Monday, July 02, 2012

Monday Pythagorean - 7/2/2012

Obviously, 4-3 is better than 3-4, but there's still a feeling of "missed opportunity," as the Sox appeared to be infected by the Seattle no-offense blues...

  • There's been a lot of talk about how bad the Mariners' offense is, but maybe it isn't the players - maybe there's something in the water out there in Seattle.  The Mariners are not a good offensive team, but their ballpark could be making them look much worse than they actually are.  In 38 home games, the Mariners are scoring just 2.76 runs per game, but in their 43 road games, they're scoring 4.9 runs per game.  The average AL team is scoring 4.45 runs per game.  And it's not just Seattle that can't score in Seattle.  Their pitching staff is allowing only 3.34 runs per game at home, but 5.09 runs per game on the road.  All told, the Mariners look like a putrid offensive team with a so-so pitching staff.  But they're probably a so-so offensive team with a pitching staff that isn't any better.

  • In a four-game series, two of which went into extra innings, the teams managed to score just 14 runs total.  Each team won two games, but the Red Sox "won" the series, on a runs basis, 9-5.  To put that final score in perspective, the first series of the week, against the Blue Jays,  featured one game that ended at 9-6, and another that ended at 10-4.

  • I talked, last week, about the Youkilis trade, and how I didn't like it.  If Middlebrooks' hamstring tightness is a real injury that's going to keep him out for a week or more, I'm not going to like it any better.  Realistically, I shouldn't like it any worse, but that would be a case of one of the serious downsides risked coming true immediately, and it's hard not to let that color your feelings.

  • I knew that Pedroia had struggled.  I confess that I was not aware of exactly how badly or for how long.  When he homered yesterday, it was the first time since May 10.  Looking at that homerless stretch (May 11-June 30) Pedroia had 176 plate appearances (161 at-bats), and hit an appalling .230/.282.298/.581, with just 10 extra-base hits (9 2B and 1 3B).

  • Despite that, somehow the team went 28-19 over that stretch, a .595 winning percentage that would translate to a 97 win season.

  • Speaking of dreadful offensive stretches, how did Will Middlebrooks respond to the Youkilis trade?  He had a lovely 4 for 27, with 1 BB and 7 Ks, hitting .148/.172/.296/.469.  Does it mean anything?  No, anyone can hit anything for one week.  But that's bad timing for a week like that.

  • Despite all that has gone wrong, the Red Sox are now half a game out of the second Wild Card spot, ahead of the Rays and Jays and just two games behind the Angels for the top Wild Card slot.

  • They are 6 1/2 behind the Yankees in the division, a gap that could narrow (or, admittedly, widen) this week, as the two teams go into the All Star break with a four game series over three days.

  • In all of Major League baseball, only the Ranger (+100) and Yankees (+61) have better run differentials than the Red Sox (+57).  (The Cardinal are also at +57.)

  • Red Sox Player of the Week - David Ortiz (.320/.419/.800/1.219) continues his roll, and put up the best offensive performance of any Red Sox player.  Again.  But there was one other strong offensive week, from someone who also provided defense, as Cody Ross hit (.346/.414/.538/.952).  I wanted to go with Ross, but the gap is just more than I feel comfortable with, so the award goes to David Ortiz.  Again.

  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Franklin Morales made a strong bid with a dominant seven shut-out innings on Thursday night, albeit against the offensively inept Mariners.  But his bid turned out not to be strong enough, as Aaron Cook went two better, completing a 9-inning, 2-hit shutout (against that same offensively-challenged foe.)

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 7/2/2012
New York4.78(4)4(3)0.581(2)453348303
Los Angeles4.39(7)3.84(2)0.562(4)443544350
Tampa Bay4.15(11)4.16(6)0.499(7)394041382
Kansas City4.03(12)4.51(10)0.449(13)354235420

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
New York10062
Los Angeles9072

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
New York9765
Los Angeles9171

Standings for the week
Los Angeles7.67(1)5.83(12)0.622(2)42420
New York5.14(6)4.14(4)0.598(3)43521
Kansas City5.14(6)4.43(6)0.568(6)43430
Tampa Bay2.43(13)5.57(11)0.18(13)16160

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