Monday, August 02, 2010

Monday Pythagorean Report - 8/2/2010

This week was a big improvement over the last one, as the injured are trickling back, and the Sox put together a 5-1 week that saw them gain 1 1/2 games in the division, and lose a half game in the Wild Card race...

  • Yes, that's true. They went 5-1 and lost ground in the Wild Card race as Tampa went 6-1 on the week. They did make up ground on the 4-3 Yankees. The Rays are now 20-7 in their last 27 games and, if they continue to play at a .741 clip, the Red Sox aren't going to catch them. I don't believe that they're going to continue to play at a .741 clip.
  • I liked the Jeremy Hermida signing. He's at the right age for a peak year, he's had some Major League success in the past, and there was reason to expect him to be a productive player. I'm less enamored of his release, for all the reasons that I liked the signing, but he's been dreadful in Boston. He's played poorly both offensively and defensively, and has given no indication that we could expect anything better going forward. Certainly, he's shown no reason to expect him to be any better than Daniel Nava or Darnell McDonald or Ryan Khalish, and, therefore, no reason to hold on to him.
  • I like the Saltalamacchia acquisition. Yes, he's been a disappointment for the past couple of years. That's why they were able to get him for a handful of magic beans. Will he put it together and become the impact player that people thought he'd be? Probably not. But there's a reason that he was a very highly-acclaimed prospect, and he wouldn't be the first catcher to mature late. Low risk, possibility of high reward acquisition.
  • I don't know that I care much one way or the other about the Ramirez trade. But I do know this - after a dominant first two months in a Red Sox uniform, he's been a disappointment. He walks too many, his ERA is over 4.00, and he's not someone that I trust in a tight spot. Obviously, the team doesn't trust him in a tight spot, either. So they converted questionable present value into questionable future value, trading a pitcher who has disappointed them for one who hasn't yet had a chance to disappoint them. Daniel Turpen's not going to have an impact on this team this year, but Ramon Ramirez wasn't going to, either, not a positive impact anyway, so they moved on. I think it makes a positive statement about the front office.
  • I also think that they made a good decision to not give up good prospects to go get a relief pitcher who is not likely to make the team any better than the internal options, Michael Bowden and Felix Doubront, will. There was no one on the trade market who a) didn't have an asking price that was too high and b) would have significantly changed the odds of this team making the playoffs, and winning once there. The players that are here, plus the returning wounded, primarily Pedroia and Ellsbury, are going to determine the outcome of the season. You don't give up a Casey Kelly or a Jose Iglesias without a compelling motivation, and there wasn't one.
  • It was certainly a dramatic week. They scored the winning run in the 7th inning or later in 4 of their 5 wins, and the one loss featured a 9th-inning grand slam that cut a deficit from 5 to 1 on a night that looked like a dead man's march pretty much the whole way. Sunday's win was a little more (OK, a lot more) dramatic than was necessary thanks to a somewhat-less-than-stellar performance from the closer, but on they whole, 5-1, given that the week started on the west coast and featured a red-eye flight, it's OK.
  • Ordinarily, it's not fair to expect, or demand, that a team sweep a four-game series against anyone. Baseball's a funny game, and bad teams have some good players, too. These are not ordinary time. The Red Sox, in part because of the way their divisional competition has played, in part through a terrible start, and largely due to injuries, have dug themselves a big hole. There's time to come back, but there's isn't time to do it if they don't start right now. And part of digging out of that hole is not losing to bad teams in home games. So they've got the Indians for four to start the week, and they need to win all four. These games are important. They're going in to New York for four starting Friday - they really need to be going in on a six-game winning streak.
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Marco Scutaro, who hit .429/.484/.679/1.162 for the week, and supplemented that with a couple of signature moments, including a tie-breaking 8th inning grand slam in LAnaheim, and a walk-off bunt in yesterday's rubber game against Detroit.
  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - The choice this week was an easy one, as Clay Buchholz put up two outstanding starts, clearly recovered from not only the hamstring pull, but the rust that marred his first outing. He allowed three runs in 15 innings of work, and two of the three scored with Papelbon on the mound, as he took a shutout in to the ninth inning yesterday.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/2/2010
Tampa Bay5.06(3)3.82(1)0.626(1)653965390
New York5.41(1)4.09(4)0.626(2)653966381
Los Angeles4.5(8)4.67(11)0.482(9)525554532
Kansas City4.32(10)5.36(13)0.403(12)426345603
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
New York10359
Tampa Bay10161
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
New York10260
Tampa Bay10161
Standings for the week
Tampa Bay4.14(6)2.14(2)0.77(4)52611
New York4.29(5)2.86(5)0.677(5)5243-1
Los Angeles3.67(8)4.5(9)0.407(8)24240
Kansas City4(7)7.71(14)0.231(12)25341

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