Jump to content

Join Our Community

Are you a fan of the Texas Longhorns? Registration is FREE and EASY. Join the discussion!
Sign Up for FREE
Sign in to follow this  
Jameson McCausland

Thoughts and Takeaways from Texas' series loss to Stanford

Recommended Posts

After taking the series opener over 7th ranked Stanford, Texas Baseball dropped the next 3 games, capped off by a 11-1 victory by the Cardinal on Sunday afternoon. The Longhorns will now travel to Arkansas for a 2 game midweek series against the Razorbacks. Let’s take a look at some thought, takeaways and notes from the weekend.

Pitcher of the Weekend- Nico O’Donnell

Despite allowing 2 runs in 4 innings, there was a lot to like about Nico O’Donnell’s outing on Thursday. The freshman commanded both his breaking balls and showed improved command on his fastball. David Pierce sounded excited about development and future for O’Donnell, who continues to progress with each start he makes. While he doesn’t have an overpowering fastball (usually sitting in the high 80’s), his ability to throw a solid 3 pitch mix has been shown in all 3 of his starts.
 

Stat of the Weekend- 9.60

9.60 was the ERA for the Texas bullpen this weekend. On Saturday, Texas trailed 5-3 entering the 9th, but Beau Ridgeway and Josh Sawyer combined to allow 4 runs, helping Stanford pad their lead to 9-3. On Sunday, Texas only trailed 3-0 entering the 6th, when Chase Shugart exited with a injury. Bryce Elder and Jake McKenzie then let up a combined 4 walks and 5 runs, helping Stanford build a 9-0 lead.

Main Takeaway- The Bullpen

The bullpen is in desperate need of a shot in the arm. I was encouraged by what Kamron Fields showed in his first appearance of the year today, but he is still working his way back from a shoulder injury. David Pierce said they have to find a way to get Beau Ridgeway right, and it’s hard to argue with that. Ridgeway has forced Texas into a position where they are having to go with a closer by committee right now. Bryce Elder seemed like a potential solution, but the right-hander couldn’t record an out on Sunday, throwing 3 strikes in 14 pitches. Bryce Verplank flashed a great fastball-slider combination on Friday, but struggled a little more with his command on Sunday, allowing a walk and a run.
 

Random Notes

  • After the game, Pierce said Beau Ridgeway would receive the start on Tuesday against Arkansas, followed by Nico O’Donnell on Wednesday. The possibility of Ridgeway starting a game was mentioned on Saturday, but it has now been confirmed.
  • David Hamilton finished the final 2 games of the series by going 0 for 6 at the plate with 4 strikeouts. He continues to battle a right shoulder injury, playing at 2B  instead of his usual position of SS on Sunday.
  • RHP Tristan Stevens continues his return from Tommy John surgery, and Pierce sounds increasingly confident that the Missouri native can be a contributor soon. Stevens would give Texas another arm to work with as roles continue to be defined in the Texas bullpen.

 

Quotes from David Pierce

Overall thoughts on the game

“Really tough day yesterday. Expected a little better in our fight to get back to even this weekend. The bottom is if you don’t have location against them, you are going to get beat. Chase didn’t have his location in the 1st, and then he located. Then we got to the 6th, and we brought our best two strike throwers to follow him, and for whatever reason it wasn’t good for them. Honestly, I thought [Stanford’s] pitcher pitched well, but we were very undisciplined at home plate. We had a very poor approach for the type of weather we were playing in. That was the bottom line.”

On the message to his team

“I think the biggest thing I want to see is our guys maintain their discipline. When things are going well for them, stay with it, and then when we struggle and are behind, get back to our discipline and doing the things that made them good. That’s my biggest message to them. It seems like we are down by 3 and everybody’s panicking and swinging with length instead of just passing the bat to the next guy.”



 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Texas baseball.

I remember walking around the apartment on Speedway in the early 70's trying to find a place where the transistor radio could pick up the broadcast of a night UT/USC World Series game.

I may have been one of those guys who wear face paint now back in the days of sitting in a rowdy bunch along the third base line of Disch field watching  visiting teams trying to figure out Billy Goat Hill and yelling at the visitor team warm up circle.

I've always kept up with UT baseball wherever I lived around the country. No doubt I was a BIG Gus fan.

I lived and died with Augie, mostly died enough at the end to quit listening while I did yard work which was always one of my favorite ways to spend a weekend.

I'm pretty sure our new AD needs to evaluate the current situation and plan to get UT baseball, along with other sports, back to the traditional standards set by the great UT coaches of the 70's and 80's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fear the base running interference against Hamilton in the 2nd game with the bases loaded really got to his confidence for the rest of the series.  The media really pounded him for it.

Stanford had some really big guys hitting the ball a long way.

Stanford is to Texas as Texas is to Northwestern

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, popdaddy said:

I love Texas baseball.

I remember walking around the apartment on Speedway in the early 70's trying to find a place where the transistor radio could pick up the broadcast of a night UT/USC World Series game.

I may have been one of those guys who wear face paint now back in the days of sitting in a rowdy bunch along the third base line of Disch field watching  visiting teams trying to figure out Billy Goat Hill and yelling at the visitor team warm up circle.

I've always kept up with UT baseball wherever I lived around the country. No doubt I was a BIG Gus fan.

I lived and died with Augie, mostly died enough at the end to quit listening while I did yard work which was always one of my favorite ways to spend a weekend.

I'm pretty sure our new AD needs to evaluate the current situation and plan to get UT baseball, along with other sports, back to the traditional standards set by the great UT coaches of the 70's and 80's.

Nice post popdaddy, I enjoyed reading it!

 I, like you, developed an awareness of Texas baseball in the 1970s. If you think Texas football fans are spoiled, Texas baseball fans are worse!    Under Gus, a bad season was defined as one in which we did not make it to the College World Series.   Augie had us On top of the college baseball world for several years as well.  

 Perhaps those years set my personal bar for Texas baseball at a ridiculously  high level? Perhaps I should accept a “new normal?”   But I’ll be honest, this current swoon is a hard pill to swallow. I traveled to Fort Worth last year and saw THE  University of Texas completely over-matched by a TCU squad that looked superior in every aspect of the game… That’s right, TCU. Now, a year later, I don’t see that the tide has changed. Can we face that juggernaut in Fort Worth....  much less that one in Lubbock? It doesn’t appear so at this early stage in the season. 

Maybe I can learn to be satisfied with taking one of four from that baseball power from California? Maybe I need to enjoy the ride and lower the bar about five rungs? But if my bar is way too high for Texas athletics, you can blame: Gus, Augie, or even Fred Akers and Mack Brown.  This mediocrity in every sport I care about is getting old.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Coot said:

I fear the base running interference against Hamilton in the 2nd game with the bases loaded really got to his confidence for the rest of the series.  The media really pounded him for it.

Stanford had some really big guys hitting the ball a long way.

Stanford is to Texas as Texas is to Northwestern

I think m Hamilton's shoulder is bothering him more than anything. Looks like it’s effecting him in the field and at the plate. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know folks are frustrated with UT Athletics, and it’s been a longer drought than most want to see. I feel that some are quick to dismiss fairly obvious things (such as how bad the draft hurt, injuries, staff having to go to JUCOs and xfers for depth purposes since their recruiting classes are not here yet,) and jump right to the edge of the cliff.

 

This program will be fine under Pierce and Co. I realize that immediate success is what some are clamoring for, but step back and look at the bigger picture and I think you’ll see that there are really good things being done. It hasn’t manifested itself into a bunch of Ws yet, but I believe it absolutely will in the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to believe this team will be fine But I disagree -- our hitting as it has been for 3-4 years is inconsistent Now our pitching is inconsistent Now our defense is inconsistent -we even saw a critical base running mistake that was huge . I have stated this before Don't take Kansas for granted they are playing really well and their three starting pitchers are better than our three (right now) Let's hope we can pull out 2 wins this weekend -- it won't be easy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

joey, I’m going to get blasted for this, but imo our best players, with a few exceptions, are freshmen and sophomores. They are playing, but are prone to more mistakes than an upper class team. I ask all of you, who’s fault is that?

I, too, remember The University of Texas at Omaha, but I’m not going to blame Pierce for the slide during Augie’s last few years. 

Patience is still a virtue, at least the last time I looked. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, joeywa said:

I know folks are frustrated with UT Athletics, and it’s been a longer drought than most want to see. I feel that some are quick to dismiss fairly obvious things (such as how bad the draft hurt, injuries, staff having to go to JUCOs and xfers for depth purposes since their recruiting classes are not here yet,) and jump right to the edge of the cliff.

 

This program will be fine under Pierce and Co. I realize that immediate success is what some are clamoring for, but step back and look at the bigger picture and I think you’ll see that there are really good things being done. It hasn’t manifested itself into a bunch of Ws yet, but I believe it absolutely will in the long run.

I hope you’re right; but it’s been my experience in college athletics, that when you get the right coach, results are evident very early.  This bothers me, not only with Pierce, but also with Shaka.  Herman has another season before red flags start flying skyward.  

These four year building programs so many seem tout are not realistic.  Typically you know after the 2nd year.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, java said:

joey, I’m going to get blasted for this, but imo our best players, with a few exceptions, are freshmen and sophomores. They are playing, but are prone to more mistakes than an upper class team. I ask all of you, who’s fault is that?

I, too, remember The University of Texas at Omaha, but I’m not going to blame Pierce for the slide during Augie’s last few years. 

Patience is still a virtue, at least the last time I looked. 

I hear you; but the youth excuse has been used too often for too long in too many UT programs.  With scholarship limits today, almost all college teams are young!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great posts in this thread. @java you won’t get pounced on Monday me. Pierce is recruiting very well from all parts of the state and rebuilding this program will take time.  Trust me when I say this, I want Texas Baseball to be back as bad, and quite possibly worse than anyone on this site.  It matters to me. 

Food for thought:

Tristan Stevens-Tommy John 

Cole Quintanilla-Tommy John

Donny Diaz-Tommy John

 

Those are three pitchers that were slated to compete for time in the rotation this year that are sidelined  due to TJ  

Sawyer is returning from two seasons off due to injury.

McGuire is returning from one season out of baseball.

So now you have all your rotation eggs in the basket with Kingham, Shugart, Henley and Ridgeway.  If one or more struggles, (which we have all seen,) your options diminish significantly.  Now you have a choice from Sawyer & McGuire (listed above,) McKenzie, Parker Joe, Bocchi, Fearon, Verplank &  Ivey; Freshmen: O’Donnell, Elder, Inoff, Fields, Whelen & Streitman.

Of the upperclassmen, (those with experience,) R-SO Verplank is fairly new to pitching, Fearon hasn’t really contributed yet.

Next year’s recruits (provided that most make it to campus,) are supposed to be one of the top classes in the country.  The draft absolutely decimated the options that the staff has for pitchers.

YTD ERA is 4.56  

Versus uLa, LSU & Stanford, ( what I consider far better talented teams than the other teams we have played,) the ERA is 5.64

With regards to hitting, overall team batting

AVG is .266 (#122)

OBP is .380 (#80)

SLG is .399 (#94)

Considering that Texas has faced at least 6 MLB draft pitchers in 16 games, this isn’t great but not awful either.

 

i realize patience is something our fan base is very short on, but I think we need to find a little bit and let this thing play out. 

 

Hook Em!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

joey, correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t Stanford have 3 pitchers expected to go in the top rounds of the draft?

That puts them in pretty elite company. 

I get criticism, but I prefer that it be based on facts and reason. To say Texas had been down for 3 or 4 years and mention Pierce is not reasonable. He was taking a different program to a Regional both 3 and 4 years ago. 

Sheesh!

Hook ‘em!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, java said:

joey, correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t Stanford have 3 pitchers expected to go in the top rounds of the draft?

That puts them in pretty elite company. 

I get criticism, but I prefer that it be based on facts and reason. To say Texas had been down for 3 or 4 years and mention Pierce is not reasonable. He was taking a different program to a Regional both 3 and 4 years ago. 

Sheesh!

Hook ‘em!

 

That's correct on the Stanford pitching; and that number could be as high as 4 depending on how their season goes. 

I'm right there with you on your thoughts.  And let's not forget that Pierce took Texas to a regional and was one game from a Super in year one.  That's something that Augie didn't do here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, joeywa said:

Great posts in this thread. @java you won’t get pounced on Monday me. Pierce is recruiting very well from all parts of the state and rebuilding this program will take time.  Trust me when I say this, I want Texas Baseball to be back as bad, and quite possibly worse than anyone on this site.  It matters to me. 

Food for thought:

Tristan Stevens-Tommy John 

Cole Quintanilla-Tommy John

Donny Diaz-Tommy John

 

Those are three pitchers that were slated to compete for time in the rotation this year that are sidelined  due to TJ  

Sawyer is returning from two seasons off due to injury.

McGuire is returning from one season out of baseball.

So now you have all your rotation eggs in the basket with Kingham, Shugart, Henley and Ridgeway.  If one or more struggles, (which we have all seen,) your options diminish significantly.  Now you have a choice from Sawyer & McGuire (listed above,) McKenzie, Parker Joe, Bocchi, Fearon, Verplank &  Ivey; Freshmen: O’Donnell, Elder, Inoff, Fields, Whelen & Streitman.

Of the upperclassmen, (those with experience,) R-SO Verplank is fairly new to pitching, Fearon hasn’t really contributed yet.

Next year’s recruits (provided that most make it to campus,) are supposed to be one of the top classes in the country.  The draft absolutely decimated the options that the staff has for pitchers.

YTD ERA is 4.56  

Versus uLa, LSU & Stanford, ( what I consider far better talented teams than the other teams we have played,) the ERA is 5.64

With regards to hitting, overall team batting

AVG is .266 (#122)

OBP is .380 (#80)

SLG is .399 (#94)

Considering that Texas has faced at least 6 MLB draft pitchers in 16 games, this isn’t great but not awful either.

 

i realize patience is something our fan base is very short on, but I think we need to find a little bit and let this thing play out. 

 

Hook Em!

I’m not trying to be argumentative, and I know before I type this out that it will sound pessimistic.  I appreciate your optimistic view of things, and I once shared them with you.  The bottom line is this, something is really wrong with the University of Texas’ athletic department.  That’s a broad statement and I have my theories with more specifics, but stay with me for just a moment.  I would submit to you that UT athletics has an order of importance as follows:

  1. Football

  2. Men’s Basketball

  3. Baseball

  4. Woman’s Basketball

  5. Volleyball

We could quibble on this, but take a look at the top 3.  Texas, which likes to think of itself as a blueblood with so many advantages:  Facilities, Money, Location, Great City…. Is a mediocre team in a bad power 5 conference, in each of the 3 most important athletic programs.  I could make a case that in my lifetime (I’m 51 years old) Football and Baseball (based on performance for the last 4 years) is in the worst shape it has ever been in.  Basketball is a close second, only being slightly eclipsed by 4 years with Bob Wetlich – and even that is questionable because he shared a conference championship in basketball.  Remember what I said, I am going by “performance on the field / court of play” and not gaging other indicators.  Since 2009, we have heard the same excuses or sunny opposition for bad performance on the field / court of play:

  • We are young

  • We have had injuries

  • We are recruiting well and brighter days are right on the horizon

The problem is we never get “experienced,” all teams have injuries, and this great recruiting never materializes into actually putting a good product on the field / court of play.  Honestly, I think we as a fan base have been patient enough.

Please don’t take away my “fan card” status because of this post.  I know it is negative, etc…. but I’m just getting really tired of the three bullet points above!  If we are this blue-blood program with all the advantages, I’d really like to see a conference championship in one of the big three sports…. Heck, right now I’d settle for a meaningful game after the halfway point in a season. 

Rant over, I’m out, and yes, I still love my Horns!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, 83Dee said:

I’m not trying to be argumentative, and I know before I type this out that it will sound pessimistic.  I appreciate your optimistic view of things, and I once shared them with you.  The bottom line is this, something is really wrong with the University of Texas’ athletic department.  That’s a broad statement and I have my theories with more specifics, but stay with me for just a moment.  I would submit to you that UT athletics has an order of importance as follows:

  1. Football

  2. Men’s Basketball

  3. Baseball

  4. Woman’s Basketball

  5. Volleyball

We could quibble on this, but take a look at the top 3.  Texas, which likes to think of itself as a blueblood with so many advantages:  Facilities, Money, Location, Great City…. Is a mediocre team in a bad power 5 conference, in each of the 3 most important athletic programs.  I could make a case that in my lifetime (I’m 51 years old) Football and Baseball (based on performance for the last 4 years) is in the worst shape it has ever been in.  Basketball is a close second, only being slightly eclipsed by 4 years with Bob Wetlich – and even that is questionable because he shared a conference championship in basketball.  Remember what I said, I am going by “performance on the field / court of play” and not gaging other indicators.  Since 2009, we have heard the same excuses or sunny opposition for bad performance on the field / court of play:

  • We are young

  • We have had injuries

  • We are recruiting well and brighter days are right on the horizon

The problem is we never get “experienced,” all teams have injuries, and this great recruiting never materializes into actually putting a good product on the field / court of play.  Honestly, I think we as a fan base have been patient enough.

Please don’t take away my “fan card” status because of this post.  I know it is negative, etc…. but I’m just getting really tired of the three bullet points above!  If we are this blue-blood program with all the advantages, I’d really like to see a conference championship in one of the big three sports…. Heck, right now I’d settle for a meaningful game after the halfway point in a season. 

Rant over, I’m out, and yes, I still love my Horns!!

I feel your pain. College sports is cyclical and unfortunately we have been in a down cycle. I am not much younger than you and I distinctly recall waiting for the USA Today Top 25 rankings to come out in football when I was a student at UT. If Texas was in “Others receiving votes” it was cause for celebration.

Spending time on message boards with some of the most outspoken parts of the Texas fan base has led me to the theory that a small faction of our fan base is extremely entitled. That’s not a bad thing, but it does cause quite a bit of angst when all three “big” sports are not doing as well as these fans expect. Are the expectations unreasonable?  Sure, at times. But it manifests itself drastically when expectations are not met in the three most-viewed sports. It’s visible. It stings. You’re tired of hearing “y’all suck” from other fans at work, church, the pub, fishing, wherever. I get it. I truly do. The tide will turn. When you turnover all 3 coaches in a span of what, 5 years(?) things take time. 

Strong was a disaster. Shaka has been meh. Augie stayed too long and Pierce is brand new. I personally will wait to see on pierce but I believe he’s the right guy to turn baseball around. I also believe Herman is the guy for football. 

Like I said, patience is desired. Whether fans are willing to give a little more remains to be seen. 

Bottom line, until UT begins winning and winning consistently in any of the 3 sports, there will be unrest. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  


Franchise Quest


×