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2021 Gators

Discussion in 'Diamond Gators' started by Gatorhead, May 4, 2021.

  1. Gatorhead

    Gatorhead GC Hall of Fame

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    I don't frequent the baseball board often but I have a question -

    I see UF is doing pretty well with the SEC and overall record this year but not GREAT.

    Coming into last year UF was ranked #1 by many if I recall correctly.

    Where do UF's struggles lie? Hitting? Pitching?

    In closing UF just whipped Vandy 2 out of 3 - Do ya'll see UF as coming around??
    Think UF has a shot at getting into the CWS?

    Just curious what the experts here think.

    Thx in advance
     
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  2. 74nole

    74nole GC Hall of Fame

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    From my perspective @Gatorhead I will respond like this—

    Your opening evaluation IMHO is pretty accurate. I would say we are doing ok but surely not great.

    Personally I think pre-season and early to mid-way season polls are just discussion platforms, not so meaningful as down the home stretch and final rankings.

    Again, my opinion but I would have to say with regards to our struggles this season are—
    Pitching—lack of command/control/confidence relating directly to on field game performances and injuries.
    Hitting—lack of consistency directly related to the inability or unwillingness to hit it where it’s pitched. We have been way too dead red. However, our approach has improved greatly over our last 4-5 games.
    Bunting—yes, we need to learn that side of the offense.
    Defense—Truthfully this is the most inconsistent defensive team I’ve ever seen Sully field, but again, they seem to be playing better lately.
    Base running—has been less than stellar to say the least.

    Post season baseball does and always will depend on peaking at the right time, again IMHO.
     
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  3. GatorLurker

    GatorLurker GC Hall of Fame

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    Infield defense has been shaky leading the pitchers to try and get too fine leading to walks.

    And Jud Fabian had a slow start at the plate. Now that he is hitting well we have been winning.
     
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  4. Matherly87

    Matherly87 GC Hall of Fame

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    Sully has done well recently locking in the lineup/batting order. He seems to have found the right mixture of hitters and defense. As 74 says, could be better but definitely playing better. Pitching is still the great void of the unknown. Just when a pitcher has a few good outings the next one is a dumpster fire. Our ERAs are all up and Sully never knows what he's going to get. The good news this team is gelling and the offensive numbers are similar if not better than 2017. The trouble is the pitching is still behind the 8 ball. If they settle in and come thru the skies the limit for this team.
     
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  5. DoubleDown11

    DoubleDown11 GC Hall of Fame

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    We're shuffling the 3-4-5 hitters in the lineup regularly and we basically had to blow up the pitching staff and start over. Combine that lack of consistency and stability with the defense and baserunning issues already pointed out and there you have it.

    Honestly, it could be argued that 31-13, 13-8 is actually pretty impressive for how much of a mess the whole thing has been.
     
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  6. GatorChoice

    GatorChoice GC Hall of Fame

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    That surely sounds like you’re describing a mediocre team at best, Bill! I agree completely though - so many aspects of this team are inconsistent and frustrating. It’s a testament to them and the talent Sully has brought in that we’re definitely headed to the postseason, with a shot at hosting a regional.

    You never know when things will gel for a team though, and the pieces are there to make an Omaha run for sure. On the other hand, they are also candidates to be 2 and Q! I have no idea at this point, and am just trying to enjoy the ride as a fan.
     
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  7. Matherly87

    Matherly87 GC Hall of Fame

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    To further inform the OP, with all this team's quirks and idiosyncrasies we are only one game out of first behind Vandy in the SEC East. But more importantly we lost a conference game in SC on a Friday night when we were up by one in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs and gave up a homerun to tie the game then went on to lose it in 14 innings. If that didn't happen we would be tied with Vandy, who was the number 2 team in the country as of last week. So yes we could be 0-2 and BBQ or we could win two in the super regional and see you in Omaha. My advise is get in, strap in, and hang on cause anything can happen.
     
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  8. volungator

    volungator Junior

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    We must not forget that we lack an SEC quality catcher. Mac was doing well but still a freshman. Love Hickey but leaves much to be desired behind the plate.
     
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  9. MatsideObserver

    MatsideObserver GC Hall of Fame

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    Hickey is no Mike Rivera but he is serviceable back there. We have had worse in the not so distant past.
     
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  10. MatsideObserver

    MatsideObserver GC Hall of Fame

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    Say it a little louder for the people in the back!
     
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  11. volungator

    volungator Junior

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    Love him BUT he's like 1 of 22 picking off runners and numerous bad throws. Not to mention the number of dropped balls that create just enough delay to move a runner over.
     
  12. MatsideObserver

    MatsideObserver GC Hall of Fame

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    Gosh if you're going to expect him to catch and pick off runners too then yea you're going to be disappointed in his performance. Seriously, he is obviously not a gold glover but you can certainly win with Hickey as your catcher. Also have to factor in that we don't seem to do a great job as a pitching staff of holding runners (and sometimes the middle infielders don't cover the base). I would definitely agree with you that he could be a whole better back there but honestly Hickey's defense wouldn't even make my Top 5 of issues with this team. If Mac comes back, that will certainly be an upgrade but then you have to find a way to keep both Hickey and Armstrong's bats in the lineup without creating a defensive liability somewhere else.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
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  13. paidinfull

    paidinfull GC Hall of Fame

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    He aint gonna gun down many base stealers, but he's light years better than BS. Brady stayed behind the plate because of his hitting, but he only averaged around .250 in his three years here. Nathan is a much better hitter, and a much better batter in general, that dude stays in a full count. Like ol nelly, except with a way better ba and obp.

    I would have traded Greenfields glove for Brady's bat in a hot second. Hickey isn't letting batters reach on a strikeout and then walk around the bases all the way home on passed balls. He may not throw many out, but he ain't giving a ton of free bases either. Brady was good for several passes a game and he stayed in the lineup.

    I'm not big on having a liability behind the plate, but Hickey is pretty servicable. Not the best, but light years better than we had in the last few seasons. And the dude knows how to hit. If Guscette gets healthy and can continue to rake, then I'm good with him and Hickey alternating behind the plate, but no way, no how do I remove Hickey's bat from the lineup and replace it with an almost automatic out. Nathan gets us waaaaaay more runs than he gives away (i can't think of a run that lies solely on his shoulders off the top of my head). Could not say the same for Smith. And no way cal behind the plate saves us more runs than he'd cost us in the batters box.
     
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  14. papichullogator

    papichullogator Sophomore

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    The 2017 team hit .259 as a unit, this team is MILES better offensively
     
  15. paidinfull

    paidinfull GC Hall of Fame

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    But we had Faedo, Singer, Kowar, Michael freakin Byrne on the pitchin staff. And Dyson had a huge post season. If our hitters could scratch a run or two across the plate, we stood a good chance against anyone. We ain't winnin' many 2-1 or 3-2 games with this staff.
     
  16. stingbb

    stingbb Premium Member

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    While we haven’t played as well as expected, interesting calling our season a “mess”. Vandy, for example, has two early first round arms to go along with an overall roster that is as talented as anyone in the country and yet they sit exactly just one game ahead of UF in the SEC standings. I wonder if ‘Dore fans are calling their season a “mess” also?

    My two cents... prior to this season, neither Leftwich or Mace had established themselves as a bonafide SEC Friday night guy and the high expectations were based on at least one of those two getting to that level. Obviously that has not happened and while both are solid pitchers, we don’t match up with some of the other better SEC pitching staffs. We can out-bang teams (like the Vandy series last week) but against the quality SEC arms you have to face, it’s not going to happen every week. At this later point in the season, it is what it is but there is no doubt this team can get on a roll and advance to Omaha.
     
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  17. volungator

    volungator Junior

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    Our 2017 BA was the lowest of any NC team since like 97ish. If memory serves me well.

    Struggling in only one area of the game can reduce a great team to average. Again, I love Hickey but his Catcher IQ is average at best. Recall that he had a runner knock him over in surprise. He just wasn't plugged in mentally for that to have occurred. The look on his face after the second runner scored was one of dumbfounded.
     
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  18. GatorLurker

    GatorLurker GC Hall of Fame

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    Fixed that for you.
     
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  19. paidinfull

    paidinfull GC Hall of Fame

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    Mike Rivera was no slouch behind the plate. Not the best hitter, but did come through with some timely hits, just like the rest of that squad.
     
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  20. GatorLurker

    GatorLurker GC Hall of Fame

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    I was just pulling your chain.
     
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