Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bucks Split Twinbill with Akron

Somehow the Buckeyes found a way to come back for an 8-7 victory over Akron in game one of a non-conference doubleheader Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. There would not be a comeback in game two as the Zips cruised to a 7-3 victory.

Ohio State recap | Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score

OSU starter Josh Edgin gave up six runs to Akron in the first inning of game one, but the Buckeyes didn't give up in the seven-inning game. They got on the board with three runs in the third before Akron added a seventh run in the fifth inning. Ohio State was able to add three more in the sixth.

Tony Kennedy drove in the tying run in the bottom of the seventh and Cory Kovanda's sacrifice fly gave the Buckeyes the victory. Kennedy finished the game 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored while Kovanda drove in two in a 1-for-4 game. Michael Arp also drove in two. Ohio State pounded out 10 hits compared to five by Akron. Neither team committed an error.

Edgin allowed six runs on just three hits in his 4.0 innings. Rory Meister got a win in pitching the final 3.0 innings though allowed one run on a pair of hits.

In nine-inning game two, it was all Zips. Akron got on the board with one in the first and added two more in the third. Ohio State got on the board with a pair of run in the bottom of the third to close within a 3-2 score. That is as close as it would get. The Zips went on to add two in the fifth and two more in the ninth. The Bucks managed just one more run in the seventh.

Drew Rucinski got the start and went just 4.0 innings. He allowed three runs on eight hits. Andrew Armstrong, Jared Strayer and Eric Best were also used in game two. The four OSU pitchers allowed 14 hits.

Ohio State got 11 hits in the nightcap, getting two hits each from Kovanda, J.B. Shuck, Justin Miller, Ryan Dew and Dan Burkhart. Zach Hurley had the other. Miller drove in two.

Akron's win in game two was the first win for Zips' skipper Pat Bangtson against his former mentor, Bob Todd. Bangtson pitched for Todd at Kent State and was an assistant coach for Todd at Ohio State. Photo Galleries: Game One | Game Two

No word on how many burgers were consumed on the first of two "Buck-a-Burger" Night promotions. The Buckeyes return to Big Ten play Friday when they open a four-game series at Northwestern.


rockybuckeye said...

You know, I don't know what to say. The line-up is..

Game 1
Kennedy LF
Kovanda 2B
Shuck CF
Miller C
Meade 1B
Rupert DH
Arp RF
DeLucia 3B
Engle SS

This is pretty much exactly what I have been wanting to see (maybe Hurley at DH, Rupe at SS), so I am happy, but trhough 5 only 5 hits, and 3 runs. Guess I'll shut up from now on, but I'm happy to for once see a new mix.

But dear God, Edgin, just isn't that good. You don't want to throw a kid under the bus, but giving up 6 in the first to Akron, as well as being passed in the rotation by 2 freshmen, and 2 freshmen in the bull-pen tells the story.

I pray we come back and win this or this season can really fall apart.

Guillermo said...

Edgin didn't look good.....but neither did one of those frosh you're talking about. Rucinski didn't look any better in the second game. BT has several other guys on his staff who are getting no innings at all and its a joke. Tell me Strayer looked any worse than any of the other pitchers tonight. I think those were his 3rd and 4th innings of the year. Why? What about Hays and Barnes? Minium? (He might be redshirted though.) I don't think BT wants to win as much as he wants to go with his favorites. And really, does Parker have a clue? We're 0 for 2 in the pitching coach department since Bangston left. Sorry if you don't like my tone but this is getting a little ridiculous. Hopefully we'll recover and give Northwestern a tough series.

KnuckleChuck said...

I agree guillermo, it seems that Todd and Parker keep doing the same thing over and over again. There is no doubt all the pitchers have talent or they wouldn't be there, but after throwing away several games in the bullpen, its about time that this "other" talent gets a chance. Barnes and Minium haven't seen the field and Hays and Strayer had one inning apiece through 30 or so games.

Meister's been in the doghouse and they need his leadership out there with all those freshmen. Look what he was able to do tonight. I just don't get it. I certainly didn't notice any huge drop off tonight with Strayer. He was effective and no runs crossed the plate, which is a better situation than with some of the "favorites". I bet there is something else available with Hays and Barnes also.

rockybuckeye said...

Minium and Barerra are both red-shirting. Josh had surgery 2 weeks ago, not sure why Theron is, but he is as well.

rockybuckeye said...

You know who we could really use right now is Dan Barker.

I do not mean the 4 freshmen are better than Edgin, just syaing in a situation where he gets little paying time and those 4 (Wimmers, Ruciski, Wolo, Armstrong) are used before him, it speaks to where the confidence is in him.

Popadik is no long with the team, so that takes away an arm.

And I'll give BT one more benefit of the doubt with the remaining pitchers. I remember when things were bad last year, wondering about some of the other players on the take not getting a chance, well Barnes did at the end of the season, and I can't think one 1 solid appearance he had.

On a positive note, I think BT is realizing you can't keep the bats of Arp and DeLucia out of the lineup.

Guillermo said...

rocky.....I can only go by this... Barnes record is 1-0 (in relief against N. Florida)and I don't remember him looking any worse than Rucinski or Edgin. He pitched well against Akron, N. FL (3 innings),and Western Carolina (4 innings...well..he did give up a 3-run shot but WC was one of the top 10 HR hitting teams in NCAA last year). The only time I recall he didn't do as well as most of our relief staff this year is vs. Penn St. in the BT tournament....he gave up 3 runs in one inning there.

And did Hays' arm fall off or something? I've never seen him pitch but I think it would be worth a try.

And Minium....redshirting after pitching quite a few innings last year as a true freshman? I am sure he is not hurt so it is not a medical redshirt. What is that all about?

Popadak quit the team? I thought he was just academically ineligible. I also heard they let him pitch one inning in Florida not knowing he was ineligible. Does that mean he lost a year of eligibility? Why wouldn't the coaching staff know he was ineligible.

Rocky, I think you may be giving BT too much benefit of the doubt.

By the way.....I see that those pesky Nike bats were at it again last night making all of our power hitters look bad.

I'm probably ranting too much but this is frustrating to watch. I thought after this past weekend debacle against Purdue we would come out smoking and take two in a big way. We were lucky not to drop both games.....

rockybuckeye said...

Sorry, my "no longer with the team" did give a sense he quit. You are correct, he cannot pitch. A better way for wording was "he is no longer available to pitch".

To Popadak, it is veyr possible he was eligible down in Florida. The Florida trip was during spring break so eligibility through winter quarter was in use. When we came back from Florida, it was spring quarter, so if his grades took a fall winter quarter that is why he cannot pitch now.

I think we were left with to different impressions of Barnes. Sure maybe 2 rough innings did him in, but a WHIP of 1.75 isn't healthy. I don't like using ERA as an indication, because a lot can happen that is not the pitchers fault, but he struggled to me.

Not sure why Theron is red-shriting, just thought I heard he was.

Hey I'm with you in being frustrated, it is quite possible come May 4th we're a .500 or below team. Yikes.

Guillermo said...

Rocky...I guess we just disagree slightly on Barnes. I thought he showed decent stuff when he pitched and you weren't impressed. It's OK to disagree. :-) I am more an observer of how a player "looks" and have never been a big "stats" guy. I do agree about the ERA can be very misleading, especially for a pitcher with few innings. I'll show you how dumb I am about stats here, but what is "WHIP"?

You're probably correct about Popadak being eligible wneh the team left for Florida since it was just after Winter qtr exams. I guess my point is that I would have thought that there might be an academic advisor who would communicate to the coaches that a player is very close to being ineligible and, in the case of a first year player at least, not play him until the final grades were in.

Man, I sure hope you are wrong about the .500 comment.

OK. On to Northwestern and a sweep! :-)

rockybuckeye said...

WHIP = Walk and Hits per Innings Pitched.

So For Barnes 11 hits, 5 BB's, in his 9.1 Innings, 16/9.1 is 1.75something.

I've learned its probably the best indication stats can provide on how good a pitches stuff is. If you're allowing close to 2 runners on base per innings, as an opposing team having 3 outs to get those across the plate you have to feel good with your chances. As a pitcher it puts even more pressue on you to get the job done. Now if its near 1.2, with very good pitchers <1 then you're getting the job done and being efficent.

Just my take.

Guillermo said...

Pretty interesting. How about putting together a WHIP stat for the Bucks staff so far this year. Or is this stat already available on the team website?

rockybuckeye said...

I can do it, it dose't take too long.

It shouldn't be too bad, a few guys like JB might suffer because of a high number of walks. I was comparing JB with Fetter and Putnam from Michigan and though his K's and ERA is right there, the BB's kill his WHIP.

Sorted by ERA in ()

Strayer (2.25) 2.75
Shuck (2.86) 1.29
Wolo (3.09) 1.59
Armstrong (3.48) 1.51
Best (3.74) 1.55
Wimmers (4.24) 1.77
Hale (5.06) 1.49
DeLucia (5.28) 1.51
Rucinski (5.54) 1.92
Meister (6.97) 1.68
Edgin (7.4) 1.98

So looking over that... Shuck is obviously the stud on the staff, and Big Ten in my opinion. 5 Pickoffs as well. Strayer has pitched 4 innings and alowed 11 base runners, luckily for him only 2 have crossed the plate, 1 earned. Its not hard to see why Rucinski struggles nearly 2 runners on base per inning, plus an OBA of .339.

Whats very striking is that outside of Best, the 5 of the best 6 WHIPS are SP's. Of course I'm sure you could have guessed that with the way our bull-pen has struggled.

Just to get perspective of what a great WHIP would be.. Luebke had a WHIP of 1.11. 117.1 IP, 93 hits, 28 BB's, 9 HBP.

Guillermo said...

Rocky....just worked up the WHIP stats and they are interesting. Low on the team is JB at 1.22. High is Strayer at 2.25. Team average is 1.50. Rucinski and Edgin are at 1.73 which bears out my observation that they are not any better than Barnes.

Hale, Delucia and Armstrong are all at 1.45, meaning they would allow 13 baserunners in a 9 inning game. Barnes (based on last year's numbers), Edgin and Rucinski would allow approx. 16 baserunners. Wolo is at 1.60 or 14.5 baserunners per game. When you look at it that way I kind of question how valid this stat is an indicator of how good a pitcher is.

Did I screw up the math somewhere?

Guillermo said... beat me to it. Looks like I did mess up a little but not much. :-)

highheat88 said...

I'm not sure the WHIP stat is a good indicator, how many times have you seen a pitcher give up several hit’s or walks after an error extended an inning.

rockybuckeye said...

Your math is correct. I probably should have mentioned before it, but I included HBP. I think its a bit silly to add walks and hits to get and indication to figure out how many batters get on base off a pitcher, but leave off HBP. Especially with our staff and how often we do plunk a batter or two.

Now whether the stat s good or not, I don't know I like it. Its kind of the pitchers version of OPS. It doesn't tell all, no stat does, but more times than not a lower WHIP, better success, lower WHIP more wiggle room for a pitcher, just for the simple fact you can't score if you don't get on base in one way or another.

I never was against using Barnes. I tried to rationale with why Todd might not be, but I don't think right now Edgin an Rucinski are a level of measure you want a pitcher to be at. No offense to them. Its just his #'s were a bit high for me in a perfect world.

Anyhow off of the stat talk, and and back into the real world. An issue that has been bugging me is just how lifeless and with no energy or fire the team has throughout the game, or if they do they have a had time showing it. I have heard this is a direct result of how Todd is, and the environment he wants, but for a team that is only 1 game out of not making the tournament, you just wonder if they're giving it all. I know its not the case, but it appears that hey, nobody is really passionate, and feels the press to turn things around. You see other teams a lot more vocal, and playing with more giddy-up, just looking like they're having more fun, even if they're losing (Michigan State) and playing relaxed.

Anyhow maybe that might be me overthinking the situation too much.

I agree highheat, sure innings get extended, and can come back to bit a pitcher, but more times than not a lower WHIP for pitcher A, will give up less hits than pitcher B will a higher WHIP. WHIP tells no difference in those hits in an extended inning than those at the beginning of the inning.

Guillermo said... hit upon something that I have noticed, too. This year's team doesn't seem to have that esprit de corps that last year's team had. I see them look at times like they are having fun and then the next game they look like they would rather be someplace else. I've got my own ideas on why this is but I will keep them to myself as they are only my opinions. I will say that I believe some things could improve if there was more leadership from those who should be leaders...and that includes both players and coaches.

highheat88 said...

Minium 2007 ERA 6.68, Whip 2.14

Barnes 2007 ERA 8.68, Whip 2.00

If they were playing we would be asking for the freshmen.

rockybuckeye said...

Comparing what I saw as a whole from Minium last year to what I've seen as a whole from Wimmers/Rucinski, I really can't say I'd go one way or the other. Probably more towards the Frosh. Its not to be too hard on the freshmen, after all it is their first year, its just what seem to be silly mistakes that kill us. Also, just because they're freshmen, they're immune to wanting to see a high level of performance from. Go back the last 4 years, and you'll see guys like Fryer, Angle, Luebke, Shuck, Hale, Miller all step up and play big roles their freshmen years.

Also, the fans who stick around the program, to be blunt aren't satisfied with the results we're getting. I think the majority of people posting here travel with the team, know the players well, and want them to do their best. When things go south, you get disgrunteled and wonder what the heck.

However I fully believe we have th potential to run are 13 straight wins. Lets hope the players believe it and want to make it a reality.

Guillermo said...

You know whats cool about this post on the blog? It has the most comments of any post Todd has authored so far! :-)

I think we're getting carried away with this stats thing. The bottom line is that we have some talented players who all could and should contribute to the program. BT just needs to figure out how to make them all part of the team as opposed to 30-something individuals.

Rocky...thanks for that WHIP stat. It was fun playing around with it. I don't know how much it means but it is fun ...

This is my last comment on this post. I'm worn out! :-)

BaseballBucks33 said...

I agree about the guys playing with no engery some times.I love Delucia and Miller but i don't know if they are talkative captians. Not to bash either guy but it is hard to be a leader with so many young kids.They have never been though this before. I really think that has been a problem the last couple of years. We have to play with that spark and engery.

I think that is why we struggle when we get down early.We need some one to spark us with a HR. HR's really spark and rally us as a team. You get pumped up when your teammate goes yard.

I myself don't see the harm to pitch Strayer or Barnes once in a while. They can't do much worse than the Frosh. I really think BT is screwing Meister big time. To me that is hurting the team for him not to pitch more. We need Rory in the late Innings. He is a 5th yr. senior for god sake.

BaseballBucks33 said...

Starting pitchers for Northwestern series:

* RHP Jake Hale (4-1, 5.06 ERA) vs.
LHP Joe Muraski (4-3, 5.14 ERA)
* LHP Dan DeLucia (1-2, 5.28) vs.
RHP Bo Schultz (3-5, 7.34 ERA)
* RHP Dean Wolosiansky (5-2, 3.09) vs.
LHP Eric Jokisch (4-2, 4.72 ERA)
* LHP J.B. Shuck (4-2, 2.86) vs. LHP David Jensen ( 1-3, 10.05)

Hopefully it will be a good thing we have not play Northwestern since 2005. Maybe the guys will relax and just play Bucks baseball.

Looks like we will face 3 left hand pitchers also.Lets hope Arp can stay hot in RF.

I won't be making the trip, so i will check out the DH on the BTN for the 1st time this year. I really wanted to go, but i had a work thing come up and our plans did not work out.I guess the postive thing is i can talk on here all weekend. LOL

Lets go Bucks!

Todd Lamb said...

I am floored there has been this much dialogue after the doubleheader split with Akron. The Buckeyes are fortunate to have gotten a win in game one. I heard the umpiring crew was pathetic and admitted to Akron players they missed a call here and there.

At any rate, I realize this team is playing well below its potential. I know it is going to be easy to criticize the team. I am finding it hard to resist the urge as well. All I ask is that you keep it clean. Think before you hit "publish." And remember I don't think we gain anything if items mentioned here negatively affect recruiting. That can only put us further behind in our journey to a regular season Big Ten championship. Obviously, that dream is gone for this season.

I think the conversation today has been healthy and I encourage you and your friends to post here. By all means, invite others to join you. GO BUCKS!

KnuckleChuck said...

Math and statistics aside, the ERA and WHIP are indeed very good "indicators" of a how a pitcher is progressing, but in this case, with Ohio State, many of those factors really don't show much in limited use.

What I mean is that Strayer, for instance with only 4 innings of work, is no more leading the Buckeyes with a 2.25 ERA, then he is really last in pitcher WHIP with 2.75. Brad Hays did record an out in Florida this year but allowed 4 earned runs, giving him a 109.09 ERA and a WHIP over 15.

The ERA and WHIP need really around 25 to 30 innings before they can really show, or better indicate, a pitchers performance. And I do mean performance rather than effectiveness. Two pitchers can walk one and give up a hit early in the inning. Both would have a 2.0 WHIP, but one pitcher works out of the jam, the other allows a late hit, or SAC fly, the later not affecting the WHIP, but does allow the run to score. Even if its unearned due to an error, one pitcher may get out of the inning by not raising his ERA but allows the runs to mount on the scoreboard.

I would take a pitcher with a slightly higher ERA or WHIP who has shown the mental toughness to get out of these situations. Hands down, with a few exceptions, Eric Best and Rory Meister have shown this over time and frankly many others, primarily due to thier youth, have not. That is why Rory must be the anchor in that young bullpen, and pitchers like Barnes and Strayer have to be given a chance to show their metal on the bump too. After all if we have them use them.

I beleive Minium will red-shirt if he hasn't pitched yet this year and Popodak being inelligible shuts that door. But Hays is a lefty and Barnes has the "wakefield" knuckleball which I would have rather served to Purdue's Ryan White than what he deposited over the fence consistantly.

Todd's not ignorant that these freshmen, red shirt freshmen sn sophs are struggling at times, but look at life after Meister, Shuck, Delucia and Hale. This is going to be our pitching staff. And I think Todd is trying to get them ready to carry this team in a couple years. They have the talent, and the resume.

Rucinski - ALL Oklahoma
Armstrong - ALL Virginia
WOLO/Wimmers/Best/Strayer - ALL Ohio
Edgin/Minium - ALL PA

Obviously OSU does things a little different, and certainly Todd doesn't show exactly what that may be, but it appears if these kids can get the experience they need and conform to the ways of Todd and OSU, we have a bright future at the Bill in the next year or so.

rockybuckeye said...

"Obviously OSU does things a little different, and certainly Todd doesn't show exactly what that may be, but it appears if these kids can get the experience they need and conform to the ways of Todd and OSU, we have a bright future at the Bill in the next year or so."

Now with that do you think Todd is throwing away some of the present success, or do you feel he knows come late May in Ann Arbor we can win 4/5 games and get it done?

4 of the last 6 said...

guillermo said "...well..he did give up a 3-run shot but WC was one of the top 10 HR hitting teams in NCAA last year). The only time I recall he didn't do as well as most of our relief staff this year is vs. Penn St. in the BT tournament....he gave up 3 runs in one inning there."... in trying to make the case that the guy should get more time?!!!

Guillermo said...

4 of the last are sort of late to the conversation but I'm glad you took the time to pick out one of my early comments to "re-start" the argument. I wasn't as much making a case for why the kid should get more playing time (well...any playing time, actually, since he hasn't stepped foot on the field this spring) as much as wondering why he wasn't getting any playing time compared to our current relief staff. Surely you don't think those "stats" I presented are any worse than Edgin giving up 6 runs in the first inning on Wednesday night or Rucinski giving up 3 HRs in a row against Louisville. Heck, maybe I just made a case that none of those three should ever be on the hill.

It's a moot point anyway as it looks like BT has finally let Rory out of the doghouse. And about time, I might add.

A sweep today and we'll be looking pretty good. Go Bucks!

highheat88 said...

Armstrong (4) relief appearances,
(0) without allowing an earned run.

Best (15) relief appearances,
(12) without allowing an earned run.

Edgin (5) relief appearances,
(2) without allowing an earned run.

Meister (11) relief appearances,
(5) without allowing an earned run.

Rucinski (11) relief appearances,
(6) without allowing an earned run.

Wimmers (16) Relief appearances,
(8) wihout allowing an earned run.

Best is the only one that is better than 50/50.