Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday Pythagorean - 5/20/2013

A 5-1 week is a little more like what we're looking for...
  • The week certainly began as if the slump were going to continue, when they lost a game in Tampa in which each team scored in only one half-inning. And for those who dispute my usage of the term "luck," go back and take a look at that five-run fifth that the Rays put up. The first run scored on, and the next two were set up by, a check-swing where Scott tried to stop and didn't manage in time, but the ball bounced off of his bat into no-man's land for a double. After reaching a 3-3 tie with two out, the final two runs scored on a pop-fly that hit a catwalk (or just missed one - it's not clear to me) and landed 70 feet from home plate.
  • And then, we see the fatal flaw with all planning and discussion of "streaks" and "momentum" in baseball. All streaks end. And you never know, a priori, when. Was there a worse bet in baseball than Boston against Tampa's David Price on Wednesday night? Of course, as we now know, the Red Sox, losers of nine of their previous 11 games, knocked Price out of the game while scoring eight runs in the third, cruised to a 9-2 win, and haven't lost since.
  • There were some people who thought that the 2-9 stretch was more representative of this team's "true ability" than the 20-8 that preceded it. It's pretty clear, at this point, that that's not the case.
  • It's too simplistic to say that "as David Ortiz goes, so go the Red Sox." But obviously, if you've got a great hitter hitting well in the middle of the lineup, it's a lot easier to score runs than if your great hitter in the middle of the lineup is struggling mightily.
  • It also helps - a lot - when the guys at the top and the bottom of the lineup (yes, I'm looking at you, Jacoby Ellsbury and Will Middlebrooks) are reaching base occasionally. The fewer "easy out" one-two-three innings the opposition pitcher gets, the better.
  • So, we've reached the point where I think, "hey, Middlebrooks had a pretty productive week" and look over and see .250/.308/.583/.891, and just shrug. It's not very good, with far too many of those "easy outs" to which I'm referring, but there were a couple of timely hits, and some power to make up for some of the outs. .308 is a very bad OBP, but if you get that from a good defensive 3rd baseman, and a .550 SLG comes with it, you can live with it. Not love it, probably, but live with it.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury (.150/.292/.150/.442 on the week, down to .246/.309/.342/.651 for the season) continues to struggle.
  • I'm sure there are some "leather fetishists" out there lamenting the plight of poor Jose Iglesias, and some die-hard JD Drew haters resenting anyone sharing any part of his name, that are not happy to have Stephen Drew on this team. I'm not one of them. After another productive week (.308/.471/.769/1.240) he's brought his season numbers up to Stephen Drew .238/.336/.410/.746, having overcome an injury-shortened spring and very slow start to do so, while playing very good defense at SS. They are signficantly better with Drew at short than they would be with Iglesias (career line - .202/.265/.277/.541), and I hope that most people recognize that.
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Dustin Pedroia (.375/.464/.625/1.089) had a very good week, which is good to see. Stephen Drew (.308/.471/.769/1.240) had a great week, and would likely have been awarded if he'd been able to do it for six days instead of four. But he wasn't, so the player of the week award goes, again, to David Ortiz (.458/.519/.833/1.352), who came out of a slump in spectacular fashion.
  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - The starters were, with the exception of Dempster on Saturday, pretty good, but nothing stands out as award-worthy. So we look over to the bullpen, where we see that Andrew Miller pitched four innings over four appearances, and gave up only two hits, no walks and no runs, while striking out six.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 5/20/2013
NY Yankees4.28(10)3.7(2)0.566(5)241927163
Kansas City4.28(11)3.93(3)0.539(7)22182020-2
Tampa Bay4.88(5)4.58(11)0.529(8)232023200
Chicago Sox3.69(14)4.05(4)0.458(11)192319230
LA Angels4.3(9)5.16(13)0.417(13)18261727-1

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
NY Yankees10260

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
NY Yankees9468

Standings for the week
NY Yankees3.86(13)3(1)0.613(3)43430
Kansas City4.5(9)3.83(5)0.573(5)3324-1
Tampa Bay5.83(3)5.5(11)0.527(8)33421
Chicago Sox5(6)5.43(10)0.462(10)34431
LA Angels5.29(5)5.86(13)0.453(11)34340

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