Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday Pythagorean - 8/21/2006

The horror. The Horror...


  • I think, and have said, that, for the most part, Terry Francona has done a pretty good job. That said, there were two moves last night that I disliked. Intensely. This is not second-guessing - I disliked the moves before they were made.

    The first came in the 8th inning. I was surprised and upset to see Mike Timlin start the 8th rather than Papelbon. They needed to win that game. They needed 6 outs without allowing 2 runs. The very best opportunity to get those outs came from putting Papelbon on the mound. He had only thrown 1 inning in the previous 6 days, and should have been used for 6 outs last night. As it turned out, he was used for 6 outs. Unfortunately, there were already 3 runners on when he entered, one of them scored, and the lineup turned over so that he faced the top of the order in the 9th. And he gave up another run.

    The second issue I had was in the bottom of the 9th. As the Yankees were walking Manny Ramirez, Joe Morgan (and, briefly off-topic, is it possible that he's gotten even worse?) was blathering about how Youkilis would bunt. I was saying, "there's no way on God's earth I'd have Youkilis bunt." Yes, you can score a run on an out, but only a deepish fly ball. The infield will be in, so you can't score on a ground ball that doesn't get through. With Lowell, Pena and Mirabelli to follow, there's just no way that I'd have taken the bat out of Youkilis' hands. They did, and they didn't score. (The bunt didn't work, but since Rivera threw the wild pitch on the next pitch, we can look at it as if it had. It didn't help.)

    There's absolutely no guarantee that they'd have won had they handled either of those situations differently. None. You can't blame the manager for the loss - the bullpen failed again, miserably. But I didn't like those moves, and thought that they both hurt the team.


  • The 2006 Boston Red Sox' play-off hopes were not eliminated last night. But they've been significantly damaged over the past week. When you're in a 2-pronged race, competing with 1 good team for one spot and 2 good teams for another, you can't really afford a 1-6 week in late August unless you've got a hefty lead. The Red Sox entered the week trailing in both races. This morning, it's much worse.


  • That said, it's not over. They're 6 in the loss column behind NY. They trail Chicago by 4 and Minnesota by 3. They have 39 games left. I don't believe that Boston is going to make the play-offs, but it wouldn't be shocking if they did. For that to happen, they're going to have to play, and particularly pitch, much better than they have.


  • Mike Timlin came out last Wednesday and said that, "I'm not calling anyone out, but we need to score more runs." In the Yankee series, Timlin appeared twice. He hit one batter, walked another, and gave up 5 hits and 5 runs, while retiring 2 batters. He's not in a position to comment on the offense. And, while they did have a couple of low-scoring games last week, the pitching has been worse over the last month than the offense.


  • Speaking of the pitching...Ugh. Ugh-ly. "Brutal" is too kind to describe what happened this weekend. Other than a decent Schilling start, the starters were uniformly awful. The second-best start actually came from Jason Johnson, who was designated for assignment after his start. And the bullpen was worse. They led into the 7th inning in two of those four losses.



    Red Sox pitching vs. Yankees - 8/18-8/20
    IPHRERHRBBKWHIPERAK/9BB/9HR/9

    Starters20.67282323415162.0810.026.976.531.74

    Bullpen16.33282423316182.6912.679.928.821.65

    Non-Schilling starters13.6722202031492.6313.175.939.221.98



    Just hideous.

    Now, some of that was defense and luck, too. NY hit almost .390 on balls in play. Neither hit in the 9th inning last night, for example, was hit particularly well. The Jeter double on Friday night was a ball that happened to find a good spot. But they've made a lot of their own luck, all of it bad. You can't walk a batter per inning and give up 1 1/2 HR per game and expect to succeed.


  • Manny Ramirez has had an unbelievable series. 8-11 with 7 walks, 5 intentional. 2 2B, 2 HR. All wasted...






AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/21/2006
ProjectedActual

R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck

Detroit5.04(7)3.92(1)0.613(1)754879444

New York5.66(1)4.75(5)0.579(2)705173483

Chicago5.64(2)4.81(6)0.572(3)705273493

Minnesota5.02(8)4.43(3)0.556(4)685471513

Cleveland5.41(4)4.97(10)0.539(5)66565567-11

Texas5.25(5)4.9(9)0.532(6)66586460-2

Boston5.56(3)5.2(11)0.531(7)655769534

Toronto5.11(6)4.89(8)0.52(8)645965581

Los Angeles4.87(10)4.72(4)0.515(9)646065591

Oakland4.52(13)4.4(2)0.513(10)636069546

Seattle4.57(11)4.82(7)0.475(11)58655667-2

Baltimore4.95(9)5.53(13)0.45(12)556855680

Tampa Bay4.33(14)5.32(12)0.407(13)50734974-1

Kansas City4.54(12)5.97(14)0.378(14)47784580-2




Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Detroit10458

New York9864

Chicago9765

Minnesota9468

Boston9270




Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Detroit10359

New York9765

Chicago9666

Minnesota9369

Boston9072




Standings for the week
ProjectedActual

R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck

Baltimore8(1)2.4(1)0.901(1)5041-1

Minnesota4.2(10)2.6(2)0.706(2)4132-1

Oakland5.17(4)3.33(4)0.69(3)42420

New York8(1)5.71(11)0.649(4)52520

Texas4.6(8)3.6(5)0.61(5)32320

Chicago5(6)4.67(8)0.532(6)33330

Detroit3.33(11)3.17(3)0.523(7)33330

Kansas City4.86(7)4.86(9)0.5(8)43430

Los Angeles5.17(4)5.33(10)0.485(9)33421

Tampa Bay4.4(9)4.6(7)0.48(10)23230

Cleveland3.2(12)4.4(6)0.358(11)23230

Boston5.33(3)8.83(14)0.284(12)2415-1

Toronto3(13)7(13)0.175(13)14231

Seattle2.5(14)6.17(12)0.161(14)1506-1

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