Statistics don’t capture the bang-bang plays, bad hops or the Baltimore chops, but pitchers’ stats are particularly irksome when it comes to accurate depictions in baseball.
Take USF ace Jimmy Herget. The 6-foot-3, 165-pound sophomore has a 1.14 ERA through 55 1/3 innings pitched. His 4-4 record is a complete understatement of his performances on the mound.
Herget has the second lowest ERA in the AAC, behind Houston reliever Tyler Ford, who has a .85 ERA through 31 2/3 innings. Herget’s 55 1/3 innings pitched ranks third most in the conference.
Though USF ranks fourth with 163 runs scored, Herget can’t seem to get any run support. In his four losses, the Bulls have scored just
Maybe the team depends on their Friday night guy a bit too much, but even when Herget’s not starting, USF hasn’t produced enough offense — especially when it counts.
The Bulls (18-14, 5-3 AAC) averaged 8.6 runners left on base over the last five games — four of which were losses.
“A lot of hits with nobody on base doesn’t count for me,” USF coach Lelo Prado said after the Bulls dropped Sunday’s rubber game to UCF, marking the first time they lost a three-game series this year.
The Bulls have struggled offensively, causing Prado to change the lineup. Since the game against Cincinnati on March 28, second baseman Nik Alfonso has batted in the bottom of the order in all but one game. He’s batting .320 since the change.
Prado also said he wanted to put a spark in the lineup by starting Lawrence Pardo on first base. The lefty is batting .286 and has a .265 ERA in 17 innings pitched. His
bragging rights have been granted now that his batting average is higher than his ERA.
The lineup changes seem to have been beneficial, but the Bulls are still batting just .262 collectively, which is sixth in the conference.
Pitchers have no control over their team’s bats, but Herget has pitched gems in a few of his losses. Most recently, Herget was one out shy of tossing a complete game against UCF last Friday.
He allowed two earned runs on five hits, walking two and striking out nine, and yet the Bulls were blanked 2-0 by their conference rival. The Bulls were also shutout by Columbia in February with Herget allowing just one earned run through seven innings.
Last year, the Big East Rookie of the Year finished 6-2.
The right-hander was second in the conference with a 1.72 ERA and a .193 opposing batting average, and third with 25 runs, 18 earned, allowed.
He even tossed a complete shutout in a 1-0 win over Pittsburgh.
Herget is perhaps one of the most underrated pitchers in college baseball, and his 4-4 record is not indicative of his dominance. It’s about as fair as a foul ball, but that’s baseball sometimes.
Herget and the Bulls head to Philadelphia to take on Temple in a three-game series, beginning Friday night at 7.