Saturday, March 31, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
All three games are scheduled to feature pitching rematches from the first series, starting with tonight's series opener (first pitch: 6:30pm) when TCU sophomore Stefan Crichton faces UNLV senior Joe Robinson. In their first meeting, a 5-2 TCU victory, both Crichton and Robinson looked solid in 7 innings of work. Crichton gave up 2 runs on 8 hits while striking out 6 and only walking 1, while Robinson gave up 5 runs on 8 hits to go along with 5 K's and 1 walk. The Frogs benefited from scoring a run on an error and another on a passed ball, so this one could go either way this time around. Crichton needs to rebound from his sub-par start last week at New Mexico.
Saturday will have TCU sophomore Andrew Mitchell matching up once again with UNLV freshman lefty Zac Qualls. Mitchell lasted 4⅓ innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 4 and walking 1. Qualls pitched 5 full frames, giving up 5 runs on 4 hits while both striking out and walking 4 TCU batters. The big damage in this 10-2 TCU win was done when Jason Coats homered twice off of UNLV reliever Mark Shannon, while TCU relievers Preston Morrison and Chris Murphy combined to toss 4⅔ scoreless innings.
Sunday will match two true freshmen facing each other for the second time. Two weeks ago, Horned Frog lefty Brandon Finnegan gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in 4⅔ innings of work. His counterpart from UNLV, Erick Fedde, worked 5 frames and gave up 4 runs- all of them unearned. On the day, the Rebels committed 6 errors, a defensive effort that didn't provide much help for a bullpen that then gave up 11 more runs.
Offensively, the Frogs will look to improve on their team season batting average of .249 against a team that surrendered 30 base hits in three games two weeks ago- and this time with Jantzen Witte and Kevin Cron in the lineup. Kyle Von Tungeln feasted on UNLV pitchers the most in the first series, going 7-11 with a walk, a double, 2 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Davy Wright and Brance Rivera each had 5 hits for the weekend.
Good news for those of you that can't make it out to Lupton- all three games will have live streaming video on gofrogs.com, and of course you can always hear all of the action on KTCU or receive updates via twitter by following @TCU_Baseball or @FollowtheFrogs.
You know how every time there's a TCU game when it's cold outside and you show up looking like a dork in some olive-green jacket that's way too big and smells like moth balls? And you're jealous of everyone who had the foresight to buy an awesome-looking TCU jacket so that they can display their Frog pride in all climates?
Well you're in luck, because our friends at The Varsity have put all of their TCU jackets and sweaters on sale. Today and tomorrow, all cold-weather gear is 30% off. So stop on by their store at 3515 Bluebonnet Circle or shop online at varsityfw.com and get yourself something for next fall & winter.
Also, as they do every Friday, they are running a "Free Money Friday" promotion on their facebook page. All you have to do is comment or "like" on their latest post, and you'll be entered to win a $50 gift certificate. The more people that enter, the more winners there will be.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
We'd like to send a special shout out to a good friend of Spit Blood, 1st Lt. Matt Colia of the US Army, who is seen above displaying his Horned Frog pride (on the right) along with fellow TCU alumni Captain Douglas Yates (center) and 1st Lt. Joshua Kane (left) while they are stationed at Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti.
We're all proud of you, Matt, and can't wait for you to get back to Fort Worth sometime soon. I'm sure you'll get tired of people asking "Where's Djibouti?" so I'll try to help you out by directing some of our less-informed readers (whose knowledge of Djibouti is limited to that one Coke Zero commercial) to read about the country on wikipedia or maybe even some other, more credible website.
Keep up the good work over there, guys, and Go Frogs!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
But only a truly vitriolic rivalry could produce the sort of hilariously disturbing news that came out of Georgetown, Kentucky this week. According to a police report, a 68-year old Kentucky fan flipped off a 71-year old Louisville fan after the latter made a comment that he thought his team would win Saturday's game...prompting the elderly Cardinals fan to punch the Wildcat fan in the face. The real kicker, though, is that this all took place at a dialysis clinic. America!
I think most of our readers are big fans of sports hatred, but also- like me- get a little tired of hearing about the same old rivalries: Yankees/Red Sox, Michigan/Ohio State, Bears/Packers, etc. Since we're a little short on material these days, I'm going to ask you to help keep everyone else entertained by sharing with us some stories about underrated rivalries and the hate that flows amongst the adversaries within them.
Comments section: ACTIVATE!
-Jake Arrieta, who went 10-8 with the Orioles last year before undergoing season-ending elbow surgery in August, may be the O's opening day starter- or at least that's the guess of Baltimore Sun reporter Eduardo Encina. In three Grapefruit League starts so far this year, Arrieta is 1-0 with a 4.65 ERA.
-Andrew Cashner, who had his season cut VERY short by injury last year after earning a spot in the Cubs' starting rotation, is adjusting very well after being traded to the San Diego Padres and being moved to the bullpen. In eight appearances this spring, Cashner has struck out 11 and has an ERA of 1.13. He's regularly hitting 100+ on the radar gun with his fastball, and will likely be the set-up man in the Friars' pen.
-Scott Atchison, at 35, is the oldest former Frog still in professional baseball. He's also the Bill Bates of the Boston Red Sox, in that every year he seems to be battling tooth-and-nail in spring training for a spot on the big-league roster. This year is no different, and it looks like it's going to be a last-minute decision on the former All-SWC pitcher. He's got a 3.60 ERA in 7 appearances this spring.
-Sam Demel, who has logged more than 60 innings as part of the Diamondbacks' bullpen the past two seasons, has been optioned to Triple-A Reno. He has a 3.00 spring ERA and has yet to walk a batter in the Cactus League this year, but he has been battling tightness in his forearm- so this move may be for medical reasons and may very well also be temporary.
-Chad Huffman, who played 9 regular-season games with the Yankees in 2010, has been optioned to Triple-A Columbus by the Cleveland Indians' organization. He hit .246 with 13 home runs and 58 RBIs for Columbus last year, and had hit .250 in 13 games for the Indians this spring. As he has been all of the past few years, Huffman is a strong candidate for another big-league call-up at any moment.
-Bryan Holaday, one of the heroes of the 2010 run to Omaha, has been assigned to minor league camp after appearing in 9 games for the Detroit Tigers this spring. Look for him to start the season with either Triple-A Toledo or Double-A Erie, where last year be hit .242 with 7 home runs and 42 RBIs in 95 games while playing for manager Chris Cron- the father of current Frog freshman Kevin Cron.
-Matt Purke made relief appearances in two games for the Washington Nationals this spring after a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. In the Grapefruit League this spring, he posted a 2.70 ERA while allowing five hits and striking out three. He's expected to start the season in Advanced Class-A ball with Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League.
-Matt Curry, who hit a combined .282 with 15 home runs and 73 RBIs in 133 games at both Class-A and Double-A in the Pittsburgh organization last year, has appeared in at least one Grapefruit League game with the Pirates this spring. He's expected to start the season with Double-A Altoona.
Call me lazy or whatever, but I couldn't find updates on the rest of the guys that were, to my knowledge, in pro baseball or drafted out of TCU last year. Help me keep an eye out for news on the players below, and for sure let me know if I've left anyone off the list!
-Geno Espineli (with the Giants' organization at Triple-A Fresno last year)
-Seth Garrison (Red Sox: Double-A Portland)
-Brad Furnish (White Sox: Advanced Class A Winston-Salem)
-Tyler Lockwood (Red Sox: Class A Greenville)
-Greg Holle (Brewers: Class A Wisconsin)
-Taylor Featherston (Rockies: Class A Tri-City)
-Bryan Kervin (Blue Jays: Class A Vancouver)...whose career nearly ended after a medical scare
-Erik Miller (Reds: Rookie League Billings)
-Jerome Pena (Orioles: Rookie League GCL Orioles)
-Jimmie Pharr (Brewers: Rookie League AZL Brewers)
-Kyle Winkler (drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 10th round)
-Steven Maxwell (drated by the Cubs in the 37th round)
-Joe Weik (signed as a free agent by the Diamondbacks)
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Carpenter, who batted .067 in his seven-game cup of coffee with the Cards last summer, earned his spot on the big league roster by batting .364 during spring training and will be playing a little first base in addition to third, and also probably some innings in the corner outfield positions.
Tomorrow, we'll take a look at some of the other TCU baseball alumni and how they're doing in spring training with their respective organizations. For now, though- Way to go, Carp!
We've seen a few TCU pitchers show off their versatility over the years. You'll remember Kyle Winkler laying down a bunt for an RBI against Kansas last year after the Frogs lost the DH when Josh Elander was hurt and original DH Jimmie Pharr had to switch to playing catcher. And a few pitchers, such as Greg Holle and Shawn Ferguson, have played an inning here or there in the outfield in late-game situations when Schlossnagle was running out of pitching options and needed to keep them available. But Suiter, who briefly walked on to the football team this fall and has expressed some interest in doing the same for Jim Christian's basketball squad, is the first real throwback the Frogs have had to the days when guys like Michael Aubrey, Brooks Kieschnick and Michah Owings ruled the college baseball world from the plate, field and mound.
Like the Frogs, the Mavericks have had an up & down season marked by offensive struggles. While they boast road wins against Texas and Oklahoma and have beaten Baylor at home, they are 13-11 overall and have dropped their last four- including a three game sweep at the hands of Southeastern Louisiana this past weekend. They are batting just .258 as a team (compared to TCU's team average of .247), but junior right fielder Preston Beck is just mashing the ball. Beck, a product of Dallas' Bishop Lynch High School, leads the Mavs with a .338 batting average, 5 home runs, 3 triples, 20 RBIs, a .638 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .466.
Opposing Suiter on the mound will be fellow true freshman Zach Thompson, an Arlington native who attended Grace Prep and the younger brother of Rangers farmhand pitcher Matt Thompson. He has an ERA of 3.95 through 13+ innings of work in six appearances, and tonight will be his second career start. On March 4th, he gave up three runs on five hits in five innings of work while taking the L in a 15-1 setback to Houston Baptist.
If you're wanting to head out to he game tonight but don't know where to go, Clay Gould Ballpark is located at the corner of West Park Road and South Fielder Road, about 2.5 miles south of I-30. From either Fort Worth or Dallas, you can get there by taking the Fielder exit off of the interstate.
Thanks to a youtube user named "MarqueeTCU", some of the highlights of that game are now immortal- so join me in jogging your memory:
First is a 60-yard touchdown run by Basil Mitchell on a perfectly-executed option play that extended the Frogs' lead to 14-0 in the 1st quarter:
Next is quarterback Patrick Batteaux scoring from three yards out on another option play in the 3rd quarter. Notice the cheap shot after he scores from USC's #55- Chris Claiborne, who was a consensus 1st Team All-American as well as the Butkus Award winner that year, and who played eight years in the NFL after having been drafted 9th overall by the Lions:
Finally, following a bit of a comeback effort by USC, London Dunlap sacked Trojan quarterback Carson Palmer- wearing #15 then- for what should've been a safety:
Martin leaves a sizable void in Manhattan in the wake of his departure- he won nearly 70% of his games during his five years at KSU and led the Wildcats to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the Elite 8 in 2010. I realize that the difference of KSU with or sans Martin doesn't really make THAT big of a difference in regard to the uphill climb the Frogs will be facing upon their entry to the conference, but the thought of one of the league's better programs potentially taking a step back is at least worth noting.
I haven't seen any word yet on who the Wildcats are targeting as a replacement, but using history as our guide they'll probably just assume that they can snap their fingers and hire someone who's already found a better job.
Monday, March 26, 2012
If you're not a paid subscriber to one of the TCU recruiting websites, you're actually not missing out on much right now. Despite a third consecutive conference championship, a sparkling new stadium being built and an imminent move to the Big 12, the Frogs do not have a whole lot of recruiting steam going currently.
Arlington High's Sammy Douglas is the only player currently committed to TCU, making him (for now) the entirety of the Frogs' 2013 recruiting class. There was a time when TCU fans would be thrilled to have a player with the explosive athleticism and pure ball-hawking instincts as Douglas committed this early in the game, but times (and expectations) have changed in Fort Worth.
While GP and his staff are temporarily stuck on 1, the other programs around the state have made a bit more progress on their 2013 classes. Texas and A&M both have 13 players committed, Tech has 5, Baylor 4 and even SMU has 2. At this time last year, TCU already had 4 players committed to being part of the 2012 class.
So, Spit Blood readers, how worried are you about this situation? Are you amongst those who think that the sky is falling and that this is a reason to be legitimately worried about the future of TCU football, or are you patient and confident that Coach Patterson and his staff are superior talent evaluators and will sign another outstanding class next February?
As many little slip-ups as the Frogs have had even their best seasons, most of them have been in mid-week, non-conference games. By dropping 2 of 3 to New Mexico in Albuquerque this weekend, the Frogs lost their first conference series since 2009. When you bat .240 as a team for the weekend and your pitching staff allows the other team to hit .363 (team ERA for the weekend: 8.31), you might have to consider yourself fortunate to have gotten out of town without having been swept. Here are a few notes from the weekend, focusing more on the positives:
-While the pitching staff had a bad weekend overall, the bullpen was fantastic enough to earn the Frogs a 5-4 victory on Saturday. Nick Frey, Justin Scharf and Kevin Allen combined to toss six shutout innings- allowing just four total base runners during that time. Allen, it should be noted, now has a 13 2/3 inning shutout streak going.
-The four errors committed in the first five innings of Friday's game were ugly. After that, though the TCU defense stiffened up, and has a 21-inning error-free streak coming out of the weekend.
-Jason Coats continued his success at the plate, going 6-14 on the weekend with a double, a home run and six RBIs. He also had a stolen base. His batting average now sits at .303, and he leads the team with 21 RBIs on the year.
-Brett Johnson, who was one of the poster boys for TCU's offensive struggles in the early part of the season, had a bit of a breakout himself. He went 5-7 for the weekend with a double, two stolen bases and three RBIs- including the game-winner in the top of the 9th on Saturday.
-The Frogs are getting healthy finally, with Kevin Cron and Jantzen Witte both returning to the lineup this weekend. Witte had two RBIs in Sunday's loss, but Cron was 0-6 on the weekend. Still, though, Schlossnagle having every player available to use will be valuable going forward.
-There is still one game left to go in this nine-game road trip (tomorrow night at UTA), but the Frogs will not have to leave Tarrant County for the next three and a half weeks. After the game in Arlington, TCU will have twelve straight home games before heading back out on the road on April 20th.
Lobos put weekend bite on TCU pitching Star-Telegram
TCU drops rubber match to New Mexico, 12-7 gofrogs.com
Jim Schlossnagle Radio Show returns tonight gofrogs.com
Women's Tennis goes 2-0 on the weekend gofrogs.com
Men's Tennis falls to Oklahoma at home gofrogs.com
"Tweetup Week" scheduled for fans gofrogs.com
Sunday, March 25, 2012
TCU trying to answer questions in spring practice Star-Telegram
Bengals learned Dalton wasn't a 'normal rookie' Star-Telegram
TCU's Tank Carder wants to wear Steelers black & gold KDKA-Pittsburgh
TCU evens series with New Mexico with run in the 9th Star-Telegram
Frogs even series with 5-4 win Saturday afternoon gofrogs.com
Game 3 (today at 2:00pm) gametracker gofrogs.com
Friday, March 23, 2012
-Stefan Crichton, who has been nothing short of fantastic in his first five starts, will again be pitching in the Friday night slot. Andrew Mitchell, who has struggled some, will start Saturday- hopefully he can rebound enough to make Schlossnagle's pitching choices tough going forward. Freshman Brandon Finnegan will again fill the Sunday slot in the rotation.
-The Lobos are hitting .292 as a team and are averaging just over 6 runs per game. Sophomore D.J. Peterson is far and away New Mexico's leading batter- he is first on the team with a .457 average, 5 home runs, 21 RBIs, an .800 slugging percentage and a .518 on-base percentage.
-UNM's three starting pitchers for the weekend (Sam Wolff, Austin House and Rudy Jaramillo) have combined for a record of 3-5 and an ERA of 4.99. As a team, the Lobos are allowing 6.4 runs per game and are allowing opposing batters to hit at a .303 clip against them. Jaramillo is the son of former Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo senior, but House is NOT the son of former Rangers pitching coach Tom House.
-Freshman first baseman Kevin Cron, who has not played since the season opener against Ole Miss, is set to return to the lineup tonight. It's not known yet whether he'll play first or just be the DH. Junior third baseman Jantzen Witte may also make an appearance as a pinch-hitter this weekend.
TCU hopes to sell 30,000 season tickets for 2012 season Star-Telegram
Frogs getting healthier as key infielders near return Star-Telegram
TCU heads to New Mexico for key conference series gofrogs.com
Thursday, March 22, 2012
In order to help promote the upcoming events at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13th and 14th, Spitblood has been invited by Samsung to take place in a pretty bad ass giveaway. We will be giving away 2 Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch phones, along with sets of tickets to Friday and Saturday's events at Texas Motor Speedway. This post is only to get you excited about the giveaway, details will be coming soon.
The connection between the city and Breaking Bad is fairly obvious- the drama depicts Bryan Cranston as a cancer-stricken high school chemistry teacher who ventures into the world of cooking crystal meth and slowly but surely becoming a leading figure in the Albuquerque drug scene. Anytime the Frogs enjoyed a decisive road victory over New Mexico- such as the three game baseball sweep of the Lobos last year in which TCU scored 46 total runs or the 66-17 football thumping of UNM in 2010- I delighted in comparing the ferocity of those wins with the savageness of Uncle Hank's beating of Jesse in Season 3:
Unless you are an avid fan, though, the connection to The Simpsons may not be quite so straight forward. It all dates back to the March 2001 episode entitled "Hungry, Hungry Homer" in which Homer goes on a hunger strike to keep Springfield's minor-league baseball team, the Isotopes, from moving to Albuquerque. For a series that was already in its decline, this seemed like the kind of ridiculous plot device that would be quickly forgotten.
But then in 2002 the Florida Marlins' AAA affiliate, the Calgary Cannons, announced that they were moving south of the border and were, like the Springfield Isotopes, planning on relocating to Albuquerque. The city had previously had a minor-league team- the Dukes- from 1915 until 2000, so many just assumed the new team would carry that name. Those people underestimated the dedicated nerdiness of Simpsons fans, though. A whopping 67% of the voters in an online contest run by the Albuquerque Tribune picked "Isotopes" as the desired name for the new team, and after a bit of push back the team's front office signed off on the idea, creating a "life imitating art" legacy for the long-running animated series.
If any Frog fans are headed to Isotopes Park (also the home field of the New Mexico baseball team) this weekend, you can get your picture taken with the life-size statues of Homer and Marge at the stadium:
Clearly, we disagree- but what makes it almost laughable is that this blog is based out of Kentucky. You know, the state whose major college teams are the Wildcats and the Cardinals. Those are both pretty awesome and unique names. This is kind of like having someone with the last name Smith tell you that your surname is stupid. I'd make fun of Kentucky's pro team names, but that state is too backwater to have one. And even OKLAHOMA has an NBA team now. The other funny part of this "honor" bestowed upon TCU is the reasoning behind the choice by straight pinkie's Cory Collins:
They’ve been the creatures inside the jar in your 8th grade science classroom, fighting for air as you wait to dissect their innocent, slimy bodies. Many of them didn’t have Elliott from E.T. to rescue them.
They’ve been the flat disks of green that color the highways, failing to make the other side because of large trucks and children who suck at video games.
They’ve been the puppets forced to marry grotesquely obese and annoying pigs, forever doomed to have private parts that smell like bacon bits and old ham.
They’ve been the princes awaiting a kiss from a beautiful woman. They’ve been the creatures accused of creating warts with their pee. They’ve been the bloated ball of sickly green that shows up in the swimming pool skimmer. They’ve even been tie-dyed and sold as emblems of peace.You get the sense that Mr. Collins doesn't understand that Horned Frogs are actually lizards. But then again, maybe we should cut him some slack. Identifying creatures based on scientific classification is probably a tough thing to do in a state that still denies evolution. Maybe they should stick to horse racing, bourbon and cheating at college basketball and leave the science to the grown-ups.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
To be fair, he also mentioned that Joe McKnight could also serve in that function, but for the most part (minus the shaky grammar) he echoed exactly my initial thoughts on the trade. Why bring in an expensive and distracting option to run your wildcat package when you've got one of the most electrifying athletes around already on your roster? Kerley, who you'll remember completely confounded the BYU defense when he lined up at QB in '08 and who tossed the insult-to-injury TD pass against Utah in 2010, is a much cheaper and clandestine option who can also return kickoffs and punts as well as serve as a reliable pass-catcher in your regular offensive scheme.
This may be moot, though, as this proposed trade may end up not even happening at all. I sure hope it does fall through, because LaDainian Tomlinson and Kerley already have enough nonsense to deal with in the Jets locker room without this over hyped clown showing up.
Lessons in Graham "Seriously? Someone Hired the Worst Sportswriter not named Rick Reilly?" Watson Hate.
So how does playing Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl (game, not stadium) on January 4th sound? Sure, I'd rather see the Frogs make a run to the National Title game or another BCS bowl. But my goodness, we are going to love the consolation prizes that the Big 12 has to offer as opposed to what non-BCS options we had in the MWC. Matching up against a former SWC rival in what used to be, still should be and hopefully some day will again be one of the top bowl games in the nation (that hasn't hosted TCU since 1959) sounds like a grand old time to me.
The projections for other Big 12 teams include Oklahoma facing Wisconsin in the Fiesta Bowl, West Virginia taking on defending national champs Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, Kansas State against Utah in the Alamo Bowl, Texas against Penn State in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, Oklahoma State vs. Illinois in the Insight Bowl, Baylor against Stanford in the Holiday Bowl and Texas Tech against Pitt in the Pinstripe Bowl. The Armed Forces Bowl, which will return to Fort Worth this season (although the CBS article doesn't indicate that), is projected to host SMU and San Diego State.
-Maybe it was the inaccuracy of the Texas State pitchers, but I'd like to think that the ten walks drawn by Horned Frog batters were a sign of patience at the plate. Eight different TCU batters earned a free pass last night, with Brance Rivera and Davy Wright each earning two.
-Kyle Von Tungeln (2-5 with a triple) and Josh Elander (1-4 with a 2-run double) continued their hot streaks at the plate. Von Tungeln is now batting .369 on the year, and Elander has his average at .354 currently.
-True freshman Derek O'Dell, who came into the game batting .194, ripped a two-out, RBI triple to the gap in right center as part of the four-run rally in the 5th inning. Sometimes a big hit like that can inspire confidence in a young hitter.
-Fellow true freshman Jerrick Suiter, who has impressed at the plate so far with a .325 average and 7 RBI, struck out two batters as part of his perfect inning and a third of relief work on the mound.
-It sounded as if there were a good number of folks cheering for TCU amongst the 1,916 at the game last night. Good work by any Austin or San Antonio area Frog fans that made the trip to San Marcos.
-The Frogs are still unbeaten in conference play, and will have an opportunity to start another winning streak when they visit New Mexico for a three game weekend series at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque starting on Friday. Freshman first baseman Kevin Cron ought to be back in the lineup for TCU, and junior third baseman Jantzen Witte may be available to pinch-hit or even fill the DH slot.