Saturday, June 14, 2008

LHP Jeremy Bleich Brilliant in College World Series

Stanford 16, Florida State 5Jeremy Bleich, the Yankees sandwich pick in the 2008 MLB Draft, pitched into the sixth inning against fourth-seeded Florida State in the opening College World Series contest today at Rosenblatt Stadium. Though not credited with the win, Bleich put the Cardinal in position for a record-tying 11-run ninth inning as Stanford beat Florida State, 16-5, in Omaha.

The lefthander tied his career high with seven strikeouts, scattered six hits, and held the most dangerous lineup in the nation at bay.

On a strict pitchcount coming back from an elbow injury, Bleich escaped trouble in the fifth inning when he was visibly tiring. After back-to-back one-out walks, Bleich struck out Buster Posey, the College Baseball Player of the Year, and induced end the threat.

Suprisingly, Bleich came out for the sixth. After a first-pitch home run to Dennis Guinn, his day was over. The Cardinal's big inning came after Florida State tied it at 5 on Jason Stidham's two-out, three-run homer off Drew Storen in the eighth.

Stanford (40-22-2) will play Monday against the winner of the game between top-seeded Miami and Georgia on Saturday night.

Head-to-Head: Jeremy Bleich vs. Buster Posey

FSU Catcher Buster Posey

C Buster Posey, Florida State
Selected Round 1, 5th Overall by S.F. Giants

1st Inning:
  1. Fastball (86) inside
  2. Fastball (87) grounder to third - possible double-play ball - error

3rd Inning:

  1. Fastball (88) inside
  2. Slider (79) inside
  3. Fastball (86) foul
  4. Fastball (86) inside
  5. Fastball (88) single between SS and 3B

5th Inning:

  1. Fastball (87) foul
  2. Fastball (90) ball(!)
  3. Curveball (66) ball
  4. Slider (74) strike
  5. Curveball (77) strike swinging

LHP Jeremy Bleich, Stanford UniveristyGame Recap:
1st - Groundout to ss, infield single, error, strikeout swinging (caught stealing).
2nd - Flyout to right, strikeout looking, double to right-center, strikeout swinging.
3rd - Single, flyout to right, strikeout swinging, single, groundout to ss.
4th - Groundball single, flyout to right, strikeout swinging, strikeout swinging.
5th - Groundout to ss, walk, walk, strikeout swinging, lineout to left.
6th - HR to right. -- pitching change --

I was very impressed with what I saw. Bleich wasn't intimidated by the stage or by one of the top hitting teams in the nation. He exhibited good control and punched out seven. He changed speeds with his fastball and mixed in a pair of breaking balls - a curve (67 mph) with downward bite and a slider (77 mph). The curve is an out pitch; he often burries it in the dirt with two strikes. He fell behind hitters early but seemed to attack the zone more as the game progressed.

He has the look of a back-of-the-rotation starter, possible No. 3 if everything goes right. But I doubt we'll be seeing too much projection here. He's close to a finished product.


    Anonymous said...

    He pitched very well. His curveball to Posey was sick.
    Very excited

    Jeff said...

    Agreed. When he puts that curveball down in (or near) the dirt, it's nasty.

    He did leave a couple up... but those were out of the zone. I was very impressed.

    They said at the beginning of the game the wind was blowing out +20 mph.