Around the Bases Sees the Status Quo Continue // 04.19.10

Aroundthebases2010_medium

Georgia is now in last place in the SEC East, which is something notable. I'd be interested to know (if anyone does) the last time that happened. If not, we'll have to get the research department working on it. (What? We don't have a research department? What happened to all that money SBN was supposed to be making?)

SEC EAST SEC WEST
SEC W-L Overall W-L GB SEC W-L Overall W-L GB
South Carolina 11-4 28-8 -- Arkansas 12-3 31-6 --
Florida 10-5 25-10 1.0 LSU 11-4 30-6 1.0
Vanderbilt 8-7 29-9 3.0 Auburn 8-7 24-13 4.0
Kentucky 5-10 22-14 6.0 Ole Miss 8-7 24-13 4.0
Tennessee 4-11 18-19 7.0 Alabama 5-10 22-15 7.0
Georgia 3-12 11-25 8.0 Mississippi State 5-10 19-17 7.0

In any case, except for a team picking up a game here or losing some there, not much else from the standings. South Carolina and Arkansas are now officially the teams to beat, and the supposed favorites are the ones with the best chances of defeating them. Vanderbilt, Auburn and Ole Miss all need to move quickly. I don't see Kentucky, Alabama or anyone else being able to win; it's as much a question of how many teams are ahead of them now as it is the number of games. Alabama is now trying to make sure it will go to Hoover.

South Carolina defeats Ole Miss, 2-1
Friday South Carolina 5 Ole Miss 0
Saturday South Carolina 9 Ole Miss 5
Sunday Ole Miss 5 South Carolina 4

Drew Pomeranz threw 124 pitches in the first seven innings of the Friday game, and that very well could have been the difference in the game and the series. As soon as he left, South Carolina scored five runs and won the game. Blake Cooper threw nine scoreless innings for his seventh win of the season. He struck out 10, as did Pomeranz. By contrast, it took Aaron Barrett just 68 pitches Saturday to allow eight runs and leave the game in the fourth inning with the game almost over. Sunday's game featured an ejection, managers arguing with players (and each other) and some actual baseball being played. A seventh-inning home run by David Phillips was the difference.

Arkansas defeats Georgia, 3-0
Friday Arkansas 10 Georgia 2
Saturday Arkansas 10 Georgia 2
Sunday Arkansas 13 Georgia 5

When you allow the other team eight more runs in the game, you lose. Georgia is apparently not aware of this provision of the rules of baseball. More similarities: Arkansas scored three runs in the first inning Friday and Saturday; scored two runs in the fourth inning in each game; and had three multi-run innings in each game. You could say something from the Department of Self-Evidence like "Georgia's pitching has issues and that cost the Diamond Dawgs this game," but the truth is that a better team defeated a worse team for the sweep.

LSU defeats Alabama, 3-0
Friday LSU 12 Alabama 5
Saturday LSU 9 Alabama 7
Sunday (14 inn.) LSU 6 Alabama 5

It wasn't the Mets playing the Cardinals or anything (which on one level I'm disappointed I missed but on the other hand I'm not sure I could stand as a Cubs fan), but Sunday's game was the closest Alabama ever got. The Saturday game featured a three-run eighth inning, so the 9-7 score makes it look perhaps closer than it was. (Sunday was also the only day on which Bama's starter saw the end of the third inning.) The headline, though, is that LSU keeps pace with Arkansas in the SEC West race.

Vanderbilt defeats Auburn, 2-1
Friday Vanderbilt 11 Auburn 6
Saturday Auburn 12 Vanderbilt 2
Sunday Vanderbilt 3 Auburn 2

Auburn left 24 men on base over the course of the weekend, 15 of them in the two games they lost. Again, this isn't a big deal if you're leaving men on base because you're stringing together a lot of hits and driving in runs. See: Saturday. If you're not plating anything, though, that's going to cause you to lose a few games. Vanderbilt's problem at this point is that the Commodores have already played against South Carolina and Florida, which means the Dores will need help to win the division.

Florida defeats Kentucky, 2-1
Friday Florida 10 Kentucky 8
Saturday Florida 6 Kentucky 3
Sunday Kentucky 6 Florida 5

Another example of what we mentioned about Auburn: Kentucky left 14 men on base Saturday. If just less than a third of those men had crossed home plate, the Wildcats would have won the game. Of course, Kentucky's pitchers can't exactly blame the offense on Friday or Saturday. Nothing really surprises in this series based on the season so far. What, you were still thinking that maybe Kentucky's great beginning wasn't because Rich Brooks came up with the baseball schedule this year?

Mississippi State defeats Tennessee, 2-1
Friday Tennessee 15 Mississippi State 13
Saturday Mississippi State 11 Tennessee 7
Sunday Mississippi State 14 Tennessee 6

"That could be a series for the ages, folks," your humble correspondent said last week. It's safe to say that 66 runs later, I appear to have been right. There were 27 combined pitching appearances, even with State's Chris Stratton pitching a complete game Saturday. (Why the four-run fifth inning wasn't enough to call a reliever, I don't know.) Friday's game was more than four hours long, but otherwise the runs seemed to score quickly.

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