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Big East in the Big Leagues: The Matt Szczur Show

It's Matt Szczur's world, we're all just living in it.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Szczur (Villanova)

Where else were we going to start? If you hit your first career grand slam and also play for the best team in baseball (both my opinion and a statistical fact), you get a ton of accolades in BEITBL. If you happened to miss Szczur's grand slam, we've got you covered right here.

Szczur, mostly used as a defensive replacement or pinch hitter, racked up two other hits this week to raise his season batting average to .357. Small sample size (31 plate appearances), sure, but it's nice to see from a guy who struggled to find a home between Triple-A and MLB last season.

Joe Panik (St. John's)

Panik didn't have the best week. After mashing the cover off the ball last week and raising his batting average by nearly 50 points, Panik went 3-13 against the Padres and Mets.

To make matters worse, he injured his groin and missed the final two games of the weekend series with his hometown Mets. According to the SF Chronicle, he won't play again until Tuesday at the earliest. While a DL stint probably isn't in Panik's future, groin injuries can be tricky. And painful.

Pat Neshek (Butler)

The Houston Astros were one of baseball's biggest surprises last year, as they won 86 games and defeated the New York Yankees in the Wild Card Game to make their first postseason appearance since 2005.

The Houston Astros are one of baseball's biggest surprises this year, as they have won eight games and sit in the cellar of the AL West as we enter May.

Neshek has struggled just like the rest of his team, allowing two runs in just 0.1 innings of work this week. His ERA on the season has ballooned to 5.14. It's still early, so the hope is that both Neshek and the Astros can right the ship.

Jason Grilli (Seton Hall)

From a downtrodden reliever on a bad team, we switch to a... downtrodden reliever on a bad team. The Braves, like the Astros, haven't been very good this year. Unlike the Astros, the Braves were expected to not be very good this year.

In Grilli's two innings of work this week, he allowed a run, walked two, and picked up a save against the Cubs. His ERA on the year is down to 6.00 after being as high as 10.80 at points. It must be tough to be a Braves closer, because you don't get a ton of opportunities to pitch with the team in the lead.

Darin Ruf (Creighton)

Interestingly enough, Ruf got starts in both of the Phillies' two weekend games over Cleveland. The Phils won both games and Ruf went 1-6 with a walk. His batting average dipped back below .200 (.189), so it was interesting to see him in the lineup for two straight days. Perhaps Pete Mackanin is on to something, though. The Phillies are now 6-2 in the eight games Ruf has started this year.

Amir Garrett (St. John's)

Garrett is scheduled to pitch Monday for Double-A Pensacola against Birmingham. Check back later for his statline.

Pat Venditte (Creighton)

One game after allowing a run to the White Sox (his third straight appearance allowing a run), Venditte was called upon again against the Pale Hose. He recorded the final two outs of the top of the ninth, and then was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo after the game. Venditte's MLB ERA sits at 7.36 on the season.

Danny Burawa (St. John's)

After a rocky outing against Columbus, Burawa was optioned to Double-A Mississippi. His first outing with the Braves didn't go well. In just one inning of work, he allowed four hits and three runs.

Ty Blach (Creighton)

Blach's last outing was his best start of the year for the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats. He lasted 7.2 innings, allowing six hits and striking out three. It was certainly a step in the right direction for the young right-hander who had an ERA near six entering that game.