The Seminoles took 2 of 3 from the Wolfpack this past weekend despite losing their 4th Friday game in a row. The problems that have plagued Florida State all season continue to persist and will ultimately be the downfall of this team come postseason play.
Sean Gilmartin had another poor outing against a good offense on Friday while Jake Buchanan again dominated an ACC power. Gilmartin gave up 2 homeruns to the ‘Pack and that was more than enough as the FSU offense managed just 6 hits on the night and never got a runner in scoring position past the 2nd inning. NCST 5-2
Saturday saw Brian Busch make his best start of the season despite a rocky first. Busch started the game by allowing a leadoff double, single and homerun to put the ‘Noles in a 3-0 hole after 1. In the next 21 batters he faced he allowed only 1 hit and got help from right fielder James Ramsey and Devon Travis who both drove in 2 runs, Ramsey with his 6th homer of the year and Travis with his 3rd double. Geoff Parker made it interesting by allowing 2 runs in the 8th but Mike McGee closed the door in the 9th to earn his 8th save on the season in ACC play. FSU 7-5
Scott Sitz was the victim of Mike Martin's quick hook on Sunday as he recorded only 1 out in the 7 batters he faced. NC State plated 7 runs in the 1st inning as a series loss looked inevitable but to the Seminoles credit they came right back and scored 8 runs of their own in the bottom of the 2nd inning to tie the game. Three more runs in the bottom of the 3rd gave Florida State a 11-9 lead and with a little help from mother nature the Noles won in a rain shortened/curfew ended ballgame. FSU 12-9
The ‘Noles maintained their 2 game lead in the Atlantic Division thanks in part to a catastrophic series loss by the Clemson Tigers to Wake Forest. Florida State travels to Clemson this week for the ACC finale and needs only 1 win to secure the division title but if the ‘Noles want to claim any right to earning a National Seed they must sweep the Tigers and hope for a excellent showing in the ACC Tourney.
Inside we will take a look at some stats to give you a little inside as to why Florida State is not primed to make a run to Omaha.
It has been said all year that our pitching will be the downfall of this team and the more and more we watch this team the more evident that is. Florida State currently has ZERO viable starting pitchers that you can say with certainty can get you 5 solid innings of work.
Our bullpen has accounted for 48% of our innings pitched in ACC play, that is not good. Can Florida State beat a #4 seed in a Regional and then go on to win 2 more games by exhausting every possible pitcher in their bullpen? Maybe, FSU's offense is good enough to where they can hopefully outslug a 2 or 3 seed but the real challenge is when and if we advance to a Super.
This above chart gives you an idea of just how many times our starter has failed to make it through the 5th inning. So 60% of the time our starters do not even have a chance at a quality start. Our starters have recorded 18 quality starts in 52 games but when you break it down even further you see that only 3 of those were against teams with an RPI better than 50 (UNC, BC, UF). Facing a team with a RPI of 50 or better in a Super Regional is almost a given.
We can also no longer rely on FSU's "Ace" Sean Gilmartin to put us in position to beat a good team.
That is what I call the definition of regression and to expect any change moving forward would be foolish because by this point we all know the kids are left in the dark without a pitching coach they can look to for instruction. Jamey Shouppe's contributions are a joke and his employment is no longer based on merit but rather friendships and loyalty.
Now that our pitching has regressed to league average or worse I guess we will have to rely on our offense to carry us. The problem with that the 2010 FSU offense is the worst it has been in some time.
I analyze several Regional projections as they are updated weekly and there is not one I have seen where I feel comfortable saying FSU will be able to get out of a regional. This Florida State team is one of the worst I can remember and it doesn't seem that there is much of a future in sight. The MLB amateur draft will take many contributors from this year's team and our recruiting is continuing to decline as more and more talented players choose to go elsewhere.
I apologize if I'm all over the place with this article but Florida State Baseball is at a crossroads, if FSU fails to make it to Omaha we will have only appeared ONCE in the last 10 years which is completely unacceptable by Florida State standards. Mediocrity continues to wreak havoc through Seminoles athletics and coaching changes are desperately needed.