Dig Baton Rouge

The Sports Troll: LSU baseball has no identity

In the last Sports Troll, I told you guys that if LSU baseball didn’t win the series with Texas A&M, then it was time to find the proverbial ‘Panic Button’ for the season.

Guess what?

It’s time.

I watched a lot of LSU’s series with the Aggies, and I came away with a few conclusions, and not many of them are good.

Let’s start off with this: Tigers don’t have an identity, folks.

It pains me, a loyal alum, to say it that bluntly, but it is what it is.

There’s not really one thing that the Tigers can definitively hang their hats on as a constant, consistent strength. That, of course, makes winning tough because there’s no clear path for the team to follow to get there.

Sometimes the pitching is good, but other times it’s not – very inconsistent.
The offense doesn’t have steady power, and they aren’t good enough at making contact to string together clutch hits.

The defense is OK, but even that has had its moments of inconsistency lately, which is troubling.

The second thing that really jumped out to me about these Tigers is that even when the scoreboard looks good, the quality of baseball being played still isn’t very good.

Sure, LSU blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning on Saturday, which means they were just an eye lash from a series win.

But hell, even if LSU wins the game and series, they still only had four or five hits in that game.

That’s not good baseball, and the team needs to do MUCH better down the stretch if it wants to compete into June.

And the last thing I noted about the Tigers is two-fold.

To start, I think many LSU fans would agree when I say that this is maybe the worst job Paul Mainieri has done as LSU’s coach – a long, storied tenure that’s had plenty more good than bad.

The Tigers simply have too many returnees from last year’s team to be playing this poorly this late into the season.

When Jared Poche came back to school, it wasn’t to be a lumbering, middle of the pack SEC team. Same with all of the others who returned, as well.

But on the other half of that point, it’s not over yet.

Time and time again, Mainieri’s LSU teams have found some sort of mid-season spark, and it ignites the team on a late-season run.

Sometimes it’s a substitution or a batting order change. Other times it’s a rodent which runs onto the field and sparks a huge winning streak.

But whatever it is, I’ve learned that with LSU baseball, it’s OK to expect the unexpected.

But still get that panic button ready, though, Tiger fans.

Because what I’m seeing right now isn’t good – definitely not Omaha good, at least.

Mailbag coming tomorrow. Send questions to gisclaircasey@gmail.com or Tweet me: casey_gisclair.


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