Monday pythagorean - 7/27/2015
2-6 is never going to get it done, unless you're in the last week with a magic number of one. The Red Sox aren't...
The Week That Was:
- 7/20 - @LAAnaheim 11 - Boston 1 - In the first game of a day-night doubleheader, making up for the game which was rained out on Sunday night, Eduardo Rodriguez gets hammered, allowing 7 runs in the second inning, and leaving after only retiring five batters. The Boston offense finally scores it's first post-All Star break run in the 4th inning of their third game in Anaheim, but it obviously is irrelevant to the final outcome.
- 7/20 - @LAANaheim 7 - Boston 3 - Steven Wright allows home runs to Albert Pujols and Mike Trout as the Angels take a 5-0 lead into the 6th inning. Boston does eventually score a couple of runs, but are never in the game, being swept in the double-headed by a combined score of 18-4.
- 7/21 - @Houston 8 - Boston 3 - Brian Johnson makes his Major League debut, and it's somewhat less than a roaring success, as he allows four runs while only pitching 4 1/3 innings. The Red Sox, for the first time on the road trip and the first time in over a week, actually held a lead 3-1 into the bottom of the 5th, but the Astros tie the game as an attempt to throw out a runner stealing second with runners on 1st and 3rd ricochets off of the sliding runners forearm into no-man's land in left field, and two runs score. They score two more off of Johnson and reliever Justin Masterson, and the Red Sox fail to do anything offensive en route to their 6th straight loss.
- 7/22 - @Houston 4 - Boston 2 - Joe Kelly's return to the Major Leagues, and to the Red Sox starting rotation, is better than some of his outings, but not great, as he allows four runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched. He keeps the team in the game, but the offensive struggles continue, and Boston falls again.
- 7/23 - @Houston 5 - Boston 4 - The losing streak runs to 8 games as the road trip finishes the way it began - with the bullpen surrendering a walk-off HR in the bottom of the 9th inning of a tie game. This time it's Jose Altuve homering off of Craig Breslow, as Boston's longest winless road trip in 64 years comes to a painful end.
- 7/24 - @Boston 2 - Detroit 1 - In a battle of former rotation-mates, Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander each allow one run in the third inning and nothing else. Porcello's seven inning, one run performance is his best in months and one of his best in a Red Sox uniform. The game remains tied into the 11th and Xander Bogaerts drives in Mookie Betts to end the game and the 8-game losing streak.
- 7/25 - Detroit 5 - Boston 1 - Boston's offensive ineptitude continues, and Steven Wright continues to demonstrate the knuckle-ballers traditional susceptibility to home runs and passed balls as the Tigers score in the first and Boston trails the entire way.
- 7/26 - @Boston 11 - Detroit 1 - The week ends similar to the way in which it strarted - with Eduardo Rodriguez starting a game which ends 11-1. This time, it's the Red Sox offense doing the damage, led by two home runs from David Ortiz, as Boston takes two of three from the Tigers.
Thoughts and commentary...
- For those of us harboring hopes of a second-half surge, the post-All Star break road trip brought them to a quick and painful end. Two weeks ago, they entered the break just 6 1/2 games back - this morning it's 12. And over.
- The only questions remaining for 2015 are these - can they avoid their second consecutive, and third in four years, last place finish? And what can they do in 2015 to make 2016 less likely to result in another disaster?
- The anatomy of a disaster: The Red Sox 0-7 road trip was the longest winless road trip for the team since the 1951 Red Sox lost its last 8 road games.
Angels/Astros 39 Boston 13 Boston offense - (.204/.249/.296/.545, 14.89 runs created, 1.97 RC/25 outs) Opposition - (.245/.333/.523/.856, 37.18 runs created, 5.44 RC/25 outs)
- A big part of the problem on the trip was the top of the order. Top 3 (Betts, Holt, Pedroia) (.111/.152/.175/.326, -.40 runs created, -.17 RC/25 outs)
- I am of the opinion that there is no hitter in MLB who has been more negatively effected by the stretching of the strike zone than Mike Napoli. Napoli's skill set is look at a lot of pitches, take the ones that he can't hit, and hammer the ones that he can. It seems that the umpires, by widening the zone, have made it possible for pitchers to throw a lot more pitches that are simultaneously a) not hittable by Napoli and b) strikes. Is he finally adjusting?
- I very rarely have much interest in what any athlete has to say in an interview. There are exceptions, and Pedro Martinez was one. Always insightful, always interesting, and he was again yesterday.
- ESPN put up a graphic last night, comparing Pedro to Koufax over their best four-year peaks. If you don't know anything about context, it looked like Koufax was better. He wasn't. Taking into account ballpark and league offensive context, Pedro was much better. Koufax' ERA+ from 1963-1966 was 172. Pedro's, from 1997-2000, was 219. Pedro was the greatest.
- There are a few athletes that I feel privileged to have been able to watch. Tom Brady. Larry Bird. And Pedro Martinez.
- Red Sox Player of the Week - Mike Napoli (.400/.444/.680/1.124, 6.36 runs created, 9.94 RC/25 outs) is finally showing signs that he might still be able to hit. Xander Bogaerts (.455/.441/.485/.926, 6.73 runs created, 8.86 RC/25 outs) continues to be effective both at the plate and in the field. But the award goes to David Ortiz (.357/.400/.857/1.257, 8.57 runs created, 11.90 RC/25 outs), whose two home runs on Sunday night brought him up to 485 for his career, just 15 away from 500.
- Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Rick Porcello threw seven innings of one-run ball against his former team, and former teammate Justin Verlander, leading the Red Sox to a 2-1 win that broke their 8 game losing streak.