Bumped. GO BRUINS - BN eds.
UCLA plays its first conference home series this weekend against Washington State. UCLA is 3-0 in the conference, 12-7 overall, after a road sweep against Cal. Washington State is 2-1 in the conference, 8-9 overall, after taking a road series against Arizona. Washington State is on a mini-roll with a 4 game winning streak after taking the last 2 in Tucson and 2 midweek games earlier this week at nationally ranked University of San Diego.
Friday night- James Kaprielian (righty, 3-2, 2.97) vs. Jason Monda (lefty, 0-1, 3.27)
UCLA is 3-2 in Friday night games, all of which have been started by Kaprielian. UCLA's average score in Friday night games this season is 3-3. These games have always been tight this season. Only 1 Friday night game out of the 5 played this season has been decided by more than 1 run (5-2 win over Cal Poly).
Washington State is 1-4 in Friday night games. Washington State's average score in Friday games this season is 2-9. That is a helluva lot of runs to give up with your Friday pitcher. The Washington State coach apparently agrees, hence the decision to drop the original Friday starter from the weekend rotation entirely. Washington State is 1-3 in games which Jason Monda has started. Monda began the season as the midweek starter, and then became the Friday starter with his 2nd start. Monda was drafted in the 6th round by the Phillies after his junior season last year, but opted to come back to Pullman for his senior season. Thanks to the Phillies' perverse behavior with respect to college players who opted not to sign, Monda had to be cleared by the NCAA, but all is well now. The 6th round pick was based on his prowess with the bat, as he batted .294 and led the team in home runs and RBI's last season.
Saturday afternoon- Grant Watson (lefty, 3-1, 1.91) vs. Joe Pistorese (lefty, 1-0, 2.54)
UCLA is 3-2 in Saturday games, all of which have been started by Watson. UCLA's average score in Saturday games this season is 4-3. These games have not been as tight as the Friday night games, but the last 3 Saturday games have been decided by 2 or fewer runs.
Washington State is 4-1 in Saturday games. Washington State's average score in Saturday games this season is 5-5. Every Saturday game, including a win at Cal State Fullerton, has been decided by 2 runs or less, albeit with more runs on both sides than the typical tight UCLA game. Washington State is 3-0 in games started by Pistorese. Pistorese was the Saturday starter last year, and led the team in innings pitched and ERA, so he is used to these situations.
Sunday afternoon- Cody Poteet (righty, 2-1, 2.15) vs. Tanner Chleborad (righty, 1-2, 3.76)
UCLA is 4-1 in Sunday games, all of which have been started by Poteet. UCLA's average score in Sunday games this season is 4-4. More of these games have been one-sided, with UCLA having blowout wins against Michigan and most recently Cal last Sunday, offset in part by a one-sided loss to Cal Poly.
Washington State is 1-3 in Sunday games. Washington State's average score in Sunday games this season is 3-3. It is fairly unusual to see a team whose average score is lower on Sunday than Friday or Saturday. Every Sunday game has been decided by 2 runs or less. Washington State. Washington State is 2-3 in games started by Chleborad. He started the season as the Saturday starter, but was moved to the Sunday slot after his first 2 starts.
On paper, some of these games look pretty decisively in UCLA's favor, but Washington State has been hot lately. Every game starts 0-0, top of the 1st. Thankfully, we have Coach Savage in our corner, so our odds are better than they were in men's basketball with TIARA at the helm in Pullman.
Go Bruins !!