So Far, The 2022 College World Series Has Lacked Drama
By Omaha standards, the weather has been great.
Where once TD Ameritrade Park gave up only three home runs in an entire College World Series, scoring is no longer a problem in Omaha. So far there have already been five times when a team reached double digits in scoring.
So two of the problems we’ve seen in past iterations of the CWS haven’t been an issue so far.
There’s only one problem with the 2022 CWS so far: It’s been completely lacking in compelling games.
The CWS is made by its magic moments. Over the years we’ve seen championships decided by whether a player can catch a foul ball. We’ve seen walk-off home runs, comebacks and tense, nail-biting pitching duels.
So far this year, we’ve seen one team jump out to a big early lead and then grind out the late innings to hold onto its win. And we’ve seen that over and over.
The CWS isn’t over, and a back-and-forth championship series could hopefully erase the memory of the first 11 games, but so far, if you want back-and-forth tense contests, you have been sorely disappointed.
* The average margin of victory is 6.4 runs per game. The smallest margin of victory in the first 11 games is four runs. There has yet to be a game decided by three runs or less.
* Almost every game has been decided in the early innings. Auburn trailed Stanford 2-0 heading to the sixth inning in Monday’s elimination game. The Tigers scored four runs in the top of the sixth to take a 4-2 lead. They scored two more runs in the seventh to eventually win, 6-2.
That’s significant because that is the only time in the first 11 games that a team has managed to win after trailing coming out of the fifth inning. In the other 10 games the winning team had a lead in the fifth inning or earlier that it never relinquished. That Auburn-Stanford game is the only game that has seen a lead change after the fifth.
In nine of the 11 games, the winning team never trailed.
* The trailing team has yet to bring the tying run to the plate in the seventh inning or later in any of the 11 CWS games.
To have drama in the late innings, you need at least a chance for a comeback. So far, the leads have been so large that there has yet to be any late-inning situation where the winning team’s reliever, defense or coaching staff is forced into pressure-filled moments.
The hope is that with as many as five games remaining, maybe some drama will wipe away a pretty drearily dull start to this year’s CWS. And a lot of this is luck of the draw. There were some regionals and super regionals that were incredibly dramatic.
But so far, if you turned off every CWS game when the seventh inning rolled around, you wouldn’t have missed much.