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Simply put, Auburn has to have it. 

Each series from here on out is winnable for Auburn. I’ve done the math a few times on here, but as an update, Auburn has 6 series left in the SEC. That’s 18 total games.

Generally, a 13-17 team in the SEC will make the NCAA Tournament, and definitely should this year with the strength of the league. With this in mind, Auburn will need a 12-6 finish in the league, meaning they need to win each series, or get a sweep if they are to drop a series.

It’s do-able but it’ll be a challenge. Luckily, Auburn played well against Georgia Tech, who is a very similar team to what will be coming up for Auburn. 
 

Will Morrison and Carson Swilling look to be starting to take form over the past few weeks and may be able to be called upon as your “get me out of it” guys. Think we need one or two more bullpen arms to step it up. Would be HUGE if Fitts were to round back into form. 
 

Legitimately still believe this team can make a regional and make a run. I’ve said for the last few weeks that “it has to start now” for the Tigers. I think Auburn has used up just about all it’s losing this season. Winning has to start right now. If it doesn’t, Auburn will have to rely on sweeping SEC teams, something that is difficult to do even against the bottom cellar of the league. Winning started against Tech, but can the Tigers get it to show back up this weekend? 
 

Auburn needs it. Bad. 

 

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Uncharacteristic defensive mistakes.....Tigers seemed a little stressed tonight. After everything that's happened so far this season you really can't blame them for feeling the pressure to win in Turd

Strike out! Game over! Auburn wins 5-4!!

Can't keep blaming injuries on every bad thing that's happened this year.

Going to be even tougher this weekend. Bama is getting back their ace, Connor Prielipp, for the first time since opening weekend. Probably won’t go deep into his start Saturday, but getting that arm back really helps solidify their bullpen. So, we need to get to Ras or Smith early and force them to use those quality bullpen arms they have early in the series.  

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This is how I break down this series by phases of the game:

Offense: Push. Bama has some really good bats in their lineup. Their top four hitters (Peyton Wilson, William Hamiter, Zane Denton, and Sam Praytor) will rival our top four of Bliss, Moore, Woley, and Miller. They have a lot of LH bats in their lineup, and guys like Owen Diodati and Drew Williamson have bad intentions when they come to the plate. You might see a familiar name at SS this weekend in Jim Jarvis. He's the younger brother of former Auburn SS Luke Jarvis. Not a big stick at the plate, but he competes really well and makes you make plays. And they have quite a bit of power in their lineup, being only 3 HRs behind Auburn on the season (42 to 45).

Defense: Push. We're almost dead even in every defensive category. Both teams are in the top 5 of the SEC in defense. Auburn has a slight advantage in that it's turned 35 double plays on the season to Bama's 26. Those 35 DPs by Auburn leads the nation. Outside of that area, both of these teams are very even in my eyes defensively.

Starting Pitching: Bama edge. Tyler Ras has a 3.33 ERA in conference play and is averaging 6 IP per game. So he's giving up about 2 earned runs per outing. That matches up pretty well with Greenhill. Dylan Smith is better, giving up less than 2 earned runs per start and averaging 5 IP per start. Those numbers are better than any other starter we have. Now, when Owen throws like he did against Arkansas, our first two starters are comparable, but we haven't seen enough of Jack to know what kind of consistency we will get from him. I do like his  matchups with a lot of their LH hitters. The biggest difference (and unknown) in this series is Connor Prielipp. He's a top 5 projection in next year's MLB draft with elite stuff, but he's thrown 5 innings all season. Not really sure what we're going to get from him. My feeling is there will probably be some rust on his part early, and we need to take advantage. I also don't think he will go deep into the game. So, the quicker we get to him (and any of their starters), the better off our chances are. 

Bullpen: Bama edge. Hard to find an area where we have advantage over them. There are some areas where I think it's a push, but overall, I think they have the better depth. We might the best two arms in Skipper and Barnett, but Bama has more arms that I think are more consistent. Make no mistake, neither bullpen will be the same caliber of arms we've seen from Ole Miss/Arkasas/Miss St. By getting Prielipp back, it allows them to move Antoine Jean (who just came back from injury) back into the bullpen, which helps their middle relief a good bit. At the end of the day, the bullpen that performs the most consistently over the weekend will win this series IMO. 

Ultimately, I think these two teams are pretty even with the exception of their elite starting pitcher and a bit more consistency from their bullpen, but some of that is nullified by Prielipp just returning from injury. Also, aside from the Baylor loss at Round Rock and the third game at Ole Miss, we've played really well and had really competitive games on the road. Something about us getting the first AB and allowing our pitchers to settle in a bit works for us. Maybe that's the recipe for success this weekend.

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Boom, you are a pretty good baseball guy no doubt, but I believe you have the orange colored glasses on here. As you state their starting pitching is better than ours (and we know that everyone's relief pitching is better than ours) and everything else a push, I just have a hard time seeing these teams that even. You say that the bullpen that performs the most consistently will win the series. I think you are correct with that. What have you seen from our bullpen in SEC games to believe that they can do that. I am not being a smart a** but would like to hear your opinion and a little more detail of how they can achieve that.

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27 minutes ago, 80Tiger said:

Boom, you are a pretty good baseball guy no doubt, but I believe you have the orange colored glasses on here. As you state their starting pitching is better than ours (and we know that everyone's relief pitching is better than ours) and everything else a push, I just have a hard time seeing these teams that even. You say that the bullpen that performs the most consistently will win the series. I think you are correct with that. What have you seen from our bullpen in SEC games to believe that they can do that. I am not being a smart a** but would like to hear your opinion and a little more detail of how they can achieve that.

I also said their bullpen was better than ours. The only areas I called push were offensively and defensively. We're statistically a better offense than them. Defensively, we're 1/1000th of a point behind them with 2 less total errors on the season. Can't see where I'm being biased towards Auburn in any of the grading. If anything, I feel like I'm giving Bama credit by not giving us the nod on offense. 

I've seen a few of our guys that can challenge the zone at times and have success. Consistency is the problem. But guys like Skipper and Barnett and Burkhalter and Swilling have had good outings against SEC teams already this year. The question is can they all do it together on the same weekend and some of them multiple times. Can they reduce the walks and be competitive in the zone and aggressive against good hitters? I don't know. On the flip side, I think Bama can have some of the same issues too with their bullpen, but the likelihood of them using as many arms as us is smaller because their starters are more likely to go deeper into a game. Bama is hot and playing really well, but Auburn just went on the road and beat a good GT team. So, I think this Auburn team is capable, and I think this is a fairly even matchup. Auburn must pitch to their potential to keep it an even matchup whereas I don't believe Bama has to do that to win games or this series.

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Chance to get on the board and set the tone tonight. Greenhill is the guy you want on the mound. Auburn offense needs to come out with great approaches and win this thing. If the Tigers happen to get one tonight, and another tomorrow, there can be absolutely NO let up on Sunday. Auburn needs every single win it can get. 

Let's start with winning one first, though. Go get em tonight.

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Kason Howell coming up HUGE! Had 3 homers coming into this game and in this game has a inside the park homer and just hit a solo shot to give Auburn the 7-6 lead in the 8th inning!

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After the solo shot, Fitts gets out of the inning. Game tied at 7 going to the 9th. 3 times, in this game alone, Auburn has gotten the lead or tied the game only to lose it the very next half inning. :(

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Judd Ward with a sliding catch to save a hit!

Swinging strike out for the second.

Froze the batter with strike 3!

Going to the 10th. Ware, Williams, and Howell up to bat. The latter 2 have been on fire this game.

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Ware strikes out on a ball in the dirt.

Williams strikes out.

Both balls got away from the catcher and both were out at 1st.

Howell strikes out on a ball in the dirt. Out at 1st.

Horrible at-bats.

 

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Another one run loss. I am sure So frustrating for this team.

it’s only mid April and the chances of post season play is close to zero. 
if there is a chance will have to start with wins tomorrow and Saturday. 

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1 minute ago, tigers23 said:

Another horribly pitched game

It's absolutely ridiculous. Our offense shouldn't *have* to score 7-8 runs a game just to have a chance.

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Being an Auburn fan/alum is extremely depressing right now. 🤢🤮🤢🤮

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Greenhill has been good as a starter (better than I expected him to be) but moving him into the starter role has been a disaster for our bullpen.  We’ve lost *seven* one-run games. On the bright side, I think that we’re the best 1-12 team in the SEC

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I'm sure what I'm about to say will not be taken well... but is it time to talk about Butch bringing in a new pitching coach next year (assuming he's not canned himself). It absolutely sucks because Tim Hudson is one of my all time favorite players, and I know that he knows about pitching, but just because you can do it doesn't always mean you can teach it. I'm pretty sure this is also Tim's first coaching gig ever, with no prior experience at the collegiate level after he retired. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that, as maybe he has coached high school or was a roaming instructor in the minors. Seems Butch may have put him in an unfair spot by hiring him without letting him get any experience. I've tried to be patient but our pitching flat out sucks, which is a shame because our lineup and defense isn't that bad at all. 

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36 minutes ago, au302 said:

I'm sure what I'm about to say will not be taken well... but is it time to talk about Butch bringing in a new pitching coach next year (assuming he's not canned himself). It absolutely sucks because Tim Hudson is one of my all time favorite players, and I know that he knows about pitching, but just because you can do it doesn't always mean you can teach it. I'm pretty sure this is also Tim's first coaching gig ever, with no prior experience at the collegiate level after he retired. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that, as maybe he has coached high school or was a roaming instructor in the minors. Seems Butch may have put him in an unfair spot by hiring him without letting him get any experience. I've tried to be patient but our pitching flat out sucks, which is a shame because our lineup and defense isn't that bad at all. 

You do realize it's an unpaid,volunteer position....right? 

 

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10 hours ago, au302 said:

I'm sure what I'm about to say will not be taken well... but is it time to talk about Butch bringing in a new pitching coach next year (assuming he's not canned himself). It absolutely sucks because Tim Hudson is one of my all time favorite players, and I know that he knows about pitching, but just because you can do it doesn't always mean you can teach it. I'm pretty sure this is also Tim's first coaching gig ever, with no prior experience at the collegiate level after he retired. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that, as maybe he has coached high school or was a roaming instructor in the minors. Seems Butch may have put him in an unfair spot by hiring him without letting him get any experience. I've tried to be patient but our pitching flat out sucks, which is a shame because our lineup and defense isn't that bad at all. 

I wouldn't call it an unfair position. Hudson knew what he was getting into. Just not sure he was qualified to be that guy or maybe what he had in his mind as the kind of work it was going to be turned out not to be the case. Like you said, I think he's a really knowledgeable guy, but it just doesn't seem to be translating into success.

The other part of that is Butch is a bit limited in who he can hire for that position. Being that it's a volunteer position, it limits your candidates pool. We were lucky to find a guy like Steve Smith for 3 years. So, with Huddy not really requiring a salary and having the background he does, I think it was worth taking the chance, but it just hasn't worked out this year. 

So, what's the fix? Replacing Hudson with another volunteer assistant coach seems like a difficult task. And with Nonemaker leading the recruiting charge and having two really good classes lined up beyond the one we just signed and him having this defense playing at a very high level, I don't think he's going anywhere. Gabe's offense is hit or miss (literally and figuratively). Do you replace Gabe, transfer the hitting duties to None, and hire a paid pitching coach? Seems like a lot to put on his plate. Does Butch take back over the pitching duties and hire a volunteer assistant to help in another area? I don't know the answers because there doesn't seem to be an easy or clear one. I do think Butch has earned the benefit of the doubt here. I think he'll make the right decisions in the offseason to make this team more competitive.

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  • WarTiger changed the title to Baseball Series vs. uat

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