What do you think Gino's lineup will look like going forward vs LH pitching? Outside of Rivera's key opposite field double, doesn't seem like the righties inserted as platoon players provided much punch. Jenkins had better learn how to drag/push bunt if he wants to see future playing time IMO.Miami opened ACC play with a highly competitive series with Georgia Tech that could’ve gone either way. Fortunately for the Canes they were able to come out on top thanks to the heroics of Freddy Zamora on Saturday night. That brings their overall record to 12-3 and keeps them on pace to be in the mix to be a hosting team once Regionals start.
In the opener, Miami lost 5-4 in 10 innings on the strength of three Georgia Tech HR’s, including the decisive blow off the bat of ACC HR leader Kyle McCann in the 10th inning. Ray Gil hit a line drive that was caught at the wall to end the game and if that ball had been a foot to the right it would have been a game winner for Miami. Using metrics to evaluate all the situations that occurred in the game, Miami only had a 31.1% chance of winning, so the outcome was probably correct. Miami hit .263/.333/.447 as a team with a 0.337 wOBA offensively. The 6.84 FIP showed they did not pitch well.
In game two, Miami had an early lead that they let slip away and had to rely on 9th inning heroics from SS Freddy Zamora to win 6-5. Chris McMahon pitched brilliantly through 4, ran into some trouble in the 5th, and then was unable to complete the 6th inning where some inherited runners scored to tarnish his line somewhat. He’s turning into a co-ace for Miami in the early going. In this game, Miami had a 54.2% chance of victory, so the likely correct outcome eventually prevailed. Miami hit .270/.308./540 as a team with a 0.347 wOBA offensively. A 3.11 FIP showed the pitching deserved a better fate.
Game three saw another strong performance from a Miami starter, this time in the form of Brian Van Belle, who has exceeded my expectations thus far. Van Belle pitched into the 7th inning and gave Miami a strong start when it looked like GT might have the advantage of starts on paper. Miami raced out to a big lead and then weathered a bit of a rocky 9th inning as Miami relievers started a parade of walks before Federman got back-to-back strikeouts to close it out 9-6. Because of some late free baserunners, the metrics didn’t like Miami’s chances of winning the game at only 45.3%, but going into the 9th inning Miami was over 80% to win the game. Miami hit .278/.366/.556 as a team with a 0.384 wOBA offensively. A 5.55 FIP showed the pitching was not so great in this one, but that’s tainted by the bullpen in the 9th.
Overall, Miami was probably fortunate to win the series, as they had only a 46.3% expected winning percentage on a weekend they won two of three. As a team they hit .270/.336/.514 with a 0.356 wOBA offensively. They allowed GT to hit .337 as a team and had a FIP of 5.25 (ERA was 5.14) so the hitting was a not a fluke from GT this weekend.
When you add the series win to the midweek win over Appalachian State, it can only be considered another successful week for the baseball Canes.
Miami has two midweek games this week for the first time this season as they play a pair against Jackson State. It'll be interesting to see who Miami pegs for that fifth starter spot that they haven't had to use this year thus far. Miami should be heavily favored to get the sweep at home over the 4-11 Tigers.
This weekend, things tick up considerably as Miami travels to face nationally ranked and preseason division favorite, North Carolina (12-4). They are coming off a sweep at the hands of Clemson, so Miami will definitely get their best shot as UNC will look to get back on track in conference play.
I’d say you’ll see more of a fixed lineup moving forward. I do wonder if they might try Escala somewhere in the OF to get him out there more against lefties. I haven’t been told that by anyone within the program though.What do you think Gino's lineup will look like going forward vs LH pitching? Outside of Rivera's key opposite field double, doesn't seem like the righties inserted as platoon players provided much punch. Jenkins had better learn how to drag/push bunt if he wants to see future playing time IMO.