Monday, May 07, 2012

Monday Pythagorean - 5/7/2012

Maybe there will be a week during the 2012 season in which the Red Sox will play so-so baseball, win a few, lose a couple, play baseball that one might think of as a representative sample of the season as a whole. One week into May, that has not happened yet.

  • It's hard to say what was the worst part of Sunday's debacle: another horrible Buchholz outing, the fact that they couldn't score in two innings against Baltimore's 1st baseman, that they lost with a backup outfielder on the mound, that they had the winning run thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the 16th... But there was one (and only one) positive to be drawn, and that was this: I spent the entire afternoon at a wedding and saw not a single pitch. I have not even seen "highlights" of the game, nor do I have any desire to.
  • I'm always irritated by the whole "lies, damn lies and statistics" attitude that many have, but it's important to understand exactly what the statistics are saying. For example, the table above says that the Red Sox offense scored 4.667 runs per game this week, 4th best in the AL, and much better than the pitching, which was 14th. And that's true. But it's based on 6 games, and the offense, which played 13 and 17 inning games, actually used 7.2 games worth of outs. When you adjust for that, the runs/game drops to 3.87, about on a par with the Angels, who were 9th. The pitchers pitched 7.3 games worth of outs, and adjusting for that, the runs allowed per game drops to 5.18, or close to the teams which finished 9th. So, at first glance, it appears that the pitching was much worse than the offense this week. Adjusted, they were both pretty similarly lousy.
  • Not only was the offense bad on the whole, the badness was masked even further by the fact that they scored 11 runs in the first game. In the last five games, they scored only 3.4 runs/game, and, adjusting again for innings, that drops further to 2.35. That is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad offensive performance, which now, with the exception of Monday's 11-run outburst, runs to 8 games.
  • At one point last season, I made a comment that "it's tough to overpay a player like Adrian Gonzalez." Well, they're overpaying him this year. I don't know who stole the real Adrian Gonzalez and replaced him with this inferior substitue (.264/.328/.373/.701), but it would be nice if he were returned...
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - The most productive player on a per-out basis was Will Middlebrooks, whose Major League debut has been auspicious thus far (other than, you know, not ever having played in a Major League game that his team won.) But he only played in three games. So the player of the week is Dustin Pedroia (.321/.424/.464/.889). And yes, that's a good but not great week. Which is indicative of how bad the offense was - when that's the best performance of a week, that's not a good sign.
  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Well, the best starter was mediocre, and the rest of them were bad. There were obviously no save opportunities. There were several decent-to-good relief performances, but, given the way the games turned out, none were critical or special. (Frankly, an earlier bad performance yesterday would have saved several a lot of pain and trouble.) But it's a good week to recognize Alfredo Aceves, who pitched 5 2/3 innings in three scoreless appearances, and struck out 11.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 4/30/2012
New York5.62(1)4.81(11)0.571(2)1291290
Tampa Bay4.68(5)4.36(8)0.532(5)12101482
Los Angeles3.45(13)4.14(5)0.418(11)913715-2
Kansas City3.95(11)4.86(12)0.407(13)912615-3

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Tampa Bay10359
New York9369

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
New York9270
Tampa Bay8973

Standings for the week
Los Angeles3.86(9)2.43(1)0.7(2)52520
Tampa Bay4.29(7)3.57(5)0.583(5)43521
New York3.29(13)4(7)0.411(10)34340
Kansas City3.5(11)5.17(10)0.329(13)24331

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