March 10, 2005
New clean-up hitter Jack Rye has come a long way since starting the season as a freshman right fielder in the eight hole.
One of the best stories on the third-ranked FSU baseball team is the team’s relief pitching. While Tyler Chambliss is garnering headlines, the entire group has been just phenomenal. Two of the top three ERA’s on the team belong to relievers (Chambliss and Matt DiBlasi). Kevin Lynch is tied for the team lead in wins but the real story is what they have done with inherited runners. Of the 44 runners FSU relievers have inherited, only nine have come home to score. That’s just 20%. Chambliss is a perfect 10/0 and DiBlasi has only allowed one to score. Kevin Lynch has come into a game with more runners on than any reliever and only five of those 23 base runners have crossed home plate.
THAT’S ANOTHER STREAK
Shane Robinson is on a 27-game hitting streak and is leading the Seminoles in almost every offensive category but he has another streak going that is pretty impressive as well. Since getting thrown out trying to steal in the first game of the year, the sophomore has now swiped 23 consecutive bases without being caught. He has already surpassed his freshman number of 19 steals with 24 in 2005 and he and Gibbs Chapman are becoming a terror for opponents on the bases. The two have combined to swipe 36 of 38 bases they have attempted to steal. They are the only two Seminoles in double digits as far as steals.
SET IT OFF
Shane Robinson is doing so many things a traditional lead-of hitter doesn’t do. The sophomore is second on the team with 20 RBIs and is slugging .706. but what makes him great is how good he is in a lead-off role as well. In the first and second innings, Robinson is 16-for-26 for a .615 average. When you hit that well in the first and second inning and you have an average of .518 overall, it makes sense that you have scored an unbelievable 33 runs. The sophomore is on pace to score 100 times in 2005.
The 2005 FSU pitching staff has not been perfect in 2005 but they have been pretty darn good and they keep getting better. The staff has now gone eight straight games allowing three or fewer earned runs. In the last eight games, FSU pitchers have combined to allow 10 earned runs over 70 innings, a 1.28 ERA. The staff has seen its ERA drop by a half a run to 2.20 and in the last four games they have surrendered just 21 hits. The FSU pitchers, after giving up a season-high nine walks against Stetson, responded by allowing just three in the next three games and they have now issued no walks in a game twice in the last six outings.
RBIs IN BUNCHES
One of the big reasons the 2005 Seminoles are 21-1 is timely hitting and the proof of that is in the numbers when it comes to RBIs. This season FSU has double digit RBIs in six games and they have eight or more RBIs in half the games this season. Six of the team’s 10 home runs have come with runners on base and the team is hitting close to .300 with runners on base and with runners in scoring position. Many of the Seminoles’ RBIs have come via clutch hits. Of the team’s 161 RBIs, 60 have come with two outs. That means 37% of the runs driven in have come with two away in a frame.
If you are looking for an inning where the FSU offense is most likely to explode, look no further than the fifth. FSU is hitting a team-best .383 in the fifth with 26 runs, all of which came home via RBIs, and 13 doubles. That means 16% of FSU’s RBIs have come in the fifth and an amazing 22% of their doubles have been hit in that inning. While the fifth isn’t FSU’s highest scoring inning, it is one of three innings in 2005 where the Seminoles have scored 20 or more runs. FSU has its most runs in the seventh (29) and its second most in the second (28). The only place where FSU is hitting better than they are in the fifth is in extra innings. In the 10th inning or later the Seminoles are hitting an amazing .545 as a team but they have just one run, which was the game-winner versus Hawaii-Hilo.
ODDS & ENDS
Charles Cleveland has started the last three games at third base replacing Bryan Henry in the starting line-up. In 15 at bats, Cleveland has just four hits but every hit has been for extra bases with three doubles and a triple…Ryne Malone is a player of the year candidate but he is not hitting the way he would like so far. Although his average is just .253, like all great hitters he gets better as games go on. From the fifth inning on, Malone is hitting .371 and has 11 RBIs…another thing to remember about Malone is that the 2004 freshman All-American started slowly in 2004 as well. Last season he was hitting .262 through 22 games and he had just six RBIs. This year he already has 14.