The Gamecocks struggled again this past weekend. This time it was against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Pretty much everything failed us Thursday and our rally fell short Friday, then our bats exploded Saturday (sorry guys, couldn't find a recap for this one) to avoid getting swept. I'm going to my best to stay positive in this post, mainly because writing negative stuff gets old and wears on the mind. There were some great individual performances (like Schrock's 5-6, 1 homerun, 2 RBI game on Saturday), Kyle Martin continuing to play like Kyle Martin (4-10 with 4 RBI's), and Brandon Murray continued to impress as he likely saved us on Saturday afternoon. But there were something head-scratching things from both the dugout and the field. Let's see what we learned.
The Pitching Had An "Ouch" Weekend: 13 runs on Thursday night, 7 runs Friday (even though Jack Wynkoop only gave up 1 earned run), and 7 more runs on Saturday. Gamecock fans continue to believe that this pitching staff is a major strength on this team. Well, they continue to give up several runs a game to SEC opposition. With Florida coming up, and the offense and defense continuing to be inconsistent, we need the pitching staff to start pitching much better.
What Happened to Destino?: Did Holbrook forget about Destino's existence? One of our best RBI hitters continues to ride the pine because Holbrook favors seniority over talent. I actually think Destino didn't get a single at bat this weekend. Holbrook is a (supposedly) smart baseball guy. He should know the best way for a hitter to work out of a slump is not to bench him. This lineup is at its best when pitchers have to face the potential murderer's row of Martin, Caldwell, and Destino (sorry Schrock). The fact that he isn't playing, or even getting many pinch hitting opportunities, is mindboggling to me.
Brandon Murray is a Stud: Clarke Schmidt got knocked around a good bit Saturday afternoon. That's ok. It happens and Schmidt has been one of the more consistent players on the roster this year. After taking an early lead, Schmidt loaded the bases with only one out in the bottom of the 1st. Holbrook obviously knew we had to have this game, gave him the hook and quickly brought in Murray. Murray proceeded to go 5 2/3's innings and gave up only 2 runs on 1 hit. He likely saved this game for us as he mostly shut down the Bulldog offense. Carolina would proceed to score 13 runs on the day and got a much needed win.
Hopefully, Holbrook will read this and take my insights into account. However, this is unlikely. So maybe we'll get lucky and Holbrook will have a revelation that immediately turns us into the SEC contender that we have the potential to be. Carolina takes on Appalachian State tonight at 7 PM and can be found on SEC Network+.