This weekend, we welcome The University of Dayton Philadelphia Flyers for a three game series at Hawkins Field. Rather than write a lengthy preview about the 1-3-1 (yes, a tie) University of Dayton Philadelphia Flyers, I think it’s wise to link to what I had to say about them earlier in this week’s mail bag, as nothing has changed.
Question from Parlagi:
Dayton is this weekend’s opponent, and their offense is really struggling so far. Only two of the ten hitters who’ve started a game are above the Mendoza line, and six of them are batting .118 or worse. They slugged .100 in their only win against Seton Hall.
Thanks to the rain this weekend, the rotation has to be straightened back out at some point. Fellows threw 84 pitches on Sunday, which is basically a full outing. Is putting him out there on Friday a bridge too far, even against such an anemic offense, or would you bite the bullet and get it over with?
An excellent question. At the moment, Dayton is historically bad on offense. They currently sport a .179/.319/.245 triple slash line through 5 games (in comparison, ours is .336/.440/.495). In simpler terms, Dayton has averaged just under 3 runs per game, whereas we have averaged 8. Like many pre-conference games, this will be a mismatch.
In Sunday’s game-thread, I posited the following:
What will be even more interesting is what Corbs and Brownie do next week. Will they try to run Fellows out there on short rest, or will they use Hickman or Rocker next Friday, so Fellows will be only short one day of rest, Raby will be on full rest, with the idea that the following week, they return Fellows to Friday and Raby to Saturday both one day short. That’s what makes the most sense to me (as we really don’t need to battle Ace vs. Ace until SEC play, as few non-conference teams will have a true ace), but an alternate plan would be to pitch all at their regular spots, but just put Fellows on a pitch count (say 75) and go to the pen after 4 IP.
After having shut down an effective Fellows at 84 pitches, I could have sworn I saw Brownie tell Fellows he was taking him out then so he would be able to pitch Friday. It was a lip-read, and I’m no expert lip-reader, but that’s what I saw. Further, it’s what I would do. Plan to pitch-count him around 80 again—hope for 6 innings, but be glad with a solid 5. Had Safari Planet thrown 100+ pitches in high stress innings on Sunday, I wouldn’t entertain the option of pitching him on 2 days less rest, but he was in a groove, and was shut down early. Had to have been for a reason.
*Bonus Question from Parlagi:
Two of Dayton’s starting pitchers have ERAs of 12.46 and 21.60, WHIPs of 2.44 and 2.90, and BAAs of .313 and .471.
Can those numbers get any worse this weekend?
Let’s consult my Murphy’s Law brand Magic 8 Ball. Signs point to yes.
Back to the Series Preview...
Though I do not want to anger the Baseball Gods, who so clearly took vengeance upon us in this week’s loss to Austin Peay (Mascot: The Burning Peay’s), there really isn’t a lot to gain by looking any closer at Dayton’s roster. We should beat them. Handily. If we don’t, we should feel shame.
On the Mound
FRIDAY (4:30pm CT SECN+): RHP Drake “Safari Planet” Fellows (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. LHP Hunter “Gatherer” Wolfe (1-1, 3.60 ERA)
SATURDAY (2:00pm CT SECN+): RHP Patrick “Mad Dog” Raby (1-0, 0.93 ERA) vs. RHP Aaron “& Young” Ernst (0-1, 12.46 ERA)
SUNDAY (1:00pm CT SECN+): TBA (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. TBA (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
As for Sunday, I’ve got a gentleman’s wager with reader/commenter Athanatos504 that Kumar Rocker will get the start. He holds that it will be Mason Hickman. Two men enter! One man leaves!
See you in the comments.