Monday, May 04, 2015

Monday pythagorean - 5/4/2015

Challenged to write a sad story in the fewest possible words, Ernest Hemingway is reported to have written the following: "For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Used." One must applaud his effort, but I can top it. The saddest possible six word short story is clearly, "Swept. At Home. By the Yankees..."

The Week That Was:

  • 4/27 - @Boston 6 - Toronto 5. The Red Sox tie it in the 8th and walk off with a win in the ninth on a Mookie Betts single. The last series they play in April starts the same as all of the others have started - with a win.

  • 4/28 - Toronto 11 - @Boston 8. Clay Buchholz gets a nice cushion, as the Red Sox take a 4-0 lead in the second, and then melts down, giving up five runs, four earned, before leaving with 2 outs in the third, as the best Boston offensive performance of the week is spoiled by the least effective starting pitching performance of the week.

  • 4/29 - @Boston 4 - Toronto 1. In desperate need of a strong pitching performance, the Red Sox get one as Rick Porcello dominates the Blue Jays, retiring 13 Jays' batters in a row from the 2nd through the 7th innings.

  • 5/1 - NY Yankees 3 - @Boston 2. The string of series-opening wins ends on the 1st day of May as Justin Masterson follows Porcello's gem with a strong 6 innings, but gets no run support, and Tazawa gives up number 660 to Alex Rodriguez in the 8th for the loss.

  • 5/2 - NY Yankees 4 - @Boston 2. Blake Swihart makes his Major League debut and Wade Miley pitches well, but the offense does very little and the Red Sox fall to the Yankees for the second consecutive day.

  • 5/3 - New York 8 - @Boston 5. The Red Sox score five runs in the 6th inning, more than they had scored in the first two games of the series combined, but it's too little and too late, as they were already down 8-0 entering the inning. They get they tying run to the plate in the 6th, and the winning run to the plate in the 9th, but don't score again.

Thoughts and commentary...

  • Sometimes you have a busy weekend and miss all of the games, and say, "I wish I'd been able to see that." And sometimes, you say, "Thank God I was busy elsewhere." This past weekend was obviously the latter.

  • The Master Plan for 2015 said that the Red Sox' starting catcher would be Christian Vazquez, and that he'd be backed up by Ryan Hanigan. On Saturday, the Blake Swihart era in Boston began, as Hanigan joined Vazquez on the 60-day DL. Plans, as the poet Burns was known to note, "gang aft agley..."

  • It was a mediocre week offensively, as the Red Sox averaged 4.5 runs/game, seventh in the AL, and were held to two runs twice. And it seems odd that the top five hitters in the lineup could be so effective and yet the results could be so poor. Betts, Pedroia, Ortiz, Ramirez and Sandoval had an excellent week, hitting (.357/.408/.539/.947, 23.99 runs created, 7.50 RC/25 outs) as a group. Unfortunately, the rest of the lineup consisted of pitchers and NL shortstops. At least, that's what the numbers - (.163/.258/.267/.525, 4.94 runs created, 1.62 RC/25 outs) - would suggest.

  • For all of the complaining about the starting pitching (which has not been good) they got three consecutive strong starts, yet managed to go only 1-2 over that stretch.

  • There was obviously a lot of bad timing in the poor 2-4 record. In two of the four losses, they scored five runs or more. In the other two, they allowed four or fewer.

  • There was some bad timing in the offense, too. Their raw offensive numbers - hits, walks, HR, etc., suggests that they "created" just about 29 runs. They ended up actually scoring 27.

  • Red Sox Player of the Week - The numbers say that David Ortiz (.409/.462/.545/1.007, 5.14 runs created, 8.56 RC/25 outs) had a very good week and that Dustin Pedroia (.348/.444/.478/.923, 5.06 runs created, 8.43 RC/25 outs) had a very good week, but that Pablo Sandoval(.478/.478/.696/1.174, 6.45 runs created, 13.45 RC/25 outs) had the best week.

  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - On the heels of an 11-8 loss to the Blue Jays, featuring yet another disastrous <3 inning start, this time from Clay Buchholz, the cries about the starting pitching, and its impact on the bullpen, were deafening. Rick Porcello allowed only one run over seven innings, and set down 13 Blue Jays' hitters in a row at one point, sending the team into an off-day on the heels of a 4-1 win.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 5/4/2015
Kansas City5.12(3)3.32(1)0.688(1)178169-1
NY Yankees4.96(6)3.72(3)0.629(3)1691690
Tampa Bay3.64(14)3.76(4)0.485(9)121313121
LA Angels3.8(11)4.04(5)0.472(10)12131114-1
Chicago Sox3.18(15)4.91(12)0.311(15)7158141
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Kansas City10458
NY Yankees10458
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Kansas City11052
NY Yankees10260
Standings for the week
NY Yankees4.17(8)2.5(2)0.718(4)42511
Kansas City5.57(5)3.43(4)0.709(5)5243-1
LA Angels3.33(12)4.5(9)0.366(12)24240
Tampa Bay1.67(15)3(3)0.254(14)24240
Chicago Sox2(14)7.8(15)0.077(15)05050

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