My thoughts on Wednesday’s game.
- Anglin has a power arm, but a long arm action where his throwing hand comes behind his head. When a pitcher has a “sneaky” fastball, they hide the ball well where hitters don’t see the ball until the last second. For Anglin at times, that leads to overcompensation with his arm action to speed up, which is why you see a lot of pitches low and out and high and in. His arm is overcompensating or it isn’t.
- Anglin also has a slower delivery which means good baserunners will steal bases off him. East Tenn. St stole 3rd off Anglin in the 1st inning (not off Hack).
- Another thing I look at is competitive pitches. That is pitches that at least make the batter think. If you’re not even making the hitter think about it, then it’s a bad pitch regardless of the count. Anglin is inconsistent with his command. He will throw a lot of strikes but then walk a guy on 4 consecutive pitches. He’s young and will get better as time goes on obviously. But on a 0-2 pitch, I’m fine with throwing a ball that’s not close. But you must make the batter at least think about it. That being said, Anglin is going to be really good as time moves on.
- Hoffman is going to be a stud for Clemson as well. He’s got a feel for all of his pitches and consistently pounds the strike zone. He’s a pitcher, not a thrower and his pitches all have a purpose. He’s very similar to Davis Sharpe. He might not have the stuff of Anglin, Gilbert, or Clayton but he’s going to be really good in a Tigers uniform.
- Askew is the big unknown on this staff. He has a lot of movement in his windup, which leads to inconsistency at times, but is also tough on a hitter. He throws a lot of wild pitches that don’t make hitters think, but also has good stuff and potential to be very useful to this team.
- We got our first Holt Jones sighting of the year and he still throws hard. But as he throws 3 strikes to the first hitter and produces a pop out to right, he walks the next one on 4 pitches. You’re just never sure what you will get from him.
- East Tenn. St started a guy that throws in the mid-80’s, with average pitches, and their relievers were all about the same as that. It’s a team Clemson should hit hard and be able to score runs off. They couldn’t do that.
- All bad days on the stat sheet aren’t created equal, however. Elijah Henderson hit the ball hard today, but you have those days in baseball.
- I imagine Brewer is written in pen in the lineup for now on. He’s getting more comfortable at the plate and it shows.
- Clemson has to have Davis Sharpe in the lineup. Everyday. He is one of the top 3 hitters on this team and on a team that can’t score runs, you can’t afford to sit him. I would leave him in the 3 hole and put James Parker in the 4 hole when he returns.
- Clemson needs Bryar Hawkins, Sam Hall, and Bryce Teodosio in a bad way. Hawkins, Hall, and Teodosio are just missing good pitches and swinging at bad ones. That sounds simple enough, right? Hawkins provided the lone hit out of this group on Wednesday when he hit a fastball hard in the right center gap. My philosophy has been if you want to swing early in the count you better hit it hard most of the time. It’s hard to hit balls hard that are bouncing at your feet and then you get into hitting counts where you want to try to hit anything close. Here’s a few of their AB’s in the game Wednesday.
- Hawkins is up with RISP at 2nd and 3rd with 1 out in the 3rd. In this spot, you’re looking to drive that runner in from 3rd. The easiest way to do that is hit it on the ground to the right side or hit a fly ball to the outfield. He watches 85 MPH on the outside corner on the first pitch, which is the best pitch to hit the ball to the right side. He then misses a hanging slider (0-2), and then hits a week grounder back to the pitcher who gets Sharpe in a rundown going from 3rd to home.
- Sam Hall jumps on a first pitch fastball in the 2nd and hits a lazy pop up. First pitch fastball you want to hit it hard and I love aggressive hitting. The pitcher wants to get ahead of the hitter so the 1st pitch can be the best one to hit. Hall jumps on the first pitch but just isn’t barreling the ball up right now.
- This is the worse one and is most likely the reason Donathan hit for Hall in the 8th. After a Hawkins leadoff double, Hall swings at a first pitch slider in the dirt, which makes Monte put on the bunt sign. Hall misses that as well, before striking out on a slider in the dirt. I’m not sure if any of the pitches in this at bat were close to the strike zone.
- In Teo’s first AB he missed 2 86-87 MPH fastballs over the heart of the plate before doing a good job on a hanging slider, and hitting it hard at the second baseman. He had 3 good pitches to hit in this at bat that he didn’t do anything with.
- First pitch swinging at a slider and hits it weakly to 2B. Bad throw by the second baseman but Teodosio takes off to 2nd without even looking to see what the ball did after it bounced off dugout fence, and was thrown out trying to get back to first.
- Swings at a slider in the dirt on first pitch, misses a change up that runs low and in, and then strikes out on a slider. Enter Bo to take his AB in the 8th.
Clemson can’t bench these guys right now. For one, they’ve tried, and it didn’t work. They don’t have any answers on the bench either. I would let these 3 guys continue to go out there and battle. We know Hall and Hawkins are better than they are showing. We know Teodosio has some pop in his bat and will hit some homeruns for Clemson throughout the year. There just aren’t any other alternatives.