Monday, July 06, 2009

Monday Pythagorean, 7/6/2009

When the bad weeks are .500, that's not a horrible thing. But make no mistake about it - this was a bad week for the Boston Red Sox.

  • The dramatic comeback on Wednesday, scoring four in the 9th to tie it and winning in 11, doesn't make up for the hideous meltdown on Tuesday. The weather obviously played a part, cutting Smoltz' performance down to four innings, but there's no excuse for a bullpen as good as this one to give up 10 runs in two innings.


  • The Yankees and Red Sox each scored 6 runs per game this week, and each allowed 5 runs per game. The Red Sox went 3-3 - the Yankees went 5-1. That's the result of ... luck. Luck plays a bigger part in one run games than any other, and the Red Sox went 1-3 this week in games determined by one run, while the Yankees went 1-0.


  • The Red Sox now have the best Pythagorean winning percentage in the American League, as the Rays struggled mightily this week. They're now seven games back in the loss column, six back of the Yankees in the Wild Card race, and reaching a point where they need to get closer quickly in order to have a legitimate possibility of post-season baseball.


  • On Monday morning, May 18, I said "I continue to disbelieve in the Toronto Blue Jays. At some point, they're going to have to play Boston and New York and Tampa, and I don't think that they represent a serious threat to win the division or the Wild Card." Since that point, they've compiled a 16-27 record, and lost 11 games in the standings vs. the Red Sox, 11 1/2 vs. the Yankees and 8 1/2 vs. the Rays. They've a better record than the Royals and a worse record than every other AL team. The crystal ball was well focused that day, but it was a pretty easy prediction to make.


  • The Sox averaged 6 runs per game this week, yet it felt as if the offense were struggling mightily. And, for the most part, it was. They scored 8 on Sunday (in a win) and 10 on Tuesday (in a loss) and didn't do much the rest of the week.


  • One of the reasons that a team can struggle offensively, or at least feel as if it's struggling offensively, is that its middle of the order difference makers struggle. Kevin Youkilis (.214/.241/.536/.777) had a bad week. And it was spectacular compared to the week that Jason Bay (.080/.207/.120/.327) had. Bay actually struck out in more than half of his at-bats, with 13 Ks in 25 at-bats.


  • I do understand its appeal, but the "Tim Wakefield makes the All Star Team" story would be a much better story if he deserved to make the All Star team. I've said it already but he didn't. At ESPN.com, Keith Law says, correctly, that
    the selection of Tim Wakefield is disgraceful. Sure, it's a feel-good story, but there's the minor fact of him posting a 4.30 ERA, good for just 29th in the AL, with nothing in his peripherals to suggest that he's pitched better than his ERA would indicate...Wakefield is here because of the idiotic fascination that people have with win totals...The inclusion of Wakefield...comes at the expense of his far superior teammate, Jon Lester. Lester has been extraordinarily unlucky this year...and still has a lower ERA than Wakefield, and he has more than double Wakefield's strikeout total in only four more innings.

    By definition, when someone who doesn't deserve to go gets a spot, it takes it away from someone who does deserve to go. I understand people being happy for Wakefield, but he's been given something unearned, something that should rightfully have gone to someone else, and I can't celebrate that.


  • Certainly, he wasn't the first mistaken All Star, or the last, or the only one this year.


  • I'm convinced that the "Wakefield needs a win to get to the All Star game" story also cost the Red Sox a game this week, as Francona let it affect his pitching decisions, and sent Wakefield out to give up another run in a game that they ended up losing in extra innings.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week: Going with co-players of the week, Jacoby Ellsbury (.375/.423/.667/1.090) who also stole four bases and J.D. Drew (.318/.423/.682/1.105) who also drew four walks. Both outstanding.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week: Jon Lester, who, in two starts, threw 13 2/3 innings and allowed four runs, three of which were unearned. He struck on 17 while walking 3. Lester was hurt by poor defense behind him earlier in the year, poor defense resulting in earned run, not unearned, and his ERA was inflated. In his last 9 starts, dating back to mid-May, he has struck out 69 batters in 59 innings, with an ERA of 2.29.





AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 7/6/2009
ProjectedActual

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

Boston5.27(3)4.33(2)0.589(1)483349321

Tampa Bay5.41(2)4.51(5)0.583(2)48354439-4

New York5.57(1)4.81(11)0.566(3)463548332

Texas4.99(6)4.56(8)0.541(4)433745352

Toronto4.95(7)4.53(6)0.541(5)45384241-3

Minnesota4.78(8)4.39(3)0.54(6)45384340-2

Los Angeles5.21(4)4.89(12)0.529(7)423845353

Detroit4.75(9)4.56(7)0.519(8)423944372

Chicago4.45(11)4.41(4)0.504(9)414142401

Seattle3.95(13)4.17(1)0.475(10)384342394

Cleveland5.14(5)5.49(14)0.47(11)39443350-6

Oakland4.19(12)4.75(10)0.443(12)35453446-1

Baltimore4.67(10)5.45(13)0.43(13)354736461

Kansas City3.94(14)4.72(9)0.418(14)344735461




Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Boston9864

New York9666

Texas9171

Los Angeles9171

Detroit8874




Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Boston9765

New York9468

Tampa Bay9072

Texas8973

Los Angeles8874




Standings for the week
ProjectedActual

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

Chicago5.57(5)3.14(1)0.74(1)52520

Texas6.67(1)4(4)0.718(2)42511

Minnesota4.67(9)3.67(3)0.609(3)42420

Los Angeles6.57(2)5.43(11)0.587(4)43430

Boston6(3)5(8)0.583(5)33330

New York6(3)5(8)0.583(5)33512

Cleveland5.17(6)5.5(12)0.471(7)3324-1

Seattle4.83(8)5.33(10)0.455(8)33330

Oakland4.17(10)4.83(7)0.433(9)33330

Toronto3.67(12)4.67(6)0.391(10)2415-1

Kansas City2.71(13)3.57(2)0.377(11)34340

Baltimore4.86(7)7(14)0.339(12)25250

Detroit3.83(11)5.67(13)0.328(13)24240

Tampa Bay2.5(14)4.5(5)0.254(14)24240

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