Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Pythagorean - 8/13/2012

There's a great week, huh, outscoring the opposition by nearly two runs per game.  There's the powerhouse we're looking for, with decent pitching combined with dominant offense.  What more could a Red Sox fan want?

Other than winning a couple more games, that is...

  • So, they outscored the opposition this week.  What's more relevant, and matches up better with actual results, is that they were outscored through Saturday.  It was only Sunday's blowout that enabled them to finish in positive pythagorean territory.

  • Of course, they were only outscored by one in those first six games, going 2-4 in the process, so even that represents underperformance.

  • One decent, one very good performance from Jon Lester.  That's nice to see.  It would be even nicer if it continues.

  • So Will Middlebrooks rookie season comes to an end (almost certainly) in a sadly fitting way, given that we're talking about the 2012 Red Sox - with an injury.

  • There is some good news this week.  Apparently Middlebrooks' injury will not require surgery.

  • Yes, as good news goes, that's pretty pathetic.

  • Since the trade:  Kevin Youkilis (.259/.374/.517/.892), Will Middlebrooks (.240/.276/.416/.692).  Not only has Youkilis been much better than Middlebrooks, he would have played nearly every day in Boston anyway, as Middlebrooks went right to the DL, and was followed there by Ortiz shortly after his return, and is now gone again.  Obviously, none of that was knowable at the time, and you can't retroactively slam Cherington for it.  What was knowable, however, was that a) Youkilis provide injury insurance at three positions and b) they were getting NOTHING in return (which is still the part that really offends me about the trade). And offended me at the time.  Which I said.  At the time. 

  • The Boston Red Sox have outscored their opposition by 41 runs.  The Baltimore Orioles have been outscored by 49.  The Red Sox should be nine games ahead of the Orioles - instead, they're 5 1/2 games behind.  This offends people, but most of that difference is due to ... luck.  I know - the records show that the Orioles have been a much better team than the Sox.  I'm saying that's not true.  They've been a luckier team.  They've lost blowouts and won close games, while the Red Sox have done the reverse.  I know the cliche has always been that good teams win close games.  History suggests that the cliche is wrong.  Good teams outscore their opponents by lots of runs.  There's too much luck in any baseball game, balls an inch inside the line or out, a borderline strike called a ball or vice versa, for a one-run game to mean much of anything beyond "who scored more runs today."  Sometimes, team's have things go their way a lot (though rarely, in the history of baseball, as much as this year's Orioles) and sometimes they go the other way.  It's August 12, and I'm still saying the same thing I've been saying all year - the Boston Red Sox are a better team than the Orioles, and the Red Sox will finish ahead of the Orioles.

  • I'm no longer saying that they're going to make the playoffs, however.  They still could, but there are enough teams far enough ahead of them that it's no longer likely.  They have not yet played themselves out of contention, but a lot has to go a lot righter than anything has gone thus far for it to happen.

  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Will Middlebrooks (.214/.389/.643/1.032) had his first productive week in quite a while, which apparently insulted some deity or other, and resulted in pain and banishment.  Adrian Gonzalez (.393/.433/.857/1.290) and Cody Ross (.346/.400/.692/1.092) were both very good.  But the award goes to Dustin Pedroia (.500/.567/.654/1.221), who was on base seventeen times (thirteen hits, including four doubles, and four walks) in thirty plate appearances.

  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - This is getting repetitive, but it's nice to have one consistently effective starter.  Clay Buchholz threw a complete game, allowing only two runs, one earned, in stopping another losing streak from starting.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/13/2012
New York4.96(2)4.11(4)0.585(1)674767470
Tampa Bay4.13(12)3.77(1)0.542(4)625262520
Los Angeles4.65(6)4.3(6)0.536(5)62536055-2
Kansas City4.17(11)4.66(11)0.449(12)51634965-2

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
New York9567
Tampa Bay8874

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
New York9567
Tampa Bay8874

Standings for the week
Tampa Bay6.17(2)2.5(1)0.839(1)51601
Kansas City4(12)3.43(2)0.57(4)43430
New York6.43(1)5.71(10)0.554(5)43430
Los Angeles4.5(9)5.83(11)0.383(12)24240



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