Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 9/15/2014

The record is no longer the story, so if you go 3-4 when winning is not the top priority, there's not much to say about it...
  • Dustin Pedroia's season comes to an early end with wrist surgery. For the second year in a row, we get to the end of a very disappointing season for Pedroia and hear that he hurt his wrist on opening day, and after that's fixed, it will be all better next year. I love Dustin, and I really want that to be true. But he'll start 2015 as a 31 year old middle infielder who is seven years removed from his MVP award and 3 years away from his last double-digit HR season. We all thought that the extension he signed last year was team-friendly; I'm starting to worry that we might have all been wrong.


  • Daniel Nava started slowly and, rather than letting him play through it, they sent him down to Pawtucket on April 21. Since that day, he's sixth on the team in Runs Created, despite spending over a month in the minor leagues. He's been the 4th best hitter on the team since the end of April, behind Ortiz, Betts and Napoli. Offensively, he's been the best outfielder in Boston in 2014, other than Mookie Betts.


  • "Xander Bogaerts finished his concussion DL stint and it looked on Sunday as if the reset might have done him good..."
    - Me, two weeks ago
    Since being hit in the head by Felix Hernandez and missing a week: Xander Bogaerts (.359/.373/.625/.998, 13.80 runs created, 7.84 RC/25 outs)

    Some have speculated that being hit by pitches on his wrist on consecutive days back in June (3-4 in Cleveland) is what sent Bogaerts into the tailspin that we've seen for the last few months. I don't know whether there's any causation there or not. Nor do I know if there's any causation between the week off and the return of the great prospect. But it's certainly been good to see what we've seen for the past couple of weeks since the week off.


  • I guess he appeared in a game a few weeks ago, but I missed it, and I suspect I was not the only one who turned on Tuesday night's game and said, "who is Carlos Rivero?" The answer is, of course, "a 26 year old non-prospect infielder who spent 8 years in the Cleveland and Washington systems before spending 2014 in Portland and Pawtucket." Well, if this is the only time in the Majors that he ever gets, he'll at least have a couple of good memories to take with him, with a couple of hits, including a double and a HR, in a good couple of games - Carlos Rivero (.500/.500/1.167/1.667, 2.66 runs created, 22.13 RC/25 outs).


  • Sometimes, the numbers speak for themselves...
    • Starting pitching - 35 innings, 6.43 ERA, 6.43 K/9, 1.63 WHIP

    • Bullpen - 27 innings, 2.00 ERA, 8.99 K/9, 1.07 WHIP.


  • The big thing for Red Sox fans to look forward to this week? The Major League debut and appearance of Rusney Castillo on Wednesday or Thursday.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Daniel Nava (.300/.364/.550/.914, 3.97 runs created, 7.10 RC/25 outs) had a really good week, but not as good a week as Xander Bogaerts (.379/.406/.724/1.130, 7.96 runs created, 10.47 RC/25 outs)...


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Again, some decent performances from Buchholz and Webster and the bullpen, but nothing that warrants an award.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 9/15/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland4.6(3)3.51(2)0.621(1)93568366-10
LA Angels4.89(1)3.84(5)0.609(2)915893562
Seattle3.92(11)3.24(1)0.586(3)87618068-7
Baltimore4.36(6)3.69(3)0.576(4)866389603
Detroit4.72(2)4.35(10)0.537(5)806983663
Toronto4.51(4)4.28(9)0.524(6)78707771-1
Kansas City4.01(9)3.87(6)0.516(7)767281675
Cleveland4.21(7)4.17(8)0.504(8)757376721
Tampa Bay3.85(15)3.83(4)0.503(9)75757278-3
NY Yankees3.9(12)4.09(7)0.478(10)717776725
Minnesota4.38(5)4.83(14)0.455(11)68816386-5
Boston3.87(14)4.41(11)0.44(12)668466840
Chicago Sox4.12(8)4.72(13)0.438(13)658468813
Houston3.95(10)4.55(12)0.435(14)658466831
Texas3.89(13)4.93(15)0.393(15)58915792-1
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
LA Angels10161
Baltimore9765
Oakland9072
Detroit9072
Kansas City8973
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
LA Angels10161
Baltimore9666
Oakland9171
Detroit9072
Seattle8874
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Toronto6.5(2)2.17(2)0.882(1)5142-1
LA Angels7.57(1)3(5)0.845(2)61610
Baltimore4.29(4)1.86(1)0.822(3)61610
Oakland3.57(11)2.29(3)0.694(4)5234-2
Detroit5.17(3)3.33(6)0.69(5)42511
Chicago Sox3.71(6)4.14(9)0.45(6)34522
NY Yankees3.14(14)3.57(7)0.442(7)34340
Tampa Bay3.83(5)4.5(10)0.427(8)33330
Kansas City3.71(6)4.57(11)0.406(9)3425-1
Houston3.17(12)4(8)0.395(10)24331
Boston3.71(6)4.86(13)0.38(11)34340
Seattle2.17(15)2.83(4)0.38(12)24240
Texas3.67(10)5(14)0.362(13)24331
Cleveland3.71(6)5.14(15)0.355(14)25250
Minnesota3.17(12)4.83(12)0.316(15)24240

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Monday, September 08, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 9/8/2014

Splitting series is probably the best they can hope for at this point, and that's what they continued to do this week...
  • Friday night's extra-innings win over the Jays was as much fun as they have provided in any game this year. Except, possibly, for Tuesday's win over the Yankees in NY, with Bogaerts and Betts and Nava all hitting HR.


  • Two of the four losses were walk-offs, as they came from behind to tie Monday's game in Tampa before losing in extra innings, and then took a one-run lead into the ninth in NY on Thursday only have Uehara give up two solo HR.


  • One of the great stories of the season has been the "Brock Star," Brock Holt. I said, early on, that they wanted to thank their lucky stars for what they got from him, and get him out of the lineup as soon as possible. But he kept hitting for another three weeks after I said it, and he started off so hot that his numbers remained superficially attractive for a long time. And hey, he's been better than Middlebrooks. Or Drew. But...
    • Since 6/18 (.252/.307/.339/.645, 31.20 runs created, 3.32 RC/25 outs)
    • Since 7/1 (.253/.305/.333/.638, 25.63 runs created, 3.25 RC/25 outs)
    • Since 8/1 (.234/.288/.291/.578, 12.78 runs created, 2.78 RC/25 outs)
    Generally, having a player like Brock Holt be one of the attractions of your season is not a good thing. And that is definitely true for the 2014 Red Sox.


  • I said last week that it appeared as if the beaning and subsequent week off may have helped young Mr. Bogaerts. Correlation is not causation, but this was far and away his best week since his first week as a 3rd baseman back in June. Xander Bogaerts (.357/.357/.571/.929, 5.02 runs created, 6.28 RC/25 outs).


  • Not many make the last strides to the Majors more quickly and convincingly than Mookie Betts has. He started the year in AA for the first time, and young for the league, and hit .355/.443/.551/.994 in 253 plate appearances in Portland before moving up to AAA. In Pawtucket, even younger for the league than he had been in Portland, he hit .335/.417/.503/.920 in 211 plate appearances. And then, at the Majors as a 21-year old, playing a different position than he started at, he's hitting .287/.354/.470/.824 in his first 128 ML plate appearances, with an OPS+ of 130, meaning he's been 30 percent better than an average Major League Hitter this year.


  • I watch Betts play every night, and I look at the power he generates with that frame, I look at the speed, the plate discipline, the defense that he's already playing in Center Field, and I start thinking of names that I will absolutely not mention, because they are so preposterous. Let's just say that Alan Greenspan would say I'm suffering from irrational exuberance when it comes to young Mr. Betts, and he'd probably be slightly understating the case.


  • Congratulations to Joe Kelly, who got some run support - finally - and despite a not-awesome (but not bad) performance, picked up his first win in a Red Sox uniform.


  • On the flip side, Anthony Ranaudo didn't pitch particularly well, and didn't get much support, and picked up his first Major League loss.


  • Koji Uehara was absolutely awesome last year. And again for much of this year. But they appear to have worn him out. He's now given up four HR in his last six outings, and been pulled from the closer role until he can recover. Given that they are out of contention, he's a free agent at the end of the year, and he'll turn 40 during the first week of the 2015 season, it's not at all clear what the best way for the Red Sox to handle him is. There's no benefit to them "fixing" him if he's not going to be here. It's not obvious that they benefit from shutting him down completely, or from not shutting him down. I'm sure that they'd love to have last season's Koji back next year, and that they'd rather not have the last month's Koji back, but it's not at all clear if there's anything that can be done to accomplish the former, or whether they can bring him back without accomplishing the latter.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Mike Napoli (.400/.421/.667/1.088, 4.51 runs created, 10.26 RC/25 outs) had a good week, but it was shortened by illness. I've already mentioned Bogaerts, who had a very good week. But, for the second week in a row, the award goes to Mookie Betts (.367/.387/.600/.987, 6.68 runs created, 8.78 RC/25 outs).


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Clay Buchholz pitched pretty well, as did Edward Mujica and Steven Wright, but there were no award-worthy performances, so no award this week.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 9/8/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland4.65(3)3.57(2)0.618(1)88548062-8
LA Angels4.76(1)3.88(6)0.592(2)845887553
Seattle3.99(10)3.26(1)0.592(3)84587864-6
Baltimore4.37(6)3.78(3)0.565(4)806283593
Detroit4.7(2)4.39(11)0.531(5)766778652
Kansas City4.02(9)3.84(5)0.521(6)746779625
Cleveland4.23(7)4.12(7)0.512(7)726974672
Tampa Bay3.85(15)3.8(4)0.507(8)73716975-4
Toronto4.42(5)4.37(9)0.506(9)727073691
NY Yankees3.94(12)4.12(7)0.479(10)687373685
Minnesota4.43(4)4.83(14)0.46(11)66776182-5
Boston3.87(14)4.38(10)0.444(12)638063800
Chicago Sox4.14(8)4.75(13)0.438(13)628063791
Houston3.98(11)4.57(12)0.437(14)628163801
Texas3.9(13)4.93(15)0.394(15)56875489-2
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
LA Angels9963
Baltimore9567
Oakland9171
Kansas City9171
Seattle8973
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
LA Angels9963
Baltimore9468
Oakland9270
Seattle9072
Kansas City9072
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Houston4.6(6)2.8(2)0.713(1)41410
Toronto5(4)3.33(5)0.677(2)42420
Detroit5.57(2)4(7)0.647(3)5243-1
Seattle4.29(8)3.14(3)0.638(4)43521
Kansas City2.5(13)1.83(1)0.638(4)42511
LA Angels6.33(1)5.17(14)0.592(6)42420
Baltimore4.71(5)4(7)0.575(7)43430
Oakland3.67(9)3.33(5)0.543(8)3324-1
NY Yankees3.33(10)3.17(4)0.523(9)33330
Boston4.43(7)4.57(13)0.485(10)34340
Minnesota5.57(2)6.86(15)0.406(11)3425-1
Tampa Bay3(11)4(7)0.371(12)34340
Cleveland3(11)4.14(10)0.356(13)25432
Chicago Sox2.4(14)4.2(11)0.264(14)14140
Texas2.14(15)4.43(12)0.209(15)16160

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Monday, September 01, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 9/1/2014

As we've noted many times, winning two of three, four of six - that's good baseball. There's been far too little of that kind of performance for it to matter now, but for those of us still watching, it was a good week...
  • I don't know when Boston last won back-to-back extra inning road games (apparently, it was in May of 1986 in Oakland), but they did it on Monday and Tuesday in Toronto.


  • I also don't remember the last time I saw a team score three runs in extra innings and lose by four, but Boston scored seven in the 11th on Tuesday night, so when Toronto scored three in the bottom of the 11th, they were still four short.


  • Mike Napoli hit one of the longest home runs I've ever seen in that seven-run 11th inning. Into the 5th deck, it was nearly long enough to be two home runs.


  • Rusney Castillo made his US Professional debut, going 1-2 with a caught stealing down in a Gulf Coast League game. I expect that we'll see him in Boston for a week or so before the season ends, but he hasn't played in 13 months, so I don't expect to see much. Obviously, we've got 72 million convincing reasons to believe that the organization is high on him.


  • Xander Bogaerts finished his concussion DL stint and it looked on Sunday as if the reset might have done him good...


  • So the SS returned from his concussion DL stint on Saturday, and the 2nd baseman left the game with a head injury that same night. There's no particular reason that I'm aware of to suspect that Forsythe intentionally threw his elbow at Pedroia's head, but it sure looked bad to me. His left hand was already on the base, and there was no obvious reason for his right arm to come up - it looked like he intentionally threw his elbow at Pedroia's head.


  • One of the results of the poor season (and also one of the causes) is the number of at-bats which have gone to rookies. There have been 90+ plate appearances for four of them. The one that we did not expect to see in Boston this year has actually performed the best.
    Mookie Betts (.259/.344/.424/.767, 13.10 runs created, 4.96 RC/25 outs)
    Xander Bogaerts (.224/.293/.335/.628, 41.85 runs created, 2.91 RC/25 outs)
    Jackie Bradley, Jr. (.216/.288/.290/.578, 28.60 runs created, 2.51 RC/25 outs)
    Christian Vazquez (.218/.282/.264/.546, 8.30 runs created, 2.21 RC/25 outs)


  • This is scary. Here are Xander Bogaerts' first 221 AB and last 221 AB of the season:
    Xander Bogaerts (.299/.387/.452/.840, 38.59 runs created, 6.03 RC/25 outs)
    Xander Bogaerts (.149/.193/.217/.410, 3.83 runs created, .48 RC/25 outs)
    Did I say scary? I mean horrifying...


  • No, that does not coincide with switching him from SS to 3B. It's close, but the first week that he played 3rd was the best week of his season.


  • They weren't actually traded for each other, but Joe Kelly is clearly filling the Jake Peavy role on this team, veteran pitcher pitching fairly well and not getting any wins because the team doesn't score when he pitches. He's now made five starts, four of them excellent, in a Red Sox uniform without a win.


  • Will the real Clay Buchholz please stand up? If this one's going to hang around for a while, that's a good thing. If we get the one that we had earlier in the year back, it's not...


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - No one did this week what Ortiz did last week, but Dustin Pedroia (.263/.333/.579/.912, 3.88 runs created, 6.93 RC/25 outs) had a pretty good week before getting knocked out Saturday night, and Mookie Betts (.273/.360/.591/.951, 4.87 runs created, 7.61 RC/25 outs) is the Player of the Week as he continues to demonstrate more power than you'd expect to go along with his obvious speed and good plate discipline.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - As easy and clear-cut a decision as there's been all week, as Clay Buchholz threw 8+ scoreless innings in two of Boston's four wins on the week. He took the mound in the 9th inning with a 3-0 lead twice. On Monday, he left after 8 1/3 with the 3-0 lead intact, but left three base runners and Uehara allowed them all to score. On Sunday, he completed the shutout. Just dominant...
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 9/1/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland4.69(1)3.58(2)0.621(1)84527858-6
LA Angels4.69(1)3.82(5)0.592(2)815583532
Seattle3.98(11)3.27(1)0.589(3)80557362-7
Baltimore4.35(6)3.77(3)0.565(4)765979563
Detroit4.65(3)4.41(10)0.524(5)716574623
Cleveland4.3(7)4.12(7)0.519(6)706470640
Kansas City4.09(9)3.93(6)0.519(7)706574614
Tampa Bay3.9(14)3.79(4)0.513(8)70676671-4
Toronto4.4(4)4.41(10)0.498(9)686869671
NY Yankees3.96(12)4.16(8)0.477(10)647170656
Minnesota4.37(5)4.73(13)0.464(11)63735977-4
Chicago Sox4.2(8)4.77(14)0.443(12)617662751
Boston3.85(15)4.38(9)0.441(13)607660760
Houston3.96(13)4.64(12)0.428(14)597959790
Texas3.99(10)4.96(15)0.402(15)55815383-2
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
LA Angels9963
Baltimore9567
Oakland9369
Kansas City8973
Seattle8874
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
LA Angels9864
Oakland9468
Baltimore9468
Seattle8973
Detroit8874
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
LA Angels4.71(2)2(1)0.828(1)61610
Baltimore6.14(1)3(3)0.788(2)61610
Cleveland4.4(6)2.8(2)0.696(3)32411
NY Yankees4.14(7)3.14(4)0.624(4)4334-1
Texas4.43(5)3.43(5)0.615(5)4334-1
Detroit4.57(4)4.14(7)0.545(6)43430
Boston4.67(3)4.33(9)0.534(7)33421
Toronto4(8)4.33(9)0.463(8)33330
Chicago Sox4(8)4.71(13)0.425(9)34340
Houston3.57(11)4.57(11)0.389(10)34431
Tampa Bay3(12)4.29(8)0.342(11)25250
Oakland2.71(15)4(6)0.33(12)25250
Minnesota4(8)6.17(15)0.312(13)2415-1
Seattle3(12)4.67(12)0.308(14)24240
Kansas City2.83(14)5(14)0.261(15)24240

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Logan Mankins, former Patriot

I don't know enough about Pro Football Focus' statistics and tracking to say that this is entirely correct, but I think it's pretty clear that the Patriots agree with the basic premise of this piece, that there's a significant disconnect between Mankins' cost and Mankins' value.

2. Logan Mankins, Left Guard

Mankins signed a contract extension three seasons ago that made him the highest-paid guard at the time. His contract remains the second-highest in average per year, but his play has taken a dip over the last couple seasons largely as he plays through injuries. His performance has still been positive (+12.0 in 2013), but nowhere near elite status like he is being paid. He set to count over $10 million against the cap again in each of the next two years. Unless Mankins, who turns age 32 tomorrow, is able to regain some of his elite form, he will likely remain among the most overpaid on the Patriots’ roster for a third straight season.

2013 Cap Hit: $10m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $4.2m
Value Differential: -$5.8m
(Emphasis mine.)

I am definitely not of the "Bill can do no wrong camp." But I recognize that there are situations where I've got nowhere near enough information to make an informed criticism, and this is one of those cases. One of the reasons that the Patriots have been consistently good for the last 14 years is that Belichick is an economist. I don't see much, if any, evidence that he's any better at talent evaluation and prediction than anyone else, but he's very good and disciplined at allocating his resources.

This move may be a mistake, because it may be that Mankins was enough better than any of the replacement alternatives to justify the cost of keeping him on the roster. But it's not inconceivable that the replacement will weaken the run blocking slightly while improving the pass blocking, and on the whole, the offense won't suffer. Since I can imagine a scenario where this improves the team as a whole, and don't have enough information to argue convincingly against it, I am left without a good reason to condemn it. Not exactly, "in Bill we trust;" more like "Bill definitely knows more than I do and I hope he's right..."

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 8/25/2014

Well, there goes the "they're going to tease us by playing well the rest of the way" prediction...
  • Seven games, seven losses. Wow, did they treat us to some bad baseball this week. They lost games early, they lost games late, they lost games close, they lost games big - they just lost and lost and lost.


  • Pythagoras says they should have won twice. They didn't listen.


  • Koji Uehara has been a brilliant performer in a Boston uniform over the last two seasons. But he's a primary reason that the losing streak is now eight games. He allowed the winning run to score in the 9th inning of a tie game on Tuesday. Well, everyone will allow a run sometime. But then, on Friday, he entered the game with a 3-0 lead to start the 9th inning and promptly allowed five runs for a 5-3 loss.


  • On Wednesday and Saturday, the Red Sox scored a single run in each of the first three innings, then allowed the opposition to score more than three in a single inning while failing to score again themselves.


  • They were no-hit into the 7th on Thursday and managed only one hit for the game.


  • They failed to score more than three runs in any of the games before Sunday.


  • From Tuesday through Sunday, they averaged exactly three runs per game, as they scored three runs four times, were shut out once and scored six runs once.


  • As bad as the pitching was (5.429 runs allowed per game, 12th in the AL), the offense was worse (2.857 (14 in the AL).


  • I have no idea whatsoever whether Rusney Castillo is worth $72 thousand or $72 million. They, apparently, have a very good opinion of him. I hope that they are right. Let me just say this - they can afford a big payroll, and repeatedly have one. While there is an opportunity cost here (the dollars spent on Castillo cannot be spent on anyone or anything else), acquiring prime talent without giving up either current talent or draft picks is a good thing. You can overpay a little bit when the money is the sole cost.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - The team was 0-7, and I was, on principal, just not going to give out awards this week. But there were some good offensive performances from Markus (Mookie) Betts (.273/.429/.364/.792, 4.52 runs created, 7.06 RC/25 outs) and Yoenis Cespedes (.318/.346/.591/.937, 4.36 runs created, 6.06 RC/25 outs), and then there was this, almost unbelievable, week from David Ortiz (.647/.769/1.118/1.887, 11.32 runs created, 47.15 RC/25 outs). That's got to be recognized even if it didn't lead to a win.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Yeah, right. Ok, there were a couple of performances that weren't awful, as Kelly pitched five very strong innings and De la rosa was good again. And some members of the bullpen pitched well. But there were no award-worthy performances, so there's no award.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/25/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland4.8(1)3.56(2)0.634(1)82477653-6
Seattle4.02(10)3.2(1)0.603(2)78517158-7
LA Angels4.69(2)3.92(6)0.581(3)755477522
Baltimore4.25(7)3.81(4)0.55(4)705873553
Kansas City4.15(9)3.88(5)0.531(5)686172574
Detroit4.66(3)4.43(11)0.523(6)686170592
Tampa Bay3.95(14)3.76(3)0.522(7)68626466-4
Cleveland4.29(6)4.17(7)0.513(8)666366630
Toronto4.42(4)4.42(10)0.5(9)656566641
Minnesota4.38(5)4.66(13)0.472(10)61695872-3
NY Yankees3.95(13)4.22(8)0.47(11)606867617
Chicago Sox4.22(8)4.77(14)0.444(12)587259711
Boston3.81(15)4.38(9)0.437(13)57735674-1
Houston3.98(11)4.64(12)0.43(14)56755576-1
Texas3.96(12)5.04(15)0.392(15)51785079-1
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
LA Angels9765
Oakland9567
Baltimore9270
Kansas City9072
Seattle8973
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Oakland9765
LA Angels9666
Baltimore9270
Seattle9171
Kansas City9072
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
LA Angels4.43(5)2.71(2)0.71(1)52520
Seattle4.83(3)3.67(6)0.624(2)42420
Kansas City4.67(4)3.67(6)0.609(3)42420
Houston3.33(11)2.67(1)0.601(4)4233-1
Cleveland3.33(11)2.83(3)0.574(5)33421
NY Yankees4.17(7)3.67(6)0.558(6)33421
Baltimore3.5(8)3.17(4)0.546(7)33330
Minnesota6.88(1)6.25(14)0.543(8)4435-1
Tampa Bay3.5(8)3.33(5)0.522(9)33330
Oakland4.4(6)4.6(10)0.48(10)23321
Detroit6.43(2)7(15)0.461(11)34431
Texas3.4(10)4.2(9)0.405(12)23230
Toronto3.2(13)5(11)0.306(13)23230
Boston2.86(14)5.43(12)0.236(14)2507-2
Chicago Sox2.67(15)5.5(13)0.21(15)1506-1

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 8/18/2014

4-2 on the week. "Too little, too late" is apparently the way the Red Sox are going to play the rest of the way...
  • Offensively, this was one of Boston's best week's of the year, as they were third in the AL with 5.167 runs scored per game.


  • That was offset somewhat by the weak pitching. De la Rosa and Kelly both had very tough starts against Houston over the weekend. The offense bailed Rubby out on Saturday, but they did nothing on Sunday in Kelly's first Boston start in an AL park, leading to a bad loss.


  • So, there's a theory that moving Bogaerts from 3B to SS "broke" him, screwed him up, that he went from a good hitter to a bad hitter because he moved 45 feet to the right on defense. It's pretty clear, at this point, that, if he was, in fact, "broken" by the move to 3rd, he wasn't "fixed" by moving back to SS. This is what his season looks like by defensive position in order:
  • Xander Bogaerts (SS) (.296/.389/.427/.816, 33.08 runs created, 5.70 RC/25 outs)
  • Xander Bogaerts (3B) (.182/.217/.300/.517, 8.26 runs created, 1.40 RC/25 outs)
  • Xander Bogaerts (SS) (.115/.172/.154/.326, -.06 runs created, -.03 RC/25 outs)
  • If he has to be a shortstop, and that's the issue, then he should be better now, and he isn't - he's worse. (It's also worth noting that his first week at third was outstanding - Xander Bogaerts [.318/.375/.682/1.057, 5.52 runs created, 9.20 RC/25 outs]). If he can't handle a defensive shift mentally, then he's not going to be the player that we all thought he was going to be. More likely, in my mind, is that the initial shift over to third roughly coincided with Major League scouting and pitching realizing that he can't hit a slider, and he's seen pretty much nothing but since.


  • Bogaerts' defense at short also figured prominently in both of the Sox' losses this week. On Friday night, they had a one-run lead with two outs and two on in the 8th. On a ground ball to SS, he shoveled the ball (late) to Pedroia, rather than taking the almost certain out at first, and the tying run scored in a game that Boston would lose in the 10th. On Sunday, he threw the ball to first before stepping on the bag at second, costing them the double play which should have ended the 2nd inning. Instead, the inning stayed alive, with two men on, and Kelly proceeded to allow a walk and a grand slam. Instead of 2-0, it was 6-0, and the game was effectively over. Now, it's certainly not Bogaerts' fault that Kelly was horrible, but giving teams extra outs results in bad things more often than not, and it was a bad mental mistake - there's no excuse for making the throw before touching the base in that situation.


  • One of the positives last week was the performance of Rubby de la Rosa and Joe Kelly in three excellent starts, combining to allow just three runs in 20 innings. In three starts this week, they combined to allow 15 runs in 14 innings.


  • In the 10 starts since coming off of the DL, Clay Buchholz has an ERA of 4.86. Better than before he went on the DL, of course, but not what they need from him if he's going to be the veteran presence in the rotation.


  • Yesterday's replay leaves me wondering what, exactly, is the definition of the "neighborhood play." Farrell certainly blew his top after replay confirmed that Bogaerts threw to first before stepping on second, and extended the inning. MLB has said that the "neighborhood play" is not reviewable, but I'm not aware of a specific definition of what qualifies. There's no question but that Bogaerts never touched second base with possession of the ball, but for player safety reasons, umpires don't always require that, and MLB doesn't want them to. So what, exactly, would qualify? Had the runner been closer to the bag, would that have done it? If Bogaerts had gotten his foot down beside the bag before releasing, would that have done it? What are the criteria? One understands Farrell's frustration, though it should mostly have been aimed at his pitcher.


  • Has any other manager garnered multiple ejections for arguing calls post-replay? Farrell's done it at least twice now.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Several good performances this week, from David Ortiz (.350/.409/.700/1.109, 5.29 runs created, 10.18 RC/25 outs) and Brock Holt (.333/.429/.417/.845, 4.66 runs created, 6.86 RC/25 outs) and Mike Napoli (.357/.500/.643/1.143, 3.99 runs created, 9.97 RC/25 outs). The best performance came from Daniel Nava (.500/.526/.778/1.304, 5.61 runs created, 14.02 RC/25 outs)


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Clay Buchholz had another good outing, allowing two runs in seven innings against the Astros. But that's not a special performance, just good. So I'm going to go with Burke Badenhop, who has been effective all year, and threw 3 2/3 perfect innings over four appearances this week.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/18/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland4.81(1)3.52(2)0.64(1)79457351-6
Seattle3.98(12)3.18(1)0.602(2)74496756-7
LA Angels4.7(2)3.99(6)0.575(3)705272502
Baltimore4.29(7)3.84(4)0.55(4)675570523
Detroit4.56(3)4.28(9)0.529(5)655766561
Kansas City4.12(9)3.89(5)0.527(6)655868553
Tampa Bay3.97(13)3.78(3)0.522(7)65596163-4
Cleveland4.34(5)4.24(7)0.511(8)63606261-1
Toronto4.46(4)4.39(11)0.507(9)636264611
NY Yankees3.94(14)4.25(8)0.466(10)576563596
Minnesota4.22(8)4.56(12)0.465(11)57655567-2
Chicago Sox4.29(6)4.73(13)0.455(12)566859653
Boston3.86(15)4.32(10)0.449(13)556856671
Houston4.01(10)4.74(14)0.424(14)53725273-1
Texas3.98(11)5.07(15)0.391(15)49754876-1
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
LA Angels9666
Oakland9567
Baltimore9369
Kansas City9072
Seattle8874
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Oakland9765
LA Angels9567
Baltimore9270
Seattle9072
Kansas City8973
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Seattle6(1)1.83(2)0.897(1)51510
Tampa Bay4.86(6)2(3)0.835(2)6143-2
Cleveland2.4(15)1.6(1)0.677(3)32320
LA Angels4.6(7)3.2(5)0.66(4)32411
Baltimore4.2(9)3(4)0.649(5)32320
Kansas City5(4)4.43(6)0.555(6)43521
Houston5.29(2)4.86(8)0.539(7)4334-1
Boston5.17(3)5(9)0.515(8)33421
Chicago Sox5(4)5(9)0.5(9)32320
Minnesota4.33(8)5.33(13)0.406(10)24331
Oakland3.43(11)4.43(6)0.385(11)3416-2
Detroit4(10)5.43(14)0.364(12)34340
NY Yankees2.6(13)5(9)0.232(13)14231
Toronto3.33(12)6.67(15)0.22(14)15150
Texas2.57(14)5.29(12)0.211(15)16251

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 8/11/2014

The best week in over a month sees the Red Sox win a series, going 2-1 in LAnaheim, and split the week, going 3-3. This is the exact right situation for using the phrase, "too little, too late..."
  • The trades were supposed to weaken the pitching but strengthen the offense. We've seen a little of the former (just a little) and not much of the latter thus far.


  • The Red Sox scored and allowed 17 runs this week, 2.833 runs per game (12th) and 2.833 runs allowed/game (5th). That sounds like the pitching was pretty good and the offense was pretty bad. Which is accurate. In fact, the pitching was even better, and the offense even worse, than it sounds, because, with Saturday's 19-inning effort, they played seven games worth of innings, not just six.


  • How bad was the offense? The team hit (.173/.220/.248/.468, 10.23 runs created, 1.31 RC/25 outs) for the week. They were actually lucky to score 17 runs, as they "created" only 10.


  • There were only two Red Sox who managed to reach an OBP of .300 with more than that 2 at-bats this week, Dustin Pedroia (.296/.345/.333/.678, 3.29 runs created, 4.12 RC/25 outs) and Mike Napoli (.211/.375/.474/.849, 3.60 runs created, 6.00 RC/25 outs). There was only one who managed a SLG of .500 with more than 2 at-bats this week, Yoenis Cespedes (.296/.296/.519/.815, 4.12 runs created, 5.43 RC/25 outs).


  • Six position players - Daniel Butler, David Ortiz, Daniel Nava, Xander Bogaerts, Kelly Johnson and Jackie Bradley, Jr. - were negative in runs created this week, hitting a combined (.083/.127/.125/.252, -1.89 runs created, -.66 RC/25 outs) in 72 at-bats. Bogaerts was 2 for 23. Ortiz was 1 for 15. Bradley was 0 for 11.


  • From June 19 through July 26, Jackie Bradley, Jr. hit .304/.354/.380/.734 and there were hopes that he had the offense thing figured out. In the second inning of that July 26 game in Tampa, he singled. Since that single, he is 0 for 35 with 0 walks and 18 strike outs (.000/.000/.000/.000).


  • You don't see games that go 19 innings very often. The Red Sox, before Saturday night, hadn't gone more than 17 in eight years, since 2006. So it's kind of a funny quirk to see another 19 inning game the very next day, as Detroit's bullpen melts down late and the Tigers lose to the Blue Jays in 19 innings on Sunday.


  • The Red Sox starting pitching was outstanding this week, as the starters averaged 6 2/3 innings with an ERA of 2.70. Of course, if you're going to win three games while averaging 2 runs/game scored, you're going to need outstanding pitching. For the most part, they got it this week.


  • I'm not going to say that this is the reason they lost on Saturday, because you have no way of knowing what anyone out of the bullpen may have done in the 8th or 9th, but I was surprised that Buchholz went out for the 8th. And I thought it was a mistake. And this is not second-guessing - it's first-guessing, as I thought it was a mistake before events revealed it to be, if not a mistake, at the very least not the way to keep the Angels scoreless in the 8th.


  • That said, the way that game started, with two Angels' runs in the first, it looked like we were headed for another Buchholz disaster start. Instead, we got one of the very positive developments of the week, as he settled down immediately, and was very effective for the next seven-plus innings.


  • Tough week for Brandon Workman, with two losses in one start and one very brief relief appearance. He had the worst start (although at four runs over 5 1/3 innings, it wasn't horrible) and then allowed the Pujols HR in the 19th inning, facing just one batter and allowing the game-ending HR.

    He was still better than most of the offensive players.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - There's not a lot to choose from here. Yoenis Cespedes (.296/.296/.519/.815, 4.12 runs created, 5.43 RC/25 outs) led the team in runs created, but it took him a lot of outs to do it. Mike Napoli (.211/.375/.474/.849, 3.60 runs created, 6.00 RC/25 outs) took some walks and hit for some power, but there's that 4-19 (.211). In the end, there's just not a worthy candidate, so there's no Player of the Week for this week.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Joe Kelly allowed just one run over seven innings in his Red Sox debut. Allen Webster (2 runs, 6 1/3) and Clay Buchholz (3, 8) were both very good. But the best week came from Rubby De La Rosa, who made two starts, and they were both excellent, as he allowed just two runs over 15 innings of work.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/10/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland4.9(1)3.46(2)0.654(1)76417245-4
Seattle3.88(14)3.25(1)0.581(2)68496255-6
LA Angels4.71(2)4.03(6)0.571(3)675068491
Baltimore4.29(6)3.88(4)0.546(4)645367503
Detroit4.59(3)4.21(7)0.54(5)625363521
Toronto4.52(4)4.28(9)0.525(6)635663560
Kansas City4.07(9)3.85(3)0.525(7)615563532
Cleveland4.42(5)4.35(11)0.508(8)60585959-1
Tampa Bay3.91(13)3.89(5)0.503(9)59585760-2
NY Yankees4(11)4.21(8)0.476(10)566161565
Minnesota4.22(8)4.52(12)0.468(11)54625264-2
Chicago Sox4.26(7)4.72(13)0.453(12)546556632
Boston3.79(15)4.28(10)0.445(13)526552650
Houston3.93(12)4.73(14)0.416(14)496949690
Texas4.07(10)5.06(15)0.402(15)47704671-1
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Oakland10062
LA Angels9468
Baltimore9369
Detroit8973
Kansas City8874
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Oakland10161
LA Angels9468
Baltimore9270
Seattle8874
Detroit8874
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Kansas City6.33(1)2.17(1)0.877(1)51601
Seattle5.5(4)2.17(1)0.846(2)51510
Baltimore6.29(2)3.57(9)0.738(3)52520
Texas5.67(3)3.33(6)0.725(4)4233-1
Tampa Bay3.17(10)2.5(3)0.606(5)4233-1
Oakland4(5)3.43(7)0.57(6)43521
NY Yankees3.14(11)2.71(4)0.567(7)43430
Boston2.83(12)2.83(5)0.5(8)33330
Toronto3.67(7)4(11)0.46(9)33330
Minnesota3.67(7)4.17(12)0.442(10)3324-1
Houston3.83(6)5(14)0.381(11)24240
Cleveland3.57(9)4.71(13)0.376(12)34340
Detroit2.57(13)3.43(7)0.371(13)3425-1
LA Angels2.57(13)3.57(9)0.354(14)25250
Chicago Sox2(15)6.29(15)0.11(15)16251

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