Baseball - Minnesota at Iowa - Make or Break weekend

AuroraHawk

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Good write up by @KyleHuesmann : https://iowa.rivals.com/news/iowa-baseball-weekend-preview-1

This is one weekend where I feel as if the Hawkeyes need to grab all 3. FWIW, the RPI numbers on Warren Nolan's site are up. Iowa loses 13 points on the RPI ladder with a win today and loses 113 RPI points with a loss.

As Kyle wrote . . . the Hawkeyes are looking to avoid "big hits to their RPI ranking" this weekend.

Just as important, it would be great to (a) see the starting pitchers dominate a less-than-productive Minnesota lineup; (b) Iowa's bats get more consistent and (c) see some productive outings by the bullpen.

Let's hope that Iowa isn't looking past Minnesota towards Rutgers.
 

KyleHuesmann

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Rutgers has 3 against Indiana and then Iona/Princeton (awful RPI) midweek games. Could potentially start the Iowa series at 32-6 and top 45 in the RPI. Fwiw Indiana gets 110 RPI points if they beat Rutgers at Rutgers today.

If Iowa took 2/3 they would get roughly 180 points and go from mid 70s to mid 50s in the RPI. Have to get through this weekend and Bradley and Tuesday at 4-0.
 

AuroraHawk

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Rutgers has 3 against Indiana and then Iona/Princeton (awful RPI) midweek games. Could potentially start the Iowa series at 32-6 and top 45 in the RPI. Fwiw Indiana gets 110 RPI points if they beat Rutgers at Rutgers today.

If Iowa took 2/3 they would get roughly 180 points and go from mid 70s to mid 50s in the RPI. Have to get through this weekend and Bradley and Tuesday at 4-0.

Kyle -
I came back here to edit my original post about where Iowa sat on the RPI ladder from a points perspective. Responding to yours makes more sense.

Iowa is currently 116 RPI points from breaking into the the 50s (trailing Connecticut).

Iowa is currently ahead of Michigan by 26 points (Michigan is #80).

From a RPI perspective, Iowa not only needs to sweep but needs its prior opponents to have solid weekends. Iowa will be lucky to remain in the 70s even with a sweep. To borrow a golfing term . . . "moving day" is actually next weekend. You are spot on with the comment that Iowa could add 150+ points by winning 2/3.

"Have to get through this weekend and Bradley at 4-0" is, IMO, accurate as well. The hill gets awfully steep if they don't.
 

KyleHuesmann

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Bradley also beat Dallas Baptist yesterday. Would be huge if they could take one more this weekend.
 

Franisdaman

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Heaven, Iowa
On paper, Iowa should sweep this series.

But with baseball, anything can happen. All it takes is for the bats to go silent against a decent pitcher.
 

2bagger22

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Tell me I’m crazy, but didn’t Williams hit a similar no-doubter down the right field line last year off Ireland? My wife was not convinced of my genius memory and pitch recall.
 

AuroraHawk

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At risk of being "that guy" and throwing a bucket of ice water on a much needed comfortable victory, I simply don't understand why Heller chose to bring in Nedved to pitch the 9th inning when Iowa had a 6 run lead.

Yes. I know that the bullpen has been wildly inconsistent.
Yes. I've complained about the bullpen's inability to hold leads.

But, Iowa had a 6 run lead. Let Davitt mop it up. Let Llewellyn mop it up.

If using Nedved (threw 30 pitches) means that he isn't available today when Iowa is starting a guy (Schultz) who hasn't thrown more than a few innings in a single outing, I'm left scratching my head. Nedved is the absolute best insurance policy if Schultz can't make it past the 4th or 5th innings.

Maybe Nedved will be available today but . . . if so and if he is needed . . . I cannot imagine that he will be available for Sunday's game.

I just can't help but feel that using Nedved last night was an inefficient use of resources. My reaction to seeing him come into the game was "are you freaking kidding me?"

Fingers crossed that it doesn't come back to haunt.

Let's Go Hawks!
 

HawkeyeGenius

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At risk of being "that guy" and throwing a bucket of ice water on a much needed comfortable victory, I simply don't understand why Heller chose to bring in Nedved to pitch the 9th inning when Iowa had a 6 run lead.

Yes. I know that the bullpen has been wildly inconsistent.
Yes. I've complained about the bullpen's inability to hold leads.

But, Iowa had a 6 run lead. Let Davitt mop it up. Let Llewellyn mop it up.

If using Nedved (threw 30 pitches) means that he isn't available today when Iowa is starting a guy (Schultz) who hasn't thrown more than a few innings in a single outing, I'm left scratching my head. Nedved is the absolute best insurance policy if Schultz can't make it past the 4th or 5th innings.

Maybe Nedved will be available today but . . . if so and if he is needed . . . I cannot imagine that he will be available for Sunday's game.

I just can't help but feel that using Nedved last night was an inefficient use of resources. My reaction to seeing him come into the game was "are you freaking kidding me?"

Fingers crossed that it doesn't come back to haunt.

Let's Go Hawks!
My understanding is that he should be available twice this weekend.
 

ssckelley

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At risk of being "that guy" and throwing a bucket of ice water on a much needed comfortable victory, I simply don't understand why Heller chose to bring in Nedved to pitch the 9th inning when Iowa had a 6 run lead.

Yes. I know that the bullpen has been wildly inconsistent.
Yes. I've complained about the bullpen's inability to hold leads.

But, Iowa had a 6 run lead. Let Davitt mop it up. Let Llewellyn mop it up.

If using Nedved (threw 30 pitches) means that he isn't available today when Iowa is starting a guy (Schultz) who hasn't thrown more than a few innings in a single outing, I'm left scratching my head. Nedved is the absolute best insurance policy if Schultz can't make it past the 4th or 5th innings.

Maybe Nedved will be available today but . . . if so and if he is needed . . . I cannot imagine that he will be available for Sunday's game.

I just can't help but feel that using Nedved last night was an inefficient use of resources. My reaction to seeing him come into the game was "are you freaking kidding me?"

Fingers crossed that it doesn't come back to haunt.

Let's Go Hawks!
If I’m not mistaken Nedved was warming up in the 8th inning in case Mazur got into any trouble and at that point it was only a 4 run game. I think Heller was treating the game last night as a must win game, as he should. Heller probably uses his bullpen differently had it been a 6 run lead before heading into the 8th.

The good news is only 1 bullpen arm was needed last night and Iowa got an impressive win over the Gophers best pitcher. I think they are set up nicely to sweep if the offense can keep producing. I think Iowa has a huge advantage over the Gophers in pitching.
 

HawkeyeGenius

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If I’m not mistaken Nedved was warming up in the 8th inning in case Mazur got into any trouble and at that point it was only a 4 run game. I think Heller was treating the game last night as a must win game, as he should. Heller probably uses his bullpen differently had it been a 6 run lead before heading into the 8th.

The good news is only 1 bullpen arm was needed last night and Iowa got an impressive win over the Gophers best pitcher. I think they are set up nicely to sweep if the offense can keep producing. I think Iowa has a huge advantage over the Gophers in pitching.
They still have some pretty good arms left. Iowa will have to deal with Skoro at some point.
 

ssckelley

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They still have some pretty good arms left. Iowa will have to deal with Skoro at some point.

But Skoro might impact 1 inning, Minnesota has a team ERA of 6.44 and they just burned their best starting pitcher. Granted anything can happen, it’s baseball, but I like Iowa’s chances the rest of the way. I think Iowa has a clear advantage over the Gophers in terms of pitching.
 
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I know Nelson has a hamstring injury and Hojnar has been out with an illness. Is Sher hurt too? Wilmes is really a liability at 3B, he seems like a middle infield guy
 

HawkeyeGenius

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I know Nelson has a hamstring injury and Hojnar has been out with an illness. Is Sher hurt too? Wilmes is really a liability at 3B, he seems like a middle infield guy
Nelson and Wilmes have both been defensive liabilities this year when they've played. Hojnar and Sher are the better defensive options.
 

In the blood

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Sher and Nelson both hurt hamstrings in the 2nd game of double header last Saturday. And Sher was starting to get hot at the plate, having a line drive home run dead center field that game.
 
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KyleHuesmann

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At risk of being "that guy" and throwing a bucket of ice water on a much needed comfortable victory, I simply don't understand why Heller chose to bring in Nedved to pitch the 9th inning when Iowa had a 6 run lead.

Yes. I know that the bullpen has been wildly inconsistent.
Yes. I've complained about the bullpen's inability to hold leads.

But, Iowa had a 6 run lead. Let Davitt mop it up. Let Llewellyn mop it up.

If using Nedved (threw 30 pitches) means that he isn't available today when Iowa is starting a guy (Schultz) who hasn't thrown more than a few innings in a single outing, I'm left scratching my head. Nedved is the absolute best insurance policy if Schultz can't make it past the 4th or 5th innings.

Maybe Nedved will be available today but . . . if so and if he is needed . . . I cannot imagine that he will be available for Sunday's game.

I just can't help but feel that using Nedved last night was an inefficient use of resources. My reaction to seeing him come into the game was "are you freaking kidding me?"

Fingers crossed that it doesn't come back to haunt.

Let's Go Hawks!
Heller said Nedved/Beutel were warming up top 8, but when it hit bottom 8 they just had Nedved ready to go in in a 7-3 game. Iowa scored 2 in the bottom of the 8th and Nedved was the only one ready.

Sounds like they are going Schultz/Davitt today.
 

AuroraHawk

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Heller said Nedved/Beutel were warming up top 8, but when it hit bottom 8 they just had Nedved ready to go in in a 7-3 game. Iowa scored 2 in the bottom of the 8th and Nedved was the only one ready.

Sounds like they are going Schultz/Davitt today.

The idea of needing a sure fire arm to close out a game up 4 runs - facing the worst team in the B1G - speaks volumes about what the staff thinks of the ‘pen’s abilities right now.
 

KyleHuesmann

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The idea of needing a sure fire arm to close out a game up 4 runs - facing the worst team in the B1G - speaks volumes about what the staff thinks of the ‘pen’s abilities right now.
They also really wanted to get Nedved back on the mound to get him in that “closer mindset” before the needed him in a real shutdown situation.

Different preparation when it comes to starting vs coming in for the ninth.
 
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ssckelley

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The idea of needing a sure fire arm to close out a game up 4 runs - facing the worst team in the B1G - speaks volumes about what the staff thinks of the ‘pen’s abilities right now.

It really isn't, it speaks more of the urgency to make sure you beat the "worst team in the B1G". It was pretty much a must win game and Heller wasn't taking any chances.
 

AuroraHawk

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It really isn't, it speaks more of the urgency to make sure you beat the "worst team in the B1G". It was pretty much a must win game and Heller wasn't taking any chances.
If you can’t trust anyone in your bullpen to hold a 4 run lead in one inning against a cellar dweller, that’s a problem. Certainly glad that the guys he couldn’t trust to hold a 4 run lead last night held a 1 run lead over 4 innings today.
 

ssckelley

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If you can’t trust anyone in your bullpen to hold a 4 run lead in one inning against a cellar dweller, that’s a problem. Certainly glad that the guys he couldn’t trust to hold a 4 run lead last night held a 1 run lead over 4 innings today.
It’s really not but you keep believing that
 
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AuroraHawk

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It’s really not but you keep believing that
Why isn’t it a problem if the coaching staff doesn’t have confidence that the third, fourth, fifth or sixth best reliever in the bullpen can’t hold a four run lead for a single inning?

it’s one thing to use Nedved to finish off a game with a four run lead on Sunday. Wholly another to burn him with a four run lead (that had grown to six) with two must win games to go. One of which would be started by a guy who wouldn’t have the ability to go more than five or six innings.

If it is foreseeable that you’ll need 4 innings from your bullpen on Saturday and Nedved is the best option coming out of your bullpen and he can give you 2, 3 or 4 innings because he’s been used as a starter, I don’t get using him on Friday night when Iowa is sitting on a four run cushion.

I’m glad it worked out yesterday but Beutel and Davitt were called upon to pitch half a game and to protect a one-run lead apparently Davitt wasn’t an option to pitch to close out one inning with a 4 run lead.

As a fan, I am certainly never confident if team for whom I am rooting is trying to protect a one run lead. Yesterday was no different. That written, I would have felt a little better if it was Beutel and Nedved trying to close it out rather than Beutel and Davitt.
 

ssckelley

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Why isn’t it a problem if the coaching staff doesn’t have confidence that the third, fourth, fifth or sixth best reliever in the bullpen can’t hold a four run lead for a single inning?

it’s one thing to use Nedved to finish off a game with a four run lead on Sunday. Wholly another to burn him with a four run lead (that had grown to six) with two must win games to go. One of which would be started by a guy who wouldn’t have the ability to go more than five or six innings.

If it is foreseeable that you’ll need 4 innings from your bullpen on Saturday and Nedved is the best option coming out of your bullpen and he can give you 2, 3 or 4 innings because he’s been used as a starter, I don’t get using him on Friday night when Iowa is sitting on a four run cushion.

I’m glad it worked out yesterday but Beutel and Davitt were called upon to pitch half a game and to protect a one-run lead apparently Davitt wasn’t an option to pitch to close out one inning with a 4 run lead.

As a fan, I am certainly never confident if team for whom I am rooting is trying to protect a one run lead. Yesterday was no different. That written, I would have felt a little better if it was Beutel and Nedved trying to close it out rather than Beutel and Davitt.
Well it did work out and Nedved should be available to help close out the series today. Again, it seemed to me that Heller was treating Friday as a must win game and for good reasons. With a 4 run lead all it takes is a couple of walks or hits and the next thing you know you're in trouble and we seen the Hawkeye bullpen do exactly that.

It's ok if we don't see the world through the same lens.
 
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