Is Tide’s Pitching Depth A Cause For Concern?
We are well underway with the college baseball season and the Alabama Crimson Tide is currently 7-1. The first and only loss so far was last Wednesday when Alabama hosted UT-Martin at home.
The Tide had a decent 3-0 lead at the bottom of the 4th inning. UT-Martin came back and scored four unanswered runs through the 7th, until Alabama tied with one more run. However, through the remaining two innings, UT-Martin scored five more runs to end the game 4-9.
After watching other nails biters, like the walk-off home run by Denton last Saturday and another walk-off by Hamiter this past Saturday, I couldn’t help but notice the pinch Alabama baseball gets into towards the last few innings of the games. Naturally, I looked into the numbers and this is what I found:
- Alabama has given up 16 runs in the 7th-9th inning alone, which is second worse in the SEC behind Missouri (28 runs)
- Given up a total of 28 runs from the bullpen, but only eight of those runs are from starters
- Alabama has had four outfield double plays
Clearly, the depth is a bit worrisome. There is no need to pound the alarm yet, because a win is a win and the Crimson Tide has only lost one game. The fact of the matter is, Alabama comes out strong pitching and hitting into a lead that slowly fades right before the game ends. Alabama has relied heavily on guys like Antoine Jean and Dylan Smith to start, as well as Chase Lee and Brock Guffey to finish games out.
It is important to note that First Team All-American, Connor Prielipp, only pitched the opening game and has been out since due to an undisclosed medical condition. During his game against McNeese, Prielipp pitched eight strikeouts and had zero walks in five innings.
Hopefully, he will be ready to return by the time the Tide starts SEC play at Arkansas March 19th and Alabama fans can get a better idea of the team's makeup on the mound this season.