The previous Saturday saw Georgia scratch and paw their way to a closer-than-the-score-indicated win over a game bunch of Missouri Tigers. Thankfully, the scheduling gods had the foresight to entice pay Florida Atlantic University (3-9, 2-6 in SunBelt Conference play in '12) to travel north from Boca Raton for an expected butt-whippin'. As with Buffalo, and to a certain degree Mizzou, this game - despite the big margin of victory and 5,723* yards of total offense - certain facets of team play raised more questions than answers.
Carl Pellini's Florida Atlantic Owls came out of the blocks with a purpose in the first half. On the Boca Burger's visitors opening drive, they marched 46 yards in 12 plays only to fumble deep in Georgia territory when Chase Vasser crashed an FAU receiver. Malcolm Mitchell, making his 3rd defensive start because of continuing suspensions affecting our secondary, recovered at the Georgia 26.
Georgia promptly drove 71 yards in 7 plays to open the scoring when Aaron Murray dove in from 1-yard away. The key play on the opening drive was a Rantavious Wooten's end-around for 24 yards.
FAU and Georgia traded punts on the next two series, but the Owls scored with under 4:00 remaining in the first half when Damian Fortner ran 43-yards to pay dirt past an utterly confused and disgusted secondary. Georgia 7, FAU 7.
The following kickoff pinned Georgia deep at their own 6 yard line. Keith Marshall promptly ripped off 20 yards to get out of the hole, then Murray began picking apart the Owl's secondary with successive passes of 34, 10, and 24 yards to get Georgia inside the Owls 2 yard line. Keith Marshall scored on the next play to put the Dawgs ahead 14-7. Five efficient plays, 94 yards in 1:19.
FAU opened the second quarter by promptly driving the ball with more big plays against a still discombobulated Georgia defense, tying the game as the 2nd quarter got underway on a 2-yard Graham Wilbert touchdown pass. This particular drive was highlighted by a 48 yard pass on 3rd and long from Wilbert to William Dukes to set up FAU at the 2. At this point, my flat-screen was in real jeopardy of getting an empty long-neck thrown at it. Maddening. Dawgs 14, The Fightin' Pellini's 14.
Both teams swapped punts mid-way through the 2nd quarter. Georgia's 6th possession of the night resulted in an 8-play, 67 yard scoring drive culminated by Aaron Murray's second 1-yard touchdown run of the evening. Dawgs 21-14.
FAU's next drive stalled after 33 yards, and punted. Georgia got the ball with 2:33 left before halftime. Aided by two costly FAU penalties, Aaron Murray went deep and found Michael Bennett down the middle for a 67 yard touchdown pass. The Owls received the ball with 1:34 left before the half and ran the clock out. Halftime: Georgia 28, FAU 14.
There was never any doubt that Georgia could score at will, but the defensive gaffes - particularly in 3rd down situations - was most troubling. At any rate, the flat-screen survived.
Georgia received the 2nd half kickoff and picked right up where they left off prior to the break, going 6 plays for 85 yards with Arthur Lynch catching the ball and tip-toeing just inside the pylon for a nifty 36-yard score. Georgia 35, FAU 14.
Todd Grantham's halftime ass-chewing must've worked as FAU went 3'n out for the first time in the game on the Owls first possession of the half. Georgia got the ball back, gobbling up yardage in huge chunks before Todd Gurley scored on a 38 yard run at the 10:18 mark in the quarter. Tavarres King hauled in a 25 pass to open this particular drive as the rout was on. Dawgs 42 - 14.
FAU punted again on their next possession, another 3'n out. The Dawgs again began to zip down field and were about to score from the Owl's 8 yard line when Murray threw a horrible interception in the end zone for a touch back. This turned out to be insignificant, as on the very next possession, Amarlo Herrera picked off Graham Wilbert and returned the ball 35 yards in front of the student section for a defensive touchdown. Dawgs 49 - 14.
The 4th quarter opened as FAU went for it on 4th down, but came up short on the Georgia 35. At this point, Christian LeMay spelled Aaron Murray and promptly hit Justin Scott-Wesley for a 43 yard gain to the FAU 27. Ken "Boo" Malcome rushed the next 3 plays down to the FAU 1, where LeMay took it in to cap off the Georgia scoring for the evening. Dawgs 56 - 14.
Unfortunately, LeMay also capped off FAU's scoring for the evening when he threw a pass that was picked off by FAU's Adarius "Sugarfoot" Glanton (I made the "Sugarfoot" part up) for a 42-yard pick-6.
Georgia 56 - 20. Mark Richt continued to clear his bench with wholesale substitutions as the 4th quarter wound down.
T. Kyle King probably said it best in his wrap-up, which was most prescient:
The metaphor, though, was hard to ignore, as the Georgia football team, like the Georgia Tech electronic billboard, is largely functional yet just slightly off. The Alabama Crimson Tide are the No. 1 team in the country for the simple reason that they play their best in all three phases of the game for 60 minutes every Saturday. The Georgia Bulldogs are this close to being that good, but they aren’t there yet, partly because we have not seen the full starting lineup take the field together, but mostly because the Classic City Canines just can’t seem to play that elusive complete game. Can you imagine what the ‘Dawgs would look like if the defense we saw against the Missouri Tigers appeared in the same game as the offense we saw against the Florida Atlantic Owls? I’m looking forward to seeing that some Saturday this season, but it hasn’t happened yet. Until it does, Bulldog Nation will continue to hold its collective breath and grouse about 36-point victories that were harder than they had to be.
Damn, that boy can write.
Of course, Yours truly had to poop in the pool with this little gem in the subsequent comments:
At some point in the season, we put it all together. Maybe this will happen at Columbia, SC.
Anyway, an imperfect win against a totally outmatched team is still a win despite the fact that the first half saw much confusion on defense and the maddening, continuing trend of allowing big plays on 3rd and long. This would never get totally rectified, although there were some marked improvements in individual games. Sure, we didn't have Rambo or Ogletree playing, but by the third week of the season a team like FAU should not have rolled into Athens and racked up 316 yards of total offense with or without them. Mystifying.
Still, the offense was something to behold. Here are the highlights. It will be damn good to get Michael Bennett back this season. Kid's a player.
Here's the YouTube link of the entire game. (Whoever prsonmike is, he's doing the Lord's work.)
Next up, RedCrake revisits the Vandy game as the 2012 Year In Review cruises on...
Until then, GO DAWGS!
*I rounded up.
Georgia women's tennis team beats Clemson to reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.
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Why does it seem to always be the case that someone has to question our manhood before we truly embark upon a year that will prove to be epic for Georgia Football? But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself...
Welcome back, Dawg fans! This is the second entry in the Dawg Sports 2012 football season review. Yesterday, I recapped the high and low points of the Dawgs' Week 1 destruction of an overmatched MAC team, the Buffalo Bulls. And let's be honest, we all knew going into that game that unless something practically unthinkable happened, we were going to win.
Apparently, Georgia's beatdown of poor Buffalo was not sufficiently crushinating in the eyes of the beauty contest judges, though, as the Bulldogs dropped from 6th to 7th in the polls for Week 2. Virtually no one was as confident regarding our week 2 opponent, either: the Missouri Tigers. In fact, many of us were assuming our customary pessimistic stations on the Larry Munson Memorial Wailing Wall
Georgia (25-4) is into the quarterfinals for the 10th straight year and has now won 16 matches in a row and 20 of the last 21.“We feel good,” Georgia coach Manuel Diaz, who has led his team into the NCAA field of 64 in each of his 25 seasons in Athens, said in a news release. “Oklahoma was ranked as high as No. 5 in the country and they have a very good team. They’re well-coached. This was a great victory today and we earned it. It was physically and emotionally draining and we look forward to getting some rest and bouncing back.”Meanwhile the ladies take on Clemson today at 1pm, also in Illinois. If they can dispatch the Tigers the way they did Winthrop and Arizona State last weekend in Athens they'll advance to the quarterfinals as well. You can follow all the action at GeorgiaDogs.com.
category: UGA Athletics
Florida defeated Georgias baseball team 4-2 on Thursday in Athens to eliminate the Bulldogs from SEC tournament contention.
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category: another reason gators suck
(Ed. Note: Please bear with us on the performance issues the website has been experiencing yesterday and today. It is an SBNation-wide issue, and the support teams are working as diligently as they can to resolve it. Thank you for your patience.)
Well, folks, we're almost to the wasteland of summer. Our spring sports are winding down (and baseball season will mercifully end after this weekend, since we're not even going to make the SEC tournament), and it's now time to focus our full, unbridled attention back onto Georgia football. Starting today, the Dawg Sports staff will be reviewing the 2012 season game-by-game, with one game per day, and only after that task is completed will we turn our eyes to the 2013 season. After all, to know where we're going, we have to know where we've been, right?
And so we start at the logical place: the beginning.
Coming into the 2012 season, expectations were, shall we say, reasonably high. The Bulldogs were ranked #6 in the major preseason polls, and since most "experts" agreed that we had an cloud-like, pillow-soft schedule (not like Alabama in any way at all, though, clearly...), we were the favorites to win the SEC East.
In week one, in rolled the Buffalo Bulls, with dreams of MACtion grandeur dancing in their heads. Of course, we had the usual gaggle of players suspended for the first two games (most notably Alec Ogletree, Bacarri Rambo, and Sanders Commings), Steve Spurrier bitchin' about how he couldn't play a weakened Georgia squad like he usually does, and to top it all off a true-freshman offensive lineman to break in, the indomitable John Theus. Fortunately, Buffalo was coming into town with a major suspension of their own, Khalil Mack, who was called "the heart and soul" of their defense by more than one sportswriter with a gift for hyperbole, but not creativity.
I could attempt to sum up the game as eloquently as our then-Mayor (and now Mayor Emeritus For Life) did, but I would fail. Here is what T. Kyle King had to say about the effort we saw from the Dawgs that day:
I am always amazed when I get home from a football game, look at the stat sheet, and see spelled out quantitatively a contest very different from the one I witnessed qualitatively in Sanford Stadium. Today’s outing between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Buffalo Bulls was just such a showdown.
What am I to think, after all, of a game in which the Red and Black converted 50 per cent of their third downs, did not turn the ball over, lost just 22 yards to penalties, generated 485 yards of total offense, averaged almost six yards per carry and nearly ten yards per pass, never trailed, and scored 45 points before ending the game in possession of the pigskin on the opposition’s 17 yard line? It sounds like the ‘Dawgs had a pretty good day, right?
Some of the ‘Dawgs did have pretty good days, of course. Damian Swann, whose leadership was needed in a depleted secondary, did a good job in the defensive backfield. Tavarres King overcame Aaron Murray’s early overthrows to lead all Georgia receivers with six catches for 117 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown reception. John Theus looked good as a first-time first-teamer before he left the game with a worrisome ankle injury. (Fortunately, Theus says he’s all right.) Todd Gurley dazzled in his debut, tallying a trio of touchdowns in the course of racking up 100 rushing yards on eight carries and another 127 yards on a pair of kickoff returns, one of which went the distance. Taken as a series of discrete elements, there were a lot of things to like about this afternoon’s game.
Indeed, Mr. Mayor, there were a lot of things to like about this game. Not many of them were in the first half, though. We stopped the Bulls on their first drive, then covered 53 yards in 7 plays to take a 7-0 lead. But then we immediately let Buffalo march down the field and respond with a touchdown. MACtion kicked in early, however, and the UB kicker missed the PAT, leaving Georgia with a slim 7-6 lead.
(cue UGA video announcer voice from the 1980 season highlight video)
Todd Gurley thundered onto the Sanford Stadium field, putting an exclamation mark at the beginning of his tenure by returning the ensuing Buffalo kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. It was only the 3rd time he had ever even touched the ball as a Georgia Bulldog, and he immediately put his name in the record books by tying the longest kickoff return in Georgia history. Georgia, 14-6.
We did build up a 24-6 lead, but then we stumbled around, let the Bulls score a couple more times, and only led 24-16 at the half.
Fortunately, this Georgia squad was determined not to fall victim to the trap of playing down to your lesser opponents, as so many Bulldogs teams have done in the past. We came out focused and determined in the second half, showing the drive, grit, and determination that would be our hallmark in 13 of the 14 games we would play that season. By the middle of the 4th quarter, we were leading 45-16, Todd Gurley had 100 rushing yards on only 8 carries, and we put in the 2nd and 3rd stringers to get some experience.
One of the drawbacks of putting in your backups when the other team still has its starters on the field is that they'll get inspired by the insult and score on you, which Buffalo did, closing the gap to 45-23. The issue was never really in doubt, however, and when the game ended, the Boboffense had used up the last 4:08 on the clock by running the ball on 8 consecutive plays, ending up at the Buffalo 17 yard line. (In other words, the score could have been worse if we'd wanted it to be.)
If you'd like to watch the game in its entirely because you're just too starved for some Georgia football action... well, don't say I never gave you anything!
At the end of the day, Georgia beat down the Bulls by an appropriately large 45-23 margin. We all probably would have liked to see a bigger blowout, but hey, if we felt even the slightest smidgin of angst at our margin of victory, we could just look southward and laugh. After all, on that same afternoon, the Florida Gators had struggled far more mightily with the Bowling Green Falcons, remaining tied 14-14 with them throughout most of the 3rd quarter, and only carrying a 3-point lead into the 4th quarter. (I hate Florida.)
So, all's well that ends well. The Dawgs put up a solid first effort of the season, got that first "W" onto the ledger, and continued onto their first big test of the season: an away game at night to welcome the SEC's newest team, the Missouri Tigers.
We'll be covering that game against Mizzou tomorrow. Until then...Go Dawgs!
category: another reason gators suck
ATLANTA Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham subbed for Mark Richt at Wednesday nights UGA Day speaking event at the Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center, which gave host Chuck…
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Not long after Georgia wraps up its home-and-home with Clemson in 2014, another ACC school could take Clemson’s place on the schedule for the 2016 season.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, FSU athletics director Randy Spetman said that “talks between the schools about a neutral-site 2016 game are ‘moving along.’” That game would likely be the season opener at the Georgia Dome.
The fate of this game might hang on what happens with the SEC schedule. The possibility of a nine-game conference schedule has been discussed for a while and could heat up during SEC meetings later this month. If a ninth conference game is added, it’s less likely that Georgia would agree to 1) give up another home game in order to play this neutral-site game and 2) add a team like FSU to one of the two available nonconference slots. As Mark Richt put it, “if we have nine, plus Tech and then if we want to do something like Clemson like we did this year, you’re talking about 11 out of 12 games that are pretty stout.”
Georgia and FSU last met in the 2003 Sugar Bowl, but there are still ties between the programs. Coaches Richt and Lilly had long stays in Tallahassee.
Looking at another angle, does a possible future date with Georgia make FSU that much less likely to release highly-touted linebacker Matthew Thomas? Georgia is one of the schools Thomas would consider if he were released. FSU’s reluctance to release Thomas to a school like Georgia takes on a slightly different light if the Dawgs are a possible future opponent.
Thomas is too good (according to what I've read) to sit out. It sucks that he has changed his mind, or the mind of his mother depending on the actual circumstances. But the recruiting process is set up well for young men (even those as young as 17 or 18) to make an informed decision about where they'd like to attend college and play football. He didn't have to sign the letter. Could've taken more time that he evidently needed. How many times have you made a purchase you later came to regret? How many times have you wanted out of a tv contract shortly after the repairman finished installing your new remote control and the equipment stopped working?
Sure, DirecTV once bought my way out of a shitty Dish Network deal. I didn't have to pay the penalty. Maybe UGA or USC are willing to take on the scholarship for Mr. Thomas here. I would guess they are. But what happens when the next kid is unhappy about the thought of coming to Athens? The shoe's not so comfortable on the other foot.
Lastly, I don't think UGA is as much in play here as we're being made out to be. No inside knowledge on that statement. Just a hunch. Thomas had a chance to visit back in February and chose not to come to Athens, for whatever reason there may have been. Suddenly circumstances have changed. To me it smells more like the coaches at USC meddling around and stirring things up. Regardless of the details that are unbeknownst to me, I hope Thomas sticks with his commitment and has a great career at FSU. I think that's what is best for all involved.
If I'm wrong, help me understand.
Seth is taking a brief break, but the coverage on the Bulldogs Blog will not.
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The Georgia Bulldogs have added games against Appalachian State and Wofford to their 2013-14 basketball schedule, Sicemdawgs.com has learned through an open records request.
Georgia will host Wofford at Stegeman Coliseum on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. That will likely be the season-opener for the Bulldogs.
In nine meetings against the Wofford Terriers, Georgia is 8-1. The Bulldogs beat the Terriers 62-49 in their last meeting in Athens in 2011.
Georgia is also set to host the Appalachian State Mountaineers on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013. The Bulldogs are 3-0 overall against ASU after forfeiting their 2002 victory.
The Hoop Dawgs now have seven contracted non-conference games for the 2013-14 season – Wofford, Georgia Tech, Appalachian State, Lipscomb, Gardner-Webb, Western Carolina, and at George Washington.
Georgia will also play three games in the 2013 Charleston Classic. The complete field includes Georgia, Clemson, Davidson, Nebraska, New Mexico, Temple, UAB, and UMass.
Based on a report from The Telegraph a few weeks ago and last Friday, Georgia’s 2014 SEC opponents are listed below. These are tentative and three home games remain unknown:
Arkansas, LSU, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee
Fox also told The Telegraph that he is trying to get a “high major” non-conference team to come to Athens. “Trying really hard to do that. It’s been a bit of a challenge. So few teams are playing home-and-homes,” Fox said.
2013-14 UGA Basketball Schedule (Tentative)11/08 – Wofford 11/15 – Georgia Tech 11/21 – Charleston Classic (Game 1) 11/22 – Charleston Classic (Game 2) 11/23 – Charleston Classic (Game 3) 11/29 – Appalachian State 12/14 – Lipscomb 12/18 – Gardner-Webb 12/21 – Western Carolina 01/03 – at George Washington
If (and it’s still an “if”) this turns out to be David Perno’s final season at the helm of the Diamond Dawgs, there will at least be one very bright spot. Georgia fought back from an early 7-0 deficit to take a 14-13 extra-innings win at Georgia Tech on Tuesday night. With the win on top of the earlier 17-0 rout ar Turner Field, Georgia took the first regular season series from its rival since 2007.
It’s been a long season for Georgia baseball fans, but there’s something to smile about today.
“Our season hasn’t gone the way we’ve wanted it,” Georgia first baseman Jared Walsh said. “But anytime you can win the series against Tech, it’s obviously a blast. We definitely had ambitions when we first came over here to get a win. It didn’t look good the first couple of innings. But we held on.”Walsh, who missed two games last week after his father died, figured heavily into Georgia’s late-game offense. His RBI double scored Hunter Cole to tie the game 8-8 in the seventh after Georgia had trailed 7-0 going into the fifth. Walsh hit a two-RBI single in the eighth to give Georgia its first lead of the game at 10-8. Then Walsh added the game winner in the 11th inning when his sacrifice fly brought home Curt Powell.
most valuable football player of all time.Unless its fully warranted, I'm not a big fan of the retirement of jersey numbers.
GATA CRob!“I called my agent and talked to him and I said, ‘I have this position open to go back and be a GA and I really think that I don’t want to sit around and wait for somebody to call me to make a 90-man roster when I’m not even on their radar right now and the likelihood of making it is very low,’ ” Robinson said. “So my agent talked to me and said, ‘You’re not like a lot of guys.’ A lot of guys, this is their only option and they don’t have a slot like I do to go back and be a GA so quickly. He said, ‘It would be hard for me to tell you not to do that at this point.’ ”
Sing along now. And don't forget the dance break!
You can see Will and Monefa's (sp?) guest appearance on Leno by clicking here. They're the second greatest karoake couple I've ever heard.
category: neither red nor black
Georgia may play at Alabama or Texas A&M in 2014, according to a report today by Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald.
UGA athletics director Greg McGarity spoke about their future strength of schedule in relation to the upcoming College Football Playoff and had this to say:
“From our standpoint, the University of Georgia doesn’t have to worry about that in 2014 because our strength of schedule is already off the chart for the next two years. Who knows what the ’15 schedule will be, but we just know that in ’13 and ’14, the strength of schedule is not an issue here in Athens.”
Since Georgia is traveling to Auburn in 2013 for the second consecutive season, the Tigers will definitely visit Athens in 2014. Under the current 6-1-1 format, that means Georgia’s other West opponent in 2014 will be a road game.
When McGarity was questioned about that opponent, he said “It will be somebody really good, that’s for sure.”
Weiszer suggests that the “off the chart” and “really good” comments by McGarity can be taken to mean either Alabama or Texas A&M. Those two teams seem to be the most logical choice.
Georgia hasn’t faced Alabama in the regular-season since 2008 and Texas A&M since 1980, the national championship season for the Dawgs.
Although LSU visits Athens in 2013, the Bulldogs will likely not travel to Baton Rouge for a return visit in 2014. When the SEC announced the new 6-1-1 format last Summer, it stated that teams would face cross-division opponents in succession rather than home-and-home in consecutive years.
McGarity said that the SEC should finalize the opponent as well as the rest of the 2014 schedule at the Spring meetings in Destin later this month. He also stated that they probably wouldn’t discuss a nine-game schedule until “later on.”
Georgia opens the 2014 season at home against the Clemson Tigers on Aug. 30. Other non-conference games in 2014, all at home, include South Alabama (Nov. 8), Charleston Southern (Nov. 22), and Georgia Tech (Nov. 29).
In conference play, Georgia will host Auburn, Tennessee and Vanderbilt and travel to Kentucky, Missouri, and South Carolina. The Bulldogs will also face the Florida Gators in Jacksonville.
Related Links2014 Georgia Football Schedule Georgia Future Football Schedules
Georgia won't be included in the first year of the Big 12/SEC Challenge…
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Graduating linebacker Christian Robinson had signed a free agent deal with the St. Louis Rams last month, but he revealed yesterday that he’s hanging up his cleats.
Robinson announced today that he’ll be returning to the Georgia program as a graduate assistant. He’s been one of our favorites to follow over the past couple of years, and we’re glad he’ll still be around the program for a while longer.
Fresh off his senior season at Georgia, Christian Robinson should be a valuable help to a young defense, especially at his old position.
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Wish Christian the best. Selfishly glad he's back in Athens. Go Dawgs!
“From our standpoint, the University of Georgia doesn’t have to worry about that in 2014 because our strength of schedule is already off the chart for the next two years,” McGarity said. “Who knows what the ’15 schedule will be, but we just know that in ’13 and ’14, the strength of schedule is not an issue here in Athens.”Perhaps that's reading too much. Ole Miss is a$$embling quite the battalion after all.
College basketball is finally taking steps to clean up the ugly, physical play that has come to dominate the sport. Georgia's Mark Fox welcomes it.
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The message from the offensive coordinator is clear: it's going to take a lot of hard work to exceed expectations for 2013 after breaking all those records in 2012.
And Bobo has an easy example that can help drive home his point -- Georgia's defense from last year, which disappointed somewhat after returning nearly everyone from a unit that ranked fifth nationally in total defense in 2011.
"We've got basically the whole offense coming back except for a couple guys, but that don't mean anything," Gurley said. "Just like last year we had the whole defense coming back, but they didn't actually do what they did the year before. So we've just got to keep working and just getting better at little things as far as running, passing, minimizing mistakes and turnovers and everything like that. So we're just going to keep working."
Hype can be a motivator if you let it. Just like Coach Bobo can give plenty of highlights to his players, if they let him.
category: Coach Bobo
Every month over the summer, we'll try to bring you an update on how the 16 former Diamond Dawgs are doing in the major, or minor, leagues. We gave a preview back in late March. But with a month under their belts, we've got a better idea of where guys are, and some are doing wonderfully, so with a lot to go over, so let's not lollygag it and get to updates.
We start with the Texas Rangers' Justin Grimm. Grimm was on fire in April, and took home AL Rookie of the Month honors for his efforts. His first two starts in May haven't been as strong, but they are still solid. With 5 starts so far this year, the Bristol, Tenn. native is 2-2, having thrown 28 2/3 innings, with a 3.45 ERA, 31 strikeouts and 11 walks. He takes the mound again tonight against Oakland.
Mitchell Boggs had an up and down month. When the Cardinals' expected closer Jason Motte went down for the season, Boggs, who had been one of the better set up men in baseball the last couple years, assumed the role. Severe command problems and a couple bad outings later, and he found himself not only no longer closing, but no longer with the big club. The Cardinals sent him down to AAA to get right, as he's made 4 appearances, allowing no runs and only 1 walk in 4 innings with Memphis. If he can keep that up, he should be back in St. Louis soon.
Jeff Keppinger got a 3 year deal from the Chicago White Sox this past winter, with the hope he'd take over their 3B job everyday. Well, he has, but he hasn't hit like expected. The career .283 hitter has failed to reach the Mendoza line right now, posting a .187 average so far this season. Through 29 games, he has 2 doubles, no home runs, no walks, and just 6 RBI.
His teammate Gordon Beckham is currently on the comeback trail. He had a hit in 3 of his first 6 games of the season, including a 4 hit day, but broke a bone in his left wrist in game 7. He's slowly worked his way back, and should begin a rehab assignment sometime this month.
Josh Fieldshas joined him, both on the DL and in nearing a comeback. The former All-American closer suffered a right forearm strain in his second MLB appearance, but is already on his rehab assignment, and should be back in the Houston Astros' bullpen this week.
Brooks Brown went to spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but failed to win a job with the big club. They sent him to the AAA Indianapolis Indians and he's pitched extremely well out of both the bullpen and rotation. He's thrown 27 innings in 9 games (3 starts), allowing only 19 hits and a 2.33 ERA with 23 strikeouts and 8 walks.
Jeff Walters impressed the Mets this spring enough they sent him to their AA club in Binghamton. In his first taste at AA, the fourth year pro has killed it, with 10 games, 13 2/3 innings, and a slight 0.66 ERA. He's allowed only 8 hits and 2 walks, as opposed to 10 strikeouts, so far.
Alex Wood is yet another former Dawg arm that impressed in spring training, and has carried that good form into the season. After learning a "spike curve" from big league stars Johnny Venters and Craig Kimbrel, his expanded repertoire has taken AA by storm, earning Southern League Pitcher of the Week honors for the last week in April. For the season so far, Wood is 2-1 with an ERA of 0.47 through 7 starts. He's thrown 38 innings, allowed just 25 hits and 9 walks to a whopping 43 strikeouts and no home runs. If he can keep even close to this level of productivity, a call up to AAA might happen in a month or two, and perhaps even a few outings with the Atlanta Braves' big club before the year is over.
Zach Cone's season was over almost as soon as it began. The OF with the Texas Rangers' high A club in Myrtle Beach tore his achilles after a mere 7 games. He'd registered a hit in 5 of those 7, and multiple hits in 3.
Rich Poythress is with the Seattle Mariners' AAA club in Tacoma this year. The 1B already has slugged 3 HR, after just 9 in all of last season, and is hitting .257, with a .347 on base percentage, .419 slugging, and 14 RBI in 30 games.
Trevor Holder was with the Washington Nationals AA club before a "stunning release" made him a free agent. He wasn't on the market long though, as San Diego quickly snapped him up and stashed him on their high A club, the Lake Elsinore Storm. Holder had a rough debut out of the Storm bullpen on Mother's Day in his only appearance for them so far.
Levi Hyams is working at 2B for the Rome Braves this year, so all you Dawgs in Northwest Georgia have an excuse to go catch some minor league games this summer. He's off to a solid start too, hitting at the top of their order, currently batting .300, with 5 steals and a .383 on base.
Chase Davidson made it to full season ball in his 3rd professional campaign. Playing 1B for the Quad City River Bandits, Houston's A ball affiliate, the big lefty is hitting just .238 with only 1 HR in 42 at bats. He is listed as having been reassigned, so I'd suspect he's back in extended spring training waiting on the TriCity Valley Cats to get going again later in the summer.
That's our list of Dawgs playing so far. You'll notice 13 names, and I said 16 above. That's because Berry Tanner has yet to see action for any team in the Oakland A's organization so far this year, Bryce Massanari isn't listed with any of Colorado's teams, nor has Stephen Dodson. We'll keep an eye out for them as the season continues.