Why Alabama pitchers could be in for historic finishBy Elliott Propes | 03/29/2016 9:30pm
Alabama baseball is 15-8 (4-2) in large part due to its pitching staff. Right now the Crimson Tide is struggling on offense and is currently ranked 214th in the country scoring just 4.6 runs per game. With a stat like that it's easy to wonder how the team's record is above .500, but so far Alabama’s pitching staff is headed towards historic numbers.
This year’s team has an earned run average of 2.47. It ranks No. 14 nationally and is second in the SEC to No. 5 South Carolina. If the season ended now that ERA would be ranked fifth all-time in program history, and currently it is the best season ERA since 1974. Only nine teams ever in program history have had a sub-3.00 ERA and all of them predate 1974.
The staff is led by starters Geoffrey Bramblett, Jake Walters and Nick Eicholtz. The three combine for 6-2 record and a 1.79 ERA over 89 innings pitched. Bramblett has a 1.42 ERA over 38.0 innings of work. He ranks third all time for Alabama, and he’s the only one in the top ten from this decade. Eicholtz would be No. 1 on that list with a 0.50 ERA, but he has only pitched 18.0 innings so far because he missed two starts due to an injury. His numbers should change dramatically as he gets more innings under his belt.
The team is also bolstered with a good bullpen. Closer Thomas Burrows broke the programs record of all-time saves earlier this season. He was pitching great with four saves and no earned runs over eight innings before he suffered an injury. He is expected to be back for the Kentucky series at the latest.
These stats will obviously fluctuate throughout the rest of the season, but if the numbers follow this course there could be some records broken. Right now the team is relying on that record-breaking pitching, but the team might not need it for long. The offense is trending upwards as Alabama averaged seven runs against Tennessee last weekend. In the meantime the pitching more than doing its part for the team.