OSI Heat Index - June 7th
Welcome to OSI Heat Index, a weekly look at local teams and assignment of a “temperature reading” based on the past week’s performance.
For instance, a temperature reading of “1” would be ice cold, while “10” would be scorching hot.
Heat Index: 3
The Huskers season ended Saturday about as cold as you can get without needing a down-filled jacket. Friday’s night’s loss to Oklahoma State and Saturday’s delay-filled finale against Western Carolina once again saw the Huskers fail to produce at the plate.
The pitching on Friday never really got going, with Matt Waldron struggling on the bump from the get go. Saturday might have been slightly better, but two lengthy delays killed any momentum the Huskers had.
You can talk about exceeding expectations all you want (a second place regular season finish after being picked outside the top six), but going 0-4 overall in the postseason is still disappointing.
Omaha Storm Chasers
Heat Index: 3
The Chasers went 1-6 last week, managing their lone win on Sunday against Nashville.
However, I’m not going to crush the Chasers for playing terrible baseball at the moment. Their roster has been pillaged by call-ups recently, and there’s a lot of new faces on this club. The pitching continues to be a problem, giving up 10+ runs three times in the past week.
The good news is the minor league season is a long one, the Chasers (and Royals) continue to make moves, and there’s still plenty of time before I throw in the towel on Omaha.
Kansas City Royals
Heat Index: 5
Keeping in mind we’re only in the first week of June, I think the Royals are in a tough spot right now. The AL Central is shaping up to be one of the most competitive divisions in baseball, and the Royals are dealing with issues on both the offense and pitching staff.
The lineup has been devastated by injuries lately, and while players like Alex Gordon will return, will there be too much damage done by the time they get back to 100%? What happens if backups like Brett Eibner continue to get hurt? The margin for surviving more injuries is small going forward for Kansas City.
The Royals starting pitching also has not been spectacular, and if KC wants make another deep postseason run, they may need to add another arm at the deadline.
KC also has a home vs. road issue…as in, they’re great at home and lousy on the road. A four game sweep by Cleveland over the weekend underscores the problem.
Heat Index: 9
Iowa Western once again reached the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, CO, before losing to eventual champ Yavapai. The Rievers capped the season with a 52-15 record, and made their 10th trip to the world series in the past 14 seasons.
The Rievers have enjoyed great success under Coach Rardin, going 25-16 in the JUCO World Series since 2005. With that kind of success, its not a stretch to say that Iowa Western has one of the top JUCO programs in the country right now.