Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 5/26/2014

It's almost as if they decided that last week's 1-5 wasn't quite bad enough and they really needed to top it...
  • There are some interesting things to look at this week. None of them good, of course, but interesting.

  • Let's get this out of the way right here - they have effectively played themselves out of the division race over the past two weeks, as they've lost 11-of-12, including 6 straight in the AL East. That's not to say that it's completely impossible that they get back into it, but they would need to be a different team than they've been so far, and there's no evidence to suggest that there's any reason to expect that. So the goals need to change. First, they need to get back to being competitive. They need to continue to develop Bogaerts. They need to come to a decision on Bradley - is he going to hit Major League pitching? If not, is Mookie Betts the CF of the future? Those are questions that they're going to have the opportunity to work on.

  • As the losing streak runs to 10, the team has now been swept in three straight series. And every aspect of the team has been bad. The defense has been weak, the pitching has failed at critical junctures, they've run the bases poorly. And they have not hit. At all, as the team has hit (.212/.267/.307/.574, 27.35 runs created, 2.35 RC/25 outs) over the past 10 games. They've scored 26 and allowed 52. Which should lead to a 2-8 record over 10 games, so, as bad as they've been, they've underperformed even that poor performance. Part of that is the three walk-off losses, one more run scored in any of which would have had Uehara pitching the bottom of the ninth with a lead.

  • On the bright side - yesterday's 8-5 loss was their first road loss in two weeks which was not tied after the top of the ninth. The walk-offs were getting tiresome. Four consecutive road losses (two in Minnesota, two in Tampa) had been of the walk-off variety. And poor Andrew Miller took the loss in all four of them, including actually being on the mound for the winning run in three.

  • The Red Sox scored runs in 10 of their 60 innings this week. They allowed runs in 18 of 58.

  • The first two games in Tampa, the Red Sox batted in 24 innings. They scored in one (1) of them.

  • The first six hitters in Saturday's game - four hits, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 1 SF, five runs, one out. The next 48 hitters - 2 hits, 4 BB, no runs, 44 outs.

  • It's not been just the hitters, of course. With the streak at six games, they sent their ace to the mound on Thursday afternoon, and Lester promptly gave up back-to-back HR in the first inning, and then five more runs in the second. They gave Peavey a five-run lead before he took the mound on Saturday - he had given up all of it before the fifth inning ended.

  • One of their starting pitcher (Doubront), their starting right fielder (Victorino) and their starting first baseman (Napoli) all went to the DL this week.

  • Note to the Red Sox - if you don't want a runner walking from second to third, maybe you should consider holding him on and playing somewhere the bag so you can throw him out. But don't give the guy the base and then take offense when he accepts the gift. That's just embarassing. There's been a lot that's been embarassing over the last two weeks, and their response in the 7th yesterday was just one more thing. Seriously. It's a five-run lead at that point, just one day after you scored five in the first. There were two innings to go - you weren't likely to score five, but it's certainly not far-fetched to suppose that you might. Again, if you don't want them running, stop them. And, of course, he didn't even run. He meandered. He sauntered. He strolled. You gift-wrapped the base for him and he opened the gift. Blame your own damn selves.

  • Having said that, let me say this - it certainly appeared as if it might have been Escobar's mouth that actually kicked off the festivities, not just his legs. There's a scene in the great movie Out Of Sight in which a convict is bragging to other convicts about how he won a fight. But everyone knew that the fight was thrown, and some of the people watching the bragging commented that it was both stupid and dangerous. Which it was, and he got shanked shortly thereafter. Well, even if you're going to take that base, there's a right way to do it. Lollygagging, nonchalanting it is not the right way to go, and if you do so and then mouth off when someone complains, well, you're asking for trouble. So it's possible that the Red sox are not entirely to blame.

  • I saw a little of Joe Maddon's post-game news conference, in which he told everyone, over and over, many times, ad nauseum, how he didn't care at all when Ellsbury stole second base with a six run lead in the 8th inning of game one of the ALDS last year. Yeah, that was believable, Joe. If Shakespeare hadn't already put the "doth protest too much" line in Gertrude's mouth, this would be the time for someone to coin it. People don't obsess over things that don't bother them the way that Maddon is obsessing about that stolen base.

  • I'm dying to know - is this the first time in Major League history that each team has had a pinch-hit home run in the same inning, and then the two players that hit the pinch home runs are thrown out in that same inning?

  • Obviously, I was a Stephen Drew supporter last year, and clearly think that this year's team would have been/will be better with Bogaerts at 3rd and Drew at SS than Middlebrooks at 3rd and Bogaerts at SS. That does not mean that signing Drew is productive. Two weeks ago, they were in the middle of the division race and playing for 2014. Now they need to be playing for 2015. If Bogaerts is the SS of the future, then having him not playing there is a step back, regardless of what it does to the record this season.

  • Red Sox Player of the Week - In the land of the blind, the one-eyed A.J. Pierzynski (.409/.435/.636/1.071, 5.49 runs created, 10.56 RC/25 outs) is king.

  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - This week's tallest midget was John Lackey. Ok, that's not fair - Lackey was excellent, allowing five hits and one walk in seven scoreless innings at Tampa, the one strong start of the week.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 5/26/2014
LA Angels5.02(1)4.04(4)0.598(2)29202821-1
Kansas City3.92(14)3.92(2)0.5(6)25242425-1
NY Yankees4.31(9)4.43(9)0.487(7)242526232
Chicago Sox4.75(5)5.06(15)0.471(9)252725270
Tampa Bay4.02(12)4.38(8)0.461(12)24272328-1
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
LA Angels9369
NY Yankees8676
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
LA Angels9666
Standings for the week
LA Angels4.5(5)3.33(4)0.634(3)42420
Tampa Bay3.67(11)3(2)0.591(5)42420
NY Yankees3.83(9)3.5(5)0.542(6)33330
Kansas City4.33(7)4.83(11)0.45(9)3324-1
Chicago Sox4(8)4.71(10)0.425(11)34431

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