Let me apologize now. I am writing this with that basketball game having just ended. I don't know what to say. I can't make myself feel better. I can't make you feel better. Oh, and to make matters worse, let me remind everyone that the boys lost to Liberty on Tuesday. Worst week ever? Has to be pretty close, but I will do my best to help things!
This weekend the Hoos will get to host Seton Hall and Wright State. Although they have both played some pretty good teams so far this season, both enter the weekend with losing records and seem to be struggling. That has to be some good news for the Cavaliers as they need a boost having struggled in some recent games.
The first game the Hoos will play on Friday will be a face off with Wright State. I have to be quite honest, I have no idea who will pitch in any of the games for any of the teams. Weekends with four games for all teams throw rotations in to all sorts of wack. The Wright State pitching staff has struggled this season to say the least. Their 1-5 record and 7.13 ERA doesn't exactly scream quality opponent. They have walked more batters than they have struck out while they are averaging giving up more than a hit an inning. Their hitting hasn't been great either. They seem to be an overly aggressive hitting bunch that includes averaging a strike out an inning while only registering 10 walks in 6 games. Either their opponents have just flooded the zone or the Raiders chase nearly everything close. I expect UVa pitching and hitting to feast on Wright St in their opener and Saturday game.
The other team this weekend with the Raiders and Cavaliers are the Pirates of Seton Hall. The Pirates enter the weekend after being swept last weekend in Knoxville against an impressive Tennessee team. Their pitching staff has been a bit better than the Raiders'. They have a good amount of strike outs against those good teams that they have played which could present a problem for the young UVa team. They do give up a lot of hits though which says to me that they do throw a lot of strikes that can be hit. What does give me comfort is their .956 fielding percentage. Nearly two errors a game could help the Hoos get runners on base and put more pressure on the Seton Hall defense and pitchers. Pirates hitters however have been brutal this year. They have a .202 team average which is flirting dangerously close to the Mendoza line. They also have no home runs and don't earn too many walks. Strong UVa defense and throwing strikes could put away the Pirates away fairly easily.
While I am not too worried about the Cavaliers winning this weekend, I am worried about how this team reacts to the problems they have faced so far. Their talent should allow them to win all four of their games, but how they win and the way they win them is much more important. Squeaking by in one run victories is not going to impress me and give me confidence heading in to their first ACC weekend against Virginia Tech.
I will be giving sporadic updates this weekend via twitter (@STLUVaBaseball) since I will be down in Florida scouting out how the Braves are going to choke away a playoff spot (we all forgot about September right?), but I have been assured Brian (@TheUVaFool) is going to take care of you guys.
For those of you who are lucky enough to be in Charlottesville this weekend, boy are you in luck! I talked to some of my contacts and they said Wright State's most famous alumni Nicole Scherzinger was going to be in town! What? You don't know who she is? Yea, I didn't really know either til I looked closer but I heard she met Ben MckEnzie one time out in LA (Come on people, follow me here) and while they were making out she gave him an "ohhhhh Go Hoooossss!" (Like the lady from the radio commercial) But seriously, GO HOOS!