Brooks Marlow hitting a home run against the Duke Blue Devils
Augie Garrido and the Longhorns begin the 2012 season in an uncharacteristic slump. Head inside for the details.
The No. 21 Texas Longhorns are coming off a 2-0 shutout over the Houston Baptist Huskies on Tuesday. The win snapped a five-game losing streak for Texas, putting them at 3-5 for the season.
The usually impressive Longhorns baseball team has looked lackluster all season, even when they win. Factor in the losses of last year’s ace Taylor Jungmann to the MLB and Sam Stafford due to shoulder injury and you could understand why Texas has had a slow start.
In recent years, Texas has lacked the luxury of an offensive powerhouse forcing the pitchers to be near perfect in almost every game. And with three new faces in the starting rotation, there had to be a few mishaps.
Last year the starters boasted an average ERA of 2.24, with the highest being 3.14. A look at this year’s starters shows a completely different story, while only one pitcher has an ERA below 3. Although it is early in the season, a team that relies so heavily on their pitching staff can’t have a team ERA over 4.
The problems for the Longhorns baseball team stems further then their pitching, and for proof of that just look at the offense. In 8 games this season, the Horns have recorded only three homeruns and a total of 23 runs. On average, Texas scores about 3 runs per game. Compare that with the team ERA and you have a recipe for disaster.
Texas’ bats don’t just have trouble hitting for power, they have trouble just hitting. Out of the eight position players, five are hitting under .200.
During the five-game losing streak, Texas allowed at least 5 runs in every game. On the offensive end of things, Texas scored at most 5 runs, while scoring 2 runs or less in four of the five games.
The season is still early, and with some experience for the newly form starting rotation, the team ERA should go down. Don’t expect the Longhorns to match the performance from last year’s staff, but it will certainly be an improvement from where they are now.
While the pitching aims to get better, the Longhorn’s offense looks to hover around this same spot. Optimism holds that with more playing time the bats should come to life, but that’s just what it is, hope. The Longhorns have yet to have a game where the offense explodes, which could serve as a spark for the team’s confidence.
However, until the Horns can show that they can produce runs at will, they’ll need to rely on old faithful: Augie ball.
Augie Garrido has a knack for manufacturing runs and his technique of small ball is in a league of its own. Even with a stagnant offense Garrido can produce wins, and that’s exactly what he’ll have to do this season. Still, in order to execute Augie’s style of play, the pitching will have to get better.
The Longhorns look to get their first win on the road this Friday against Rice at 7:00 PM CT in Minute Maid Park. The game will be televised on the Longhorn Network and will also be broadcasted on the radio at 1300 AM “The Zone.”