Another week in the books, and the schizophrenic life of Cal fandom marches on. Three weeks ago we bemoaned what looked to be a lost season and one week ago a win streak prompted giddy glances at the RPI standings. I suppose by that logic this is a week to overreact and declare that the season is over and that all hope is gone. Frankly, it’s tempting to do so because every time I go too far in the direction of either optimism or pessimism, the Bears respond by making me look dumb.
It was a frustrating series because the box score doesn’t suggest that
What is there to add? At this point, we know what kind of team the Bears are. If they play clean defense they have juuuust enough pitching and offense to squeak out a win or two against teams as good as
Which is why it's been something of a long, frustrating season. But if you're a Cal fan feeling sorry for yourself, remind yourself that you get to watch a pretty special 2nd baseman:
On Tony Renda
It’s not much fun to dwell on
Various websites list Renda as a likely early round draft choice, from anywhere between the 2nd and 4th round. His limited power potential likely will keep him from being a first round prospect but he’s such a polished, consistent hitter as a 2nd baseman that he will be an attractive pick for many teams.
After collecting the most hits in the conference as a sophomore, Renda has responded by upping his triple slash from .332/.366/.434 to .371/.442/.515. That’s a pretty massive improvement fueled in part by greater patience and power at the plate. Renda has already drawn almost exactly as many non-intentional walks this year as he did in the entirety 2011. It says something special about a player when they can win a player of the year award and then come back the year after and noticeably improve multiple aspects of their performance.
That improvement means he should again be a candidate for player of the year, but he’ll get stiff competition from UCLA’s Jeff Gelalich and
The Cougars are an offensive team all the way. They actually have a similar offensive profile to
Key to the series: Don’t make errors, win the series. The correlation between Ws and zero errors has been uncanny.