March 31, 2005
A QUICK LOOK AT THE CLEMSON SERIES
In 2004 the Seminoles took the first two games of the three game series against Clemson 11-6 and 10-1. The last time FSU played Clemson at home was in 2003 when the Seminoles dropped the first game of the series 8-4 but then won the next two 7-2 and 8-1. In the last 15 games with Clemson, the Seminoles are 13-2. That is quite a change considering the Seminoles were just 3-8 in the 11 games preceding that run. In those 13 wins versus the Tigers,
WHAT HAPPENED IN LAST YEAR’S GAMES
In 2004 during the three game series against Clemson, the current Seminole hitters recorded a .409 batting average. Aaron Cheesman led the team hitting .500 and was followed by Ryne Malone and Gibbs Chapman who each hit for a solid average against Clemson as they hit .400 and .333 respectively.
Last season when a right handed pitcher was on the mound for Clemson Cheesman was unstoppable as put up a .833 batting average. Malone fared well against Tiger righties as well hitting .500. While Cheesman and Malone took care of right handed pitching Shane Robinson and Gibbs Chapman hit lefties just as hard. Chapman led all current Seminoles with a .600 average and Robinson was right behind him at .400.
Cheesman also hit for power in last year’s series as he recorded four extra base hits including one home run and three doubles. He led the team with a 1.000 slugging percentage. The current Seminoles hit for a combined .614 slugging percentage last season against Clemson.
In 2004 the current Seminole hitters recorded 15 of the 28 RBIs against Clemson. Cheesman led the entire team with six RBIs and Malone was close behind with four. The current Seminoles also came through in the clutch as they hit .375 when runners were in scoring position.
If anyone is going to steal a base against Clemson in 2005 it will be Shane Robinson as he registered the Seminoles only two stolen bases of the series in 2004.
The Seminoles will miss Brian Schultz who was the most successful FSU pitcher last season against Clemson. Schultz is the only current Seminole to have recorded a win last season against Clemson. He was the starter of the second game in the series and pitched 6 1/3 solid innings only allowing one run to score on five hits while striking out two.
The combo of Kevin Lynch and Tyler Chambliss was also extremely effective out of the bullpen for the Seminoles as they combined to pitch 2 2/3 scoreless innings not allowing a hit while striking out a three.
14-10-14 isn’t a new anti-crime slogan from the
REPORT CARD TIME
Doing midseason report cards is nothing new when a team reaches that point of the year but with the 2005 Seminoles it is probably more telling to compare where they are through 33 games compared to the 2003 and 2004 squads. The most obvious comparison is record. This year FSU is 27-6 compared to 24-9 last year and 28-5 in 2003.This year’s team has the best average through 33 games out hitting the other two squads with a .311 batting average compared to 2004’s .306 and 2003’s .300. This year’s team ERA is 3.03 while last year at this point the team’s ERA was 3.59. The 2003 squad had the best number at 2.35. It is no surprise that the 2005 squad has the lowest slugging percentage and HR total but they make up for it with more stolen bases and a better fielding percentage than the other two squads. No player on the three squads has gone through 33 games and hit as well as Shane Robinson. In 2003 Eddy Martinez-Esteve led the squad at the halfway point with a .371 average. Robinson is hitting 121 points higher than that. Last year Martinez-Esteve led the squad again but this time with a .422 average. Probably the biggest testament to what Robinson is doing is when you look at his numbers versus Stephen Drew’s through the first 33 games. Drew’s best average through 33 games was .331. The most RBIs he had was 28, his highest slugging percentage was .531 and the most steals he had was 24. Robinson has better numbers this season in every category except for RBIs where he trails Drew’s 2003 numbers by just one.
THROUGH 33 GAMES (Robinson vs. Drew)
Avg. Hits Runs 2B TB RBI Slg. SB
Drew (2003) .331 43 38 7 69 28 .531 24 .413
Drew (2004) .308 24 21 3 41 14 .526 5 .471
Robinson (2005) .492 65 47 16 89 27 .674 27 .558
THROUGH 33 GAMES (Hitting)
Avg. Hits Runs 2B 3B HR TB RBI Slg. SB
2003 .300 334 272 70 9 28 506 232 .455 59 .418
2004 .306 349 255 58 11 42 555 224 .486 41 .410
2005 .311 344 242 81 9 16 491 226 .444 68 .415
THROUGH 33 GAMES (Pitching)
ERA W-L SHO/CBO SV IP H R ER BB K
2003 2.35 28-5 4/4 7 298.2 245 111 78 81 303
2004 3.59 24-9 2/2 6 296.0 277 156 118 99 301
2005 3.03 27-6 2/2 10 291.1 266 127 98 123 255
Ryne Malone was a freshman All-American in 2004 and a Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year candidate coming into 2005 but his first half wasn’t what he expected. The sophomore is hitting just .250 in 29 starts. Last season his average was below .250 just once all year but there is reason for optimism. First of all, through 108 at bats last year Malone was hitting .302 with 33 hits. This year through the same number of at bats, he has just six fewer hits (27). So he is not that far off the numbers that made him an All-American. Second, Malone is a second half player. Last year he hit .294 in his first 102 at bats. Over his last 101 at bats his average was .366. Malone is already starting to show that again in 2005 as the team has moved into the second half of the regular season. In his last six games, Malone is hitting .318 with three RBIs and a .444 on base percentage. He has reached base safely in all six of those games. Malone isn’t just a guy who heats up in the second half of the season. He is a second half of the game hitter as well. In innings one through four, Malone is hitting .164 (9×55) but after the fourth his average jumps to .340 with twice as many hits in fewer at bats (18×53).
GOTTA WHOLE LOT OF GLOVE
Now that Ryne Malone’s bat has started to come back to life (see note: Second Wind) maybe people will start turning their focus back to his stellar defense. The first/third baseman is the only starter not to make an error this season. In 256 chances he has not had a single miscue on top of being apart of a team leading 22 double plays. Last year he made 17 errors and 10 of those came in the first 33 games.
Five is the magic number when it comes to wins and losses for FSU. The Seminoles are 25-0 on the season when holding their opponent to five runs or less. But whenever the opponent gets that sixth run, FSU loses 66% of the time. Considering the fact that every FSU starter has an ERA below 5.00 it is pretty obvious to see why FSU is 27-6 on the season.
HE’S GOT THE JOB
Brant Peacher is one of four Seminoles that have DH’ed for FSU in 2005 but it looks like the sophomore has won the battle for the starting job. Peacher has started the last 10 games in a row independent of whether the pitcher was a rightie or lefty and over that span he has made himself indispensable. During that stretch Peacher is leading the team with a .500 average, one homer and 12 RBIs. He is slugging .676 with 23 total bases and a .526 on base percentage. He has seven multi-hit games in the last 10 outings and at least one RBI in seven of those games as well.