Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Pathetic Win

But a win nonetheless. It should have been a walk in the park, a mindless game for an effortless win against a horrid Buffalo team that has just 13 wins. I stand by that pre-game assessment of what this game should have been.

Instead, the Buckeyes had to fight and claw their way to a 14-13 victory in the 2008 home finale (Box Score), the last game at Bill Davis Stadium for four seniors. They deserved better.

J.B. Shuck got the short start since his weekend start was rained out Sunday vs. Illinois. He pitched 3.0 innings and allowed two runs on four hits with a pair of strikeouts before handing the ball over to the bullpen so he could rest up for his start against Iowa this coming Sunday in Iowa City.

Rory Meister reminded why he has been in the dog house. I think he's a good kid and at one time showed great promise as a pitcher but he appeared to mail it in long before the start of his senior season. Today, he allowed nine runs on nine hits, including four doubles.

Through 3 ½ innings, the Buckeyes found themselves down 11-0, but got on the board with a pair in the bottom of the fourth. Andrew Armstrong gave up two runs in the fifth. He pitched 2.0 innings. Drew Rucinski, Alex Wimmers and Eric Best kept the Bulls off the board the rest of the way and gave their team a chance.

Like it did Saturday in the second game of the doubleheader vs. Illinois, Ohio State mounted a comeback, scoring three in the bottom of the fifth and two in the seventh before Justin Miller's three-run bomb pulled the Buckeyes within a 13-10 score.

And yet, as bad as it was, this team had a chance. In the ninth it loaded the bases with none out. Shuck walked for the first run and Miller tied the game with a two-run single. An error on Buffalo centerfielder Adam Skoniezski on a Zach Hurley fly ball won the game for the Buckeyes.

There will be some loyal fans who will try to make excuses for the effort in this game or perhaps brag about the improbable comeback, but it is a game Ohio State shouldn't nearly lose no matter how poor a season it is having. This game didn't matter, right? It's not like they were trying to get to 40 wins, like most Bob Todd-coached teams. This team is trying to win 30 games, which means nothing other than continuing a 22-season streak of winning at least that many. All that matters this year is that the team qualifies for the Big Ten tournament, where it can make a valiant effort at saving the season. As much as I would like to see another tournament championship and NCAA tournament berth locked up, I'm not sure this team is capable of that kind of magic, or maybe it is.

They have to get to Ann Arbor first. Good luck in Iowa City. Go Bucks!

Think I'm off base in my assessment? Let The Buckeye Nine know what you think.


Todd Lamb said...

Shuck is on the hill in what I suspect will be a short start. No score through one inning.

Anonymous said...

So much for the "effortless victory" against a "horrid" Buffalo.

In the 7th it is Buffalo 13, Ohio State 5... ouch

rockybuckeye said...

Its amazing at how a guy can go 8-2, with a 2.11 ERA on 11 runs in 47 IP their Freshman year can regress this badly and have the season Rory is having. Unexplainable.

A win is a win I guess, but wow.

rockybuckeye said...

With the Gusser's recent tear, and overally impressive seasons. Say bye-bye to our 1B. I think I said he was about 60% to get drafted going into the season, well now its about 85%.

BuckeyeFan16 said...

Give Buffalo some credit today. They hit the ball very well. They put two up against JB, then absolutely hammered the ball against Rory for one inning. There were no cheap hits that inning. While I don't like to see the Buckeyes have to come back from 11-0 to win a game, they did it in impressive fashion! I think the words "pathetic win" are a little harsh. It can't be easy to get up for a noon Tuesday game against Buffalo. It's behind us now. Go out to Iowa and take care of business.

playwithpride said...

Rocky, Gus is a great kid and a good college baseball player but there is a 0% chance he gets drafted and have to look at his tools...he has no speed, he doesnt hit for power, and he is limited in positions he can play...I love the kid to death but it just isnt happening, which is a good thing because this team is going to need everything they can get next year

Guillermo said...

"It can't be easy to get up for a noon Tuesday game against Buffalo." Hmmm...this should have been a walk in the park. There are too many guys on this team that think it is their right to just go through the motions. You saw what happened when the "2nd team" came in.

Regarding Rory....he did not look good. But I couldn't help sitting there and watching him fall apart and wonder why there was no one up in the bull pen. As a coach, why would you let a senior, in his last home game, hang out to dry? Did Todd think he was going to pitch his way out? yeah..right. Or does anyone think that was Parker's decision? If so, you are deluded. BT calls ALL the shots.

And now on to Iowa. We need 3 outta 4 in my opinion. Do we all feel confident about getting the job done?

At least the weather was good today.

rockybuckeye said...

pwp, I respect that, but just have a feeling he will. Bourquin was on absolutely nobody's radar until he tore it up in 06 Now Gus doesn't have quite as much power as Ronnie does but he has shown enough pop this year to warrant a chance, there are 40 rounds and all. I think he's pretty comparable to Fryer. Not as muchspeed, but they're in the same mold as hitters, and Gus can move behind the plate from time to time.

Speaking of him... Fryer was called up this past week from extended ST and is with the WV Power in the Sally League. Has already hit his first HR, doing so tonight, and here is a shock, is doing it as their left-fielder! Is off to a pretty goodstart in his first 5 games, which is great. He did struggle some in Helena, but he is one of the hardest workers you'll find and I'm confident things will go his way.

rockybuckeye said...

Not to cause any trouble, just the "2nd team" comment gave me a smirk.

Does a team of the "regulars" overwhelmingly beat the "2nd team"

LF Kennedy
2B Kovanda
CF Shuck
1B Miller
RF Dew
3B Rupert
SS Engle
C Burkahrt


CF Hurler
RF Arp
1B Meade
3B DeLucia
LF Macke
C Toussant
SS Streng
2B ?

Just trying to make light and forget the awful game.

BaseballBucks33 said...

I kinda agree about Miller and the draft.

He is a great hitter,but not a 3b or Catcher in MLB. He is averege at best at first defensively. Gus is a great kid and hard worker,but not ready for the pros.He is real hot right now and i hope he keeps it up vs.Iowa. I just don't see him drafted in a good round. I hope to see him back for the Bucks next year.

To be honest,i dont think Hale or Shuck is ready either.I know that has not stopped alot of former Buckeyes in the past,but that is the truth. I think both guys would greatly benefit to return as seniors.

RB, i don't know what to say about Rory that is so sad to see.He got his butt kicked bad today as a 5th yr. senior.He was great as a Frosh.Heck he won 5 games in 8 days.I just feel so bad for him.

Guillermo said...

bucks33....I tend to agree with you regarding Shuck, Hale and Miller but I think if JB and Jake are drafted high enough they will both go. Jake has the tools and just needs someone who can fine tune them...and someone to keep him focused. I think some MLB team will look at JB as either a pitcher or a fielder/hitter (not both) and figure he will get much better at whichever one it is with concentration on that position.
Gus is harder to figure. As you said above, he is a hard worker and he is developing into a good hitter. I just don't know if his fielding skills at either 1b or C are good enough. I think he will be drafted in a lower round and my opinion is he comes back.
What do you think Delucia's chances are in the draft?

rockybuckeye said...

Don't see DeLucia being picked up.

1 he was not drafted after his Junior year.
2 he is recovering still from the surgery.
3 he had an impressive season by any means.

Hale and Shuck are gone. Hale having been drafted twice before is known and someone will pick him up. JB's time in the Cape helped him more than anything he can do in the Big Ten.

Again it basically comes down to the money. Even if you're picked after the 20th round, the team that drafts you has to give you a moderate signing bonus to intice you to leave school, and in most cases they're still pay for you to go to school. Where as if you stay for your senior season, 1 theres no promise to be drafted again, and 2 the signing bonus considerably drops as you have no options and the team has you at mercy, you either sign or hey you're not playing ball.

There are few exceptions like Florida's Matt LaPorta. But even with him he was a top pick, who had insane talent, that knew he was a 1st rounder the following year regardless. After being drafted very early last year he is already tearing up AA ball in the Brewers organization. Gus, JB, and Jake, don't have the luxury of being insanely talented and having a ceiling like LaPort though. Now its not to say you can't be successful if drafted after your senior season, but compared to leaving your junior year, you're losing quite a few dollars.

Todd Lamb said...

As I read this headline this morning from Tuesday's game, I probably was a bit harsh to call it a pathetic win. After Meister left, the team got great bullpen pitching and finally got going at the plate. I doubt this comeback happens against a good team, but the fact they came back to win from an 11-0 hole is impressive. If they play like they are behind, this team could have a chance next week in Ann Arbor.

Todd Lamb said...

As for Miller and the draft, I would hate to see him make the same mistake as so many others before him who have left for a payday when they clearly weren't ready to play professional baseball. Unless he's drafted in the first 10 rounds, he should stay at Ohio State. I think Jake Hale will be gone. Scouts are confused about Shuck. Some see him as a pitcher and others see him as an outfielder. I think there are too many questions on him and he'll be a guy who goes late. Unless you go early on day one, stay in school. I think he's as good as gone though.

rockybuckeye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rockybuckeye said...

Just some points going into this weekend...

If the Bucks and Northwestern are tied with a .500 record, the tiebreaker would be broke by a coin flip. 1st tie-breaker is head-to-head, we split. 2nd is common opponents, both would be .500 against common opponents (Indiana who isn't on our schedule split with NW, Penn State who isn't on their schedule split with us). 3rd and finally is a coin toss.

If OSU and MSU are tied with .500 records OSU wins the tiebreaker. Went 2-1 against Sparty in Lansing.

If all 3 end up with .500 records, well I don't know.

So with that for us NOT to get in
-We go 4-0, its impossible.
-We go 3-1, its impossible.
-We go 2-2, both MSU and NW have to go 3-0 or 4-0. If both go 3-1, all 3 would finish with .500 records and it gets nasty.
-We go 1-3, NW has to go 2-2, MSU has to win 3.
-We go 0-4, NW has to go 1-3, MSU has to go 1-1 or 2-2.

BaseballBucks33 said...

Just win baby,just Win. If we play like i know we can than i don't have to worry about all that goffy math. Lol! NW is done cause they are playing Michigan.I hope IU at least splits with MSU. Maybe the Gophers split with PSU. I don't know. Bucks need to take 3/4 or Sweep. Lets go Bucks!

Not to change the topic, but what do you guys know about Ross Oltorik from Cin Moeller.I was in Cincy today for work and had lunch with a old friend.His son goes to Moeller and see's them a lot.I guess he will be a Frosh next year at OSU,got a baseball scolly and also wants to play QB at too.

Sounds like a great player for the Bucks next year.I guess he is pretty good on the hill and also plays OF.I have heard of him on the football field,but did not know he played baseball. Sounds like a great kid and a hard worker.

The only other kid that i know about for next year is Cypret's son,Ryan. He plays SS, i believe at Olentangy Liberty.

Guillermo said...

bucks33...I haven't seen Oltorik in person but I have two comments....

He will have a solid baseball background coming from Moeller/GCL..

I have heard from more than a couple friends that he has good velocity but he and the catcher don't always know where the ball will end up......let's just say that he may be a little less than stellar with his location. :-)

My biggest concern is how he will be able to play football in the fall and turn around and be a productive baseball player in February. I guess I really do not understand this whole "split scholly" thing. Not that a college kid can't be a two-sport guy but in his case it seems like a stretch that he can do it at the Big Ten level. Hopefully he will prove me wrong.

BaseballBucks33 said...

Yeah i don't understand the split scolly either.I would think OSU would have him decide on one sport?I guess football wise he is a preferred walk-on.

Yeah my friend also talked about the control issue.He has only walked 10 in 40 some IP,but has had his fair share of wild pitches.Hope he works out we can always use more pitching.

rockybuckeye said...

Indiana's CF Andrew Means is a WR on their football team. Is hitting .350 and 28/34 SB's Had 48 catches for 559 yards in Football.

Minnesota's Eric Decker does both as well. He's hitting .313, and had 67 catches for 909 yards and 9 TD's.

It can be done. Kinda wish the Torrence kid from Canton would have played baseball here, but he had a decent signing bonus, though he struggled, out of HS, and is still on football scholie.

BaseballBucks33 said...

Did the Torrence kid get drafted?

I thought he was with the Astros last summer. How can he play college football too. I can't find any info on him on the Minor league baseball web site.

rockybuckeye said...

Yes, Devon was drafted in the 16th round by the 'Stors, played Rookie ball, forget which, but he struggled. .149 in 30 games, 2 XBH.

The NCAA allows you to keep you eligibility if the NCAA sport you play (this case football), is not the sport you are making money from (baseball). This is why guys like Weinkie can play MiLB, but still hav eligibilty to come back and play college football later.

Since the minor league season only goes until late August/ear September, Tress, Torrence, and the Astors agreed to let him play until it was time to report to camp.