The Florida State Seminoles baseball team travels to Gainesville to take on the Gators for the 2nd time this season and are doing so after losing a weekend series to #1 Virginia Cavaliers. We didn’t do a series recap this week because a lot of our thoughts, frustrations and opinions were expressed in this thread, Mike Martin, Micromanager: Why FSU's baseball coach prevents his team from scoring runs.
Most casual followers with think that the major issue with that game was blowing a large lead in the 9th inning and while that is disheartening it is also something that does happen at all levels of baseball to teams of all caliber. Coach Martin has a propensity to get tight in situations regarding his bullpen and this early in the season he is still unsure of whom he can trust. As the season progresses he will identify his go to guys and as long as bullpen meltdowns don’t happen on a frequent basis it is something that is tolerable. Something that is intolerable and inexcusable is the way Head Coach Mike Martin squanders scoring opportunities by sacrificing precious outs. It is an eerily similar to the situation that we had with regards to football and to expect a coach to change his philosophies after 30 plus years is not logical. My hope this year is that our talent level is elite enough to overcome the shortcomings of a manager who is past his prime.
Taking the hill tonight for the ‘Noles is Freshman Robert Benincasa who will be making is 3rd start of the season. He is coming off a solid start last week against North Florida pitching 6 innings where only 1 run was allowed while striking out and walking 3. While the UF lineup is young and inexperienced it is much more formidable than UNF. So far this season the freshman has showed that while he has been able to pitch out of jams he still has not been able to consistently throw strikes, expect the kid to get knocked around tonight.
The Gators counter with freshman righty Hudson Randall who will be making his 3rd start of the season. Randall’s stat line in his two starts looks impressive, 10 IP, 7H, 1ER, 6K, 3BB with a 66.6 GB%. His numbers look less impressive when you consider his opponents (UCF, Illinois State) and remember that in his 3 innings of relief in the first game against the ‘Noles he was touched up for 3 runs in 3 innings. Again sample sizes are extremely small but expect Randall to struggle as much as Benincasa.
Much like the first matchup this will be a game determined by who can outslug who, this obviously favors Florida State and despite the game being on the road I think they have a good change of pulling out a win before heading on their first road trip of the season.