For the second straight weekend in a row, it looks like MSU has a starting rotation of: Game 1 - Luis Pollorena, Game 2 - Kendall Graveman, Game 3: TBA.
Jacob Lindgren is still battling elbow soreness/tenderness and is questionable for a start on Sunday. John Cohen could very well be using this as part of his many head games, but for the purpose of this article, I'm going to assume Lindgren will not start.
Pollo did a pretty good job against Arkansas last weekend but was pushed too long and eventually caved after 130 pitches. If we get 5 innings out of him on Friday I'm calling it a good deal - use our talented pen to go the rest of the way. Kendall Graveman gave just what the doctor ordered with his complete game in Fayetteville - that will be tough to duplicate but if he can go 7 we should be in good shape.
The question is - who can start on Sunday AND THROW STRIKES IN THE FIRST INNING?
Wildness in the first inning has been an epidemic of late...
- On March 5th Brandon Woodruff threw just 12 pitches, giving up a hit, walk, a hit batter and a run before getting the hook after just 1/3 of an inning.
- In his next start, on March 19 vs. Alcorn State, Woodruff only recorded two outs on 26 pitches, walking two, hitting one and giving up 3 earned runs, which lead to an early 4-0 deficit.
- In Game 2 vs. Kentucky Kendall Graveman gave up a 2-run HR in the 1st inning - this wasn't due to any wildness, but it did put State is a hole early.
- In Game 3 vs. UK Evan Mitchell fell apart walking three men, hitting one and giving up 3 runs without recording an out on just 17 pitches. The bullpen did a phenomenal job of keeping the Wildcats at bay while the offense caught up, but they won 4-3 in the 9th inning.
- Will Cox got the start vs. Austin Peay on March 26th but he gave up 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk. He ultimately was lifted after 1.1 innings as he struggled in the 2nd as well.
- In Game 1 vs. Arkansas, Pollorena gave up a run after issuing two walks to the first three hitters.
- Even in Gravemans masterful complete game, he gave up a run in the 1st inning on 2 hits.
- Game 3 vs. UPig featured Ben Bracewell not recording an out but giving up 3 runs on 2 walks and 2 hits.