CLEMSON, SC - Well, after scoring 32 runs over the weekend at BC, the Tigers' bats all simultaneously went ice cold again, as they were shut out for the first time this season, losing 2-0 to Georgia. It was a pitchers' duel the last time these two teams met as well, back in 2019 in Athens. I was one of the few members of the media that had the dubious honor of sitting through the 20-inning marathon that the Bulldogs eventually won 3-2. It was the longest game in the 120-year history of either program, by both inning and time. I didn't get back to Clemson until about 4:00 am! Interestingly enough, Georgia used 7 pitchers in that game but 8 in Tuesday night's 9-inning shutout! Monte told me after the game that UGA often changes pitchers frequently for midweek games to preserve arms for the weekend series, but I'm not sure I've ever seen 8 pitchers combine for a shutout before. Obviously, it's unorthodox to pull a starting pitcher out after one inning even though he's doing well. It's an advantage if you can pull it off because the opponent can't get a read on any one pitcher. However, it can also backfire because all it takes is one or two of those guys to have an off night. Also, many pitchers take some time to settle into a game before they get in a rhythm and can have a rocky start. Unfortunately for the Tigers, that didn't happen this time. They had several opportunities to score, especially when they loaded the bases in the 8th inning, but they just couldn't get that timely hit that came so readily at Boston College last weekend. The Tigers' pitching was almost as good as Georgia's. If it hadn't been for a couple leadoff walks, we would have had a scoreless game going into extra innings. In fact, one of Georgia's two runs was almost avoided by a double play, but the throw to first was a half-second late. Rob Hughes was excellent out of the pen for the Tigers.
The bottom line is that the Tigers' pitching is pretty good, but the offense is too streaky and inconsistent. Sure, Boston College isn't as good as UGA, but it's hard for me to believe that the Bulldogs have 8 pitchers that are that much better than BC's best. It just seems like the Tigers' bats are all hot or all cold at the same time, and that has to change. They have to find some consistency on offense if they're going to make a post-season run. Fortunately, the pitching is there. I asked Monte for an update on Davis Sharpe, who hasn't pitched in a couple weeks due to injury. He said they still weren't sure and would know more tomorrow. Sharpe played at 1st in their previous game at BC and had 3 hits, but he did not play against his home state team, Georgia. The Tigers have lost 5 straight to the Bulldogs. They haven't won since they swept UGA in 2017, but they'll get another chance in a couple weeks in Athens. The Tigers are now 13-10 on the season and go to NC State this weekend.
Post-game interviews are below!
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