It’s a rough week for guys that write “what went right / what went wrong” stories on UH baseball. Very little worked out for the Coogs so bear with me as I try to find a few compliments:
What went right: Umm …. well, a lot of people liked the patriotic uniforms on Friday.
And this tournament is now put on for a good cause – benefiting Shriners Hospitals.
What went wrong: Another trip to Minute Maid and another sweep. The Coogs are now 2-13 in their last 15 games at MM and have been outscored 92-46 in those games.
In 10 of those 15 games, UH has been held to 3 or fewer runs. UH beat Hawaii in 2015 and Texas Tech in 2014. Think about that: it’s been over 5 years since the Cougars have beaten a legit baseball program at Minute Maid.
What went right: We get our Minute Maid break in 2020! The Coogs will play in Round Rock instead.
Also … and this might be stretching what went right but …
After Minute Maid last year, UH was 5-5 and hitting .235 with 85 hits and 44 runs scored while slugging .331. UH went on to win the regular season American title and play for the AAC tourney title.
This year, the Coogs are 4-6, hitting .219 with 75 hits and 43 runs scored while slugging .351. And, the 2019 team has double the number of homers (10) as well. It’s possible that the Cougars could turn it around although last year’s turnaround was certainly an anomaly.
What went wrong: Well, everything. The Coogs managed just 17 hits this weekend and went to the plate looking more lost than any team in recent memory. UH is 235th in hitting after 3 weeks – the Coogs finished 173rd last season.
In the last 5 years, UH has finished in the top 100 in hitting just once. That was workable because you had a dominant pitching staff that threw a lot of strikes. But without a shutdown Friday night guy and two utility starters that are struggling, UH pitching is as soft as its been in a long, long time.
Just a cursory look at ERA and walks per nine innings rank by year is alarming:
Year: ERA Rank – BB/9
2019: 159 – 177
2018: 53 – 63
2017: 15 – 3
2016: 2 – 1
2015: 10 – 11
2014: 8 – 2
Throw strikes and good things happen. In year two of Terry Rooney, that’s not happening.
*BONUS* what went right: pitching vs. A&M. Holding a team to 3 runs shouldn’t be cause for celebration – it should be the expectation. But take what you can, right?
Lael Lockhart had a second good – not great – outing and Devon Roedahl and Spencer Hynes pitched well in relief. Hynes was noteworthy: coming in after the Ag leadoff man singled, Hynes retired the side and threw just 7 pitches – all 7 for strikes. That even included a four-pitch strikeout.