Monday, September 03, 2007

Monday Pythagorean - 9/3

What a disaster! The Red Sox got swept in New York! That means that the last two weeks have seen the Yankees cut the Red Sox lead from four all the way down to...six!

  • The first elimination of the season took place yesterday. Boston's win over Baltimore officially eliminated Tampa Bay from the AL east race.

  • There were people ready to jump off bridges again when the Red Sox got swept in New York. I wasn't one of them. Was I happy about it? No, obviously not. But that's why you try to win them all - sometimes things don't work out, and you end up with a series like that. If you've played well and built a big lead, well, you've still got it afterwards.

  • One of the reactions that irritated me was posted by someone whom I normally agree with on the Sox usenet group. To the effect that (paraphrasing), "it's obvious that the Red Sox were a better team earlier in the season and the Yankees are a better team now." No, it's not obvious at all, not unless it's also obvious that Tampa Bay and Detroit are currently better teams than New York. Three game series rarely tell you anything about anything outside those three games. The Yankees certainly played better than the Red Sox for those three days. Beyond that, I think you can draw nothing in the way of conclusions from those games.

  • When the series in New York was over, the Red Sox had finished a stretch of 26 of 36 on the road. They had a 7-game road trip, a 9-game road trip, and a 10-game road trip, and one of the two home series was three games, so that's almost like another one - they had seven consecutive series in seven different cities. Over that 5 1/2 weeks, they went 21-15, .583 ball, a 95 win pace. (For a little more perspective, there are currently 2 major league teams, Boston and Anaheim, with a winning percentage higher than .583.) There were some bad teams in that stretch, but they also visited Cleveland, Anaheim, Seattle and New York, and played Anaheim in one of the three home series. That's a great stretch of baseball. The Yankees made up ground by playing a home-heavy schedule of the little sisters of the poor, but that's a great stretch by the Red Sox, and people should be aware of it. The Red Sox weren't folding or collapsing or anything like it - they played a brutal stretch, and they played it very well.

  • There are 25 games to go. The magic number is 20. If the Red Sox go 20-5, it doesn't matter what the Yankees do. If the Red Sox go 15-10, the Yankees have to go 21-4 to tie.

  • .428/.487/.714/1.201 - That's the line from four recent products of the Sox farm system (Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Brandon Moss) over the weekend.

  • 18 innings, 1.00 ERA, .89 WHIP - That's the line from four recent products of the Sox farm system (Manuel Delcarmen, Clay Buchholz, Jonathan Lester, Jonathan Papelbon) over the weekend.

  • That's a big weekend for the player development folks...

  • What a fantastic performance from young Mr. Buchholz on Saturday night. Tremendous composure, great stuff, and he got the one play that a no-hitter needs when Pedroia robbed Tejada in the 7th. And he did it in only 115 pitches, saving everyone the stress and strain that would have come in to play if he'd gotten to 120 with an out or two still to go.

  • Remaining schedule - 15 home, 10 away. Three with New York (currently at .555), six with Toronto (.515), four with Minnesota (.504), two with Oakland (.493), four with Baltimore (.437), six with Tampa Bay (.409). That's 13 with teams at or above .500, 12 with teams below .500. New York is the only competition left that's legitimately in play-off contention. (Toronto's 5 1/2 back in the wild card, but three teams are in front of them.)

  • If they go 13-12, New York has to go 19-6 to tie. It's not over yet, but it sure seems to be getting close...

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 9/3/2007



New York5.85(1)4.84(8)0.586(2)80577661-4

Los Angeles5.16(4)4.5(5)0.562(3)766080564








Kansas City4.54(10)4.77(7)0.477(11)65716175-4


Tampa Bay4.79(8)5.91(14)0.405(13)568156810


Top 5 projections (using current winning %)

Los Angeles9567


New York9072


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

Los Angeles9567


New York9171


Standings for the week



Tampa Bay7.86(1)5(9)0.696(2)52520

Los Angeles7.33(2)4.83(8)0.682(3)42420



Kansas City4.71(8)3.57(2)0.624(6)43430







New York3.71(12)6.43(12)0.268(13)25432


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