Monday, June 11, 2012

Uncle Pythagoras liked that week a lot better than I did - there's not much more frustrating than consistently playing just well enough to lose...

  • My week was such that I saw almost no baseball, following it in phone updates and day-after box scores (much as our distant ancestors did.)  (I did see about 1/2 an inning of the Nationals broadcast on Friday night down in NoVa.) So I've got little in the way of aesthetic impressions to share, and some things that I'm curious about.  Was Saturday a typical Daisuke performance of the type that has so frustrated the fanbase - working slow, nibbling, pitching just well enough to get through five and keep the team in the game but not well enough to make anyone happy or comfortable?  I don't know.  How bad was the Red Sox offense?  How good was the opposition pitching?  I don't know.   All I've got this week is numbers.

  • Obviously, the offense was bad this week.  They scored 3.833 runs/game, and that is the bottom line.  There was some talk about the team's performance being particularly bad with men in scoring position, but if it was, it doesn't show in the numbers.  They hit .235/.315/.343/.658 for the week, and they scored the 23 runs that the component parts of the offense suggest that they created.

  • The pitching was better than the offense.  (Talk about damning with faint praise.)   But it wasn't good, either.  And, in what makes it all even more frustrating, they lost two after being tied in, or going into, the ninth, and another that they led after 5.

  • The one win was both the best offensive and best pitching performance of the week.  The seven runs they scored in Buchholz' shutout would have been enough to win three of the five losses, and tie a fourth.  Given that they did not get shut out themselves, the zero runs Buchholz allowed would have been good enough to win any of the five losses.  But they combined those two performances on one night.

  • With their run distribution in these six games (scoring 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 - allowing 0, 2, 4, 4, 7 and 8) a team could have a record anywhere from 1-5 to 4-2, with 3-3 being likely.  They went 1-5.  My tendency is to look at that as the result of random variance, or "luck."  Others disagree.

  • Whatever the cause, it looks ugly, and, particularly for a team that started the way the Red Sox did, it seriously damages playoff hopes.

  • Woo-hoo!  Pedroia's back!  Uh, well, sort of.  If you get Dustin Pedroia (.125/.214/.125/.339), you might as well stick with Nick Punto.

  • And I ask again - where the hell is the real Adrian Gonzalez (.240/.240/.440/.680)?

  • At 3rd, we've got two players who spent the week racing to the bottom, with Kevin Youkilis (.158/.273/.211/.483) edging out Will Middlebrooks (.214/.353/.214/.567) in the quest for pine time.

  • Josh Beckett continues to look good, allowing only two runs in an excellent eight inning start.  Unfortunately for him, and the team, the offense scored only one.

  • Jon Lester had two mediocre starts, but they were better than his "bad" starts usually are.  His ERA of 3.46 is a little bit misleading, as he gave up five earned runs in 13 innings, but gave up two uneared, also.

  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Daniel Nava (.333/.400/.444/.844) was good before he got hurt, but didn't play enough.  Scott Podsednik (.364/.385/.455/.839) earned his paycheck.  The best offensive performance of the week came from David Ortiz (.238/.385/.476/.861).  But because of position adjustments, and a game-tying ninth inning HR, the player of the week award goes, again, to Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.278/.316/.500/.816).

  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Absolute no-brainer, as the one win of the week came in a dominating four-hit, one-walk, six-strikeout complete game shutout of the Orioles by Clay Buchholz.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 6/11/2012
New York4.76(5)4.08(4)0.57(2)342534250
Tampa Bay4.33(9)3.88(2)0.55(5)332735252
Los Angeles4.18(10)3.84(1)0.539(6)33283229-1
Kansas City3.86(13)4.38(9)0.443(13)26322434-2

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Tampa Bay9567
New York9369

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
New York9369
Tampa Bay9171

Standings for the week
New York5.33(5)2.5(1)0.8(1)51510
Los Angeles7.67(1)5.33(11)0.66(3)42420
Tampa Bay5(7)3.5(3)0.658(4)42420
Kansas City2.83(14)4.33(8)0.315(14)2415-1

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