K-State brought these, but they forgot their pitching. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Hey, I heard a little joke earlier that I wanted to share. It goes something like this:
The Kansas State Baseball team walks onto their home field. They look at the visiting Baylor team stretching and say "Hey, we're going to end your winning streak this weekend!"
That's it. That's the whole joke. Do you get it? It's funny because it's obviously ridiculous! Look, I didn't say it was a great joke, okay. You didn't like it? Fine, here's another one: Max Muncy looks at Josh Ludy in the locker room after game three. "Hey, Josh," he says, "how did you not strain your obliques hitting all those homeruns today?" Ludy looks back at Muncy. "Because I don't have obliques, Max." (Crickets.)
No? It's funny because baseball players are always straining their obliques, but it's a made up muscle. It's just a catch-all phrase for side strains. Obliques don't exist. Get it? Okay, I'm done. I sincerely apologize, but I'm honestly a little bit giddy. Baylor should have lost two of the three games this weekend. They just decided not to. I don't know if I've ever experienced anything like it as a fan.
In Friday's Game, the story was Josh Turley all the way. He held an extremely potent offense (as I highlighted in the Big 12 Primer and we saw in the next two games) to 2 runs (one earned) in a complete game effort. The guy is an ace. Period. Offensively, it was a well-rounded effort. Almost everyone chipped in to score 5 runs, which was more than enough. I'll leave "Player of the Game" for after the jump... To build suspense and stuff.
Player(s) of the Game: Turley. Wild and unexpected, I know.
Saturday's Game was not a dominant pitching performance by any stretch of the imagination. Remember when I said I didn't think Blank would regress toward his higher FIP? You do? I was hoping you didn't. Every time I do that, the pitcher regresses eventually. One day I'll best you, FIP! One day! The really good thing was that Blank got most of his regression out in one game. Hopefully that means he'll return swiftly to his winning ways. Kuntz and Bremer also didn't have their best games, but Max Garner came in for the save (after a fourteen hour rain delay) and pitched two scoreless innings.
The offense was spectacular in this game. In the sixth inning, down 10-4, they pounded out 5 runs against a highly suspect K-State pitching staff. With all the momentum in Baylor's favor, the rains came, and the game was suspended. It would have been very easy to let it get away at that point, but they didn't. Instead, the Bears came back the next day and added 5 more runs in the seventh to take the lead. I don't know if the word impressive quite matches what happened.
Player(s) of the Game: The entire offense. There were too many good performances here to pick just one. Really nice effort.
Sunday's Game was yet another comeback victory. Joey Hainsfurther just didn't have it today. Ryan Smith didn't either, as both pitchers had their first poor outings of the season. Luckily for Baylor, Crayton Bare, Dillon Newman, and Max Garner threw a combined four innings of no-run baseball, keeping the game in reach for an offense that just wouldn't quit.
Speaking of offense, Josh Ludy says hello. He was 5-6 with 3 HOMERUNS, and 7 RBI! I think I smell a Big 12 Player of the Week in his future... The other offensive standout was young Michael Howard. Howard hit the game winning homerun in the top of the 11th. It's fun to think that both he and Adam Toth are only freshmen. Those two, along with Logan Brown who has incredible speed, should form a very entertaining outfield for the next several years.
Player(s) of the Game: I'm tempted to give it to Dillon Newman and Max Garner for their excellent relief work. I'm also tempted to give it to Michael Howard for his game-winning homer. All three deserve it, but they won't get it today. Today, Josh Ludy - with his 3 blasts and 7 rib-eyes - takes it.
Soooo... Baylor is now 30-7 (15-0). UT and A&M are now 9-3 in conference. It's getting more and more difficult for them to overtake the Bears for regular season champs. Next weekend, we take on A&M in a battle of Big 12 titans. That should be a good series to watch.