It’s not over.
I know it feels like it’s over, or maybe like it ***should*** be over, but as the calendar prepares to turn to May, TCU Baseball’s season is on the brink, but not beyond it.
The weekend sweep at the hands of the rival Baylor Bears certainly doesn’t help things; the Bears sit in first place in the conference while the Frogs are clinging to sixth with just three series remaining. This is a talented team - which is what makes their recent struggles that much more frustrating. Nick Lodolo has struggled (by his standards) for consecutive weeks, neither Saturday’s starter (Charles King) or Sunday’s (Brandon Williamson) were able to get out of the third inning, and the offense that Schloss once called a national championship caliber one, managed just nine runs in three games.
And the defense?
We we will get to that.
In the meantime, the Frogs travel to Morgantown to face the surprising Mountaineers this weekend as losers of five straight and eight of their last ten. If they’re going to turn things around, it has to start now.
It’s really hard to find a silver lining from the weekend on the field, so we will go off the field but in the stadium instead. The weekend crowd of just under 15,000 was excellent, even if they didn’t get to see much of a show.
The pitching was near-abhorrent, as every level struggled mightily against a veteran Baylor squad. Lodolo was the only starter to get into the fifth inning and performed admirably compared to his peers, going 5.2 innings, allowing four runs - though just one was earned - on four hits. But he struggled mightily with his control; after hitting just three batters all season coming into Friday’s start, he hit three in that ball game, throwing 110 pitches in his abbreviated action. King and Williamson weren’t much better - King allowed seven earned runs on seven hits in just 2.1 innings while Williamson went three and four in 3.1.
The bullpen, which has struggled all season, saw eight pitchers allow 11 earned runs while striking out 11. Everyone that pitched in Sunday’s game gave up at least two earned runs, as both Jared Janczak and Marcelo Perez came out of the pen and got shelled a bit.
It was a bad weekend for a staff that hasn’t been what we had hoped or expected coming into 2019.
What is going on with this defense?
TCU was outscored 33-6 over the weekend. Of the 33 runs allowed, 11 were unearned, brought across the plate with the help of ten errors by the home team.
Defense has been an issue for several seasons now for Schloss’ club, but this season could be record breaking. TCU has committed 56 errors already this season, nearly double of what their opponents have done (33). Of the regular position players, only Zach Humphreys has yet to commit one - seven players have at least three. The Frogs’ .962 fielding percentage is the worst in the conference, and only Texas has committed more errors on the season.
Ugly baseball, indeed.
Things don’t get any easier for the Frogs; they travel to ACU Tuesday before heading to West Virginia for three this weekend. After a final’s week break, Kansas comes to town for the final home series of the year.
TCU is hanging by a thread, and if they can’t find a way to win a road series this weekend, that thread might run out.