Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 5/19/2014

Well, that could have gone better. In fact, it couldn't have gone much worse. Frankly, I'm glad that I've spent the last four days hundreds of miles away from Red Sox coverage...
  • After Tuesday's 9-4 win over the Twins, the Red Sox were over .500 and half a game out of first place. Four days later, they're three games under and three games out.

  • Nice week. 11th in runs scored. 11th in runs allowed. 12th in pythagorean winning percentage.

  • Through 43 games the Red Sox have already been swept twice in three-game series at Fenway. They have not yet put together a three game winning streak.

  • And yet, they enter play today only three games out in the East.

  • They are one game behind the 2012 Red Sox, who were 21-22 after 43 games. Of course, that team was 6 1/2 games out of first, and composed of grumpy and expensive veterans rather than exciting and cheap youngsters. Still, it's not an encouraging comparison.

  • And yet, they enter play today only three games out in the East.

  • Last week, I went in a direction that I don't usually ago, and awarded Andrew Miller the coveted Pitcher of the Week award. Hopefully, the Minnesota series was not my fault, as Miller gave up walk-off runs in the 9th and 10th innings of the bookend losses. Both times, they had come from behind (from a long way in game 1 and very late in game 3) and both times, Miller came into the game and watched the Twins put the winning run on base, and then bring it in.

  • I pulled out my phone and checked the MLB app on Friday night during the first inning, just as the Tigers scored to make it 1-0. My reaction was, "uh-oh - here's a 1-0 loss in a pitcher's duel." Most of the time I have that reaction, it ends up not being correct. Unfortunately, this one was.

  • One of the places where statisticians and non-stat fans differ tends to be the in their belief of whether or not a "hot hand" exists, and whether you can know, at any point in time, whether a player is "hot" or "cold" a priori or only a posteriori. I have the discussion on more than one occasion when someone slammed a manager for the "idiocy" of sitting a "hot" hitter, and I went through game logs, at least once, and pointed out that a two game performance for Manny Ramirez (in particular) said nothing whatsoever about what the next two games would bring. So, through his first 8 at-bats this week, David Ortiz was "hot." No question about it - seven hits, four of which were home runs, just blasting the Twins' pitching staff. A ridiculous performance - (.875/.875/2.500/3.375, 8.80 runs created, 220.00 RC/25 outs). Through 8 at-bats. In the four and half games since, though, he hit (.200/.333/.200/.533, 1.15 runs created, 2.39 RC/25 outs). They've scored six runs, total, in their last four games, three in the last three, and he's been as much a part of that offensive problem as anyone. Would anyone have predicted that after the second home run on Wednesday?

  • Nice to see a good performance from Felix Doubront this week, aided, I imagine, by the one game of run-support that the Boston offense produced. It's good to see that Buchholz was able to fight through not having great stuff and still be effective - not great, but effective - for six innings. It's good to see Lester continue to pitch well, albeit in a rain-shortened performance.

  • I said this over the winter, and again in the spring, and here it is again - this team would be better this year with Stephen Drew at short-stop and Xander Bogaerts at third than with Bogaerts and Middlebrooks.

  • I understand the appeal of Will Middlebrooks' power - it's easy and seductive. But he has been a bad Major League hitter thus far, and it's tough to look at him going to the DL as a real problem.

  • Patience is required with a young team. Some of us - oh hell, let me just say it - I - had expectations of the three youngsters that were apparently too high, and are not being met thus far. Together, Bogaerts, Bradley and Middlebrooks are hitting (.230/.332/.338/.670, 38.02 runs created, 3.43 RC/25 outs). Add in the Middlebrooks injury replacements (Herrerra, Holt and Roberts) and you're getting (.223/.325/.314/.639, 43.16 runs created, 3.03 RC/25 outs) from the three lineup spots which the young players are holding down. You cannot get that from 1/3 of your lineup and be a productive or consistent offensive team.

  • OffTopic: One of the things in this world that you can't really understand until you've experienced it is a good fife and drum jam session. The one that followed the torchlight parade in Colonial Williamsburg on Saturday night was outstanding.

  • Red Sox Goat of the Week - I hate to do it, because he's been so good, but two walk-off losses for Andrew Miller are tough to overlook. Not that there weren't others with bad performances - Jackie Bradley, Jr. (.118/.118/.118/.235, -.53 runs created, -.89 RC/25 outs) and A.J. Pierzynski (.056/.056/.111/.167, -1.64 runs created, -2.16 RC/25 outs) and Jake Peavey (11 ER in 10 1/3 innings over two starts), I'm looking at you - because there were. But none quite as glaring or obvious or timely. Maybe more "total badness" (especially Peavey) but not as much "goatiness."

  • Red Sox Player of the Week - As I suggested earlier in the week, it was going to be tough for anyone else to overcome the start that David Ortiz had. But the week (.435/.500/1.000/1.500, 9.17 runs created, 17.64 RC/25 outs), as noted above, did not finish the way that it started (of course, how could it have) and it ended up being a really good but not particularly special week. Still far and away the best on the team.

  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - There was a lot of decent-to-good pitching, but there's not really enough from anyone to warrant the award, so this remains vacant this week.

  • AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 5/19/2014
    LA Angels5.1(2)4.14(5)0.594(3)26172419-2
    Kansas City3.86(14)3.79(3)0.508(6)222122210
    NY Yankees4.37(7)4.56(8)0.481(7)212223202
    Chicago Sox4.87(3)5.11(15)0.478(9)212421240
    Tampa Bay4.07(11)4.57(9)0.447(12)20251926-1

    Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
    LA Angels9072
    NY Yankees8775

    Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
    LA Angels9567

    Standings for the week
    LA Angels4.67(4)3.33(4)0.649(3)42521
    Kansas City3(13)2.5(3)0.583(6)33421
    NY Yankees4.71(3)4.29(9)0.543(7)43430
    Chicago Sox3.67(10)5.67(14)0.311(13)24240
    Tampa Bay3.17(12)5.17(12)0.29(15)24341

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