Sunday, April 17, 2005

Big Week Ahead

The Crimson have played just about as well as they could have hoped for to this point in the season. The only problem... Brown's played just as well. Right now, the losses are the only things that matter -- both Brown and Harvard have 2 losses in Ivy competition.

The Crimson will face the Bears this coming weekend, but they may have a significant advantage. Brown will have to play 2 make-up games against Cornell on Wednesday. Because they're both Ivy games and because Brown has to keep pace with Harvard, you have to assume they'll throw their best available pitchers. That probably means they'll throw the 2 starters who pitched against Dartmouth on Saturday: RHP Bryan Tews and RHP Jeff Dietz.

That in turn probably means they'll come back with the 2 starters who pitched against Dartmouth on Sunday as the starters for the first 2 against the Crimson next Saturday: RHP Shaun McNamara and RHP James Cramphin. Taking that a step further, Brown's Sunday starters against the Crimson will probably be Tews and Dietz again, coming back off 3 days rest.

On our end, Harvard will play in the Beanpot, but Coach Walsh is likely to pitch the starters for very limited innings, if at all. The Crimson rotation (with the 4th starter still up in the air) should be fully rested and healthy by the time the weekend arrives.

All this means is that Brown will be stretched thin in terms of their pitchers. They had to go 11 innings to win game 2 against Dartmouth today so they've expended a few additional relievers. Thus, the early keys to next week's victories are: 1) the ability of the Crimson hitters to be patient and work the counts and hopefully 2) get deep into the Brown bullpen early. That said, Brown's a team that's hungry for a championship and is being faced with a difficult challenge this week -- you can never underestimate the kind of effect that has in getting a team up to play.

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