Chat with Tim Griffin
Griffin joined ESPN.com in February 2008. He has covered the Big 12 since its inception, among a variety of beats during a 24-year career at the San Antonio Express-News. Griffin, a Memphis State University graduate, lives in San Antonio with his wife and son.
Send your questions now and join Griffin in The Show at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday!
Griffin Archive: Search
Tim Griffin (3:01 PM)
Welcome to my chat about the upcoming Super Regionals. I'm willing to answer any and all questions about the upcoming games. Please feel free to ask.
Michael (Oxford, MS)
Tim what're your thoughts on the Super Regional in Oxford. What do think the Rebels' chances are?
Tim Griffin (3:07 PM)
Michael: I really like the job that Mike Bianco has done for the Rebels this season. The Rebels have been traditionally a left-handed pitching team for so long, but that's all changed this season with Pomeranz and Bukvich. And those lefties will be important against such a heavily left-handed hitting club like UVA with Parker and Grovatt their most consistent offensive players. I think the key in it has to be Virginia's consistency in getting first pitches over for strikes. If Ole Miss is able to sit on a fastball while ahead in the count, it could be a long weekend for Brian O'Conner's team.
San Antonio, TX
Looking at the LSU-Rice Supers, I am guessing that the games on Fri and Sat will be low scoring affairs behind each team's strength in pitching. I think that both teams are solid with their two day starters so it will ultimately come down to Sun. Of course playing at the Box will give LSU some offensive edge but since LSU no longer has the guerilla ball feel and even plays some small ball, I am not sure how LSU and Rice stack up offensively. Particularly since LSU made it through the SEC tourney and Regionals behind their defense and pitching. Your thoughts would be most appreciated...Geaux Tigers.
Tim Griffin (3:11 PM)
S.A. - Good town, I might add. I saw Rice play over the weekend in the Houston regional and came away very impressed. While their record isn't as good as other teams that Wayne Graham has brought to the Super Regionals and the CWS, remember that Ojala and Berry were hurt for much of the season. The cumulative effect of them getting back to shape was a big reason for Rice's struggles down the stretch. But they are healthy now and they got a huge lift from Taylor Wall and Matthew Reckling in the late games against Kansas State. Rendon is a certifiable stud. We'll be seeing him playing in the bigs one day. Hague is a nice player who likely will have a shot one day. And I like the defense that Sultzbaugh gives them in center. As a matter of fact, I like all of the defense - they are pretty good. Like you said, I think LSU has some pretty good pitching and defense, but this is going to be a tough series for Paul Mainieri. And also don't discount Wayne Graham sitting over there on the other bench for Rice, too.
What are your thoughts on the Big 12 getting all those teams into the regional round, but only getting Texas through to the supers? Is the conference overrated?
Tim Griffin (3:13 PM)
Mike: I think the Big 12 might have been a tad overrated this season. The performance of Oklahoma at home was very disappointing. And Texas was a little bit fortunate to be able to advance through their regional . I still think that the Longhorns have a good shot of making it to Omaha. That will be critical for the conference's national respect considering they haven't had a team since Baylor, Nebraska and Texas all made it in 2005.
Travis C. (Lake Highlands)
Texas/TCU, who's your pick? Gotta love the way that Texas team has been pulling out victories.
Tim Griffin (3:15 PM)
Travis: I do like Texas, although TCU is going to give the Longhorns a challenge. Keep an eye on Matt Vern from TCU, who's a big slugging first baseman. But it does seem that this Texas team might have the pixie dust arranged. Look at the way they won those games against BC and Army. Does "Gus Ball" still live at Disch Falk? It sure looks like it to me.
Chad (Las Vegas)
What are LSU's chances of winning it all? They have to get through Rice 1st which I believe LSU v Rice is the best pitching matchups of the Supers.
Tim Griffin (3:16 PM)
Chad: Agree with you about the matchup. Should be some arms we'll see in the bigs one pitching on both sides. I think the first game will be huge. If Rice gets a big start out of Ryan Berry, I'll give them a slight edge to go in and get the upset over the Bayou Bengals in three game.
Travis C. (Lake Highlands)
Tim, Texas vs. TCU, who you got? You have to be impressed by the different ways Texas is winning games.
Tim Griffin (3:18 PM)
Travis: Got to go with the Horns. They were the No. 1 seed in the tournament for a reason. Green, Jungmann and Ruffin give them three bullet arms that will be hard for any team to match up with in a short series. I'll take Texas in two games. And by the way, do I really feel old. I can still remember covering Ruffin's dad, Bruce, when he was playing for the Longhorns.
Hey Tim, Do the Horned Frogs have a chance to upset the Horns? And what do you think about Augie leaving in Wood that long and for that many pitches against BC?
Tim Griffin (3:23 PM)
Ted: Good to see they are following baseball up your way. It's a good sign to show that college baseball isn't a regional sport. But to your point, I really like what Jim Schlossnagle has done for TCU. His team won't come in intimidated by all of the national championship banners they will see at the Disch. And it's also going to a big game as always when they meet up with their old rivals from the Southwest Conference. But I just think Texas has too many arms and too much riding not to win the series. And something tells me there were a lot of pro scouts who were cringing when they saw or heard accounts of how long Wood pitched the other night. I'm really interested to see if he's going to get any work in the Super Regional. And if he does,. how much all that work last weekend would affect him. That's just one of many subplots I think that makes the Austin series so intriguing.
Enough about the Southern teams. West Coast baseball has ruled lately. Think Fullerton or ASU will keep that trend alive?
Tim Griffin (3:28 PM)
Ron: I really liked what Fresno did last season and I think that Fullerton or ASU could similarly be poised for a run to Omaha. I love what Kipnis and Leake have meant to the team this season. And Fullerton's experience will be huge from here on out. Not many teams can match the big-game experience of fifth-year seniors like Garneau, Clark and Scott. Those guys are all tough outs and they find a way to manufacture runs. I think the key they've got to do to advance is get some nice starts from Renken, Ramirez and Pill. If they have a liability, it's their bullpen. If they camoflage that this weekend, they might have a chance to advance.
Are you the same Tim Griffin who blogs about the Big 12?
Tim Griffin (3:29 PM)
Hank: One and the same.
Would you rather watch a 0-0 soccer game in extra time or a 0-0 baseball game in extra innings?
Tim Griffin (3:29 PM)
Conor: I like an 0-0 baseball game just because of the strategy that's often involved. I'm sure soccer supporters have their ideas, too. But I think I'll vote for baseball.
Ian (Gainesville, FL)
What do you think of Florida's chances of getting to Omaha?
Tim Griffin (3:33 PM)
Ian: Key for Florida will be to control USM's offense with some good pitching performances. The Eagles scored in double figures in three of the NCAA games in Atlanta. That puts a premium on Florida getting big efforts from pitchers like DeSclafani and Locke.
Chad (Las Vegas)
What is up with Virginia? They just beat 2 of the best pitchers in the country in the ACC tourney vs UNC and in their regions vs SDSU.
Tim Griffin (3:35 PM)
Chad: I was very impressed with UVa was able to do against San Diego State and Stasburg in the opener and it just seemed to build from there. They've got to be feeling very confident - even if it is their first trip to the Super Regionals.
Tim Griffin (3:36 PM)
Guys, thanks for all of the good questions. I appreciate everything. Enjoy the Super Regionals this weekend and maybe we can hook up before the College World Series. tg