A forgettable 2013 Texas baseball season is nearing its merciful end, as it now appears the Longhorns' only realistic shot of making the NCAA Tournament is to get out of the conference cellar, qualify for the Big 12 Tournament (by simply being in the top eight out of nine teams, which it currently is not), and somehow win said conference tournament. Stranger things have happened, but as of right now the only Big 12 team in good position for an at-large bid is Oklahoma.
What's striking about this season's Big 12 is that Texas is actually a microcosm of the conference as a whole. It's not like we're talking about abject terribleness throughout the league; instead, mediocrity abounds. Only TCU and Tech have losing overall records; everyone else, aside from OU, hovers around .500 but on the desirable side of that mark. It's in that context that Texas' pathetic showing at the Disch against West Virginia should be understood. Two mediocre teams entered the weekend, and it happened to be WVU that got two of the three wins. Thanks to a 12-run outburst on Saturday, Texas' offensive numbers for the weekend were deceptively acceptable; but in the two losses (a 1-0 shutout Friday and a 6-3 extra-innings loss Sunday)the Longhorns were as bad at the plate as they've been most of the season. Losing Sunday thanks to Corey Knebel surrendering three runs in the top of the tenth makes it tempting to lay the blame at Texas' obviously-tiring closer's feet, but the Mountaineers out-hit the Longhorns to the tune of 11-4. You don't get to complain about the bullpen when you only manage four lousy base hits.
So, the pattern continues. Texas remains four games over .500 by going 2-2 week in and week out, taking a midweek victory and one out of three on the weekend. But that tenuous hold on respectability could begin to slip tonight, as the Houston Cougars--who already defeated the Longhorns once this year--come to UFCUDFF for a 6:00 PM game on the LHN. Houston sports only a #65 RPI according to Boyd's World (Texas is #53), but a 27-13 record and a lot more talent than Texas' last few midweek opponents. After WVU put a major damper on what was left of Texas' postseason hopes, the big question tonight is whether the team is on the verge of quitting on Augie Garrido. Here's hoping they respond strong, get a victory tonight, and start a tear that propels them into the Tournament. Hoping, but not expecting.
This is your open thread. Hook 'em.