Tech knocked out early again

Greetings, all-

Ken here. Sorry for the extended break. My editor Ray was kind enough to let me lay low after the birth of my second child. Mother and child are both well if you’re wondering.
My thanks to Doug for filling in ably for me. Ol’ Doug knows his stuff.
Anyway, on to Georgia Tech’s loss in the NCAA regional round this weekend at Russ Chandler. It’s the fourth year in a row that the Jackets have not been able to make it out of the regional. It’s the third year in a row that Tech has lost on its home field as the region’s No. 1 seed.
The Jackets have bucked some considerable odds with that unfortunate hat trick. In 2009 and 2010, of the 32 No. 1 seeds, 26 made it out of their region into the super regional. Of the six who didn’t, Tech is the only team who fell short twice.
I will note that No. 1 seeds are having a rough go of things this year. Eight No. 1’s have determined their fate as of 11:50 p.m. Sunday. Four are advancing, four have been bounced. So, at least Tech has some company this year.
But, obviously, the selection committee has done a pretty good job at identifying the best teams, not to mention allowing them to play at home, and Tech hasn’t delivered.
How do you weigh that against College World Series appearances in 2002 and 2006?
And what weight do you give to the fact that Tech’s roster was depleted last year by the draft and played with 17 freshmen this year, most in the country?

Looking at this particular weekend, the loss of pitcher Mark Pope to an oblique strain on Friday was critical. First, the loss put Tech in the loser’s bracket. (Which is not to say Tech would have won Friday with Pope in. The Jackets still scored only one run.)
Second, it required Danny Hall to bring in Matthew Grimes in relief. Had Pope finished out the game, even if the Jackets had still lost, Grimes would have been available to start Sunday night against Mississippi State.
It’s all conjecture, but I think Tech would have stood a much better chance with Grimes, Tech’s midweek starter, than DeAndre Smelter, a reliever who had made 13 appearances this season (with a 0.00 ERA) but no starts.
“It might have been a little different outcome if we’d thrown Matthew Grimes,” Hall said.
That said, Smelter didn’t get much help. Of the six runs he gave up, five were unearned.
Consider this detail dug up by my colleague Matt Winkeljohn about tournament most outstanding player C.T. Bradford.
He scored in the first on an unearned run (which you could put on Smelter as Bradford advanced one base on a wild pitch). Bradford hit a two-run double in the second; those runs were also unearned (the leadoff batter got on via a throwing error). In the third, he hit a two-run single, also with two outs and also unearned; a fielding error extended that inning.
Said Hall, “We made some miscues and made [Smelter and reliever Dusty Isaacs] have to make some pitches that they couldn’t quite execute.”

71 comments Add your comment

GT Student

June 6th, 2011
12:06 am

As a current student and longtime Georgia Tech fan, it is sad to see the Georgia Tech baseball season end prematurely again. This year’s team have had too much talent and too good of a regular season to get bumped out of the regional. I question Danny Hall’s judgement because I have seen TECH blow too many games because he has brought in the wrong pitcher or let someone in too long. It always seems like we do not get any better throughout the season, and it shows come tournament time. Yes, Danny Hall has a great regular season record, but the record that counts is the post season, and it seems like we just aren’t getting it done. I am just tired of watching TECH lose in the regionals. So, new year with the same result…like I said at the end of last year…”there’s always next year.”

Biff Pocoroba

June 6th, 2011
12:20 am

Hall is too much like Chan Gailey. He is a decent recruiter but can’t coach a lick. He doesn’t develop players and they don’t improve as the season goes on. The base running and fielding are always atrocious in the regionals because Hall puts absolutely no emphasis on fundamentals. He doesn’t begin working on bunting until May each year. He stands with his arms crossed looking out shaking his head absolutely clueless just like Gailey ane Hewitt used to. Drad took care of two problems and has just one more to go. The only good thing about this regional is that I didn’t go to a single game for the first time ever since I knew what would happen when the team quit at the ACC tournament.

sports

June 6th, 2011
12:25 am

SWEET BABY SWEET!!!

Tech Forever

June 6th, 2011
12:37 am

We have a HC who’s won something like 68% of all his games and 65% of his ACC conference games, yet is like 49% in NCAA Tournament/CWS play. Any explanations?

Tech Forever

June 6th, 2011
12:38 am

FYI, those numbers are just a guess after looking at the records/results of his tenure at Tech.

West Coast Jacket

June 6th, 2011
1:26 am

The major blunder by Hall was having Farmer pitch the APU game instead of saving him for the more difficult night game; he should have been playing to win the regional not simply to win the first game. Tech needed to assume they could beat APU irrespective of who was on the mound – considering that APU was down to its 3rd pitcher. The final score of that game proves the point. Hall’s post game comment that ‘we simply ran out of pitching’ is unexcusable; he never put Tech in the best strategic position to win the series!

Wink

June 6th, 2011
1:49 am

Gil, good to see you again, and thanks for the acknowledgement.

I went back and re-figured: the MSU run in the first was earned even though Smelter threw the wild pitch. WPs have nothing to do with earned runs from a scoring standpoint.

Some recent Tech postseason travails have been described as inexplicable. This one was indefensible.

The Jackets’ ERA in the regional, spread over four games: 1.5. That’s good enough to win a regional almost every year against any combination of teams.

Tech hit seven home runs over the final three games. That’s stellar considering the Jackets hit 41 in the previous 60 games (thanks to the new dead bat rules).

The usual four starters of Pope, Grimes, Bradley and Farmer pitched 25 of the 27 innings in the first three games, and allowed a total of five earned runs — two Friday when they unfortunately scored only one, one ER in the win over Southern Miss, two in Sunday’s win over Austin Peay, and one Sunday night to MSU.

What happened Sunday night was not inexplicable; it was more of the same.

Tech committed 14 more errors than its opponents this season, but the damage done by those errors was much worse. Tech allowed 70 unearned runs, and scored just 38.

Tech had a total staff ERA this season of 2.77, and opponents had a collective ERA against Tech of 6.00.

If that disparity is not startling enough, consider this:

Of the 245 runs Tech allowed this season, 28.6 percent (70) were unearned.

Of the 406 runs scored by Tech, just 9.5 percent (38) were unearned.

There are some who want to blame Danny Hall for recent postseason woes. I don’t see that logic. He has recruited outstanding players, most of whom will be drafted (and already have been).

They gotta make plays, though. Most of those errors were staggering. The earned run allowed in the first inning was dubious, too, as Brandon Thomas probably should have caught that ball in right field that fell for what was scored a hit.

mw

Wink

June 6th, 2011
2:04 am

The idea of saving Farmer for the nightcap is, in retrospect, pretty presumptive as is guessing that AP’s third starter was going to be easy pickings. MSU’s third starter sure wasn’t.

Not saying I disagree with the logic, but what about this: Even with Smelter starting, and the bullpen being called into heavy duty, Tech allowed ONE EARNED RUN Sunday night. That’s not a pitching problem.

The Tech ERA for the regional was 1.5.

Yeah, it blew to blow two starters in the first game, knocking Grimes out for the fourth game, but to start someone other than your top four starters in one of the first four games of a regional — unless you have several guys with starting experience to choose from — is dubious.

Other than Tech’s usual four starters, only two pitchers had started a game all season. Luke Bard and Dusty Isaacs each made one start.

I can better see debating whether one of them should have started Sunday night rather than a freshman who had never started a college game. But I have a hard time with the idea of assuming you’re going to win game 3 and therefore holding back one of your regular starters because you’re so confident that you’re going to win game to force game 4.

GT Fan ...

June 6th, 2011
2:13 am

The “Great” Bobby Cox had a pretty good regular season record too, and what did he do in the post season? 1-13. D Hall is to GT what B Cox was to the Braves.

Coaching is exactly why the YJs lost yet AGAIN on their home turf! The Jackets are far superior to AP, and Hall should’ve used his Freshman then. Bringing the kid on for night game didn’t do much for the team’s confidence … just check out the errors!

Time for D Hall to go fishing with B Cox.

Buzz Me

June 6th, 2011
4:48 am

Unfortunately it is the tech way. Have a great season…choke in the big, important or rivalry game.

Gordon

June 6th, 2011
6:26 am

I know this has been said by others, but I don’t understand the decision to pitch Farmer against AP and not save him for MSU. When you are in the losers brackets with one of your starters (Pope) out, you have to roll the dice. Also, the starters should have been pulled in the AP game once we were ahead 6-0. Even 21 year olds get tired in 95 degree heat. They were obviously dragging in the second game.

I guess hindsight is 20/20, but we just didn’t have anything left for the second game.

Crazy Robert

June 6th, 2011
6:31 am

“Tech knocked out early again” Again being the operative word. Don’t spend your all of your payraise in one place Danny.

William Casey

June 6th, 2011
7:20 am

I don’t follow Jackets baseball closely enough to comment on the tactical decisions, but, it seems to me that this outcome shouldn’t be all that surprising for a team so heavily dependent on freshmen.

Augusta Jacket

June 6th, 2011
7:31 am

I think everyone’s missing the point…you can’t lose the 1st game to Austin P and expect to win the region.

Road Scholar

June 6th, 2011
7:37 am

Enter your comments here

Road Scholar

June 6th, 2011
7:38 am

Choke! The coach said that our pitching would lead us. Maybe they should have brought some bats with them!

bulldog steve

June 6th, 2011
7:52 am

Freshmen are going to make mistakes and Tech overachieved this year. What I can’t believe is the crowd for the Sunday night game. Tech fighting to win a regional at home and half the stands are empty. Half of the fans there at the beginning were MSU fans and all the fans at the end of the game were MSU fans. It will be interesting to see what the draft does to both Tech and UGA this week.

ACC Fan

June 6th, 2011
7:57 am

Even if you don’t save Farmer for the nightcap, at least get him out of the earlier game after it was no longer in doubt and save him for some relief in the nightcap. Sorry about the loss of Pope for the series, but not making adjustments in the pitching after he was out hurt Tech. The coaches should have seen it coming.

Unreal

June 6th, 2011
8:18 am

Guys, it doesn’t matter if grimes pitched last night vs MISS ST ….they would have blown it today anyway! There is no fundamentals in a danny hall team! You can’t advance vs playoff caliber teams no matter what field you play on when you make stupid errors EVERY game all year long. Not to mention poor base running and just god awful hitting with RISP. Did any of you not watch this team in the ACC tournament?? 1-2 and looked terrible with a slew of errors and poor hitting! The last few weeks we have seen the averages continue to slide!

Hall NEVER peaks at the most important time and that is the postseason!! Instead, his teams fall apart!!! He doesn’t know how to win small ball either and we have some speed and he always waits for the big hit rather than grow a set and be aggressive and put pressure on the opposition! Does he even scout our opposition? We don’t shift our defense or seem to have a clue about other teams and you would think our hitters would move to the front of the box vs these junk ball pitchers people seem to love pitching against us. Have we ever been taught PATIENCE in hitting these type pitchers? Why are half our hitters in the back of the box vs junk ball off-speed pitchers??? We have more strikeouts than the braves i think!

Considering we pluck great players from the east cobb program every damn year, there is no excuse to play so poorly in the postseason almost every year! It’s a reflection of the coaching and hall is a poor manager of the game. We get as far as we get only on the backs of the talent signed to play here which is good talent. This team just makes too many errors and the hitting just went to the crapper over the past month and i saw this coming all along. We beat the brakes off everyone 3/4 of the season and save our worst for the very end of the year! Way to go danny UNDERACHIEVE hall!!!! GT fans are sick of this clown and it’s time to send him packing!! I hope everyone knows DRAD email info and send him a greetings with how you feel about danny UNDERACHIEVE hall!!!!!!!

collegeballfan

June 6th, 2011
8:23 am

Hall’s teams just do not look “tough”. They do not play tough. And in a tournament setting tough means a lot in baseball.

With all the youth I did not expect as much this year as the team delivered. But at the end of the year they are not “young players”, all have at least one season under their belt.

gt4ever

June 6th, 2011
8:31 am

Good Baseball team that will be better next year…. I don’t think we will lose too many to the draft, so next year looks very bright…. Baseball is crazy, anything can happens, and it did… The coach did most everything right. You have to win the AP game to continue, all you einsteins who have the luxury of second guessing the coach need to chill…. The coach made the right decision in the AP game…. Looking forward to next years baseball, Lord knows that we have NO football….. So here’s to sleeping through football and basketball to another year of good basball….

Go Jackets

Always a Jacket

June 6th, 2011
8:39 am

This year the Jackets over achieved. The youth errors showed up. Congrats to another good season. Hopefully, next season will get us over the hump, but I am losing excitement for Danny Hall. He has a recruiting pipeline to GT (similar to Richt’s football pipeline to UGA) and cannot take advantage.

I am trying to understand reasoning in starting Pope on Friday. (although pitching was not the main problem) He was injured, why push it. Every day of recovery gives better chance of him returning 100%. If Tech cannot beat the Govs with 2nd pitcher, then we are clearly overrated.

APU’s pitcher stayed ahead of most the tech batters. The first pitch was a strike everytime and tech batters just watched. Were they not ready,? or told to take the pitch? either way, painful to watch.

I was at the first two games and the lack of fan support was clear. More fans from SMU and MSU. Fan have to show support if we want the program to advance.

Anyway, I am excited about football starting and once again basketball. Now that Hewitt is gone, Danny needs to look over his shoulder.

juvenal

June 6th, 2011
8:52 am

if athlon is any indication, we are definitely under the radar in football(loved the shotgun comment)……..

MS. Bully

June 6th, 2011
8:53 am

It was great to see the fan support for Mississippi State!! State did what good teams do, they made GT pay for their mistakes. Don’t forget that State was picked to finish last in the SEC West and they just won you’re regional. Just accept it, State deserved to win. SEC SEC SEC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Glenn

June 6th, 2011
8:55 am

Another choke. When will they replace the coach?

gt4ever

June 6th, 2011
8:59 am

Oh, ENOUGH with the SEC CRAP!

Andy

June 6th, 2011
8:59 am

Tech lined out EIGHT times to MSU outfielders. Those are eight balls hit hard enough to be doubles if they don’t find a glove. Very frustrating how nothing found a hole until the ninth inning (and even then, the last out was a screaming line drive to RF). But you can’t win with five errors, four of which belong to the middle infield. Very frustrating that the team never really had a chance in a winnable game.

gt4ever

June 6th, 2011
9:05 am

juvenal

We are under the radar…… Ha, that’s funny…. We really will be under the radar when we lose 7 or 8 this year…… It’s real hard to be a football yellow jacket….

DawginLex

June 6th, 2011
9:30 am

Cohen is a good coach at MSU. Ron Polk had a fit when he got the job for some unknown reason he didn’t want him to have the job.

Cohen make Kentucky baseball relevant. Got them into the regionals twice then left for MSU. He does a good job.

Tech was young just like UGA. Both will be back strong next year. UGA had to overcome 2 players in back to back seasons getting paralyzed. Amazing.

Football ain’t far away.

South Carolina Baseball is laughing at you

June 6th, 2011
9:55 am

Ya’ll boys sure do find a way to sh%t the bed every year. Weak sauce. Learn how to play some baseball losers

juvenal

June 6th, 2011
10:04 am

not really-you just buy tix, & go-that’s what 4ever means……

404

June 6th, 2011
10:09 am

As expected, Danny Hall whiffed AGAIN in the post-season.

Danny Hall has been at GT…17 years.

And, after all that time, this is the best he can deliver ?!
A 3rd straight Super-Regional host, and GT chokes…AGAIN.

IMHO, Hall mis-managed the pitching. Aside from that, GT defensive fundamentals were simply atrocious last night. I lost count of how many MSU runners took 2nd base standing up, without even a GT defensive attempt. Just pitiful.

This GT team mentally FOLDED early, and that’s on Hall.

With a team full of Freshman, RIGHT NOW seems like as good a time as any
for D-Rad to consider replacing Danny Hall.

How does Danny Hall go 17 years as a Head Coach getting very good talent at GT,
and continue to consistenly choke in the post-season ????

Something’s missing, and Danny Hall doesnt seem to have it.

pcb mike

June 6th, 2011
10:19 am

Tech forever, I have an explanation, the competition is much better. Every coach’s record is better during the season than during the playoffs. Tech had 17 freshmen this year and had a very successful season. Can’t wait til next year.

Go Jackets !!!

St. Richt2

June 6th, 2011
10:33 am

Enough with the excuses. This team just plain sucks in the post season. Danny Hall is your man if you want to play well during the regular season and then lay a steaming pile when it counts…

Deja vu.

gt4ever

June 6th, 2011
10:52 am

maybe for you DawginLex….. Football for GT is a few years away.. :)

Genius Jacket

June 6th, 2011
10:53 am

I drank with the Tech infield after the game last night. Did we win or lose?

South Carolina Baseball is laughing at you

June 6th, 2011
10:57 am

You lost to Austin Peay. Really??? Scrubs from Tech, oh well at least the nerds can study now. Maybe if you fire Danny Hall, he can come be our bat boy. Pathetic!!

rxdawg79

June 6th, 2011
11:48 am

I don’t keep up with GT baseball, but I’ve watched enough MLB playoffs to see teams suddenly forget how to hit (or pitch, or field) come crunch time. Don’t know how much of it is mental (like UGA v. UF), but in a short series the smallest slump can be enough to send a team home.

Choke Hall

June 6th, 2011
12:29 pm

If any team coached by Choke Hall exiting early surprises you then your an idiot. Hall is over in the dugout reading Baseball for Dummies. What type coach would take his everyday DH that leads the team in HR’s and second in RBI’s out of the lineup in the first round of Regionals and subs him with a guy that weights the same as a bat and hits his weight just to get the lefty/righty matchup. They lose 2-1 then Palka is inserted for the balance of the games and hits multiple homeruns. You think they could have used Palka’s power in a 2-1 game? What type guy pitches an injured player (jeopardizing his future ) then when he goes down in the first it sets a negative mental tone on the other players. Choke Hall is standoffish with his players to create a dictator attitude that simply “nuts up” his players under pressure. He also over plays his starters all year causing fatigue in the post season. He is completely clueless just like the Tech AD that supports him.

Coach Grohbo

June 6th, 2011
12:30 pm

Did D-Rad hire the same visiting clubhouse manager the Braves did?

Talk about a guy who knows how to throw a celebration party!

Coach Grohbo

June 6th, 2011
12:33 pm

Also UGA rolled over and proved it did not belong in the post season.

Just like football and basketball.

Also, congratulations to the Augusta State Jaguars!

gt4ever

June 6th, 2011
12:34 pm

I find that hard to believe Choke Hall….. Standoffish to his players….. Hmmmmmmmm

Coach Grohbo

June 6th, 2011
12:37 pm

Low-key does not win in the post-season.

Danny Hall better hire a fire-brand to offset his own low-key approach or he will be doomed to Bobby Cox-land.

gt4ever

June 6th, 2011
12:44 pm

Good baseball teams win in the post season, Period…. I will aggree that pulling Palka to match up with lefty righty was STUPID…. I mean, major league managers do it and I still don’t believe that it makes that big a difference… But hey, I don’t make the big bucks like these managers, so I probably don’t have any idea what I am talking about… GT has good talent, but maybe they just haven’t developed enough to overcome post season play… I still think next year is going to be a good year for the baseball program…

Old Gold

June 6th, 2011
12:55 pm

Danny Hall is worst than PAUL HEWITT! TIME TO LET HIM GO!!!!

West Coast Jacket

June 6th, 2011
1:01 pm

‘Wink’ – u missed my point or maybe u just don’t get it; DH should have been playing to win the regional not to simply assure they beat APU. If GT couldn’t beat APU on Sunday with a less experienced pitcher they weren’t going to win the regional any way. The fact that they only allowed one earned run in the nightcap is not relevant; as the bad coaching decision had already been made. If MSU was going to put up their #3 against us we needed to match up with our #3 at a minimum. Beating APU should have been a given – case closed. DH’s job above all else is to exude condidence – and his decision to start Farmer instead of a freshman (in what was a meaningless game) showed a lack of confidence that the younger guys could get the job done!

same stuff different year

June 6th, 2011
1:01 pm

you can talk about the stands not being full, just look at the last three years, people ( i dont care how dedicated fans they are) are not going to support a team that cannot get it done at home. I would rather they go on the road and choke, no other team in the NATION has lost three straight regionals at home. If Danny Hall wants to see more fans in the stands then they need to deliver when it counts, not going to support a loser….

FrustratedJacket

June 6th, 2011
2:03 pm

I expect nothing less from Coach Danny Hall! Just another day at the office. It is time for our AD to really take a look at changing directions. Too much talent to leave so early year after year after year. Come on DHALL! Recruiting doesn’t always get you to the top, sometimes you have to coach a little. But oviously, you can’t seem to figure that part out!! Frustrated??? You better believe it!

juvenal

June 6th, 2011
2:12 pm

when does fall practice start?

Taco

June 6th, 2011
2:43 pm

Baseball, Golf, Softball what else can we underachieve in?