting .334 and holding opponents just above the Brashear line at .248. Aaron Westlake is batting .500 with a .550 OBP after 52 PA. Just walk him.
Ole Miss has only played one game on the road, losing to South Alabama in extra innings. I would wager that if they get all three games in, this will be the greatest test our team has faced all season. Kevin Mort is batting over .400 with Logan Power and Matt Smith batting .364 with a combined 5 HRs and 28 RBI.
Drew Pomeranz: Soph. LHP
Mike Minor: Jr. LHP
A battle of Southpaws with Minor sporting a 2.21 ERA with a 1-0 record. Pomeranz has an almost identical 2.58 ERA with a 1-0 record. Bianco made the right move taking Aaron Barrett out of the Friday position. He had three mediocre starts and didn't seem to be improving. Pomeranz has pitched in big games before, but this is the biggest stage: SEC Friday night baseball.
Phillip Irwin: Jr. RHP
Caleb Cotham: Soph. RHP
Cotham has a microscopic 1.29 ERA with a 3-0 record whilst Irwin has compiled a 1.72 ERA with a 2-0 record. I don't think their ERAs will continue to stay this low in SEC play. They've both had great seasons thus far, but it's just not possible to get out of conference play with an ERA like this. Up until now, Irwin gave us our best chance to win, and I'm going to stick with that opinion until he proves otherwise.
Aaron Barrett: Jr. RHP
Nick Christiani: Sr. RHP
This should be one of Barrett's last chances to make the weekend rotation. He's got an ERA over 9, and surprisingly Bukvich has been more serviceable this season. Christiani has a 3.71 ERA with a 2-0 record. He's struck out 21 in 17 innings while only walking three. The Rebels should be ready to swing. Fans have been clamoring for THE BITTLER to start, but I'd rather have a 99 percentile bullpen with Bittle. If he starts, who comes in at the end of the game? It's a question Bianco wouldn't have a comfortable answer for.
Friday: Vanderbilt 5 Ole Miss 2
Saturday: Ole Miss 6 Vanderbilt 4
Sunday: Vanderbilt 8 Ole Miss 7
Jerrell Powe, in a compromise with Tracy Rocker, is taking his motor scooter down to Panama City Beach for one of those old-fashioned motorcycle parades. Rocker insisted, though, that it be this particular parade - the 14th Annual Mark Mangino - Little Debbie West Florida Obesity Awareness Ride. Said Powe, "I haz an appetite ... for the open road."
Dexter McCluster is in the unfortunate position of having to complete a research project over the break. Not for school, though. McCluster is flying out to Los Angeles to view an advance showing of X-Men Origins: Wolverine in order to gain more information on something called an adamantium skeleton.
Jevan Snead, always the responsible one, has taken a job babysitting a kid for an old friend who is really busy next week.
Greg Hardy is going to wall-paper his room at home with his Sports Illustrated cover picture. And then tear them all down as a sign of his angst. And then wall-paper his room at home with his Sports Illustrated cover picture. And then tear them all down as a sign of his angst. And then wall-paper his room at home with his Sports Illustrated cover picture. And then tear them all down as a sign of his angst. And then wall-paper his room at home with his Sports Illustrated cover picture. And then tear them all down as a sign of his angst. And then wall-paper his room at home with his Sports Illustrated cover picture. And then tear them all down as a sign of his angst. And then wall-paper his room at home with his Sports Illustrated cover picture. And then tear them all down as a sign of his angst. And then have coffee. And shame.
It's Spring Break at Oxford High School, as well, so Coach Houston Nutt has decided to take the wife and daughter Haven on a trip to Fayetteville to visit some old friends and plan ways to sabotage the lives of his former players as part of his grand scheme to ruin the University of Arkansas, leading, inevitably, to the collapse of the Natural State and its annexation by Generalissimo Chuck Norris of the Republic of Texas. Oops! Kinda let the cat out of the bag on that one.
Marshay Green will attempt to recreate the excitement of his most recent football season by telling everyone that he is going to Cancun, but spending most of the break bathing in the cool, brown waters of lovely Galveston, before actually showing up in Cancun at the end of the week and being so hot that he hooks up with fifty Spanish chick and buys MTV.
And, finally, Rebel-to/may-be Jamar Hornsby will be exactly where you guessed - on tour with Dent May and his magnificent ukulele.