Ed. Note: Due to technical difficulties, only the first paragraph of this story was posted at 6AM when it was supposed to go up originally. We now present you the actual pitching staff preview in full.
This is it, folks. The positional group that matters most. The Georgia Tech pitching staff may not have as solid as a foundation as it did a year ago in Buck Farmer, but it's certainly got talent. And that's never a bad thing...just so long as that talent always shows it's face like it's supposed to.
Dusty Isaacs, the probable Saturday starter, serves as a case-in-point of this inconstancy. Against 45-5 UNC, Isaacs threw six innings of two-run ball; facing a 35-20 Miami team he went 1.1 innings giving up eight runs. These wild deviations from the mean obviously aren't indicative of the whole team or even Isaacs himself (who CDH indicated on Wednesday will be a reliever this year), but rather a demonstration of the stunning amplitude of the peaks and valleys. More telling stats in regard to pitching consistency are BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play, which is exactly what it sounds like) and OBP against. I say this because I think that the ultimate measure of a pitcher is how often he lets guys on base, not just how many of them score. Below you can find an enumeration of last years stats for this year's weekend starters (stats were not available for the midweek guy, since it will most likely be Zac Ryan who is a freshman):
Player ERA BABIP OBP H R IP BF K BB
King 4.04 .369 .385 78 35 69 256 52 25
Heddinger 4.60 .226 .298 37 24 45 170 26 18
Pitts 4.71 .277 .347 60 38 65 248 43 36
King's BABIP and OBP are a little high, which is why I'm a little concerned. Same follows suit for Cole Pitts in the OBP department, but he doesn't give up as many runs as King so I'm not as worried. Heddinger had a breakout end to last season, and he should do good things for us in the Saturday spot.
All in all, this is going to be an interesting year for pitchers, so plan on riding real high and real low all at the same time.