Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday pythagorean, 7/21/2014

Yeah, it's just three games, and yeah, it's just Kansas City, and yeah, they only scored two runs on Saturday, but 3-0 is 3-0, and it's better than any of the alternative possibilities...
  • It clearly cannot all be blamed on AJ, but the post-Pierzynski record is now 7-1.


  • They're also 2-0 in the triumphant return of Shane Victorino.


  • Reason for optimism - Over the last month (6/21-7/20), Jackie Bradley, Jr. (.309/.356/.353/.709, 8.06 runs created, 4.03 RC/25 outs) has been a very productive hitter. Corner turned or just a fluke? Either way, he's been a very productive player for the past month. His defense is good enough that he doesn't have to be a great hitter to be a productive player, but if he can keep is OBP above .350 with that defense, he's a good player.


  • This is going to reveal me to be a bad baseball fan and possibly even a sub-human, but here it is anyway - I do not like Derek Jeter. I have watched the All Star Game less and less over the years, but I didn't watch a second of the game or the coverage this year. I had no interest in the glorification and paeans to the wonder of the most overrated great player in the history of the game, a player who happened to be in the right organization at the right time to accrue tremendous acclaim based on the accomplishments of others. He played for the one team that was never going to require public contract squabbles to result in being overpaid, was never going to require a move somewhere else to get paid, was never going to put him in a situation where he had to move to have a chance of winning. I think he's as big a phony as Alex Rodriguez, just better at it. He hurt his team defensively for his entire career, and his Gold Glove award is one of the biggest jokes of any award ever given to anyone. Rafael Palmeiro's Gold Glove at first the year he DHed in Texas is less of joke than Jeter's.

    And just like the soccer afficianados turn my dislike of the game into loathing by repeatedly telling me that I should love it, the Jeter krishnas and New York media suck-ups (ok, that's redundant) have turned my dislike of a great player into loathing by telling me, over and over again, about how he represents truth, justice and the American way. If he was what they say he is, he would have moved to third when his team acquired a better - much, much better - shortstop. He would have welcomed Rodriguez to New York instead of playing the kind of passive-aggressive games that made the NY media and fanbase choose sides, his of course. He's been as big a problem in the Yankees failing to win more than one World Series in the last 13 years as he was in their success in the five years before that, but he's taken none of the heat that others have taken. When the Yankees were losing four straight in the 2004 ALCS, and everyone on the Yankees was taking blame for the collapse - except him - he was going 4-19 with no walks and no power. But everyone else was to blame and St. Jeter got to sit in judgement on his underperforming teammates.

    I don't like him, I never liked him, I won't partake of any celebrations of his career, and if he were still great, or even good, I'd be glad he was going.


  • So we know two things right now - the American League team will have home field advantage in the World Series, and that team won't be the Red Sox.


  • Does that seem strong? They're 7 1/2 games our in the East with 64 games left to play. They're six games out in the Wild Card race with 64 games left to play. But they are behind three teams in the division and 6 in the Wild Card, and tied with Tampa in both. It's difficult to imagine that someone will get into the post-season with fewer than 90 wins, and to get to 90, Boston would have to play .688 ball, 44-20, the rest of the way.


  • If we weren't anchored to the idea of the Red Sox as a good team, we would look at their current state very differently. There have been many teams, and many times that this team, have been this far back in the third week of July, and no one would consider them contenders. But this is a team that won the World Series last year, a team that many predicted to return to the playoffs, with players that are highly regarded and that suffered many injury troubles during the first three months of the season. So we hesitate to give up on the season.


  • It's absolutely not impossible for the Red Sox to get to 90 wins, or even 93 or 94. It's absolutely not impossible for the Red Sox to take one of the Wild Card spots, or even win the East. It's just unlikely. They can't just play well - .600 ball from here to the end of the year, which is a 96 win pace for a whole season, will just get them to 84-85 wins. That's pretty clearly not going to get it done - someone ahead of them will finish with 83 wins or fewer, but they won't all finish with 83 or fewer. So they need a significant hotstreak, where they win 15 of 20, and then they need to play well. They cannot afford any more losing streaks. They cannot afford any more 10-10 stretches. They don't have that many more losses that can go on to their record without taking them out of the playoff hunt.


  • Since he returned from Pawtucket on 5/24, Daniel Nava (.306/.392/.352/.744, 15.85 runs created, 5.02 RC/25 outs) has been productive again. Would that have happened without the trip down? There's no way of knowing, but if you wanted to argue that Farrell panicked and pulled the plug on Daniel Nava 2014 too quickly, you won't get an argument from me.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - It was a short week, and some were shorter than others, but even in two games, Mike Napoli (.571/.625/1.000/1.625, 3.30 runs created, 27.50 RC/25 outs) created more runs than anyone else on the team.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Jon Lester was excellent, again. That is all.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 7/21/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Detroit4.95(2)3.42(2)0.663(1)65336137-4
Oakland5.04(1)4.11(6)0.592(2)574059382
Toronto3.96(12)3.39(1)0.571(3)56425246-4
Minnesota4.73(3)4.29(9)0.544(4)524354412
Kansas City4.32(6)4.1(5)0.524(5)514653442
Baltimore4.49(4)4.28(8)0.522(6)52475148-1
Seattle4.47(5)4.46(11)0.501(7)494950481
Tampa Bay4(11)4.04(3)0.495(8)484948490
Cleveland3.93(13)4.09(4)0.482(9)48524753-1
Texas4.29(7)4.55(13)0.474(10)475247520
Boston4.21(8)4.47(12)0.472(11)46514453-2
Houston4.01(10)4.31(10)0.467(12)455250475
Chicago Sox3.88(15)4.18(7)0.465(13)465246520
LA Angels3.88(14)4.75(14)0.409(14)405941581
NY Yankees4.11(9)5.23(15)0.391(15)386039591
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Detroit10161
Oakland9963
Minnesota9270
Kansas City8973
Toronto8676
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Detroit10359
Oakland9765
Minnesota9072
Toronto8973
Kansas City8775
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Tampa Bay5.33(2)2(2)0.858(1)30300
Boston4.33(9)1.67(1)0.852(2)30300
NY Yankees4.67(5)2(2)0.825(3)21301
Cleveland5.25(4)3(4)0.736(4)31310
Oakland6.33(1)4.67(9)0.636(5)21210
Toronto4.67(5)4(7)0.57(6)21210
Houston5.33(2)4.67(9)0.561(7)2112-1
LA Angels3.67(11)3.33(5)0.543(8)21210
Seattle3.33(12)3.67(6)0.457(9)12120
Chicago Sox4.67(5)5.33(13)0.439(10)12211
Texas4(10)4.67(9)0.43(11)12120
Baltimore4.67(5)6.33(15)0.364(12)12120
Detroit3(13)5.25(12)0.264(13)13130
Kansas City1.67(15)4.33(8)0.148(14)03030
Minnesota2(14)5.33(13)0.142(15)03030

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 7/14/2014

So, they've reached the All Star break, and look to be attempting to maintain the tease as long as possible...
  • The youth movement went into high gear this week, with the designation of AJ Pierzynski for assignment and the call-up of Christian Vazquez. The Red Sox took the field on Wednesday night with five rookies in the starting lineup (and in order in the batting order, from 6-1). And what didn't get noted, because he's not actually still a rookie, despite his limited time in the Majors, is that Rubby de la Rosa was on the mound that night. We knew, coming into 2014, that Bogaerts and Bradley would play. To see Holt, Betts and Vazquez also on the field, and de la Rosa on the mound, was not something I would have predicted before the season started.


  • I don't know whether Christian Vazquez is really ready to be in the Majors yet or not, but his first few games have been prodigious (.455/.417/.727/1.144, 2.71 runs created, 8.46 RC/25 outs).


  • I don't know whether Christian Vazquez is really ready to be in the Majors yet or not. I also do not care. The Red Sox, organizationally, approach at-bats as something of value, outs as something not to be squandered. They go to the plate looking for something to work on, and will take a walk if that's what they're given. AJ Pierzynski approached the plate as if he were late for his bus, and didn't really have time for this silly "try to hit the round ball with the round bat" ritual.


  • I've seen less productive players in a Red Sox uniform. I do not immediately remember one whose mere presence in a Red Sox uniform so grated on my nerves as Pierzynski.


  • I thought that Pierzynski was a downgrade from Saltalamacchia. I did not think he'd be a big downgrade. I was wrong.


  • Over the last month, since 6/12, Jackie Bradley is hitting .286/.348/.357/.705. That's obviously not great, but given his defense, if he could maintain that kind of offensive production, he's a legitimate Major League player. And you have to love the gap between his batting average and his OBP, because that means that he's a disciplined hitter, and he sees pitches and takes walks.


  • Thomas Wolfe - "You Can't Go Home Again." Brock Holt - ".667/.688/1.067/1.754 in Houston, so, yes, you can."


  • Ok, Holt is not exactly from Houston, but close enough that the whole weekend had a return-of-the-prodigal-son feel to it. His mother's reaction after his lead-off home-run on Sunday was special.


  • And who knew that Brock Holt could hit a baseball that far?


  • Too bad there aren't more games with the Astros on the schedule...


  • Some guys have all the luck. (Wasn't that a Rod Stewart song?) Which is true for both good luck and bad luck. The Red Sox scored 8 runs for John Lackey and 11 runs for Clay Buchholz in Houston. In between, they scored two for Jake Peavy, as he pitched very well in accumulating yet another loss to go with his one (1) win on the season.


  • Ok, pedantry alert: The Major League baseball season is 162 games long. To refer to the "first half" and "second half," as Dave O'Brien did ad nauseum yesterday is convenient and understandable. It's also innumerate and exceptionally irritating. The first half of the season ended after game 81, two weeks ago in New York.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Brock Holt (.394/.412/.667/1.078, 7.75 runs created, 9.23 RC/25 outs) continues to amaze.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Jon Lester was excellent, again, allowing only 1 run in seven innings of work, and he was, again, the starter with the lowest ERA for the week. But. The performance of the week was Clay Buchholz' three-hit, no walk shutout against Houston on Sunday, and that brought his ERA for the week in two starts down to 2.25, and doing that over 16 innings was sufficient for the award.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 7/14/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Detroit4.91(2)3.38(1)0.664(1)63325936-4
Oakland5.09(1)4.14(5)0.593(2)563857371
Toronto3.98(12)3.38(1)0.574(3)55405144-4
Minnesota4.8(3)4.25(7)0.555(4)514053382
Kansas City4.31(6)4.03(3)0.53(5)504452422
Baltimore4.49(4)4.29(9)0.521(6)50464947-1
Tampa Bay4.07(10)4.03(3)0.505(7)474748461
Seattle4.44(5)4.52(13)0.491(8)464847471
Boston4.28(8)4.45(11)0.482(9)45494450-1
Texas4.28(7)4.52(12)0.475(10)46504551-1
Cleveland3.89(13)4.15(6)0.47(11)46514453-2
Houston3.99(11)4.38(10)0.457(12)435147474
Chicago Sox3.86(14)4.26(8)0.455(13)435243520
LA Angels3.83(15)4.75(14)0.403(14)395740561
NY Yankees4.12(9)5.25(15)0.39(15)375838571
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Detroit10161
Oakland9864
Minnesota9468
Kansas City9072
Toronto8775
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Detroit10458
Oakland9765
Minnesota9270
Toronto8973
Kansas City8874
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Detroit7.17(1)2.83(3)0.845(1)51510
Minnesota5.43(4)2.71(2)0.78(2)52520
LA Angels6.57(2)4(9)0.713(3)52611
Oakland3.86(11)2.43(1)0.7(4)5243-1
Boston4.71(5)3.57(7)0.624(5)43430
Chicago Sox4.43(7)3.43(6)0.615(6)4334-1
Cleveland4.71(5)4(9)0.575(7)43430
Baltimore3.33(13)2.83(3)0.574(8)33421
Tampa Bay4.33(8)4.17(11)0.518(9)33330
Houston5.67(3)5.83(14)0.487(10)33421
NY Yankees3.14(14)3.86(8)0.407(11)34340
Toronto4(10)5.17(13)0.385(12)24240
Kansas City3.57(12)4.71(12)0.376(13)34340
Seattle2.14(15)3.14(5)0.332(14)25341
Texas4.14(9)8.71(15)0.204(15)1607-1

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Monday, July 07, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 7/7/2014

Last week, I was a little bit disappointed that they were treading water. Obviously, they responded by deciding not to tread water any more...
  • The weakness of the AL East has them only 9 game out, on the fringes of contention. But this has been a bad team. Particularly offensively.


  • They lost with good pitching. They allowed 2 runs three times this week, and managed to win only one of the three games, on a walk-off Saturday afternoon.


  • They lost with decent offense. They scored at least six runs twice, and lost both.


  • Over their last 30 games, the Red Sox have scored far and away the fewest runs in the AL. They've scored 98 runs in 30 games, 3.267 runs/game. In all of baseball, only the San Diego Padres have scored fewer.


  • Yes, Xander Bogaerts is in a slump that is reaching epic proportions. No, anti-Drew talk radio know-nothings, it did not begin with the Drew signing. Here's what Bogaerts did in his first five games as a 3rd baseman this year: Xander Bogaerts (.318/.375/.682/1.057, 5.52 runs created, 9.20 RC/25 outs). One of his best five-game stretches of the season.


  • If this continues for another week, we will need to consider whether they promoted Mookie Betts (.188/.188/.375/.563) to soon, and whether keeping him in the Majors is likely to do permanent psychological damage.


  • Jackie Bradley, Jr. (.455/.500/.636/1.136), on the other hand, may have just had the best week, albeit in only three games, of his Major League career.


  • The Red Sox pitching has been pretty good, particularly the bullpen. But. The offensive ineptitude has meant that they've been pitching without a safety net, with no margin for error. And so we have Andrew Miller, during the 10-game losing streak, repeatedly being tagged with walk-off losses. And then this weekend, back-to-back Burke Badenhop performances that cost them the game. And Badenhop has been outstanding. But he failed on Saturday night, costing them that game, and he failed again on Sunday, costing them that one.


  • There's been some criticism of Jake Peavy, still winless since April. And there's some recognition of a lack of run support, but people still look at the win-loss as if it's meaningful. So let's consider a couple of things. Jon Lester has 11 Quality Starts this season, starts in which he's gone at least six innings and allowed no more than three runs. He is 9-0 with 2 No Decisions in those 11 starts. John Lackey is 8-1 in his 12. Jake Peavy is 1-2 in his nine quality starts. Peavy has four starts in which he's gone at least six and allowed only one, and another with six innings and two runs allowed, one earned. He's got only one win.


  • Yes, all QS are not created equally, but six innings and three runs should lead to a lot of wins on a good team. This one isn't.


  • Ok, pedantry alert: On the post-game show after Saturday afternoon's Red Sox win, we were told repeatedly (at least twice) that Jon Lester "did not factor in the decision." What a dreadful use of the language. Lester was the single biggest factor in Boston's win. Yes, he was not "awarded a win," he was "awarded a no-decision," which is not at all the same thing as not factoring in the decision.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Ironically, the one Red Sox offensive player who had a great week, David Ortiz (.412/.500/.647/1.147), was 0-5, as he missed the one win.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Again, Jon Lester was outstanding in Boston's one win (which he didn't get, despite going 8 innings and striking out 7 while allowing only 5 hits and no walks and no earned runs).
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 7/7/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Detroit4.99(1)3.45(2)0.662(1)58305533-3
Toronto4.13(9)3.4(1)0.588(2)52364840-4
Oakland4.97(2)4.15(5)0.581(3)513651360
Baltimore4.52(4)4.23(7)0.53(4)48424743-1
Minnesota4.64(3)4.35(9)0.529(5)454048373
Kansas City4.38(6)4.11(4)0.528(6)464248402
Tampa Bay4.11(10)3.98(3)0.516(7)454245420
Seattle4.41(5)4.56(11)0.485(8)424543441
Cleveland3.86(13)4.15(6)0.466(9)42494150-1
Texas4.27(7)4.61(13)0.465(10)414842471
Houston4.06(12)4.43(10)0.46(11)404744434
Boston4.18(8)4.59(12)0.458(12)40473948-1
Chicago Sox3.8(14)4.32(8)0.441(13)394939490
NY Yankees4.11(11)4.98(15)0.414(14)365238502
LA Angels3.71(15)4.68(14)0.396(15)365436540
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Detroit10161
Oakland9567
Minnesota9171
Toronto8874
Kansas City8874
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Detroit10458
Oakland9567
Toronto9171
Minnesota8973
Kansas City8775
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Baltimore6(2)3.29(5)0.751(1)52611
Seattle5.33(3)3(1)0.741(2)42420
LA Angels6.57(1)3.71(8)0.74(3)52611
Tampa Bay4.71(4)3.29(5)0.659(4)52611
Cleveland4.5(6)3.17(3)0.655(5)42420
Detroit4.71(4)4(10)0.575(6)43430
Chicago Sox3.67(11)3.5(7)0.521(7)33330
Oakland3(14)3(1)0.5(8)43430
Kansas City3.83(9)3.83(9)0.5(8)33330
NY Yankees4.29(7)4.29(11)0.5(8)4334-1
Minnesota4.14(8)5(12)0.415(11)3425-1
Toronto2.5(15)3.17(3)0.394(12)24240
Boston3.83(9)6(13)0.306(13)2415-1
Texas3.43(12)6.14(14)0.256(14)2516-1
Houston3.14(13)8.14(15)0.149(15)1607-1

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 6/30/2014

Another week of just treading water, 3-3...
  • Of course, treading water is much, much better than it looked like the week was going to turn out on Saturday morning. Through the first four games of the week, they were 1-3 and had been outscored 30-10. They had won a game by one, and lost three games by nine, six and six.


  • As bad as that beginning to the week was, things actually feel ok this morning. (That's the recency bias talking, of course.) They won a game with pitching on Saturday, they won a game with offense on Sunday. They beat the Yankees twice in a row in New York. They are back within six games of first place in the division.


  • Saturday's game marked the halfway point of the season. They got there at seven games under .500. They got there in the middle of the pack (7th of 15) in runs allowed. They got there, shockingly, in dead last in runs scored.


  • Through 81 games, they had allowed 3 more runs than the 2013 Red Sox. They had scored 114 fewer runs than the 2013 Red Sox.


  • The starters, for the most part, were shaky, leading to the league worst six runs allowed per game. Lackey, the only starter to make two starts, made two bad starts, allowing 12 runs (11 earned) in just 8 2/3 innings of work. Jake Peavey allowed seven runs in five innings. Those two were responsible for half of the Sox starts this week.


  • Six relievers combined to throw 9+ shutout innings, with only Breslow and the recently released Chris Capuano allowing any runs.


  • As we saw on Sunday night, David Ortiz can still hit a baseball a long way.


  • One of the great games of the year took place in New York on Saturday night, with Mike Napoli's ninth-inning HR leading to Boston's 2-1 win in a great pitching duel between Tanaka and Lester. If the Red Sox ever put a streak together and get back into the race, on the fringes of which they've been for the whole season thus far, that becomes one of the memorable reasons why.


  • Two weeks ago, Boston was 8 1/2 games out in the East, 3 1/2 behind the Orioles and 4 behind the Yankees. Over the last two weeks, they've gone 7-6. And this morning, they're 6 games out in the East, 4 1/2 behind the Orioles and 4 behind the Yankees. The Red Sox have done little to keep themselves in the division race, to the extent that they are, but they've gotten a lot of help from their competition.


  • Mookie Betts make his Major League debut and became yet another Boston player with a hit in his first Major League game this year, joing Cecchini and Hassan. On the night, he was 1-3 with a walk, which looks like a nice start. Unfortunately, he also hit into a double-play and ran into another out on the bases (caught stealing). Still, quite a night considering that he was an A ball infielder last year and a Major League outfielder now. He's had a very rapid ascent - 54 games in AA, 23 in AAA, and here he is.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - The biggest hit of the week came from the Player of the Week, but it wasn't the only hit that Mike Napoli (.412/.524/.882/1.406, 6.26 runs created, 14.22 RC/25 outs) had. Brock Holt (.292/.370/.542/.912, 4.79 runs created, 7.05 RC/25 outs) and Dustin Pedroia (.409/.462/.409/.871, 4.24 runs created, 7.07 RC/25 outs) each had good weeks and warrant mention.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - No-brainer here, as Jon Lester allowed just one unearned run in 8 innings on Saturday night, a performance that was necessary as the Sox only got two against Tanaka.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 6/30/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland5.16(1)3.49(2)0.671(1)54275130-3
Seattle4.04(12)3.43(1)0.574(2)47354438-3
LA Angels4.83(2)4.19(5)0.564(3)453545350
Toronto4.67(3)4.31(8)0.536(4)453945390
Detroit4.63(4)4.38(9)0.525(5)413744343
Kansas City4.14(10)3.99(3)0.517(6)423942390
Baltimore4.23(7)4.19(4)0.505(7)414042391
Cleveland4.41(5)4.67(13)0.474(8)384339421
Minnesota4.19(8)4.55(12)0.462(9)374337430
Chicago Sox4.31(6)4.69(14)0.462(10)384539441
NY Yankees4.04(11)4.44(11)0.457(11)374341394
Boston3.79(13)4.2(6)0.454(12)374538441
Tampa Bay3.79(14)4.23(7)0.45(13)38463549-3
Houston3.76(15)4.39(10)0.43(14)364736470
Texas4.17(9)4.88(15)0.429(15)354637442
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Oakland10260
LA Angels9171
Detroit9171
Seattle8775
Toronto8775
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Oakland10557
LA Angels9171
Seattle9072
Detroit8874
Toronto8775
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Seattle5(4)2.83(1)0.739(1)42420
Detroit5.5(3)3.5(4)0.696(2)42420
LA Angels6(1)4.5(8)0.629(3)42420
Cleveland4.2(9)3.2(3)0.622(4)3223-1
Toronto4.57(6)3.86(5)0.577(5)4334-1
Houston3.5(12)3.17(2)0.546(6)33330
Tampa Bay4.86(5)4.57(9)0.528(7)43430
Oakland5.8(2)5.8(14)0.5(8)32411
NY Yankees4.33(7)4.67(10)0.466(9)3324-1
Chicago Sox3.57(11)3.86(5)0.465(10)34431
Kansas City4(10)4.33(7)0.463(11)33330
Baltimore4.29(8)5.57(13)0.382(12)34340
Texas3.33(13)4.83(11)0.336(13)24240
Minnesota3.17(15)5.33(12)0.278(14)2415-1
Boston3.33(13)6(15)0.254(15)24331

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday pythagorean report - 6/23/2014

Generally, 4-3 is a good week. When you can do that while scoring only 18 runs, you praise the pitching staff...
  • Not only did they score only 18 runs in 7 games this week, they did it with three of the games going 10 innings, and they did it while scoring 7 of those runs in one game. During the first six games, they scored a total of 11 runs.


  • The swept a three-game series with the Twins while scoring only five runs total.


  • You can score and allow the same number of runs in a series of games without any of htem being close. That's not what happened with Boston this week. Six of the games they played were decided by one run. The "blowout" was a 2-run loss, 4-2, in Oakland.


  • Through 76 games, the 2014 Red Sox are 10 games behind the 2013 Red Sox. This difference is entirely due to the drop-off in offense, which has been prodigious. They have allowed the same 308 runs through 76 games, but they've only scored 291 against last year's 386. That's a 25% drop-off in runs scored, a stunning drop. Some of us expected the offense to be comparable to last year's team's, but even those who thought there would be a step back didn't foresee this kind of a drop.


  • Last year, they were first in the AL in runs scored. This year, they are tied for 13th.


  • The biggest drop-off has come in their power numbers. The batting average is down, and their OBP decline pretty much results from that. But the .072 points of slugging has been the biggest difference.
    2013 (.269/.345/.443/.788, 398.29 runs created, 4.93 RC/25 outs)
    2014 (.242/.321/.369/.690, 302.02 runs created, 3.63 RC/25 outs)


  • The easy assumption is that they failed to adequately replace the players that left in the off-season. And it turns out that it's true - the replacements have underperformed the replaced. In the aggregate, the replacements have actually created more runs than the players they've replaced, but they've made far more outs in the process, so they've been significantly worse. And this is skewed, to some extent, by the fact that Xander Bogaerts did not play in the first 76 games of 2013, so he's part of the replacement group, which Jackie Bradley, Jr. did, so he is not part of the replacement group.
    Replaced (2013) (.293/.358/.439/.797, 105.73 runs created, 5.45 RC/25 outs)
    Replacements (2014) (.258/.319/.368/.688, 109.17 runs created, 3.60 RC/25 outs)
    The CF and Catcher replacements have been bad:
    2013 - Ellsbury, Saltalamacchia (.275/.342/.423/.765, 74.96 runs created, 4.98 RC/25 outs)
    2014 - Bradley, Sizemore, Pierzynski (.228/.291/.331/.621, 56.19 runs created, 2.75 RC/25 outs)


  • But it's not just the replacements. The players that were here both years have also been significantly worse.
    Both (2013) (.261/.341/.444/.785, 292.58 runs created, 4.77 RC/25 outs)
    Both (2014) (.234/.322/.369/.691, 192.85 runs created, 3.64 RC/25 outs)
    The biggest drops in runs created have come from Daniel Nava, who started slow and was shipped out
    2013 - Daniel Nava (.205/.295/.299/.595, 9.92 runs created, 2.56 RC/25 outs)
    2014 - Daniel Nava (.275/.375/.449/.824, 40.77 runs created, 5.57 RC/25 outs)
    and Stephen Drew, who hasn't played most of the year
    2013 - Stephen Drew (.224/.307/.381/.688, 24.63 runs created, 3.62 RC/25 outs)
    2014 - Stephen Drew (.158/.200/.211/.411, .85 runs created, .64 RC/25 outs)
    and Mike Carp, who played frequently and well in 2013, but neither in 2014
    2013 - Mike Carp (.324/.379/.686/1.065, 25.49 runs created, 8.73 RC/25 outs)
    2014 - Mike Carp (.214/.317/.286/.603, 5.12 runs created, 2.07 RC/25 outs).
    And, of course, they've gotten nothing from
    2013 - Shane Victorino (.292/.351/.392/.743, 25.34 runs created, 4.91 RC/25 outs)
    2014 - Shane Victorino (.242/.276/.352/.627, 9.25 runs created, 3.17 RC/25 outs).
    Mike Napoli's created fewer runs, but that's due to injury issues - he's hit better in 2014 than he did last year.
    2013 - Mike Napoli (.262/.344/.454/.797, 39.68 runs created, 4.98 RC/25 outs)
    2014 - Mike Napoli (.268/.383/.431/.814, 34.32 runs created, 5.33 RC/25 outs)
    David Ortiz has created essentially the same number of runs as last season, but he missed time in 2013 and has not been as good this year.
    2013 - David Ortiz (.306/.386/.602/.988, 44.00 runs created, 6.71 RC/25 outs)
    2014 - David Ortiz (.248/.349/.474/.823, 44.25 runs created, 5.27 RC/25 outs)
    And Dustin Pedroia's performance is concerning.
    2013 - Dustin Pedroia (.309/.393/.419/.812, 48.62 runs created, 5.63 RC/25 outs)
    2014 - Dustin Pedroia (.265/.336/.381/.717, 37.82 runs created, 4.01 RC/25 outs)


  • Not a good week for super-Koji, as he gave up runs of his own in two of his four appearances, and gave up a first pitch hit to drive in the losing run in another. Two solo HR in Sunday's ninth inning almost ruined the Red Sox chances of salvaging one game in Oakland. Just a bad week, or the end of the magic?


  • Speaking of magic ending, Burke Badenhop has been outstanding, entering Sunday's game with an 18-inning scoreless streak. He allowed three hits without retiring a batter, as he and Uehara combined to blow a five-run lead in the 8th and 9th.


  • The Boston Red Sox just celebrated the 15th anniversary (plus four days) of one of the most unlikely walk-off wins in history with a significantly less unlikely walk-off win.

    On June 14, 1999, the Twins took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth at Fenway, and, with one out, Darren Lewis (2 HR in 528 PA) and Jeff Frye (1 HR in 131 PA) hit back-to-back HR to win the game. This afternoon, June 18, 2014, the Twins took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 10th, and, with one out, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli hit back-to-back HR to win the game.

    Not the same, of course, but walk-off back-to-back HR don't happen every day, and against the same team, it's a notable occurrence...


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Sure, there were some individual moments, from Brock Holt (defense) and David Ortiz and Mike Napoli (late-inning HR) and Dustin Pedroia (base-running), but given the choice between awarding the Player of the Week to Dustin Pedroia (.276/.300/.448/.748, 3.55 runs created, 4.03 RC/25 outs) or David Ortiz (.240/.296/.480/.776, 3.28 runs created, 4.10 RC/25 outs) or just not giving it out, this is a not-giving-it-out week.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Jon Lester had two very good starts, allowing four runs (three earned) in 14 innings of work. But, for the second week in a row, one of the kids was better, as Rubby de la Rosa allowed only five hits and one run in 14 innings, striking out 10 and walking four.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 6/23/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland5.19(1)3.39(1)0.686(1)52244729-5
Seattle4.01(12)3.52(2)0.56(2)43334036-3
LA Angels4.86(2)4.28(6)0.558(3)413341330
Toronto4.74(3)4.41(8)0.533(4)413642351
Kansas City4.2(10)4.01(3)0.521(5)393639360
Baltimore4.29(9)4.11(5)0.519(6)383639351
Detroit4.62(4)4.52(10)0.51(7)373540323
Minnesota4.33(7)4.55(12)0.477(8)353936381
Boston3.88(13)4.11(4)0.474(9)36403541-1
Cleveland4.48(5)4.83(13)0.466(10)354137392
Chicago Sox4.44(6)4.83(13)0.462(11)354135410
NY Yankees4.07(11)4.48(9)0.456(12)344039355
Tampa Bay3.79(15)4.31(7)0.441(13)34433146-3
Texas4.3(8)4.95(15)0.436(14)334235402
Houston3.83(14)4.54(11)0.423(15)334433440
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Oakland10062
LA Angels9072
Detroit9072
Toronto8874
Seattle8577
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Oakland10656
LA Angels9072
Seattle8874
Toronto8775
Detroit8676
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Baltimore5(3)2.67(4)0.76(1)5142-1
Tampa Bay4.14(9)2.57(2)0.705(2)5243-1
Seattle3.43(12)2.14(1)0.703(3)52520
LA Angels5(3)3.17(6)0.698(4)42420
Kansas City4.57(7)3.71(7)0.594(5)4334-1
Minnesota3(13)2.71(5)0.546(6)43430
Oakland5.43(1)5(10)0.538(7)43521
Chicago Sox4.83(5)4.5(9)0.533(8)3324-1
Boston2.57(14)2.57(2)0.5(9)43430
Detroit5.14(2)5.29(12)0.487(10)34431
NY Yankees3.67(11)4.17(8)0.442(11)33421
Texas4.83(5)6.17(14)0.39(12)2415-1
Cleveland4(10)6(13)0.323(13)24240
Toronto4.33(8)6.67(15)0.313(14)2415-1
Houston2.5(15)5.17(11)0.209(15)15150

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Deja vu, all over again...


The Boston Red Sox just celebrated the 15th anniversary (plus four days) of one of the most unlikely walk-off wins in history with a significantly less unlikely walk-off win.

On June 14, 1999, the Twins took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth at Fenway, and, with one out, Darren Lewis (2 HR in 528 PA) and Jeff Frye (1 HR in 131 PA) hit back-to-back HR to win the game. This afternoon, June 18, 2014, the Twins took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 10th, and, with one out, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli hit back-to-back HR to win the game.

Not the same, of course, but walk-off back-to-back HR don't happen every day, and against the same team, it's a notable occurrence...

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 6/16/2014

The first rule of holes - when you find yourself in one, stop digging. 3-4, while not too much of a problem in the context of a good seaosn, doesn't qualify...
  • How bad was the offense this week? They scored 15 runs in winning Thursday and Friday night. The other five games, they scored five runs total. A spectacular performance from Workman resulted on winning one of those five, 1-0, but you cannot be consistently successful averaging one run per game.


  • They scored 10 runs on Friday, 10 runs in the other six games combined.


  • Is Jackie Bradley, Jr. ever going to be a Major League hitter? He looked like one (.267/.421/.400/.821, 3.10 runs created, 7.04 RC/25 outs) this week.


  • There have been many offensive problems this year. The struggles of the outfielders are legendary. But there have also been far too many weeks like this, when the two offensive stars, the guys making big money to carry the team, produce nothing. David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia this week, with the team getting shut out twice and scoring 2 in losing two 3-2 games, combined to hit (.157/.259/.275/.533, 2.60 runs created, 1.41 RC/25 outs). That's not going to get it done.


  • Twice this weekend, the Red Sox broke a 1-1 tie in the 6th and immediately turned around and gave up the tying run in the top of the next inning. Saturday's game was particularly frustrating, as defense could have saved the game but didn't. With runners at 1st and 3rd and no out, a ground ball to Pedroia could have led to a double-play and a tie game, or runners at 1st and 2nd with one out as the tying run was cut down at the plate. Instead, the throw beat the runner to the plate, the umpire made the out call, and then realized that Pierzynski had not caught it. So it was a tie game with runners at 1st and 2nd with no outs. (The tying run reached base on a ground ball to short that Herrerra handled but his throw bounced and Napoli couldn't handle it.) Neither defensive failure was egregious, but a good play in either case would have resulted in a preserved lead. After two outs, two Red Sox relievers issues back-to-back walks to score the eventual winning run.


  • It's only five starts, but Brandon Workman has clearly been one of the team's best five starters thus far. Better than Doubront, better than Buchholz, better than Peavy. He's a 25-year old with 74 minor league starts, over 400 minor league innings, and has pitched (successfully) in the Majors, including several post-season and World Series appearances. There's no obvious compelling reason for him not to remain in the Major League rotation at this point.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - On a per-plate appearances basis, both Stephen Drew (.500/.500/.500/1.000, 1.09 runs created, 13.64 RC/25 outs) and Daniel Nava (.375/.500/.500/1.000, 3.43 runs created, 7.14 RC/25 outs) were more productive than Brock Holt (.345/.387/.414/.801, 4.16 runs created, 4.95 RC/25 outs), but Holt did it in more games and significantly more plate appearances.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Lester had one very good start, Brandon Workman had two, allowing just 6 hits and 2 runs in 12 2/3 innings of work, while striking out 11 and walking 3.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 6/16/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland5.16(1)3.22(1)0.703(1)49204227-7
Toronto4.77(3)4.21(4)0.557(2)403141301
Seattle4.07(12)3.66(2)0.549(3)38313534-3
LA Angels4.85(2)4.38(7)0.546(4)373137310
Kansas City4.16(10)4.04(3)0.513(5)353336321
Detroit4.56(4)4.44(8)0.513(6)333236293
Baltimore4.22(9)4.24(5)0.498(7)343435331
Cleveland4.52(5)4.72(12)0.48(8)343635351
Minnesota4.47(6)4.74(13)0.473(9)323532350
Boston4.01(13)4.26(6)0.472(10)33363138-2
NY Yankees4.1(11)4.51(11)0.457(11)313735334
Chicago Sox4.41(7)4.86(15)0.456(12)323833371
Houston3.94(14)4.49(10)0.441(13)314032391
Texas4.25(8)4.84(14)0.441(14)303934354
Tampa Bay3.75(15)4.49(9)0.419(15)29412743-2
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Oakland9963
Toronto9468
Detroit9072
LA Angels8874
Kansas City8676
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Oakland10755
Toronto9270
LA Angels8874
Seattle8676
Detroit8676
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
LA Angels4(6)4.33(11)0.463(11)33330
Houston3.71(9)3.57(8)0.518(7)43430
Oakland4(6)3.33(6)0.583(4)33330
Toronto2.86(12)3.43(7)0.417(13)34340
Cleveland4.86(2)5.57(15)0.438(12)34340
Seattle2.57(15)2.71(3)0.475(10)3425-1
Baltimore2.71(14)1.43(1)0.764(2)5243-1
Texas4(6)5.5(13)0.358(14)24331
Tampa Bay3.17(11)3(4)0.525(6)33330
Boston2.86(12)3(4)0.478(9)34340
Kansas City7(1)2.4(2)0.876(1)41501
Detroit4.5(4)4.67(12)0.483(8)33330
Minnesota4.83(3)3.83(10)0.604(3)4233-1
Chicago Sox3.33(10)5.5(13)0.286(15)24240
NY Yankees4.33(5)3.67(9)0.576(5)33421

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