The Florida State Seminoles hosted the Virginia Tech Hokies this past Easter weekend in Tallahassee and if it wasn't for a certain head coach putting his team's pride and personal gain ahead of a player's health the ‘Noles might have been swept.
Florida State got off to a rough start in Game 1 with Sean Gilmartin having his worse outing of his collegiate career. The lefty sophomore lasted only 4+ innings and left the Seminoles in a 8-0 hole. That was more than enough for the Hokies as they went on to win by a final of 10-5. Gilmartin's struggles against a mediocre Tech lineup continue to cause concern for the future of the perceived staff ace. The average fan can be fooled by the freakish numbers put up in out of conference games against inferior opponents but the true test of a pitcher is how they fare in ACC games.
Looking at his numbers when compared to other Friday starters you get a good idea of what an ace should be. We will monitor Gilmartin throughout the rest of the season and see if he continues to regress in his sophomore campaign.
With much of the focus on the lack of a Sunday starter for the ‘Noles John Gast's terrible 2010 season has been able to fly relatively low under the radar. The lefty sophomore managed to pitch his longest ACC outing of the season, unfortunately for FSU it was only 4 2/3 innings in where he allowed 8 earned runs including 3 homeruns by Hokie hitters. FSU managed a small rally late in the game but ended up losing 8-7.
ACC opponents have been teeing off on Gast this season with a ridiculous BAA of .500. It is unsure how much longer Gast will stay in a starting role but I am not sure how much more effective he would be anywhere else.
Game 3 played out as expected, Geoff Parker pitched ineffectively for 3 innings and was pulled for the ‘Noles best pitcher in Brian Busch. The big lefty came in and against the first batter faced he violently twisted his knee in an attempt to cover the bag at first immediately dropping to the ground in agonizing pain. Busch faced another 18 batters and despite obvious discomfort in his knee which affected his delivery and control head coach Mike Martin left him out there in order to keep the Hokies from adding to their lead. As expected Jesse Hahn pitched great against the ‘Noles but ran into a wall in the 6th inning, he was clearly out of gas but with zero options in the bullpen he was left to pitch and allowed a game tying homerun to Parker Brunelle. Manny Martir came in for Virginia Tech and the Seminoles took full advantage of it lighting him up for 5 runs in 1 2/3 innings to avoid the sweep. Final - FSU 9-6.
This series just further highlighted the poor starting pitching that has plagued Florida State for years and will continue to do so as long as Jamie Shouppe is continued to be employed by FSU.
Does that really look like a staff that can get this team to Omaha? Mike Martin said that the coaching staff is going to look at film and evaluate the rotation for future series but to tell you the truth I am unsure what more they can do at this point.
Mike Martin Quote of the Week: When asked during the 5th inning of Sunday's game what he thought about this Virginia Tech team.
This is a Top 20, probably Top 15 ball club we are facing this weekend.
A team who is 60 games under .500 in ACC play over the past 4 years and only ACC wins in 2010 have come against consistent bottom dwellers in Maryland and Wake Forest is not a Top 15 team.
It took almost 10 years of underperforming to make changes to Florida State football. The baseball program has made it to Omaha only twice in the last decade and is in no place to make a run this year. It is time to make changes with this baseball program, there is too much talent being wasted at the hands of those in the dugouts.