This series sucked. After deserving to win on Friday, Cal went out and played terribly on Saturday. They were lucky they got one loss and a rainout out of it. This team is still headed to the tournament, but they’re wobbling, not surging to the tournament.
Friday was Erik Johnson’s day to take the ball, as is normal, and delivered his usual great effort. Johnson pitched 7, struck out 11, and gave up just 4 hits. He was the better pitcher, but baseball doesn’t always work right. Despite Cal dominating (12-9 baserunner advantage, two XBH to Stanford’s none), the Cardinal won 3-2. Despite Devon Rodriguez’s home run, the offense did not show up. That’s going to be a theme as we move on the Saturday doubleheader.
I can offer a little more insight into Saturday’s game, as I was there. Justin Jones looks like he pitched like crap on paper. He didn’t. The 12 hits he gave up were often misplays by his defense (I remember a particularly egregious misplay by the right side of the infield) or balls that found holes when they weren’t hit that hard. Whatever the case, Stanford got 4 in the first 4 innings, including 2 in the top half of the first in an inning that took FOREVER. Cal did get a run back in the second, but otherwise Jordan Pries was rolling. Cal had the Cardinal on the ropes in the eighth, with runners on second and third, 1 out, but a groundball to the first basemen led to an easy play at the plate. Instead of having the tying run on second and two out, it led to runners on first and third and two outs. Not to say the game ended there, but with Stanford closer Chris Reed on the hill the Bears needed all the help they could get. The end of the eighth inning rally led to a 4-2 loss in Game 2.
The second half of the doubleheader was a disaster. Both Dixon Anderson and Kevin Miller pitched terribly, with Anderson getting hit hard and Miller walking people all over the place. It was 7-1 when a rain delay saved the Bears. Since it didn’t get to the fifth inning, the game doesn’t count and the Bears are saved another loss to the Cardinal this year.
Cal finishes the year 0-4 against their rival, and 31-20 on the season overall. Their final Pac-10 record was 13-13. They will head to NCAA regionals limping, on a two game losing streak that should be three. They will hear their fate on Monday. Go Bears!