WRAL: NC State pitcher Carlos Rodon was named USA Baseball’s Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year Tuesday, joining the likes of Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman. The award is given annually to USA Baseball’s top player while honoring the memory of the organization’s founding executive director and CEO. Rodon, a Holly Springs native, […]
So yeah, I could hear the groans even from all the way out here in the desert southwest.Â Just a sampling of what else could be heard….
“Here we go again….another highly touted Wolfpack sports club in the preseason, another letdown.”
“Number 8 in the nation?Â And they lost to App State?”
“Well dang.Â Who broke Carlos?”
In all fairness and full disclosure, that last one was me, a quote of my own post on the Opening Day thread when I saw the final score and the stats yesterday evening.Â Granted, it was tongue in cheek, but it was also somewhat surprising and a bit disconcerting to see that Rodon experienced such struggles yesterday in the Pack’s opener.
But as I went on to say in that post, Carlos will be fine.Â Barring injury, his physical tools are unquestioned.Â Between the ears he’s always been a competitor and I can’t imagine that has suddenly changed.Â If anything, this might make him a better pitcher in the long run.
And give the guy a break already.Â Even Cy Young had a bad outing once in a while.Â Oh, and by the way…Rodon hadn’t lost a game since his junior season at Holly Springs HS (nearly three years ago), so he was due.
He’ll be fine.
And there were some bright spots.Â Most notably Trea Turner (So, SS), who picked up where he left off last season going 2 for 4 with a double, 2 runs scored and 2 steals.Â Jake Fincher (So, CF) went 1 for 3, and newcomer Will Nance went 1 for 2 from the DH slot.Â Unfortunately for the Pack, that was about it offensively speaking.
The Wolfpack bullpen logged three innings yielding only one run on one hit in the process.
As for Carlos Rodon, his day wasn’t all gloom either.Â He recorded 8 Ks and yielded only 1 free pass.Â His 5 hits given up in 6.0 full innings of work isn’t glaring either.Â Unfortunately, three of those five hits were round trippers.Â For perspective on that, he yielded only two HRs all of last season in 114.2 innings.
Also, the Pack drew a record official crowd of 2,396 fans for yesterday’s opener, plus some others who took in the game unofficially from the parking deck.
Pack Drops Season Opener 6-3 (GoPack.com)
And here’s one I wish I had linked up yesterday, because I can imagine the smart-assed remarks some of you will have in response to it after yesterday, but here it is anyway….
“Once you step inside the lines Iâ€™m coming to beat you,” said Rodon, an imposing sight on the mound at 6-3 and 234 pounds.
Rodon was the first freshman to be selected a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, college baseballâ€™s version of the Heisman Trophy. Florida catcher Mike Zunino was the 2012 winner.
“Mentally I improved a lot as a freshman,” Rodon said. “Out of high school I considered myself more of a thrower. Now Iâ€™d say I know how to pitch. Just by playing one year you learn so much.”
For the record, Rodon has not lost a game since his junior year at Holly Springs High, but realizes an “L” likely will come at some point in college.
“Itâ€™s going to hurt,” he said. “Itâ€™s been a while but losing is a good thing.”
“Because you learn from it,” he said. “But winning is better. You have to hate to lose and love to win â€“ thatâ€™s the way I look at it.”
So the Pack *might* try to bounce back and get into the win column vs App today at 1pm.Â I say might because currently the weather forecast ain’t looking so great.Â The game was already moved from 4pm to 1pm to try to get it in before mother nature unleashed some wet and maybe frozen stuff in Raleigh, but currently it looks like she has also moved up her own schedule, with rain expected to begin mid-morning and perhaps turn over to a frozen mix by early afternoon.
Looks like a twin bill for Sunday (or Monday depending upon field conditions) is becoming more and more likely.
Be sure to get over to the SFN Forums and make your voice heard.