As we get ready for this weekend's series with Oregon, we got together with Jake from Addicted to Quack, the best Duck site there is, to get a scouting report. To view my answers to their questions, click here.
1. Tommy Thorpe is Friday's starter for Oregon. How has he looked so far this season?
Thorpe has looked good. There's certainly a reason he's the Friday starter. He is a bit hot and cold, being able to shut down an entire line up or maybe get knocked around for several hits and runs. He's been really solid outside of a couple starts and winning the first game against the Ducks will much depend on which Thorpe shows up Friday.
2. Thorpe can obviously deal, but he was roughed up for six earned runs against Cal State Fullerton and five at Stanford. Did the Titans and Cardinal do anything special to get to him?
They didn't do anything special. Sometimes Thorpe puts too much of the ball over the plate and he pays for it. In his worse starts it comes from being too confident and leaving the ball out to get hit and then it progresses, getting to his head and then before you know it, the Ducks are down by 5 runs.
3. What should we expect to see out of the Oregon bullpen? A mixture of relievers, or just a long reliever and a closer?
Oregon tries to have their starters go deep into games and then have the set up and closer come in to end the game. Cleavinger and Reed have been good, but they haven't really taken the place of the Wild Thing, Jimmy Sherfy.
4. Oregon's averaged 6.5 runs over its last ten games. Are the Ducks moving away from "Horton ball", or are they simply executing better?
The Ducks hitting has been better this year than it has been in years past. Look for them to continue playing Horton ball, but now they have the ability to knock the ball around. Tyler Baumgartner and Mitchell Tolman have been very strong down the stretch and J.B. Bryant has been delivering in clutch situations.
5. The loss of Krook and Cole Irvin seems to have been a major setback for the Ducks, although they seem to have weathered the storm. Do you think there is enough depth to overcome those injuries long term, or do you expect them to catch up with you before long?
Losing Krook and Irvin definitely hurt. When he went down with the injury, he was leading the conference in strike outs and that type of production can't be accounted for. Fortunately for the Ducks they have had Jeff Gold step up and be a good Sunday starter. Gold is a bit of a nutcase, quoting Yoda in post game press conferences and releasing hip hop albums. He HATES walks and if he starts walking guys, he could go off the deep end. However, the Ducks pitching staff has been able to make it through to this point in the season. The pitching staff is very deep and if they make it through this season successfully, they will be an absolute force next season when Krook and Irvin return.
6. Why do you think this Duck team will be different than any of the last five?
This team can hit. The Ducks have been mired in winning 3-2 or 2-1 games for several years but they seem to be out of that pattern now. What the problem seems to be now is that the Ducks will jump out to a big lead and let the other team back in down the stretch and have to hold on for dear life.
7. Who would you prefer to come in as the Sunday starter?
I like Trent Paddon. He got his first win last week against the Cougs and seemed to be improving inning by inning. I like him to be on the mound but have a short leash after the fifth.
8. Do you actually like their new uniforms?
I think the new uniforms are crap. They had a great looking set last season and now I stand there confused thinking "Why do the pinstripes stop there? Why is that part black? What the heck is going on?" They suck. They look like a single A baseball team on turn forward the clock night. Ew.
9. Can we borrow some basketball players? Don't care which ones, we'll take anything at this point.
Well A.J. Lapray just went to Pepperdine, so I guess he's free. If you ask me, the Beavers have solid players but seem to be held back by the coaching.
10. What's the hotter ticket; Blazer playoffs or UO-OSU?
Right now I have to say Blazer ticket. Especially since they're up 2-0 on Houston. What's more is Duck fans still haven't really embraced the baseball team the same way they have basketball or football. From what I've seen, people just don't want to sit in the rain and watch baseball in Eugene.
11. Who do you want to punch in the face?
The guy who sat next to me in the press box during Civil War football. It's a working press box. Not somewhere to clap and cheer. When OSU went up in the closing minutes he stood up, started clapping and cheering. Then he proceeded to take pictures of the scoreboard. He left before the game ended. Fans belong in the stands, not the press box.
I think it's a rubber match on Sunday, and I think the Ducks pull out a tight one. Jeff Gold has been money down the stretch and I think good Gold shows up. So Ducks take the series 2-1 in my book. I'll stick around for the public stoning.
Thanks! This weekend should be interesting.