Monday, September 08, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 9/8/2014

Splitting series is probably the best they can hope for at this point, and that's what they continued to do this week...
  • Friday night's extra-innings win over the Jays was as much fun as they have provided in any game this year. Except, possibly, for Tuesday's win over the Yankees in NY, with Bogaerts and Betts and Nava all hitting HR.

  • Two of the four losses were walk-offs, as they came from behind to tie Monday's game in Tampa before losing in extra innings, and then took a one-run lead into the ninth in NY on Thursday only have Uehara give up two solo HR.

  • One of the great stories of the season has been the "Brock Star," Brock Holt. I said, early on, that they wanted to thank their lucky stars for what they got from him, and get him out of the lineup as soon as possible. But he kept hitting for another three weeks after I said it, and he started off so hot that his numbers remained superficially attractive for a long time. And hey, he's been better than Middlebrooks. Or Drew. But...
    • Since 6/18 (.252/.307/.339/.645, 31.20 runs created, 3.32 RC/25 outs)
    • Since 7/1 (.253/.305/.333/.638, 25.63 runs created, 3.25 RC/25 outs)
    • Since 8/1 (.234/.288/.291/.578, 12.78 runs created, 2.78 RC/25 outs)
    Generally, having a player like Brock Holt be one of the attractions of your season is not a good thing. And that is definitely true for the 2014 Red Sox.

  • I said last week that it appeared as if the beaning and subsequent week off may have helped young Mr. Bogaerts. Correlation is not causation, but this was far and away his best week since his first week as a 3rd baseman back in June. Xander Bogaerts (.357/.357/.571/.929, 5.02 runs created, 6.28 RC/25 outs).

  • Not many make the last strides to the Majors more quickly and convincingly than Mookie Betts has. He started the year in AA for the first time, and young for the league, and hit .355/.443/.551/.994 in 253 plate appearances in Portland before moving up to AAA. In Pawtucket, even younger for the league than he had been in Portland, he hit .335/.417/.503/.920 in 211 plate appearances. And then, at the Majors as a 21-year old, playing a different position than he started at, he's hitting .287/.354/.470/.824 in his first 128 ML plate appearances, with an OPS+ of 130, meaning he's been 30 percent better than an average Major League Hitter this year.

  • I watch Betts play every night, and I look at the power he generates with that frame, I look at the speed, the plate discipline, the defense that he's already playing in Center Field, and I start thinking of names that I will absolutely not mention, because they are so preposterous. Let's just say that Alan Greenspan would say I'm suffering from irrational exuberance when it comes to young Mr. Betts, and he'd probably be slightly understating the case.

  • Congratulations to Joe Kelly, who got some run support - finally - and despite a not-awesome (but not bad) performance, picked up his first win in a Red Sox uniform.

  • On the flip side, Anthony Ranaudo didn't pitch particularly well, and didn't get much support, and picked up his first Major League loss.

  • Koji Uehara was absolutely awesome last year. And again for much of this year. But they appear to have worn him out. He's now given up four HR in his last six outings, and been pulled from the closer role until he can recover. Given that they are out of contention, he's a free agent at the end of the year, and he'll turn 40 during the first week of the 2015 season, it's not at all clear what the best way for the Red Sox to handle him is. There's no benefit to them "fixing" him if he's not going to be here. It's not obvious that they benefit from shutting him down completely, or from not shutting him down. I'm sure that they'd love to have last season's Koji back next year, and that they'd rather not have the last month's Koji back, but it's not at all clear if there's anything that can be done to accomplish the former, or whether they can bring him back without accomplishing the latter.

  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Mike Napoli (.400/.421/.667/1.088, 4.51 runs created, 10.26 RC/25 outs) had a good week, but it was shortened by illness. I've already mentioned Bogaerts, who had a very good week. But, for the second week in a row, the award goes to Mookie Betts (.367/.387/.600/.987, 6.68 runs created, 8.78 RC/25 outs).

  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Clay Buchholz pitched pretty well, as did Edward Mujica and Steven Wright, but there were no award-worthy performances, so no award this week.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 9/8/2014
LA Angels4.76(1)3.88(6)0.592(2)845887553
Kansas City4.02(9)3.84(5)0.521(6)746779625
Tampa Bay3.85(15)3.8(4)0.507(8)73716975-4
NY Yankees3.94(12)4.12(7)0.479(10)687373685
Chicago Sox4.14(8)4.75(13)0.438(13)628063791
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
LA Angels9963
Kansas City9171
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
LA Angels9963
Kansas City9072
Standings for the week
Kansas City2.5(13)1.83(1)0.638(4)42511
LA Angels6.33(1)5.17(14)0.592(6)42420
NY Yankees3.33(10)3.17(4)0.523(9)33330
Tampa Bay3(11)4(7)0.371(12)34340
Chicago Sox2.4(14)4.2(11)0.264(14)14140

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