Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Pythagorean Report - 8/16/2010

In purely objective terms, absent contradictory context, there's nothing wrong with going 4-3 on a seven game road trip through Yankee Stadium, Toronto and Texas in 2010, especially when missing your two best position players. And yet, there's no solace in that to be found this morning, none whatsoever.

  • I looked up "frustration" in the OED, and it said, "ad. L. frustr{amac}ti{omac}n-em, n. of action f. frustr{amac}r{imac} to FRUSTRATE - The action of frustrating; disappointment; defeat; an instance of this." And then showed a picture of a Boston Red Sox cap.
  • OK, not really. But it could have. This 4-3 week could so easily have been a 5-2 week or a 6-1 week or even a 7-3 week. Not only were all of the losses easily winnable, two of them took some special performances to lose. They took a three run lead into the ninth inning on Thursday and lost. They took an 8-2 lead on Friday and lost. Even in Sunday's loss, in which they never held a lead, Manny Delcarmen allowed a two-out, three-run homer which took the Texas lead from two to five immediately before Boston scored three.
  • And the injury frustration continues, as Jacoby Ellsbury heads back to the DL, almost certainly done for the year.
  • They finally got a very good performance from Lackey, and Papelbon coughed up the win.
  • Speaking of that game, I'm going to indulge in a what seems like second guessing, but isn't, because it was my reaction at the time, before the fact. I thought Lackey should have been left in the game on Thursday. He wasn't yet at 100 pitches, and yes, he just gave up a HR, but it was to the Major League leader in HR, and the lead was still two. If they were going to yank him after a lead-off HR in that situation, they shouldn't have had him start the inning at all, in my opinion. That, of course, didn't cost them the game, because Papelbon stunk - that was his fault and no one else's. But I didn't like the move.
  • They are still in the Wild Card race, but they really cannot afford another week in which the gap goes up instead of down. There's time, but not a lot of time, and they're in the race right now because Tampa's had a poor two week stretch. Boston cannot keep treading water - they need to start dropping the deficit, which they had opportunity to do on Thursday and Friday, and they failed. Tampa's losses this week kept them in the race, but their own losses prevented them tightening it up. They've only got seve more weeks, and need to make up nearly a game per week. They are perilously close to the point at which they'd need to sweep their six remaining games with the Rays.
  • It's been a Murphy's law season thus far, but they can still play October baseball if they can play to their potential for the next month and a half. Certainly the anticipated return of Dustin Pedroia tomorrow will help, but he can't do it himself. They need Jonathan Papelbon and Josh Beckett, in particular, to earn their salaries in the next 43 games if they want to play a 44th and a 45th.
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - J.D. Drew, who hit .333/.407/.875/1.282 on the week, with four of his eight hits being home runs. He also walked three times and stole a base. (And drove in six, for those RBI people out there.) Lowrie and McDonald were both a little bit better on a per plate appearance basis, but for many fewer plate appearances. Drew had both quality and quantity of production.
  • Red Sox Lester of the Week - No, wait a minute, that should read Red Sox Pitcher of the week. Easy mistake to make. Jon Lester was outstanding twice, allowing no runs over 6 2/3 in the Bronx and 8 in the Texas heat, and dropping his ERA for the season to 2.80.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/16/2010
New York5.27(1)4.06(4)0.617(1)724572450
Tampa Bay4.97(4)3.84(1)0.616(2)72457146-1
Los Angeles4.47(8)4.6(10)0.487(9)586160592
Kansas City4.08(10)5.19(13)0.392(12)467249693

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
New York10062
Tampa Bay9864

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
New York10062
Tampa Bay9963

Standings for the week
Tampa Bay4.33(7)2.67(2)0.709(1)42420
Los Angeles3.17(11)2.5(1)0.606(3)42420
New York3.71(9)3.29(5)0.556(6)4334-1
Kansas City2.43(13)3.71(8)0.315(14)25250

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