There is no denying that Miami has played a tougher schedule than Florida State so far but they appear to be in another season of doing less with more under the guidance of head coach Jim Morris. Like every prominent (or once prominent) baseball program in America they have to deal with losing prospective and current players to the draft, so Miami's issues are no different than that of Florida State's. Looking up and down the rosters of these two teams the talent gap is marginal which means the disparity if performance falls squarely on the coaching staff. Seminoles fans were calling for the head of their long time pitching coach after repeated seasons of mediocrity. Hurricanes fans, if any, should really begin to start questioning whether or not Morris is still right for their program.
The Hurricanes offense this season is anemic and that is partly due to Jim Morris' old brand of small ball in an age where players use metal bats and pitching is generally weak. League average or significantly worse should be unacceptable given what Miami is capable of producing, almost less than two full runs below average is glaring, the reasons behind it lie if their other stats. Outside of what might end up being the worst college baseball team in the history of the ACC the Canes are last in slugging percentage and one of only three teams who have a higher on-base percentage than slugging. While they do take walks at an acceptable level they strike out far more than is warranted for such a powerless offense. Miami does do one thing well, give away free outs, second to only Maryland in the conference they come in at 10th nationally with 35 sacrifice bunts.
The Seminoles on the other had have one of the best offenses in the country and score neatry three runs more per game than Miami. They do this because they are currently ranked 8th in the country in on-base percentage and this is due in part to the excellent plate discipline as they are 3rd in total base on balls, behind only Central Arkansas and Mercer. Florida State can boast that 7 of their 9 hitters with 70 plus at bats have walked more than strukout while Miami has only 2 of 7 players that can make that claim. Unlike the Canes, Florida State has power throughout the lineup, a slugging percentage over 100 points higher than UM can be attributed to the 74 doubles they have hit, 27 more than Miami and 17 homeruns, 11 more than the Canes.
Not only has Miami had issues at the plate but their pitching staff has been an issue all season. Last year they had an exremely productive staff that included one of the best rotations in baseball. This season their rotation has been the strongest part of their staff while their bullpen is a disaster. Florida State's staff is not as solid as it was a season ago with the loss of Mike Compton to injury and the sophomore slump of Brandon Leibrandt who is bumped back to the Saturday starter. The Noles bullpen as been very effective this season and there are five guys that the coaches feel confident in giving the ball in high leverage situations, which is about four more than the Canes can say.
Florida State made two more errors on Tuesday night and it looks like things are not going to drastically improve throughout the season. You can only hope that the defense doesn't cost FSU a win especially when they are much better than Miami offensively and on the mound.
This is the best I have felt about a Florida State team's chances versus Miami in a long time, if ever. The Hurricanes has lots of problems right now and the Noles are just playing a much better brand of baseball. I understand that this is a rivalry series but if Florida State doesn't win this series I would consider it a disappointment.