Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Pythagorean - 5/14/2012

If I'm happy with this week's performance, it's not because 4-3 is a great week; it's just that it's so much better than most of the weeks that they've had...

  • Recipe for Pythagorean underperformance? Win big, lose close.
  • The 2012 Red Sox, at 15-19, are now one game behind their 2011 counterparts, who beat Minnesota on May 8 to run their record to 16-18. The pitching has been worse, as they've allowed almost a run more per game (33 runs through 34 games) but the offense has been better as they've scored 44 more runs. So their Pythagorean performance has actually been better, despite the worse record, at .505 vs. .472.
  • It's nice to see Daniel Nava getting another shot. Rumor has it that he had attitude and approach issues when he had his first trip to the show, and hopefully he's got those issues figured out, because all he's ever done, everywhere, is hit. There's no reason that he can't have a decent Major League career if he's got his head screwed on straight. He certainly made the most of his playing time this week.
  • The bullpen had a very good week. Had Albers thrown a double-play ball to Billy Butler on Tuesday night instead of a HR, it would have been an excellent week. In 22 innings over 20 appearances, they collectively allowed only 17 hits and 3 ER, a WHIP of 1.05 and an ERA of 1.23.
  • The starters, on the other hand... I'm not in the least bit interested in Josh Beckett's golfing schedule, I'm really not. Booing him before the start because he went golfing last week is silly. Booing him because he can't get through three innings against Cleveland without giving up seven runs, on the other hand, is not.
  • It's an overstatement to condemn the starters as a group, though, because, other than Beckett, they weren't bad. Lester's outing was short, but the defense played a big part in that. Doubront pitched effectivly twice, as did Bard. Buchholz wasn't great, but he was OK. On the whole, Beckett's one start was the only really bad pitching performance of the week, and produced the only game in which they were never really competitive.
  • The cliche, when a younger player replaces an older one, is to say that the older one has been "Pipped," as Wally Pipp was replaced by Lou Gehrig. But the flashback I'm having this week is to 1982, when Carney Lansford's injury opened the door for Wade Boggs, and Boggs' performance demanded that the Sox keep him on the field. Will Middlebrooks in not Wade Boggs, but Kevin Youkilis isn't Carney Lansford, either. Lansford was just 25 and the Sox still traded him to make room for Boggs. Youlikis is 33, and very likely past his prime. I think pitchers will adjust to Middlebrooks, but if Youkilis were healthy tomorrow, I think I'd still want to see Middlebrooks playing to find out.
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - First, we need to mention Daniel Nava (.600/.750/1.000/1.750), who has been to the plate 16 times since his recall, and reached safely in 12 of those trips, with six hits, four walks, and two HBP. Adrian Gonzalez (.407/.484/.667/1.151) had an excellent week (finally [and it would be nice to see him hitting the occasional HR]). But the player of the week goes to Dustin Pedroia (.393/.455/.750/1.205)
  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - In winning both of his starts, Felix Doubront allowed four earned runs in 12 1/3 innings, for 2.92 ERA, and the Pitcher of the Week award.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 5/14/2012
New York4.88(3)4.38(10)0.549(3)191519150
Tampa Bay4.51(6)4.26(8)0.527(5)181721143
Los Angeles3.71(12)4.09(6)0.457(11)16191520-1
Kansas City4.03(9)4.76(11)0.425(13)14191320-1

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Tampa Bay9765
New York9171

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
New York8973
Tampa Bay8874

Standings for the week
New York4.17(7)3.33(1)0.601(3)42420
Kansas City4.83(4)4(4)0.586(4)42420
Tampa Bay4.17(7)4.67(11)0.448(9)3324-1
Los Angeles4.5(6)5.83(12)0.383(12)24331

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