Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Pythagorean, 8/17/2009

It could be that 4-3, against a division leader and the current Wild Card leader, is a decent week. Could be. But I'm not feeling in a charitable mood towards the Red Sox right now.

  • There was some discussion about the Youkilis suspension the other day, and their were a lot of people who objected to the characterization of Youkilis as "selfish" because "he snapped." Sorry, not acceptable. It was stupid and it was selfish. Emotional? Upset? Sure. But charging the mound is the equivalent of a hissy-fit from a three year old, and if you're not selfish, you don't allow yourself that fit. They're in second place in the Wild Card race because they just lost a one-run game against a mediocre pitcher, and their best hitter was sitting out his fifth consecutive game because he let his emotions run wild instead of just taking his base. And they were lucky that it was just five games.

    And the idea that this is somehow going to prevent him from getting hit in the future is utter nonsense. If I'm a pitcher facing the Red Sox, or an opposing manager, the idea that I can get Youkilis out of a game, or maybe even a series, by hitting him in the back might be pretty appealing at some point.

  • I've consistently held, from the start of the season, that this is one of the best teams in baseball. I no longer believe that. The best teams in baseball don't send Brad Penny to the mound in crucial games. They don't put a lineup that has Brian Anderson and Alex Gonzalez in it on the field.

    OK, some of that is timing. Drew's hurt, Baldelli's hurt, Van Every's hurt, Youk's suspended. The pathetic lineups of the last two days aren't entirely intentional. And they've been through three shortstops.

    The lineups were utterly pathetic anyway. And Alex Gonzalez is a self-inflicted sucking chest wound1.

  • They scored 6 runs in the ninth inning on Friday. They scored 7 runs total in the other 26 innings in Texas. Four of those seven scored on solo home runs. Two scored on a two-run homer. The other on a sacrifice fly.

    That's right. Other than the ninth inning, they had zero runs score on a base hit. This follows the last road series in NY, in which the only runs they scored in the last three games was on a two-run homer. And one of those games went 15 innings. Which means the following:

    In their last sixty (60) innings on the road, the Red Sox have had one (1) inning in which they scored a run on a non-home run base hit.

    Rub your eyes and read it again.

    In their last sixty (60) innings on the road, the Red Sox have had one (1) inning in which they scored a run on a non-home run base hit.

    In only seven of those 60 innings (11.7%) have they scored any runs at all. One of the seven was a sacrifice fly. Two were two-run home runs. And four were solo home runs.

  • You can, occasionally, score runs even with a big hole in the lineup. But it requires that your good hitters perform. They didn't. At least, they didn't produce consistently enough, and with good enough timing to offset the incredible unproductivity of the bottomless pit that represents the bottom of the current lineup.

  • 28 games since the All Star game, 18 on the road. So are the next three. They're 11-17. In those 18 road games, they're averaging 3.77 runs/game, which is pathetic. And it's actually much worse than that, as they've played an extra games worth of extra innings and they scored 18 runs in one of the 18. The other 17, they've averaged 2.94 runs/game, and 2.76 runs/9 innings. It's difficult to overstate the horribleness of that performance.

  • When they leave Toronto on Thursday night, they'll have 25 home games remaining and only 17 on the road.

  • For what it's worth, the Rangers, who have played much better at home, will at that time have 16 left at home and 26 left on the road.

  • Red Sox Player of the Week: - Jason Bay, who hit .360/.467/.920/1.387 for the week with four HR.

  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week: - Nice starts for Buccholz and Beckett. A very encouraging and promising pair of starts from Junichi Tazawa, who I don't think anyone foresaw making important starts before the season began. Ramon Ramirez had four appearances with a 0 ERA, but walked two, hit two and balked in a run2. So the prize3 goes to Hidecki Okajima, who allowed only one base runner and no runs in three innings in two outings.

1 - Not everyone agrees with me on this one. I don't care. I don't want Alex Gonzalez on my baseball team.

2 - The balk was a bad call, so we cut him a little slack.

3 - There is no monetary prize - just the honor and glory that goes with me picking him.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/17/2009


New York5.57(2)4.69(8)0.578(1)685074446


Los Angeles5.84(1)5.13(11)0.559(3)645170456

Tampa Bay5.21(3)4.57(7)0.559(4)65526354-2










Kansas City4.05(13)5.14(12)0.393(14)467146710

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
New York10260

Los Angeles9963



Tampa Bay8775

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
New York9963

Los Angeles9666



Tampa Bay8874

Standings for the week


Los Angeles8.67(1)6.17(13)0.651(1)42511

New York5.43(3)4(4)0.636(2)43521







Kansas City4.33(8)5(9)0.435(9)33330

Tampa Bay4.5(7)5.67(11)0.396(10)24240





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