Let’s not pussyfoot around about it . . . right now, Georgia is the worst baseball team in the Southeastern Conference. The Diamond Dogs are 0-3 in league play and they sport the only overall losing ledger (8-13) in the SEC.
The Classic City Canines came into the campaign expecting to be able to rely on their pitching, yet no team in the conference has been less accomplished on the mound. Georgia has issued 98 bases on balls; the next-worst team in the league has walked 87. Georgia has allowed 250 hits; the next-worst team has permitted 207. Georgia has conceded 169 earned runs for an 8.31 ERA; the next-worst team has given up 98 for an earned run average of 4.69.
At first glance, this weekend’s series with Mississippi State appears to be just what the doctor ordered, as the Western Division Bulldogs are winless in SEC play, as well. However, the Red and Black were swept by unranked Auburn at home, while the Magnolia State squad fell to second-ranked Florida on the road. There’s simply no way to portray rolling into Starkville sporting a six-game losing streak as a good thing.
To his credit, David Perno is trying everything he can think of to give this team a spark, including juggling his pitching rotation. Jeff Walters will be on the hill for Friday’s outing, Justin Grimm will start Saturday, and Michael Palazzone draws duty in Sunday’s series finale. Meanwhile, Mississippi State is slated to start a pair of freshmen and "Sunday’s starter is TBA."
Don’t laugh at the other Bulldogs’ rotation; Kendall Graveman and Chris Stratton both sport .500 records and each boasts a sub-5.00 ERA. (Grimm, who has the best ERA among Georgia weekend starters, checks in a 5.16, while Palazzone and Walters both have earned run averages north of nine.) Still, I guess you can make fun of "State has not named its Sunday starting pitcher" if you like . . . at least, until TBA completes the sweep, that is.