MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS WEEK:
The Red Raiders did not have the weekend we’d hoped to see in Morgantown, but I think there were definitely positives to be found. Gabe Holt went 3-4 against National Pitcher of the Week Alek Manoah. He was special on the weekend going 7-14, RBI, R, 2B, 3SB. Holt also legged out three infield singles, just an impressive first step out of the box really showing even more what he’s capable of. Of course Caleb Kilian really put together a fantastic outing on Sunday going 9.0IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 9K in 94 pitches. A complete game shutout in under 100 pitches is called a Maddux and Caleb Kilian made it happen. He was really special retiring the last 19 of the 29 batters he faced in order.
I know there is frustration about giving up a walk-off walk to lose the Saturday contest 4-3 but that spurred major lineup changes on Sunday that appear to be working. Josh Jung moved to SS and played well there, Parker Kelly looked good at 3B flashing the leather and showing good arm strength. He was 1-4 at the plate, the 2B was welcome but the three Ks need improvement. We also saw Gabe Holt move into the three-hole on Sunday and he still notched a multi-hit game, Josh Jung went to the cleanup spot but struggled again Sunday, and Cody Masters took the leadoff position and started in LF.
All-in-all this team is still working to find itself, we even saw the coaches shift positions with Tim Tadlock going back to the dugout for the first time since the first half of last season. The talent is there, the bats are inconsistent but appear to be improving, and the pitching is continuing to move forward. This is still a team to watch and with Baylor, OU, OSU, and TCU all ahead there’s plenty of noise left to be made in the Big 12 and on the national scene.
A few things about the rankings:
DO THEY ALL MATTER?
No, absolutely not, most of them are worthless and only exist because a baseball/statistics nerd decided to make them. Some are an attempt by various outlets to keep RPI live rather than updated weekly by the NCAA. Many are wholly subjective in the case of those from various news outlets or composites of many rankings affected by outliers. Some also update at odd times, like on Friday.
DOES THAT MEAN I WON’T INCLUDE THEM?
Also, absolutely not. I’m going to include every ranking, RPI, composite, and strength of schedule I can find. It doesn’t matter how “legit” they are, I’m going to put them on the list. I like seeing them change and move fluidly over time. It’s also nice to see that even some of the top recognized lists are subject to knee-jerk reactions.
WHY INCLUDE IT IF IT DOESN’T MATTER?
Because we count everything in baseball.