I'm glad you asked.
I've been to five home games this year, and Texas has lost each one. They're 21-5 in games I haven't watched so there is the possibility that I am a jinx. But that's crazy talk.
'I believe in science.'
Let's start with the pitching. The team ERA was 4.01 going into this weekend's series against OU, 4.94 in conference. Augie Garrido's two national championship teams at Texas had ERAs of 2.82 and 2.80 so needless to say this is not championship pitching.
We're not getting much at all from the returning lettermen. The starting rotation of Austin Wood, Ken Kasparek and Riley Boening has been wildly inconsistent, and both Kyle Walker and transfer Casey Whitmer are having control issues. Both Walker and Whitmer have great stuff when they can get it over the plate. Keith Shinaberry should only be used to get lefthanders out at this point, and I'm not sure he can even do that. The only dependable upperclassman at this juncture is Brandon Belt who may have settled into the closer's role.
We do have a good group of freshmen pitchers though. Brandon Workman is a future Friday starter, but the coaches need to figure out his role. He's started 3 games, he's pitched middle relief and he even has a save. What I like best about him is that he works quickly and challenges hitters. Chance Ruffin and Cole Green have good fastballs and really good breaking balls. Ruffin's curve works best when he throws it to break over the plate. When he throws it off the plate, it isn't as effective for whatever reason. They tend to overthrow the ball and lose concentration at times like all freshmen pitchers do, but this is something that can be corrected.
This is the worst fielding team I've ever seen at Texas. Routine fly balls, grounders and throws are no longer routine. Transfers Michael Torres and David Hernandez were supposed to stabilize the middle infield, but they've combined for at least 20 errors. They've moved Torres to left field which to my knowledge he has never played before. They did so because they want to keep his bat in the lineup, but you have a guy like Kevin Keyes on the bench who can provide the bat and is an actual outfielder. Against Rice last week Torres misplayed the first two fly balls hit to him. I've never seen a guy commit two errors on the first two chances in a game before.
Hitting should have been a strength for this team. It's not. They are a good fastball hitting team, but the simple fact is that this team cannot hit a breaking ball consistently. A pitcher who has a decent breaking pitch and can throw it around the plate will shut them down. Our left handed hitters also really struggle against left handed pitchers. No Dustin Majewskis or Omar Quintanillas on this team.
Baseball is 90% mental (the other half is physical). When you make errors, it gets in your head. You start thinking too much instead of just using your instincts. Same thing at the plate. If you're struggling or in a slump, each at bat gets more and more tense.
This team had it.
Finally this team doesn't have any fire. When a clutch hit is needed, no one steps up. They expect someone else to deliver. Augie's championship teams always found a way to win. If this team is behind after 7 innings, it's over. I think they need some new blood because right now this team just doesn't have it.