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Series Recap Week VIII: "Another Bullshit [Weekend] in Suck City"

On the plus side... - The Simpsons, "Bart on the Road"

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."

-Napoleon Bonaparte

"But on the plus side, I knocked over the Sunsphere."

-Nelson Muntz, "Bart on the Road"

Entirely too quick recap:

Tuesday v. UTM: Win 5-0

Friday v. UT: Win 6-4 (Predicted a 7-2 win, so I was close here.)

Beede struggled early, with poor control leading to three runs in the bottom of the first, but showed resilience and the ability to pitch without his A-game, and really impressed me by throwing seven more innings, with a solo shot by Smart as his only blemish. Fulmer then slammed the door shut. Side note: Corbin's new lineup (Wiseman leading off, Rogers at DH, batting 7th) looked like a winner, but this was mostly due to Turner and Conde tearing the cover off the ball.

Saturday v. UT: Loss 10-9 (Predicted a 5-3 win. ALL THE EXPLETIVES!!!)

Injuries, errors, and shady umpires conspired against us in a game Kyle Smith will want to burn all record of.

*See the "Pitcher of the series" write up for how this abomination ended.

Sunday v. UT: Loss 7-0 (Predicted an 8-0 win. The crystal ball had dyscalculia this day.)

Brutal. Just brutal. Get well soon, Turner, Wiel, and Delay. We need you.

Overall Record: 25-8 (6-6 SEC)

Player of the series: #3 SS Vince "Senor Racha Caliente" Conde

Friday: 2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 2B

Saturday: 4-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 2B, 1 HR

Sunday: 1-4 (with the injuries, he had no lineup protection, and only 2 got on base ahead of him all game)

Pitcher of the series: #15 RHP Carson "The Florida Flamethrower" Fulmer

On Friday, he pitched a perfect 9th to preserve the win, picking up his 9th save in the process.

On Saturday, he was about to shut the door again, when the ump decided to be a total dick. *Sorry for the crude language, but I value the meaning of words, and nothing else even comes close to summing it up. First, he decided to call a 3-2 ball before the pitch was thrown. About that... a "ball" was called because Fulmer licked his fingers and didn't immediately wipe them off. Had he been on the mound, foot on the rubber, about to pitch, that's a perfectly valid call, as you could argue he was getting an unfair advantage or throwing a de facto spit ball. That's not what happened, of course. Fulmer was not on the rubber, and it was called well before he even reached the rubber. Either this umpire can see into the future, or it was an absolutely horrid call. Seeing as time travel continues to confound our greatest scientists, I'm going to go with the latter and issue a pox on all of his houses. Then, the ump compounded this by squeezing the strike zone (if I'm being polite, "blowing the call" if I'm being honest, and "walking away with a sack of money with an orange dollar sign on it" if I'm being irrationally angry and conspiratorial) on Fulmer and leading to us losing a sloppy, but winnable game. A pox, I say!!!

Honorable Mention: #9 3B Xavier "The Professor" Turner

The Professor is just plain destroying the ball of late. He's on a 19 game hitting streak, and was beginning to unleash the awesome power of apples, with two doubles on Friday and a 400 foot line drive home run on Saturday. Of course, late in the game, he was struck in the head while running the bases, and was forced to sit out Sunday's game because we can't have nice things.

Second Guesses No One Asked For: "Believe it or Not..."

...I've got nothing. Well, basically nothing. I would have started Delay instead of Ellison at catcher on Saturday, but this is an extremely minor quibble, as Corbin realized his mistake and brought in Delay in the 5th (who immediately had a two run double) after seeing Ellison fail to block a couple balls in the dirt. I would have hit Coleman 9th instead of 1st on Sunday, too, but that's well-worn tread in these columns, and with the injuries to Turner, Wiel, and Delay, Corbin didn't exactly have a treasure trove of more attractive options.

That's right. Even though we lost the series (though we would have taken two of three had the umpire possessed working eyes in the 9th on Saturday), none of this was on the manager. I loved the lineup change on Friday and Saturday (and he did what he could with what we had Sunday), he managed the bullpen well, and he stuck with Beede through a shaky start.

So... as I have no second guesses of Corbin to propel this column forward, I'm going to premiere a new feature, the "Heat Index." In this feature (which I'll probably only do in circumstances like this), I'm simply going to list how hot a player is at this exact moment in time (for example, last week, Dansby Swanson would have been "On Fire;" now, he's simply "Warm). I don't know. It's a thing. Shut up. They have to have played in the weekend series the week of the Index to be ranked.

Heat Index

On Fire: Vince Conde and Xavier Turner

Hot: Carson Fullmer and Adam Ravanelle

Warm: Dansby Swanson, Jason Delay, Nolan Rogers, John Norwood, Tyler Beede, Brian Miller, Hayden Stone, and Ben Bowden

Tepid: Chris Harvey, Will Cooper, and Ro Coleman

Cool: Bryan Reynolds and Karl Ellison

Cold: Rhett Wiseman, Zander Wiel, Jared Miller, and Tyler Ferguson

Ice Cold: Kyle Smith

Scouting Report: #9 3B Xavier "The Professor" Turner

Game Scouted: Friday v. UT

Game Line: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 2B, 1 K

Season Line: .323 BA, 20 R, 40 H, 10 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 18 RBI, .427 SLG, 6 BB, 6 HBP, 15 K, 2 GDP, .380 OBP, 7-12 SB-ATT

Offense: Last year, Turner had a hairline fracture in his elbow, played through it, and still hit .324, so it's safe to say his hit tool is where the bulk of his talent lies. However, the elbow pain sapped a bit of his power, as he hit 0 HR and only 10 2Bs all year, producing a weak .370 SLG. Though he couldn't drive the ball, he made consistent contact, put the ball in play, and legged out quite a few base hits. He was also a phenomenal situational 2-hole hitter, moving Tony Kemp 90 feet with regularity.

This year, with his elbow healed, I expected a pretty severe uptick in power production. In the early part of the season, he wasn't seeing the ball well, was slumping, and was not exhibiting any power of note. However as the weather started to heat up, Turner caught fire, raising his BA over 50 pts, and began hitting doubles with increasing regularity. This weekend, before getting his bell rung, he'd hit 2 2bs and a line-drive HR, and was looking like the true power bat we envisioned when he signed his letter of intent to play with the Dores. He's crushing the power alley between the LF and CF, and demolishing any pitch that's left up in the zone. Last year, we'd seen plus bat control. This year, he's added power to the equation. Provided he's healthy, he should produce as a top to middle of the order bat, hitting at a high rate and crushing mistake pitched into the gaps. Simply put, we need him in the lineup.

Defense: Though he's committed 7 errors already, Turner is a solid defender who can hold down the hot corner. He's got very good lateral range, and is apt to make highlight plays. He's a smooth defender, and should be considered slightly above league average at his position with the potential to be a plus defender. However, he can rush his throws from time to time, and miss the first baseman's glove. That's the one flaw that's keeping him from being elite.

Base-running: Turner's fast, but has the propensity to over-slide bases and have mental lapses on the base path. He can swipe a bag, but needs to pick his spots better. This is an area he needs to improve on.

Scouting Report: #15 RHP Carson "The Florida Flamethrower" Fulmer

Game Scouted: Friday v. UT

Game Line: S (9), 1.o IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (3 up, 3 down)

Season Line: 0-1, 9 S, 1.88 ERA, 24.0 IP, 13 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 11 BB, 31 K, 11.63 K/9, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, .163 B/AVG, 1 WP, 3 HBP

The Good: He. Is. A. Stud. According to pitching coach Brown, Fulmer pitches "angry." Agreed. His demeanor on the mound is reminiscent of old-school closers like the Nasty Boys of the 1990 Cincinnati Reds, or Dave Stewart of that era's Oakland A's. His stuff is electric, with a plus fastball he that sits in the 94-96 MPH range, but can reach 98 MPH when he needs it to, but he could probably get a K just by staring someone down. His curve is a knee-buckler, less due to movement and more to the stark difference in speeds between that and his heater. His change serves the same purpose, but he doesn't throw it as often. He's a first round talent, and it wouldn't surprise me if he's the Friday starter next season. This year, he's a luxury few teams have - a door-slamming closer (I can think of none off the top of my head other than Louisville with Nick Burdi). If Beede, Miller, and Ferguson can snap out of this mid-season funk they're in, Fulmer might just be the last guy with a ball in his hand in Omaha. If any of them falters, do not be surprised if Fulmer takes their slot in the rotation.

The Bad: Like all flamethrowers, he has the potential to get a bit wild, but he never gets completely unraveled.

The Ugly: That damned Saturday ump.

*Author's Note: Andrew VU '04 is a writer, educator, and ne-er-do-well living in the whirlpool of despair (Baton Rouge, LA). "Scouting Report: Something Something Burt Ward" will be a weekly column written and posted every Sunday evening throughout the 2014 baseball season. In it, the writer will second guess at least one key decision made by Coach Tim Corbin, provide a frighteningly quick recap of the week's games (I'm just giving scores, you crum bums, so if you want more, read the damn box scores your damn selves), and write up a full scouting report on one pitcher and one position player. He might think up some other features; he might not. He did this time.

FanPosts are most often submitted by users. The views and opinions expressed in FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by the editorial staff of The Anchor of Gold or SB Nation. Unless they are awesome.

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