It’s Monday again, which means it’s time to return to the deep recesses of my brain and pick out some orange-and-green-hued thoughts.....
1) That was just sad. The Miami Hurricanes’ underwhelming baseball season ended Sunday afternoon in Gainesville at the hands of the South Alabama Jaguars 7-2. Jake Garland pitched a scoreless first two innings before giving up 4 runs in the third to put the offensively-anemic Canes in a 4-0 and realistically insurmountable hole in the first third of the game. Miami tacked on a couple of solo home runs in the 5th and 6th innings by Yohandy Morales and Alex Toral, but Miami left a small city on the base paths, coming up unclutch every single time they had a chance for a two-out run.
2) And that was the story of the regional for UM. In 18 innings against South Alabama, Miami managed a putrid 3 runs. THREE RUNS IN TWO GAMES AGAINST A SUN BELT TEAM. Pathetic. Naturally the Miami-Dan Enos-rain jokes came out (as the Gainesville regional was beyond plagued by rain delays):
@vrp2003 who is Miami’s hitting coach and why is he less effective than Dan Enos unlaminated play book?— BBhalla (@BhallaDocta) June 5, 2021
But hey, UM lasted one game longer than the host Florida Gators, who South Alabama also bounced emphatically from the tournament by a staggering 19-1 score. B.R.U.H. Miami’s tenure in this tournament was bad, but Florida’s was beyond embarassing. #YouHateToSeeIt
3) The saddest thing is that this regional couldn’t have started off any better for UM. Florida fell to South Florida, and UM squeaked out a 1-0 win over the Jaguars on Friday night. One more win would’ve sat UM in the regional final, where they’d need just one win in two tries to claim the regional. Any semblance of offense should have been good enough to carry them to the final. But alas, UM took it’s promising circumstances and flushed it away, with Jake Smith getting shelled by South Florida for 5 runs in the 4th and UM’s offense countering with only 2 runs for the day. Miami is better than 10-2 against South Florida, and I really don’t care about how “hot” the Bulls have been lately. That was such a letdown performance. Maybe the worst of the season.
4) I have to ask: why did Gino DiMare allow Jose Izarra to hit in the top of the 8th in a 4-2 game Sunday with 2 outs and 2 runners on base (oh, and elimination also on the line)? It was Miami’s last real chance to get back in the game. There had to have been someone better on the bench (and if not, then that’s a massive mismanagement). I say that because Izarra is hitting .077 on the season. When you saw that stat, well....you know what was coming. Sientate. Croquetas. Strikeout. Miami’s last chance went up in smoke, and USA put the game away in the bottom of the 8th, as the overused Carson Palmquist ran out of gas.
Seeing that .077 batting average game me PTSD of another curious Cane stat that I’d seen before:
That .077 BA reminded me of seeing this: pic.twitter.com/ZdKErHjgjc— C.T. Smith (@CraigInThe843) June 6, 2021
5) This was a disappointing regional, but I have to tell myself that this regional was a microcosm of what Miami was this season: a team that couldn’t hit worth a crap that sometimes was bailed out by streaky pitching. It wasn’t going to go far, with basically no chance of getting past a terrific Texas squad, who will host the winner of the Gainesville regional. So this was just a slightly premature ending of something that was never going to go much further anyways. It’s always nice to go to a Super Regional, but it’s less so when you have a very slim chance to do anything.
6) And so now, it’ll be curious to see what next year’s team will look like. Who will be back next season? Who will be taken in the MLB draft next month? How will DiMare and staff evaluate what went so horribly wrong at the plate this year? What changes will they make? Something has to change, because what we saw was unacceptable this year.
Here’s to a much better 2022 season. Go Canes.