Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Pythagorean, 6/13/2011

Well, it doesn't get much better than that.

  • Six wins, no losses, all against division opponents, three of them in New York that took the Sox from 1 back of the Yankees to two up - that's a pretty good week. I'm sure that we could find things to complain about if we looked really hard, but it would be not only not worth the effort, it would be pretty darned ungrateful.
  • I'll confess - I'm feeling some of the ungratefulness. It remains astounding to me how quickly and easily we adapt to prosperity and accept it as our due. When you can watch a week of baseball like this one, and feel as if there's nothing all that spectacular going on, "it's all fairly ordinary, thank you very much," well, you're jaded.
  • As we reach the end of the week, the "big" games feel like the last two. Back-to-back 14+ run outbursts (the second time this year that they've done that) make a big impression. They're like Transformer movies, or Pirates of the Caribbean - big and loud. But the important and meaningful games this week were Oscar contenders - Chariots of Fire on Thursday and The King's Speech on Friday. Thursday night, they had caught and passed the Yankees, but New York had its best pitcher on the mound, and was desperate to break a five-game home losing streak to the Red Sox. And the game started after a 3 hour 27 minute rain delay, and the Yankees took a 2-0 lead when their second batter went deep. This would have been a really easy one to lose. But Beckett didn't allow the Yankees anything else, and when Sabathia started to tire just a little in the seventh, they hammered him, and his relief, putting up seven to go from potential loss to almost certain win. Then, on the heels of that, after arriving in Toronto at 6:30 in the morning, it would have been profoundly easy to take a mental health day and lose. They did not, with Buchholz excellent and the offense putting up five, a decent performance at any time, albeit their worst of the week. It's important that those not get over-shadowed by what came later. The offensive bludgeoning of those last two games in Toronto may turn out to be more the signature of the team, but the "heart-and-soul" people should love what preceded them.
  • Despite the 0-6 and 2-10 starts, the Red Sox currently have a .600 winning percentage, on a pace to win 97 games. Before the season, I thought that this was a 100-win team, assuming reasonable health. Then I thought that the start rendered it unlikely. However, since that 2-10 start, they've played 37-16 ball over the last 53 games, which is a 113 win pace. I now think that 100 is very possible, or maybe even likely.
  • How dominant a week was it? They trailed in only one of the six games, against the Yankees' best starter, who took that lead into the seventh. The Sox ended up scoring seven in that inning and won by five. In three of the games, their first batter scored and they led the entire way.
  • The 60 runs scored this week moves Boston into first in the Majors in that category. In fact, not only did they move from fifth to first, they built a 20-run lead over the 2nd-place Yankees.
  • How good was the offense? Kevin Youkilis hit .316/.440/.526/.966, and had the 9th-best OPS on the team.
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Some weeks there are a dearth of good candidates. And then there's a week like this, when Adrian Gonzalez hits .364/.481/.773/1.254 and doesn't warrant consideration. Despite missing one game to have his knee checked out, Dustin Pedroia (.474/.615/.789/1.405) led the team in Runs Created (and OBP and OPS), going 9-19 with a home run and three doubles, and takes home the much-coveted Player-Of-The-Week award. It was "the laser show" indeed...
  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - The offense overshadowed the pitching this week, but that doesn't mean that there wasn't any good pitching. There were three notable starts. The best was Lester's 8-inning, 2-hit, 1-run performance in Toronto on Sunday, but after the third, it was a low-stress outing. Buchholz was excellent on Friday night, a night on which the team could easily have coasted to an easy loss, coming off of the sweep in New York and the late travel. And Beckett observed the first rule of holes - when you're in one, stop digging. After allowing a two-run homer to the second batter he faced against a Yankee team desperate for a win, with their ace on the mound, he held them scoreless through seven, long enough for the Sox offense to come back and win it. All three are worthy. But only Lester pitched twice, allowing 4 runs in 14 innings, so the Pitcher of the Week this week is Jon Lester.



AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 4/18/2011
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
New York5.24(2)4.05(4)0.616(1)39243627-3
Boston5.38(1)4.32(5)0.599(2)392639260
Texas4.89(4)4.34(6)0.554(3)37303631-1
Tampa Bay4.61(6)4.41(8)0.521(4)343135301
Detroit4.52(7)4.35(7)0.517(5)343135301
Cleveland4.72(5)4.62(10)0.51(6)323134292
Toronto4.95(3)4.94(13)0.501(7)33333234-1
Seattle3.71(12)3.75(1)0.494(8)333334321
Chicago4.38(9)4.48(9)0.489(9)333533350
Los Angeles3.7(13)3.94(3)0.471(10)32353136-1
Oakland3.58(14)3.88(2)0.463(11)31362839-3
Kansas City4.5(8)5.02(14)0.451(12)30362937-1
Baltimore4.16(10)4.74(11)0.441(13)283530332
Minnesota3.78(11)4.77(12)0.396(14)263926390

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Boston9765
New York9369
Texas8775
Tampa Bay8775
Detroit8775

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
New York9765
Boston9765
Texas8973
Tampa Bay8676
Detroit8577

Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Boston10(1)3.17(2)0.891(1)51601
Detroit5.86(3)3.86(6)0.682(2)5243-1
Baltimore4.83(6)3.33(3)0.664(3)42420
Minnesota4.43(8)3.14(1)0.652(4)52520
Chicago4.86(5)3.71(4)0.62(5)43521
Tampa Bay4.83(6)3.83(5)0.604(6)42511
Kansas City5.29(4)4.29(8)0.595(7)43430
New York6.17(2)5.5(11)0.552(8)33330
Seattle3(11)4.14(7)0.356(9)25341
Texas4.29(9)6.57(13)0.314(10)25250
Oakland3(11)4.71(9)0.304(11)2516-1
Toronto3.86(10)7.71(14)0.22(12)25250
Cleveland2.5(13)5.5(11)0.191(13)15150
Los Angeles2.33(14)5.17(10)0.189(14)15150

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