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Weekend Wrapup- Maine

Weekend Wrapup- Maine

Lance Roffers
Miami baseball was back in action this past week and it was a week that saw some good things and some struggles. Here is the recap of the week complete with key moments, stats, and where Miami can improve upon as we move forward with the season.

Mid-Week-Miami vs. FAU
The big issue for Mediavilla is consistency of strikes. When he throws strikes, he tends to avoid the big inning that has plagued him as a starter, but he struggled with strikes from the beginning, giving up four runs. Miami would battle back and have their opportunities, but ultimately fell short by a score of 5-4.

Game one-
This game featured two pitchers who were on top of their games from the beginning. Maine’s starter allowed only one hit and didn’t allow that hit until the 6th inning. Bargfeldt was a little more hittable with six hits allowed but allowed only one walk to limit the damage. Romy's first HR of the season broke the scoreless tie and gave the Canes a 1-0 lead in what looked like a game they were going to win. The 8th inning for Maine changed that quickly and they would go on to score four runs and effectively put it out of reach.

Key Plays-
Bottom 4th and Miami gets back-to-back one out walks. A strikeout and a flyout on the first pitch ends the threat.

Top of 6th an infield single and a single to left field put two on no outs. Maine bunts and Bargfeldt nails the lead runner at 3B. Another grounder to Bargfeldt who again gets the lead runner. No damage.

Romy HR bottom 6.

The Maine 8th inning was excruciating. The leadoff hitter singled to LF on a 1-2 pitch. The next batter strikes out trying to bunt. Hammond relieved Bargfeldt and got an easy groundout to 1B. Cabezas had nothing in this game and couldn’t throw strikes. Walk/Hit ties the game with two outs. Next a HBP, then a walk forced home the go-ahead run. A two-run single on a 3-2 count effectively put the game out of reach. All runs scoring with two outs off of your top reliever is tough to swallow.

Game two-
One of the craziest games I have ever watched, Miami got a much-needed and hard-fought win 7-6 in 15 innings.

Key Plays-
Buckle Up. Back-to-back hits but a promising inning was setback by a double play off the bat of Romy. Perez was hit by a pitch and then a wild pitch moved the runners over. Hunter Tackett struck out to end the threat.

Maine gets a cheap run on a wild pitch with two outs.

Walk/Fly Out/Walk and a wild pitch. Perez battled and got a sac fly to tie the score up.

A lineout with two outs and two in scoring position ended a Maine threat in the 4th. That’s one of those plays that goes your way with defensive positioning and throwing strikes.

As has been a season long trend for Miami, the bottom of the 4th was marred by missed chances. Zamora was hit by a pitch and Toral singled after him on the first pitch (Toral is our most prolific first pitch swinger by a good margin). Escala singled to LF to load them up with no outs. Quinones fouled out on a full count, Burns struck out on a full count, Cloonan grounded out on a hard-hit ball. No runs.

In the 6th Miami got the first two outs quickly, but a two out single and then another walk put a runner in scoring position. As Maine has been wont to do in this series, they came up with a big two-out hit to take the lead 2-1.

Bot 6 and Miami took the lead. After a one-hit by pitch and subsequent walk, Maine went to the bullpen and Cloonan had a great at-bat and took a walk to load them up (walks are good). Romy grounded out to score a run and a big two-out hit by Michael Perez gave Miami the lead 3-2.

Top 8 and Maine had a great scoring chance. A leadoff single and stolen base put a runner at 2B with no outs. A bunt moved the runner to 3B with just one outs, but Hammond got a pair of ground outs to end the threat.

Bot 8 and a leadoff walk to Burns set the stage for an insurance run. Cloonan bunted the runner over and Romy singled him in. He was caught stealing, which was a big play because Perez tripled and that would’ve scored a run.

Cabezas came on for the 9th inning and things started great with two quick strikeouts. Then the walks came. Back to-back walks for Cabezas put the tying run on base. In order for Miami to take the next step this year, the walks are going to have to come down for Cabezas. Giving up a bit more contact is a great exchange for giving up frequent walks. The next batter hit a double down the 1B line and both runners scored to tie the game.

I’ve mentioned a frequent trend for Miami and stranding runners on 3B with less than two outs and they do it again in the bottom of the 9th. Zamora doubled off the wall and then went to 3B on a passed ball with no outs. Alex Toral got ahead in the count 2-1 but never swung the bat and watched strike three when most contact would score the speedy Zamora. Escala joined Toral in striking out looking but at least he swung the bat twice. Quinones walked and then Burns joined the K parade to end the inning.

Top 11 and Maine gets another big hit with a runner in scoring position, this time on an 0-2 count but Burns did an excellent job charging the ball and throwing out the runner at home.

Bot 13 and Jenkins walked to leadoff. Zamora bunts him to 2B and Toral strikes out looking without swinging the bat again. He’s a bit of a conundrum in that he leads the team in first pitch swinging by far, but also has struck out looking without swinging the bat in two big situations in a row. Escala walks, but Jenkins inexplicably is caught napping at 2B and the C picks him off.

Maine gets a leadoff single, ground out and single to take a 5-4 lead in the top of 14th.

Miami gets the first career hit for freshman catcher Quinones to lead off the 14th (a double). Burns walks and Cloonan singles to CF and the pinch runner must’ve had a bad read on the ball because it was a hit all the way but he was late in going. He is thrown out at home on a very close call, where the C didn’t appear to tag him and he didn’t appear to touch home plate. A wild pitch brings home the tying run and we keep playing baseball because both Gabe Rivera and Raymond Gil struck out looking to leave a runner in scoring position. Gil swung the bat once, otherwise the two hitters combined to take five strikes looking with the game on the line.

Top 15 and a walk and a single put two on with one out. Daniel Epstein came into pitch and Dylan Cloonan moved back to RF from the mound. After a popup, a wild pitch moved the runners to 2B & 3B. As the runner was going to 3B the new catcher who had come into the game because Quinones was pinch ran for throws a seed to 3B but the freshman Gil doesn’t cover the base and the ball skips into LF to allow the run to score. 6-5 Maine.

Bot 15 and Jenkins had a swinging bunt to reach 1B and then advanced on a wild pitch. Zamora doubled to score Jenkins and Toral swings at the first pitch and gets a hit to RF to score Zamora and end one crazy game. Gabe Rivera had his first career at-bat, Joe Sparber saw his first career action, and Daniel Epstein picked up his first career win.

Game Three-
Things were less eventful on Sunday as Miami won the game 6-1, but there was a lot more stress than the score would indicate as Miami squandered several scoring chances early in the game before finally denting the scoreboard in the 4th inning after Maine had score in the top of the 1st.

Key Plays-
Top of the 1st a hit batsmen, single, walk, infield single scored a run. Maine 1-0.

Bot 2nd and Miami had a single, walk, double-steal, walk to load the bases with one out (great at bat by Escala). Quinones struck out swinging and Jenkins grounded out to end the threat.

Bot 4 and Miami started a two-out rally. Escala singled into the hole at SS then stole 2B & 3B with two outs. Quinones then walked. Jenkins tripled a hard-hit ball into the LF corner and the Canes took a 2-1 lead.

Bot 5 and again a walk propelled Miami to a big inning. Cloonan walked to leadoff the inning and was bunted to 2B. Perez walked to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Zamora was hit by a pitch to load them up. Toral singled on the first pitch he saw to score a run and force a pitching change. Escala struck out swinging and Quinones cleared the bases with a double to make it 6-1.

Top 6, Maine was nothing if not scrappy. They led off the inning with a pair of singles and McKendry bared down and struck out the side in his last inning of work. McKendry has been a true ace to start the season with at least 8 K’s in all three starts.

Mediavilla relieving is noteworthy because that signals that he isn’t going to be the midweek starter this week. He was effective in his two innings of work and Hammond closed the door without incident.

Key Stats-
Overall it was a 2-2 week for Miami after originally being scheduled for five games. Travel issues caused the shortening of the series with Maine from four to three games.

It looked as though Miami’s offense is starting to come around. The inability to execute in certain situations prevented Miami from scoring several more runs over this four-game stretch. As a team they hit .231/.409/.354. The OBP is outstanding, and it will correlate to runs in the future, but only if more contact is made.

Miami struck out 44 times in the four games. 28 walks/12 HBP helped balance that out, but more contact is definitely required moving forward.

Zamora had a huge week, putting up a .417/.533/.583 line in the four games. Quinones was another bright spot, reaching base 8 times out of 15 plate appearances. Cloonan looks to be another hitter who understands what he’s doing at the plate as he had several good at bats and got on-base often.

Up next is a road game with FIU who is 5-6 and lost two out of three against Jacksonville State this past weekend. Then the Canes open up ACC play against Notre Dame, who is much improved this year at 6-4 with a series win at LSU.
 

Comments (20)

skimmed the article... Did he type our record?
 
Travel issues caused the shortening of the series with Maine from four to three games.

I would love to hear the spin on this. Maine was here on Friday and they were here on Sunday, so what kind of "travel issues" would require changing Saturday from a doubleheader to a single game?
 
skimmed the article... Did he type our record?

The problem is that the new software limits it to 10,000 characters when previously it was 30,000 characters. I took out about 5,000 characters from the original draft, but I did indicate that we went 2-2 over the week since it was a weekly wrap-up article.
 
I would love to hear the spin on this. Maine was here on Friday and they were here on Sunday, so what kind of "travel issues" would require changing Saturday from a doubleheader to a single game?

My guess is they just didn't want to play four games with all of their injuries to pitching but needed a reason to give.
 
Miami is 5-6 as of March 6...wow..we suck...
 
Miami is 5-6 as of March 6...wow..we suck...

Give them some time. It always takes time for freshmen to find their footing in college baseball. It'll also improve the entire team when we get some guys back from injury.
 
That’s the problem, so many freshman shouldn’t be playing right now. Just wait until we get in conference play. If we struggled against Maine it could get really ugly really soon
 
That’s the problem, so many freshman shouldn’t be playing right now. Just wait until we get in conference play. If we struggled against Maine it could get really ugly really soon

Exactly. Last year's roster and this year's roster are the result of gross mismanagement. If we had just come off some crazy three-year stretch of deep runs in the CWS, you could understand a young roster. But what the &^%* were they planning for two years ago? How does someone like Brandon Gali EVER start at Miami? Dude is hitting .204 and has five errors at D-II Tampa. But he was in Miami's starting lineup to begin 2017.
 
Exactly. Last year's roster and this year's roster are the result of gross mismanagement. If we had just come off some crazy three-year stretch of deep runs in the CWS, you could understand a young roster. But what the &^%* were they planning for two years ago? How does someone like Brandon Gali EVER start at Miami? Dude is hitting .204 and has five errors at D-II Tampa. But he was in Miami's starting lineup to begin 2017.

You're not wrong. My point is that the rebuild is beginning now. It's going to be a transition year. I think they get into the tournament, and I think their best ball will be ahead of them, but it takes time for almost every freshman.

The previous four years have been the problem, not this one.
 
I do believe there are a ton of things these freshmen need to learn though. The way they're going to most effectively learn the lessons is by playing.

There are lingering questions about decision making, for instance how do you not identify Michael Perez is an experienced bat that should be playing right away? Especially with the lack of good left-handed bats on this team. How do you not see that Dylan Cloonan is taking more advanced at-bats than several of the other freshmen and needs to be in there? Why would you identify Michael Burns as a cleanup hitter?

If Tony Jenkins lacks instincts on the base paths, why is he being allowed to run so much at this juncture?

There are questions, and it's fair to criticize, but the program is headed in the right direction again.
 
There are questions, and it's fair to criticize, but the program is headed in the right direction again.
That's an extremely bold statement, and I disagree vehemently at this point. The aforementioned issues about decision making and the actual product on the field has to make major improvements before we can say the program is headed in the right direction again. 5-6 isn't going in the right direction. I know you're trying to pick the specks of pepper out of the chickensh1t in an optimistic way, but you don't have to do that. It's okay to be realistic and frankly say that this team isn't good this year, and that the program needs a lot of work. We can discuss what to do on that level in terms of how to fix it. However - it is extremely disingenuous to simply say that this program is headed in the right direction. There's far too many things pointing in the other direction, or are at least areas of uncertainty, to declare that with confidence and a straight face.
 
That's an extremely bold statement, and I disagree vehemently at this point.

However - it is extremely disingenuous to simply say that this program is headed in the right direction.

If you look at what Miami brought in this year, the best group of talent in at least a decade, and believe the program isn't headed in the right direction compared to previous years then we will just agree to disagree. The arms on this staff are better than the arms of any staff since the 2001 era. Unfortunately, several have gotten hurt, but this is what you want to see out of a Miami team. Guys throwing mid-90's with great breaking balls in the rotation. A bullpen that is deep and has arms throwing 90+ or funk from the right-side (Hammond is really good). There are no JD Cockroft's on this staff.

In the lineup, I've tried to prepare the board for the fact that freshman aren't going to hit. I've queried players from Baseball America's top-500 who went to college and it's been happening for years; they don't hit as freshmen. They'll hit better at the end of the season and people will be more excited. Then they'll hit better next season and we will look more like a Canes team if we follow up the recruiting with the same caliber of players. Then as Juniors we have the chance to get old again and stay that way if we stack another class on top of it.

I continue to say what Miami fans are really mad about is the fact that we aren't as good as we used to be. It is what it is, and we have a long hill to climb to get back to being great at baseball, but the first step is the one we are taking this year. Soon, we will no longer be having players like we had getting actual at-bats here last year. We won't have Hunter Tackett as a guy expected to hit in the middle of the lineup (like he was last year).

If that's NOT the right path to you, then the only path is the one that magically goes from the worst Miami team in my lifetime to CWS overnight, and that's just not realistic.
 
If you look at what Miami brought in this year, the best group of talent in at least a decade, and believe the program isn't headed in the right direction compared to previous years then we will just agree to disagree. The arms on this staff are better than the arms of any staff since the 2001 era. Unfortunately, several have gotten hurt, but this is what you want to see out of a Miami team. Guys throwing mid-90's with great breaking balls in the rotation. A bullpen that is deep and has arms throwing 90+ or funk from the right-side (Hammond is really good). There are no JD Cockroft's on this staff.
I can be reasonable and agree with that to a point. If we're talking about having "great arms" on this staff, I think you're looking at potential instead of output. The only guys I would say have "great arms" on this staff are Federman, McMahon, and maybe Bargfeldt (I'm being gracious including McMahon since we haven't seen him throw against collegiate competition yet). I'm defining "great arms" not as power pitchers like a Brady Singer, but guys who know how to pitch. The rest of our guys on the staff aren't "great arms". Mediavilla has done nothing but get worse during his career. Veliz is only okay. McKendry has had a hot start, but he has his flaws - he's on the cusp of being a "great arm", I think. Cooper Hammond is good, not great - I think he's our top reliever. Bartow/Cabezas have regressed.

I want to see other guys step up too, but I think saying that this is the best group of arms since the 2001 era is you projecting potential instead of output. I want them to show out on the field, but they haven't yet. We have to judge them off of what they've produced, not what we've read/heard about that they might be able to produce. If they were living up to potential, we wouldn't be 5-6 right now. To boot...how much confidence do we have that JD can develop these kids with all of this potential if we're seeing once-productive guys like Mediavilla/Bartow/Cabezas regress?

In the lineup, I've tried to prepare the board for the fact that freshman aren't going to hit. I've queried players from Baseball America's top-500 who went to college and it's been happening for years; they don't hit as freshmen. They'll hit better at the end of the season and people will be more excited. Then they'll hit better next season and we will look more like a Canes team if we follow up the recruiting with the same caliber of players. Then as Juniors we have the chance to get old again and stay that way if we stack another class on top of it.
I can agree with this. Entirely reasonable. You let the kids play and you let them learn from youngsters on up. The place where I think we tend to part ways is are these guys going to be markedly better in 2 years as Juniors, and ready to play like Miami-caliber players? With the coaching we've got and will likely have - that's a valid concern that can't be ignored. Also - I'm not asking Escala, Zamora, Gil, Cloonan, Toral, etc...to just rake and go 3/4 every game with extra base hits everywhere...I just want to see them put good swings on the ball, get on base and be aggressive (if you're going to make mistakes, make them ones of aggression), and play pretty good defense (not perfect, just pretty good). I don't think that's too much to ask of Freshmen as they're learning, especially if they are Miami-caliber players.

I continue to say what Miami fans are really mad about is the fact that we aren't as good as we used to be. It is what it is, and we have a long hill to climb to get back to being great at baseball, but the first step is the one we are taking this year. Soon, we will no longer be having players like we had getting actual at-bats here last year. We won't have Hunter Tackett as a guy expected to hit in the middle of the lineup (like he was last year).
We should be upset about the program not being healthy enough to be up to Miami caliber this season. This program should have been managed better to keep the downtimes at an absolute minimum. I'm glad you have the confidence personally that this team is taking the right steps to make it back to where they should be - but that's also in question due to the leadership, and a valid concern shared by myself and several others. We can't all be wrong, and we apparently don't have the confidence level in Gino/JD that you do to lead us going forward.

If that's NOT the right path to you, then the only path is the one that magically goes from the worst Miami team in my lifetime to CWS overnight, and that's just not realistic.
I'm not being hyperbolic and asking that we go to the CWS this season, or even the next. I simply want to see the caliber of baseball that we play start moving back up in the right direction towards the benchmark of Miami baseball. I'm okay if a team plays hard, plays the right way, and plays with passion - but just gets beat. That happens in all levels of baseball...it's the nature of the game. What I'm not okay with is a lack of passion, baseball IQ (both situational in-game and systemic in the program), and a feeling that these guys on this roster are okay with wearing the Miami uniform like they're too good for it...when they're not. You can't really measure those things with sabermetrics, you've got to see them.
 
I can feel the passion for the program oozing from your posts and that's great. I'm glad you're this passionate about our baseball program and want to see it get there.

What you described- in my view- is a disbelief in the coaching staff to complete the steps, but you really also seemed to agree that the team is on the right path talent wise. This team is so much more talented than last year's team, which is a huge step in the right direction. Whether the coaching staff we have next year can get them there is a question we haven't seen answered yet. Let's see who we bring in to replace DiMare in his current role.

There are real signs that this team will be back to being top-20 next year and that excites me. It's not national title good, but after last year it excites me.
 
Aside from all the where this team is or isn't. Isn't there a game tonight? If so with who and score either way? Any updates appreciated
 
I continue to say what Miami fans are really mad about is the fact that we aren't as good as we used to be.

I'm just curious as to why you thought this wasn't already obvious. Of course that's why we're mad. And we're mad because it was allowed to happen. I don't know how long you've been lurking here, but several of us were pointing out the red flags years ago. The frustration you see here is from people who know baseball and who saw this sht show coming.

Yes, this is a talented group of freshmen and they deserve our patience. But like BWCD said, we're not ready to trust the guys in charge since they're the ones who put us in this position to begin with.
 
I'm just curious as to why you thought this wasn't already obvious. Of course that's why we're mad. And we're mad because it was allowed to happen. I don't know how long you've been lurking here, but several of us were pointing out the red flags years ago. The frustration you see here is from people who know baseball and who saw this sht show coming.

Yes, this is a talented group of freshmen and they deserve our patience. But like BWCD said, we're not ready to trust the guys in charge since they're the ones who put us in this position to begin with.

I've been posting here under the name HurricaneVision for years. The reason I'm pointing it out is because you are bringing that anger into discussions about the now.

Not one person has debated that the program has sunken to a depth that it never has really been in the modern era. That's not being discussed. What's being discussed is the now. If you can't let the past go and have a discussion about the present and the why's of today, you'll continue to be labeled what you are currently labeled here. That's not meant to attack you, that's meant to help set the stage for real discussions with you because I think you have the potential to bring much more to the table than angst.
 
I've been posting here under the name HurricaneVision for years. The reason I'm pointing it out is because you are bringing that anger into discussions about the now.

Not one person has debated that the program has sunken to a depth that it never has really been in the modern era. That's not being discussed. What's being discussed is the now. If you can't let the past go and have a discussion about the present and the why's of today, you'll continue to be labeled what you are currently labeled here. That's not meant to attack you, that's meant to help set the stage for real discussions with you because I think you have the potential to bring much more to the table than angst.

LOL........I'm just saying that you posted the obvious. Of course we're mad that we aren't as good as we used to be. You wrote it as though we're denying it.

As for the "now", it's not all sunshine and ice cream just because we had a nice recruiting class. The team is still bad.....now. A discussion of the past is relevant because there isn't any indication that we're doing anything differently from a coaching standpoint.
 

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