LSU is Good Enough – From the Bird’s Nest
I have to say, I haven't seen LSU's baseball team play enough times this season. That's nothing more than a conflict of schedules: More often than not, when they're playing, so are Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns. And, that means I'm working.
But I have seen the Tigers on television some. I've listened to parts of their radio broadcasts. And, I've followed them on line and with their statistics.
I've made the comment on "Bird's Eye View" (M-F 2-4pm) I thought this might be LSU's best team. And, that's saying a lot, considering they have six national championships. But, since best is an absolute, I really need to rephrase my thought. And I have.
This might be LSU's most complete team.
Now, does that mean they're going to win the National Championship? No. Not necessarily. We all learned watching the Super Regional against Stony Brook that all you have to have is one bad weekend and your season ends prematurely. And, if the Tigers suddenly have a couple of days where they don't play well, their season could end sooner than they and their fans want.
But make no mistake...this Tigers' team is good enough to win everything.
When analyzing a team, I look for strengths and weaknesses. What part of their game enables them to dominate? What part could be their downfall.
If you want to find weaknesses in this LSU club, you need a magnifying glass.
Yes, there are a couple of holes at the bottom of the lineup.
What else you got?
LSU has a perfectly balanced pitching staff. It's talented. It's deep. They've got talent from both the left and right side. They have pitchers who, know, understand, accept and thrive on their individual roles. They've got one (Aaron Nola) who is as good as anyone in college baseball and another (Ryan Eades) who isn't far behind. They've got a closer who is filthy good (Chris Cotton.) The worst pitcher, statistics wise, on the LSU team has an ERA UNDER 4.00.
LSU has a solid offense. This isn't gorilla ball. But LSU has some team speed, great athleticism, some power and a team that puts the ball in play. Their offensive numbers aren't going to astound you, but they have good plate discipline. LSU hits .308 as a team. In the Souhteastern Conference, that is an outstanding number. And, this team has some depth where head coach Paul Mainieri can manouver the lineup in close games. And, while they only have one guy with double digit home runs, they have several more who are capable on any given day.
And, LSU might be the best defensive team in America. Period. What you saw Saturday night against Sam Houston State (five errors) was an aberration. They have arms, they have gloves, they have range. They make the routine play. They make the spectacular one. One would think LSU's defense might have slipped this year, especially with the departure of Austin Nola. Think again. They're better defensively than a year ago.
I'll be shocked if this team didn't learn from a year ago. Oklahoma has a good ball club. But they aren't LSU. Not even close.
This team is Omaha good. And, they might be even better than that.
If someone is going to beat the Tigers, they're going to have to be really, really good.
Because LSU is.