Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Pythagorean, 5/30/2011

Ended with a loss, started with a worse one, but the five in between made for a tasty sandwich...

  • We knew that the bad start wasn't an accurate representation of this team. There were many reasons to expect this Red Sox team to be one of the best, if not the best, team in baseball. Which is a big part of why the 0-6 and 2-10 starts were so shocking. But since then, they've demonstrated that, in the immortal words of Dennis Green, "they are who we thought that are." Since losing to Toronto on April 15 to fall to 2-10, they've got the best record in all of baseball at 28-13, a 111 win pace, and they've done it over 41 games which is just over 25% of a 162 game season. They've outscored opponents by 65 runs, the largest margin in baseball. They've got the best pythagorean winning percentage. They've scored 5.05 runs/game, second only to the Yankees. They've allowed 3.46 runs/game, fifth in baseball behind the A's, Mariners and two NL teams (PHI and ATL). They have looked like a great, dominant team. Which is what we expected them to be.
  • They have come all the way back from the poor start to take over first place in the AL East. They've got a one-game lead over the Yankees and they're 2 1/2 games behind Cleveland for the best record in the AL.
  • After really struggling for the first couple of weeks, the offense has awoken, and they are now up to 4th in the AL in runs scored/game. The pitching has settled, and they're up to 7th in runs allowed/game.
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - There's a tough choice here this week. It's work mentioning that Mike Cameron (.667/.625/1.333/1.958) made the most of his seven plate appearances, with a walk and four hits, including a HR. Josh Reddick (.500/.556/.500/1.056) looked glad to be back in the Majors. But neither of them played enough to qualify. But the decision comes down to the other two outfielders. For a couple of days, Carl Crawford (.423/.464/1.000/1.464) looked like a one-man wrecking crew, contributing greatly to back-to-back fourteen run outbursts as the Sox rolled over Cleveland and Detroit in matinee performances. With two doubles, two triples and three home runs, it was a dominant week. Jacoby Ellsbury (.320/.485/.640/1.125) had the week of my dreams. In addition to the eight hits, he walked seven times, and was hit by a pitch once. Being on base 16 times set him up for four stolen bases, and his performance in front of Pedroia and Gonzalez really set up the offense for an outstanding week. They were both outstanding, and I want to encourage Ellsbury to keep playing the way he's playing now, but the Player of the Week aware goes to Carl Crawford.
  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - There were several good performances this week, but nothing stands out. Aceves gave up one in six innings but it was only six innings. Lester threw six scoreless, but it was only six innings. Wakefield had a good start and Buchholz and Beckett each had two, but nothing noteworthy. Other than Bard's inning in Cleveland on Monday, the bullpen was all solid, but again, nothing jumps out. So, looking at the quality/quantity collection, the award this week is going to go to...Josh Beckett, who allowed three runs in 12 2/3 innings (2.13 ERA) over two starts. Nothing special, but the best of a pretty good group of contenders for the week.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 4/18/2011
New York5.18(1)4.1(6)0.605(1)31202823-3
Tampa Bay4.53(7)3.94(4)0.564(3)29232824-1
Los Angeles3.87(11)3.75(2)0.515(8)282728270
Kansas City4.56(5)5.04(13)0.454(12)24282329-1

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
New York8973
Tampa Bay8775

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
New York9567
Tampa Bay9072

Standings for the week
New York4.83(6)4(4)0.586(5)4233-1
Tampa Bay12(1)10(13)0.583(6)11231
Los Angeles3.43(14)3.29(3)0.519(8)43430
Kansas City4.83(6)7.33(11)0.318(13)2415-1

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