So I finally made it over to the Disch to watch the two weekend games against Stanford.
Stanford got the leadoff man on base six times.
Kyle Russell got ejected in the 4th for arguing a called strike three.
Ken Kasparek threw well, but he seems to lose his concentration and also tries to aim his pitches at times. Kyle Walker is a mess. Million dollar arm, but he can't throw strikes. You just can't rely on him. Marcus Tackett at least threw strikes, but he made a mistake to the Stanford catcher who got one up in the jet stream that was the difference in the game.
Texas had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the 7th. Runners on the corners with 1 out, but both Jordan Danks and Brandon Belt struck out looking on sliders. Not sure our guys put a bat on any of the sliders the Stanford pitcher threw. Bears watching.
Stanford had some big dudes who could hit. Catcher Jason Castro and center fielder Sean Ratliff are about 6'3" 220 and each hit two home runs in the series.
Arrived late to the Sunday game. Walking to the park we kept hearing the unmistakable 'ping' of aluminum bats. My girlfriend asks if it was batting practice. We finally get a glimpse of the scoreboard, and Stanford has 5 runs on the board with only 1 out. So yeah, it was Stanford batting practice.
Never got a look at starter Cole Green, but nobody for either team pitched well. Casey Whitmer and Chance Ruffin have pretty good stuff, and they both throw hard. Brandon Workman is a future star, and I thought Texas screwed up by removing him in the top of the 8th after he gave up a leadoff single.
Texas did themselves no favors by grouding into 5 double plays. They got the leadoff man on in each of the first 4 innings but came away with a single run.
This is a Texas team that is still figuring out their identity.
Here are my thoughts on some players:
Texas really misses Preston Clark behind the plate. Cameron Rupp's defense isn't there yet. Stanford stole 4 bases in the two games I watched, and he also mishandled a couple of plays at home. But he can mash. He hit line drive home run to left that cleared the fence by 2 feet. Looked like a frozen rope. Want to see how he adjusts when pitchers stop throwing him so many fastballs.
Jordan Danks hit the ball hard in both games. Looks great and can do it all.
Brandon Belt can play. Hits with power and will take pitches to the opposite field. All arms and legs with a crouched stance at the plate. Also a good fielder who provides a big target at first.
New SS David Hernandez had two errors during the series giving him 5 in 13 games. That has to change. He dropped a relay throw on a sure double play in the game I saw.
Feel bad for Kawika Emsley-Pai. Pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th in the first game and flied out to end it. Pinch hit in the bottom of the 8th in the second game and grounded into a double play to end it.
Now my thoughts on the newly remodeled Disch:
It's nice, both inside and out. Actual sidewalks outside the stadium so you no longer have to navigate cars walking to the entrance. Much more room underneath the stadium to hang out and shit, and it no longer looks like the Dunkirk evacuation after the game. And the bathrooms. There's finally more than 4 freaking toilets. This is the best improvement of all.
Concessions still suck. Sodexho still providing the same $4 hot dogs. I was hoping they would do like ABIA did and bring in some local vendors. Put in an Amy's Ice Cream, Mangia and at least a Whataburger. Let one of the east side taco trailers park outside along with East Side Pies selling slices. That would pwn. But there's probably some arcane NCAA rule against it, and Texas wouldn't go for it because it would make our fans happy without making Belmont any money.
Now I'll bring the hate. I'm pretty sure the announcer at some point has been employed by a strip club. Same style. "Coming at you on the main stage...gentlemen put your hands together for Staaaar!!!!" In between innnings they'll show movie clips on the scoreboard, usually either 'Bull Durham' or that other baseball movie Kevin Costner made. I think they should show 'The Postman' in its entirety without sound to increase the Wtf1 factor exponentially.
And finally the music. Meh. No Willie Nelson. No Stevie Ray Vaughan. Nothing Austin or Texas. Wtf1? It's like being at any random minor league ball park in the country. They also play songs that they think are related to what is happening on the field. Texas batter draws a walk? Cue up 'These Boots Are Made For Walking' by Nancy Sinatra. Texas trailing going into the bottom of the 9th? They played this:
The horror. The horror.
They even played Loverboy.