Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reason to Think Losing to Florida in 12 Innings Might Bode Well for Vanderbilt's Postseason

Joe Biddle offers up his take in this column.  I would add this: Vanderbilt's history shows that winning extra-inning games in the regular season doesn't necessarily preordain postseason success in nail-biter games.  Lest we forget, the David Price-led, SEC Champion Dores of 2007 (54-13 overall record) had won 7 of their 9 extra-inning games and posted an astonishing 16-2 record in contests decided by one run -- until, that is, they lost in the regional championship to Michigan.  Score: 4-3.  Innings: 10.

The best team Vanderbilt had ever fielded to that point pulled out a lot of close wins in the regular season but couldn't best the Wolverines when it was all on the line.  Whether the two things are related is, without question, above my pay-grade.  This year's group hasn't had the same number of close calls (for what it's worth, they're 3-2 in extra-inning games), but they've lost their two biggest series against their two biggest conference opponents (USC and UF), and only by the slimmest of margins.  If the sour taste of those defeats sticks with this team -- and the bullpen in particular -- as the Road to Omaha approaches, maybe that's not such a bad thing.

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