Saturday’s Den: Mixing in some Pac-12 football knowledge in with baseball

Mets 3, Padres 2:
— Jacob deGrom threw six shutout innings, but left after six innings (80 PT) with a sore elbow. In his four starts since being on the IL, he’s thrown 63-70-85-80 pitches.
— Mets started a 31-day stretch where they’ll play 33 games; one day off, with three twinbills mixed in. Some consolation; 22 of those 31 days will be spent in New York City.

Cubs 8, Cardinals 5
— Anthony Rizzo hit a home run on the 14th pitch of an at-bat, sending the biggest crowd of the year into a frenzy.
— Cubs scored twice in the 7th inning after Bill Murray sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

Giants 1, Nationals 0
Max Scherzer left the game after 12 pitches with a leg injury, bad news for a Washington team facing a pair of games against the Giants Saturday.

Dodgers 12, Rangers 1
LA scored six runs in first inning, sending Texas to their 15th consecutive road loss.

Random strange stat of the day: Of all the active big leaguers with 125+ AB’s against the Indians, the player with the best batting average is?

Elvis Andrus, .367. Go figure.

A’s 4, Royals 3— That same Elvis Andrus hit a walk-off single to rightfield, as Oakland avoided what would’ve been a bad loss.

I’m watching the classic baseball movie Major League the other night and the Indians manager comes to the mound to bring in Wild Thing Vaughn (Charlie Sheen); manager Lou Brown wasn’t much for the analytics community: “I know he hasn’t done well against this guy, but I’ve got a hunch he’s due.”

— A little Pac-12 football knowledge:
Arizona- New coach Jedd Fisch was an offensive coordinator in the NFL; X’s and O’s won’t be a problem, but how will he recruit? Losing 70-7 to Arizona State last year make this year’s game with the Sun Devils more interesting.

Arizona State- 9 starters back on offense, 11 on defense; they were +8 in turnovers LY, in only four games. Sun Devils have a 3rd-year starting QB, unusual in this day and age. Expectations are high in Tempe; ASU lost 16 of its last 19 games against USC- they play Trojans November 8.

California- 9 starters back on offense, 7 on defense; their two losses last year were by total of five points. Cal ranked outside top 100 nationally LY in scoring, rushing, passing- their QB has 23 career starts, most of anyone in the Pac-12.

Colorado- 9 starters back on offense, 8 on defense; is there a hangover after you lose your bowl game 55-23, the way Colorado did last year? They’re not sure who the QB will be; Colorado was #23 in country in rushing LY, but they allowed 32+ points in four of six games. 

Oregon- 9 starters back on offense, 7 on defense; lot of returning starters all over the Pac-12 this fall. Ducks will have a Boston College transfer (28 starts) or a freshman at QB, which could be a problem, but otherwise they have quality depth all over the field.

Oregon State- 9 starters back on offense, 7 on defense; notice a trend here? Beavers scored 31.2 ppg two years ago, 28.9 last year; coach Jonathan Smith knows his offense. Problem is, they gave up 65 points in their two wins LY. The defense needs some work.

USC- 8 starters back on both sides of the ball; QB Kedon Slovis had a pretty good OC in high school in Phoenix- NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner. Trojans were 5-1 LY, with three wins by 5 or fewer points; coach Clay Helton kept his job, but fired his 14th assistant over the last five years- they also fired the strength coach.

Stanford- Cardinal started season 0-2, then won their last four games, by total of 10 points. Stanford was 93rd running the ball, 112th in rushing defense, numbers that need to improve. The QB situation is up in the air for this fall, rarely a good thing.

UCLA- 9 starters back on both sides of the ball, as Chip Kelly fights to show that his success at Oregon wasn’t a fluke. Bruins were 3-4 last year; they scored 42-35-38-47 points in the losses. UCLA finished 114th in country in pass defense LY, a bad thing if you’re in the PAC-12.

Utah- Because QB’s transfer every 90 minutes or so, Utes have Baylor transfer Charlie Brewer on their roster now. Brewer threw for 9,700 yards in 44 games at Baylor; is Utah a better place to play than Waco? Utes are trying for third Pac-12 South title in last four years.

Washington- Huskies have 11 consecutive winning seasons, but they finished in top 25 in only four of those years. Washington only played four games LY, so their returning starting QB isn’t as experienced as it seems. A September 11 game at Michigan will be interesting.

Washington State- Coogs hired an assistant coach in charge of poaching transfers from other schools, probably a wave of the future. One of their transfers this year in QB Jarrett Guarantano from Tennessee; there weren’t a lot of people in Knoxville who were upset when he left. Wazzu has 8 starters back on offense, 10 on defense.

Last thing tonight; Just watched a 1995 episode of Columbo, where Norm from Cheers was the bad guy. This was shortly after Cheers went off the air; Norm’s character owned racehorses, but his brother was a degenerate gambler who owed money to the wrong people- Norm tried to make everything go away by killing his brother, and the guy he owned money to.

No bueno. Even Cliff Clavin could’ve figured that one out. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.