Texas Tech baseball took 2 of 3 games from Texas Christian over the weekend, moving to 20-9 on the year, and 4-5 in conference play.
The Red Raiders were an offensive juggernaut totaling 37 runs over three games. However, Red Raider pitching allowed 31 runs themselves.
It’s hard to really recap everything that happened over a weekend series that had so much going on. TCU’s manager got tossed along with their star third baseman- and that was just on Sunday. Both teams almost had players ejected Saturday. There were 36 combined runs on Friday! This series truly had it all. Bad blood, offense, it was a series to cherish if you’re the new school type that loves football scores instead of baseball scores.
Texas Tech was down at one point 8-0 on Friday night. Behind a furious offensive comeback, Tech took game one 20-16. Saturday, a chippy game with a lot of talk from TCU and Tech matching the intensity had multiple warnings from the umpires but no ejections. The Frogs took game two 10-7 forcing a rubber match on Sunday. Tech bested the Toads by a score of 10-5 in the finale, a game that saw the Red Raiders put up double digits for the third time in four games. Gage Harrelson had himself an incredible weekend and was named Big 12 Newcomer of the week on Monday.
I won’t describe this as your typical Big 12 series, because its just not true. Fans of both teams were at times appalled by their teams’ respective pitching staff, heck both teams averaged over 10 runs per game. The Red Raiders had 7 errors over the weekend, and that was with a Saturday game that had no errors by either team. Tech left 24 men on base over the weekend, TCU? 31. This seemed to be a series of who could make less mistakes in the field and in the box.
The Red Raiders won the series. They’ve won two of three series’ so far and have an off weekend from the Big 12 this weekend as they host North Dakota State. That’s the good.
Now, unfortunately, we have to have a blunt conversation.
Texas Tech pitching is well, as of lately, really not good. Yeah, there has been injuries, and they’re young. But if this sentiment seems familiar, its because it is. During the regular season last year, Brandon Birdsell and Andrew Morris were it. Chase Hampton didn’t pick it up till the end of the year, and the bullpen was non-existent. This year however, it seems that you’re saying a prayer every inning someone is out there that isn’t named Brandon Beckel. That isn’t a knock on anyone specific, just the facts. That’s not to say that people aren’t improving. Trendan Parish had a great outing Sunday against the Frogs after the 1st inning. Jase Lopez has pitched well. There are others who have had bright spots at times, but the bad has outweighed the good when Tech isn’t playing against Western Illinois.
This is becoming an issue every year. But yet, every season, we make the same lame excuses that some of this stuff just happens. The thing is, I don’t know of another program in the country that has had as many injuries on a pitching staff as Texas Tech. It’s always someone important and it’s always before the season starts. Every. Year. Someone is out for the year before the first pitch is even thrown. To be blunt? That’s not normal. Period.
Now I’m no coach and my baseball experience ends at my high school days, but even I know that its now become a pattern of injury and ill-preparedness. Something has to change because you can’t continue to ask an offense to score 10 runs a game to cover up the poor pitching. Even an offense as good as ours. It’s unsustainable. You can be brand new to the game and realize that.
What can be done? I’m not sure what to suggest. Do I think that we need to fire a coach mid-season? Absolutely not. I’m not asking for anything that drastic. That’s ridiculous. But I think its time to take a long look at the pitching staff, as a whole, and ask what is going on. It’s a pattern now. And the pattern needs to change.
Texas Tech hosts Abilene Christian on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at Dan Law Field. The game will be on ESPN+ and on the radio on the Texas Tech Sports Radio Network.
The Red Raiders host North Dakota State over the weekend in Lubbock. The 3 game series starts Thursday night and runs through Saturday due to Easter on Sunday.