Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday pythagorean - 6/22/2015

Given the competition and the overall performance level, this 4-3 week was more impressive than the 5-2 two weeks ago, and probably the team's best week since the first week...

The Week That Was:

  • 6/15 - Atlanta 4 - @Boston 2 - The losing streak reaches 7 as Rick Porcello is mediocre again, and the bats are silent again, with the Braves taking a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the 7th, and the Red Sox putting up individual runs in the 7th and 9th to create the mistaken impression that the game was competitive.

  • 6/16 - @Boston 9 - Atlanta 4 - Wade Miley is effective, Brock Holt hits for the cycle (and Mookie Betts misses joining him by a HR) and the Boston offense scores multiple runs in three different innings, and a single run in a fourth, as they score in half of their at-bats and put up one of their best outings of the years.

  • 6/17 - @Atlanta 5 - Boston 2 - The Boston-Atlanta split-site series moves to Atlanta, and the Boston bats put up another anemic performance. Joe Kelly is effective but not efficient for five innings, and the bullpen allows one inherited runner to score, and then allows three more runs, setting up the loss.

  • 6/18 - Boston 5 - @Atlanta 2 - The latest losing streak ends at one, with seven strong innings from Clay Buchholz, good bullpen support from Tommy Layne and Koji Uehara for one inning each, and three runs scored for lead-off-hitter-for-the-day Brock Holt.

  • 6/19 - Boston 7 - @Kansas City 3 - Boston's bats explode for seven runs in the second inning against the Royals' Yohan Pino, and Eduardo Rodriguez puts up 6 1/3 strong innings in the first start after his only bad start.

  • 6/20 - @Kansas City 7 - Boston 4 - The Red Sox score early and (relatively) often against Edinson Volquez, taking a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth, but Rick Porcello's terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad year continues, as he gives up five runs in that half inning, and Boston's bats are held scoreless by the Royals' stellar bullpen.

  • 6/21 - Boston 13 - @Kansas City 2 - For the second time this week, Mookie Betts comes one hit away from hitting for the cycle, this time just missing the single. The Red Sox offense explodes for 13, providing tremendous support for Wade Miley for the second time during the week, and for the second time during the week he pitches well enough that they didn't need to, as they take two-of-three from the Royals with a 13-2 win.

Thoughts and commentary...

  • Uncle Pythagoras thought that they could have had a better record this week, but I'm very happy to take what we got. And what we got was a team that looked, for the first time in over a month, like a competent, real, live, Major League Baseball team. It wasn't perfect, and there were some frustrations along the way, but this was the first week since April when it felt like the lineup was capable of regularly scoring runs.

  • From May 28th until last Tuesday, a period of 19 games over 20 days, the Red Sox deficit in the AL was a monotonically non-decreasing series. Over that stretch, there wasn't a single day in which they finished closer to first than they started, not a single day in which they won and the first place team lost. On Tuesday, they beat Atlanta while Tampa lost to Washington, cutting their deficit from 9 to 8 games.

  • They finish the week 9 games out of first and in fifth place in the East. While it seems like time to give up, those of us who remember 1978 and 1988 have seen bigger and later comebacks. Things don't look good, as they've dug themselves a substantial hole. But it's too soon to say that it's too late.

  • Two of Wade Miley's first four starts were disaster starts, games in which he didn't get out of the third inning and gave his team almost no chance to win. Through those first four games, he averaged just under 4 innings per start with an ERA of 8.62. And there was, understandably, talk about whether they could afford to keep him in the rotation, how bad the trade which brought him had been, etc. Since then, however, he's made 10 starts, averaging over six innings per, with an ERA of 3.47.

  • The idea that a player liking something on Instagram during the course of a game qualifies as a "scandal" strikes me as beyond preposterous. Ok, MLB has rules, and Sandoval broke them, so he got sat down for a game. Fine. Can we please, please, not pretend that a) this is a big story or b) is indicative of anyone's "approach to the game" or the clubhouse atmosphere or c) carries any kind of larger meaning? Talk about mountains out of molehills...

  • Brock Holt hit for the cycle on Tuesday night. He finished it off with a triple into the triangle in the bottom of the eighth. If the next batter, Mookie Betts, had hit a HR in that at-bat, the Red Sox would have had two cycles in the same game. A quick glance down the list suggests that that's never been done before. Alas, Betts flied out, and it's still never been done.

  • Betts was actually closer to it on Sunday than Tuesday, as he batted in the ninth needing just a single to complete the cycle. Again, he flied out.

  • I wouldn't have pitched either Tazawa or Uehara yesterday, but I understand why Farrell did - they'd had three and two days off, respectively, and they've got an off-day today. If Tazawa hadn't pitched, he'd have entered tomorrow's game with five days off, and Uehara with four. It's not clear to me that that would have been a bad thing, but they know more about their pitchers' routines and needs than I do.

  • Red Sox Player of the Week - There were several Red Sox who put up impressive offensive numbers this week, from Pablo Sandoval (.421/.421/.632/1.053, 4.11 runs created, 8.55 RC/25 outs) and Blake Swihart (.385/.429/.538/.967, 1.66 runs created, 3.77 RC/25 outs) to Alejandro De Aza (.333/.364/.619/.983, 4.69 runs created, 8.37 RC/25 outs) and Brock Holt (.448/.515/.897/1.412, 10.39 runs created, 14.43 RC/25 outs). Despite that, this was an easy call. Because there was a monster among them. Mookie Betts (.581/.594/1.000/1.594, 13.73 runs created, 22.88 RC/25 outs) looked like he was playing MLB in debug mode. He found the cheat codes. Just a monster week. I'd like to see a little more plate discipline, a few more walks, but what the hell - if you're going to hit .581, you can forgo a couple of walks...

  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Eduardo Rodriguez followed up his awful start from last week with another very good one this week. Clay Buchholz continues to pitch well. But Wade Miley started twice, and was extremely effective twice, allowing just 2 runs in 12 1/3 innings for an ERA of 1.46, as the Red Sox put up two convincing and comfortable wins behind him.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 6/22/2015
Kansas City4.41(6)3.65(2)0.585(2)392739270
NY Yankees4.72(2)4.35(11)0.538(6)373238311
Tampa Bay3.72(13)3.45(1)0.534(7)383340312
LA Angels3.99(12)3.94(4)0.505(9)353535350
Chicago Sox3.41(14)4.41(13)0.385(15)264230384
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Kansas City9666
Tampa Bay9171
NY Yankees8973
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Kansas City9567
Tampa Bay8973
Standings for the week
Tampa Bay4(10)3.29(3)0.589(7)43521
LA Angels4.43(9)3.71(5)0.58(8)4334-1
Kansas City5.71(5)5(13)0.561(9)43521
NY Yankees5.57(6)5.14(14)0.537(10)43430
Chicago Sox1.57(15)3.71(5)0.172(15)16251

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