Saturday, June 04, 2005

Preview of Tonight’s Game

After watching the Crimson go down hard to Cal State Fullerton, you have to think that Missouri may be looking past the Crimson to a matchup against the loser of 2004 CWS attendees Cal State Fullerton and Arizona -- that game by the way may be the most competitive 1-2 game in the nation (which is why Baseball America’s Will Kimmey called the Fullerton bracket the “bracket of death.”)

If Missouri is indeed looking past the Crimson, they may not pitch their number two tonight – Nathan Culp (9-2, 3.18, 87.2 IP, 57Ks, 29 walks). They may choose instead to go with their number three – Doug Mathis (5-4, 3.27, 77 IP, 67Ks, 17 walks) or Taylor Parker (1-2, 1.90, 42.2 IP, 40Ks, 20 walks). In the Big 12 Tournament, Mathis and Parker combine to squeeze Missouri past Oklahoma, 8-7, in their first round matchup. Mathis is a right-hander and Parker is a lefty. Missouri’s not a team that hits a ton of balls out of the park. In fact, in 15 less games, the Crimson as a team has hit 10 more homeruns than Mizzou (but then again, Cal State Fullerton wasn’t supposed to be a big homerun team, and they dropped four on us last night).

We’ll see how Missouri plays their hand. I also wonder whether Coach Walsh will go with Herrmann or Haviland tonight. It seems a tough call, but given that Herrmann’s been the game 1 starter on weekends this whole year, I’m guessing Coach may go with him to start, and may be quick to turn to Haviland (or vice versa) should the starter get in early trouble. Either way, the Crimson are well-positioned in terms of their starting pitching over the next two games, if they can pull it out tonight. Brunnig and Wilson should still be fresh out of the pen.

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