Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Pythagorean, 5/11/2009

Winning two out of three makes for a successful week and a successful season. 5-2 is even better.

  • OK, I'll admit it - when Tampa scored in the first inning on Sunday night, I thought it was over. Hey, I thought the same thing Friday night when Shields took a 3-0 lead into the sixth. Tampa has seemed to have Boston's number this year, they've done nothing whatsoever against Garza, and had relatively limited success against Shields.

  • It was a good thing that they were able to come back on Friday, because Saturday was a debacle of the highest order. Whether it was bad positioning, poor range, poor reactions or just plain bad luck, it seemed as if every ground ball that Lester through threw1 managed to roll into the outfield. He's had a couple of performances in which he gave up a lot of runs without seeming to get pounded, but his numbers are not good.

  • Neither are Beckett's. When you look at the fact that Becket, Lester and Matsuzaka are, right now, averaging 5.52 innings per start with a combined ERA of 6.83, it is miraculous that the Red Sox are over .500. They've gotten great work from Wakefield, good support from Masterson, excellent work out of the bullpen, and a strong offense. At some point, you'd like to think that Beckett, Lester and Matsuzaka would pitch well, too, because some of the positives are bound to take hits.

  • It's a good inning when the first five batters come to the plate and score, the last one homering. The Red Sox did that in the sixth inning on Friday night, but it wasn't even the best sixth inning of the week. On Thursday night, the first twelve (12) batters in the sixth inning scored, finishing on a Bay home run.

  • A 5-2 week is even better when it includes a 4-1 record against two teams expected to compete for the division title, two teams widely considered to be among the best four or five teams in the game. Boston is now 5-0 against the Yankees, and, while going only 4-6 against Tampa in the early going, they've still managed to build up a 5 1/2 game cushion over the Rays.

  • Anyone who thinks that the Rays are done, who thinks that their current record represents their real level, is wrong. They've played well enough to be a couple of games over .500 instead of a couple of games under. But they haven't gotten the breaks, they've run good pitching performances up against slightly better ones, or good offensive days against slightly better ones. Last year, I said all they way along that they were a little bit lucky, that they had a record better than their performance because they had a great record in one-run games. I also said that one-run games is predominantly determined by "luck." Well, with essentially the same team, they're 3-6 in their first 9 one-run games this year. But they'll be playing for a playoff spot in September.

  • I remain a Blue Jay skeptic, but it's getting harder to do. They've now played well for a significant length of time. I just don't believe that they can continue to play this well for an entire season. And their schedule will get tougher than it's been so far.

  • Red Sox Player of the Week: Jason Bay is the easy choice. Not only does he continue to rake, hitting .379/.438/.897/1.334 on the week with 4 HR, mostly at important times, but he didn't take a 50 game suspension, thus increasing his value to the team.

  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week: In 4 1/3 innings of high-leverage relief work, Hidecki Okajima allowed only one baserunner (0 hits, 1 BB) while striking out five. Honorable mention to Jonathan Papelbon, who built himself a mess in the 9th inning of the series finale against Tampa, but proceeded to strike out Pena, Upton and Crawford in order to end it.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 5/11/2009



Kansas City4.56(11)3.72(1)0.592(2)19131814-1



Tampa Bay5.12(5)4.67(6)0.542(5)18151518-3


Los Angeles4.93(9)5(8)0.494(7)151516141


New York5.55(4)6.23(14)0.447(9)141715161






Top 5 projections (using current winning %)



Kansas City9171


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

Kansas City9567




Standings for the week



Kansas City3.86(9)2.57(1)0.677(2)5243-1




Tampa Bay6(3)5.14(10)0.57(6)43430

Los Angeles3.71(10)3.29(4)0.556(7)43612




New York4.29(7)5.71(12)0.371(11)3425-1




1 - OK, so I typed the wrong homophone. I do know the difference, and at least I spelled the wrong word correctly...

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