Can a midseason game for a ranked team ever be classified as a 'must-win?' Probably not. But Cal would really love to salvage a game from this series against #9 Arizona St. Cal followed up Thursday's crushing 17 inning defeat by quietly getting shut out 5-0. It was the first time the Bears have been shut out this year, and they managed only 6 base runners and zero extra base hits. Interestingly, both pitchers went all nine innings as both managers wanted to save their bullpens after Thursday's marathon game. Unfortunately for Cal Kramer Chaplin turned in his best performance of the season while Justin Jones was just a little bit off.
Dixon Anderson (4-1, 3.40) starts today for Cal, and he'll presumably be facing ASU's usual 3rd starter Jake Barrett (4-3, 5.36). It will be interesting to watch how David Esquer manages this game. Will he pull out all the stops if Anderson isn't sharp, and turn to Kevin Miller and a relatively rested bullpen? Or will he try to save Kevin Miller for a mid-week start against Stanford? Perhaps more importantly, will Cal be able to generate some offense against Arizona St.? In 26 innings, Cal has scored just 4 runs. That's not going to cut it against any team, let alone a top 10 squad. Go Bears!