Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Pythagorean Report - 7/26/2010

A 3-4 week that was, at times, dismal in the performance failure in individual areas, a week in which they played just well enough to lose, over and over again...

  • Well, here's the offense that had so many people scared during the offseason. As a team, they hit .248/.307/.382/.689 for the week, creating just 28 runs in 7 games. And they underperformed that, as they managed to score only 23.
  • They scored more than four runs only once in the seven games they played. They scored two or one in four of them.
  • Of the 15 players going to the plate for Boston this week, only two, Beltre and Youkilis, managed to reach base safely more than 35% of the time. And only three more, Cameron, Drew and Lowrie, managed 30%. It was a dismally dreary performance, where the bad hitters [Kevin Cash (.235/.278/.235/.513), Eric Patterson (.200/.273/.500/.773), Dusty Brown (.250/.250/.250/.500), Darnell McDonald (.125/.176/.188/.364)] were bad, and so were several of the good hitters [J.D. Drew (.222/.323/.333/.656), David Ortiz (.222/.290/.333/.624), Marco Scutaro (.222/.276/.370/.646)]. Just awful.
  • When the Red Sox initially signed Hideki Okajima, many stories intimated that he was "just a guy," and they'd signed him to have another player for Daisuke Matsuzaka to talk with in Japanese. Theo always indicated that they thought he was a good pitcher, but it's hard to believe that anyone expected what they got out of him in 2007. He had a very good season in 2008, though not as good, and was a better-than-average-but-nothing-special reliever in 2009. In 2010, he's been awful. The question that needs be asked and answered by the organization right now is this - is there any reason to suppose that they are going to be able to trust him in high-leverage situations from now through the end of the season? I don't see it, but I don't know what's going on in his performance that might be fixable. I do know this - their slow start significantly lessened their margin for error, and the injuries wiped out most of the rest of it. They cannot afford to lose many more winnable games using him in hopes of "fixing" him.
  • I suspect that, when the post-season starts, if the Red Sox are still playing, both Felix Doubront and Michael Bowden will be in the bullpen and on the active roster.
  • There are reasons for optimism, of course. These start with the rotation, where, with the exception of Buchholz, they had excellent performances all the way through this week. Buchholz' return showed some rust, but everyone else - most significantly, that includes Josh Beckett - was good, or better than good. Victor Martinez is going to be back tonight, removing one of the black holes. Pedroia and Ellsbury are probably both going to be back within the next two weeks. They are very likely to start August with just about their whole team healthy, and, when healthy, this is a team that is more-than-capable of going on a real strong run. They're six out in the loss column against Tampa, and, while you'd rather not be, that's a deficit that they're capable of closing if they play well.
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - The offense was so pathetic that I almost decided not to bestow this award this week, but Adrian Beltre's .379/.419/.621/1.040 is worthy of recognition.
  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - There were several worthy candidated here. Matsuzaka had two good starts, Bard continues to shine, Lackey was outstanding in his start. Based on all of the circumstances, however, I'm going with Josh Beckett. Matsuzaka pitched as well twice, Lackey pitched better once, but this was Beckett's first start in over two months, and he was very good, allowing only one run in 5 2/3 innings of work.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 7/26/2010
New York5.49(1)4.18(4)0.623(1)603762352
Tampa Bay5.12(3)3.94(1)0.618(2)60375938-1
Los Angeles4.54(7)4.68(11)0.486(10)495252493
Kansas City4.35(10)5.19(13)0.419(12)415742561

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
New York10458
Tampa Bay9963

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
New York10260
Tampa Bay9963

Standings for the week
Tampa Bay5.67(2)4(7)0.654(2)42420
New York7.5(1)5.67(12)0.625(4)42420
Los Angeles4.67(6)4(7)0.57(7)3324-1
Kansas City4.14(7)7.43(14)0.256(13)25341

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