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Friday, September 09, 2011

RedSox (85-58) @ Rays (78-64), Friday, September 9, 2011, 7:10pm

BOS: John Lackey (32, RHP, 12-11, 6.11)
TBR: Wade Davis (25, RHP, 9-8, 4.50)

The Primer Chimp Posted: September 09, 2011 at 01:00 PM | 85 comment(s)
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Dan Posted: September 09, 2011 at 11:06 PM (#3920659)
Bedard sidelined with knee and now a strained lat, and Youkilis was sent back to Boston to get his hip MRIed. Not a great time of the year for the injuries to be stacking up again.
   2. Dan Posted: September 09, 2011 at 11:12 PM (#3920662)
Stadium is shockingly empty, even for Tampa Bay, considering it's a Friday night game against the Red Sox.
   3. Dan Posted: September 09, 2011 at 11:31 PM (#3920673)
What the #### was Ortiz looking for?
   4. villageidiom Posted: September 09, 2011 at 11:43 PM (#3920680)
Ah, yes. Lackey. I remember you now.
   5. Dan Posted: September 09, 2011 at 11:45 PM (#3920682)
There is no way that Weiland is a worse pitcher than Lackey right now. ####, I'd even start Wakefield over him in the playoffs. He is 300% useless.
   6. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 09, 2011 at 11:45 PM (#3920683)
Is it Lackey's ####### mission to give up a HR to every ####### powerless catcher in the league? Cervelli two starts ago, now Jaso?
   7. villageidiom Posted: September 09, 2011 at 11:46 PM (#3920684)
Don't worry, Dan. Lackey will stop at 4 runs, then kinda hover there for another 4 or 5 innings.

(I hope.)
   8. Dan Posted: September 09, 2011 at 11:48 PM (#3920685)
Even 4 runs in 6 innings is a 6 ERA. That's his typical start. That is so far beyond awful from anyone, never mind a guy making $18M/year.
   9. Dan Posted: September 09, 2011 at 11:51 PM (#3920691)
John Lackey right now is Dan Wheeler being forced to start games. I don't care how much money he makes or who the alternatives are, he can't start in the playoffs.
   10. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:05 AM (#3920696)
#### off you fat piece of ####, Lackey. You ####### suck at pitching, and now you can't even cover first? Just go #### off.
   11. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:07 AM (#3920697)
#### you Lackey #### you Lackey #### you Lackey #### you Lackey #### you Lackey #### you Lackey #### you Lackey #### you Lackey
   12. villageidiom Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:07 AM (#3920698)
Well, there's the 4th run.
   13. villageidiom Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:07 AM (#3920699)
And more.
   14. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:12 AM (#3920702)
I wish that would have hit him in the nuts or broken a bone.
   15. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:12 AM (#3920703)
Hooray, caught a break and hopefully Lackey is hurt!
   16. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:18 AM (#3920706)
Why the #### is Gonzalez trying to bunt for a single down by 5 runs with 2 outs in the inning?
   17. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:22 AM (#3920707)
Last 4 starts for Lackey (so far): 21.2 IP 19 ER 27 H 13 BB 11 K.
   18. Textbook Editor Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:32 AM (#3920711)
I'm willing to give Lackey a pass for the entire season based on what's going on with his wife. Who I am not willing to give a pass to is Theo and Tito for dragging him out there every 5th day. If his head isn't on right, or if he's now in a place where he crumbles at the first thing to go wrong, that is not a pitcher who should be starting games.

We are in serious, serious trouble. This isn't pants pissing. This is realizing that right now we have one--ONE!--starter who can be counted on to deliver an ERA under 6 in any given game. The rest are rubbish and dreck. Even if we get to the playoffs, we might have 2 decent starters and 2 decent relievers. Ain't no way we're winning a World Series with that.

I thought Abraham's floated idea of just letting Buchholz start in the playoffs for a Game 3 with Aceves behind him was nuts. I don't think it's nuts anymore. We're at a point where we're simply going to have to throw the dice and get Buchholz a start or two before the end of the season and hope his can give us 4 decent innings in a Game 4.

Oh... and then there's the $20 million question: Which starter do we target this off-season? Because honestly, we need a damn starter this off-season. Do we offer the moon to Sabbathia? Who else is out there?
   19. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:36 AM (#3920713)
Davis has thrown some very hittable pitches right in the heart of the zone, but the Sox aren't doing anything with them.



I'm willing to give Lackey a pass for the entire season based on what's going on with his wife. Who I am not willing to give a pass to is Theo and Tito for dragging him out there every 5th day. If his head isn't on right, or if he's now in a place where he crumbles at the first thing to go wrong, that is not a pitcher who should be starting games.


This is a load of ####. I feel bad for the guy, but he's below replacement level and he's making the money of an ace. If you performed that far below expectations at your job, you'd be fired, regardless of your home situation. I also think his elbow is basically completely shredded, but the team and the man seem to be content to let him "pitch" through it, so who the #### knows.
   20. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:43 AM (#3920715)
THIS is precisely why I was freaking out during the 2-10 start. A team that can go 2-10 once can do it again. Right now I've got next Sunday in the "when does Tampa take over second place" pool.
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:43 AM (#3920716)
Well, ####.
   22. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:44 AM (#3920717)
What's the worst single season ERA+ for a guy with 150+ innings? Is Lackey close?
   23. Darren Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:44 AM (#3920718)
Good thing that there is no possible way the Sox will miss the playoffs.
   24. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:49 AM (#3920722)
Darren stop pissing your pants. You're being ridiculous.

Dan - Some guy named Rube Bressler posted a 58 in 1915. Post-integration it's Jose Lima in 205 with a 63. Lackey was 68 heading into tonight.
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:51 AM (#3920723)
Good thing that there is no possible way the Sox will miss the playoffs.
You're right. The chance is heading north of 1% now.
   26. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:53 AM (#3920724)
Gotta score at least these two runs here.
   27. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:53 AM (#3920725)
Mikael, you are a hell of a lot smarter than me but seriously, are you watching this team? The math assumes that the Sox are of similar caliber to what they were earlier in the season and they are not.

I just posted in another thread but the rotation is a mess, other than Lester they have four guys who are going to be fortunate to give up 4 runs in 5 innings and the offense basically has one good game a week followed by 4-5 crapfests.
   28. Swedish Chef Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:54 AM (#3920726)
Getting -5M$ in production from a 18M$ guy has to be close to a record as well, most of the big flops bottoms out at zero.
   29. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:55 AM (#3920727)
The offense isn't a problem. They'll get their runs. The rotation is an issue at the moment, obviously.
   30. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:55 AM (#3920728)
MLB AtBat app on my phone says Lackey left due to an injured leg.
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:55 AM (#3920729)
The math assumes that the Sox are of similar caliber to what they were earlier in the season and they are not.
They are similar. The lineup is the same, and they've had shitty pitchers in the rotation all year.
   32. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:55 AM (#3920730)
Another lucky break!
   33. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:56 AM (#3920732)
MLB AtBat app on my phone says Lackey left due to an injured leg.


Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll have to amputate.
   34. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:57 AM (#3920733)
Ah, he almost got all of that.
   35. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:57 AM (#3920735)
If Scutaro had real power instead of WTP, this would be a 5-4 game.
   36. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:58 AM (#3920737)
The rotation is an issue at the moment, obviously.
This is true, but we've had Lackey and Wake and Miller in the rotation all year. This isn't really new.
   37. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:59 AM (#3920738)
####. Last two balls were both smashed, 2 outs.
   38. Textbook Editor Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:01 AM (#3920740)
#19--I think he's hurt as well, and that this is the sort of "the team needs me to eat innings" type junk... But to your other point:

This is a load of ####. I feel bad for the guy, but he's below replacement level and he's making the money of an ace. If you performed that far below expectations at your job, you'd be fired, regardless of your home situation. I also think his elbow is basically completely shredded, but the team and the man seem to be content to let him "pitch" through it, so who the #### knows.


I don't know that I earn "ace" level money as an editor, but it's better than when I worked at a Wawa in college. That said, 2+ years ago my wife and I were both gobsmacked by our then-3-1/2 year old son being diagnosed with a brain tumor. For 5 months we scrambled around like zombies, figuring out what to do, and then after we decided on surgery, spent 3 more months helping TE Jr. rehab from the surgery. During all this time, I was supposed to be "working" (and I did, though I did it quite badly), but with doctor appointments, getting second opinions, etc... to say nothing of the emotional toll it had on all of us... I just didn't have much left at the end of the day to concentrate on work-related stuff. Thankfully, we found an amazing surgeon and he was able to do a gross total resection and today aside from some vision issues TE Jr. is fine and there's been no recurrence of the tumor.

Now... my point is this: While I spent 8 months as a zombie up to and after TE Jr.'s surgery, I had (IIRC) 5 different book projects going on. Slowly, over time, my editors started to pull some of those books off my plate. I'm a freelance editor, so these guys really had no reason not to just "fire" me outright for lack of doing my job right. But they didn't fire me--they took projects off my hands and let me focus on the one big project I had told me not to worry about the others (though I know for a fact this pulling back of projects must have caused problems for them).

This whole episode (I thought, at the time) was bound to cause some of the editors I worked for to be reluctant to give me future projects... but I found this was not the case. They all (I'm assuming) took into account the pretty unique set of circumstances, weighed the fact that (when I wasn't a zombie) I was pretty good at my job, and thus--when I was ready and able to--they gave me more work.

My point being: If all of this is because Lackey's mind is in a million pieces, it's on Tito and Theo to take things off his plate (like starting games) until his head's on right. Lackey's the type who'll just take the ball regardless, and with guys like that you have to do the thinking for them.

Of course, the other side is this... Per Cot's Contracts:

2015 club option at Major League minimum salary if Lackey misses significant time with surgery for pre-existing elbow injury in 2010-14


It would not at all surprise me to find out that Lackey is basically hiding an elbow injury because he doesn't want to be an indentured servant in 2015. He also lacks a no-trade clause, so even if he has surgery and comes back in 2013 (say), he knows that if he's at all effective the Red Sox suddenly have a very valuable piece of property: a decent pitcher who in 2014 costs $15.25 million and in 2015 costs... $400,000. Over two years, that's less than $8 million a year. If he's decent in 2013 that is a very, very tradeable chip for the Red Sox... and there's be nothing Lackey could do about it.

Now, do I think Lackey's willing to pitch through a shredded elbow for 3 more years, just so he doesn't miss time and thus invoke the 2015 clause? Who knows... But I do know that it's pretty likely his head isn't on right at the moment, so who knows what he's thinking... But that's why Tito and Theo have to do the thinking for him and take the ball.
   39. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:04 AM (#3920745)
OK, check for steroids in Jaso's system, please.
   40. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:04 AM (#3920746)
Back to back extra base hits for Jaso and Brignac. Amazing.
   41. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:05 AM (#3920747)
TE, I think there are some parallels in your story, but I'm guessing that the one project you were still working on didn't come out worse than if no one had edited it at all, which is basically Lackey's level of performance right now with being sub replacement.
   42. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:07 AM (#3920749)
Jose's ViliageIdiomization of the remaining schedule;

at Tampa (0-3)
Toronto (1-1)
Tampa (1-3)
Baltimore (2-2)
at New York (0-3)
at Baltimore (1-2)
finish - 90-72 good night Gracie
   43. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:09 AM (#3920750)
5-14 to finish the season? Combine that with 3-7 in their last 10 right now, and that would make a 8-21 run to finish things off. Doesn't seem very likely.
   44. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:09 AM (#3920751)
But that's why Tito and Theo have to do the thinking for him and take the ball.


I don't disagree with this but who steps in for him? I just don't see an option. They could give Aceves a couple of starts (and that probably is the best option) but it's not like the bullpen is so impressive that taking Aceves out of it is a great move either.
   45. Textbook Editor Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:10 AM (#3920753)
#41--you have a point, but my one project would be = to Lackey throwing 3-4 IP behind Wakefield or Aceves starting (as a "shadow starter")... basically just walking him back to some level where he can perform at an above-replacement level.

At this point, I would seriously consider starting Aceves instead of Miller.

Now they're saying Youkilis might have a sports hernia or some other kind of injury, if Extra Bases is to be believed. Wunderbar.
   46. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:11 AM (#3920754)
Why is Atchison still pitching a 3rd inning when they have a 20 man pitching staff?
   47. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:11 AM (#3920755)
5-14 to finish the season? Combine that with 3-7 in their last 10 right now, and that would make a 8-21 run to finish things off. Doesn't seem very likely.


I hope I'm wrong but I don't see it.
   48. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:11 AM (#3920756)
Francona's bullpen management this year has been appallingly bad.
   49. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:14 AM (#3920757)
Who do you want him to go to? The bullpen is a travesty.
   50. Swedish Chef Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:17 AM (#3920760)
5-14 to finish the season? Combine that with 3-7 in their last 10 right now, and that would make a 8-21 run to finish things off. Doesn't seem very likely.

The 3-7 has already happened, so that part is 100% likely, and doesn't affect the probability of the 5-14 happening.
   51. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:18 AM (#3920761)
Way to make him work, guys.
   52. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:21 AM (#3920764)
Sure it does. If the team had gone 10-0 in those first 10 games of the stretch, the playoffs would literally be in the bag, and Francona would be in full rest the staff and starters mode, and we'd be seeing Sunday lineups 3 times a week. The management of the team isn't completely independent of the standings and record. Presently he doesn't really have that luxury, and thus going 5-14 is less likely over that stretch.
   53. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:24 AM (#3920766)
Presently he doesn't really have that luxury, and thus going 5-14 is less likely over that stretch.


So by playing like crap for a few weeks they are MORE likely to play well now? That seems a bit optimistic.
   54. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:26 AM (#3920769)
The closer the standings are, the less Francona can rest guys to prepare for the postseason. Is that really controversial?

And I think it's self evident that the team is less likely to win games in which they aren't playing their full starting lineup and pitching their best arms.
   55. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:28 AM (#3920772)
Peter Gammons
Elias notes that Lackey has worst ERA of any Red Sox starter with 25 starts. Ever.
   56. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:29 AM (#3920773)
The closer the standings are, the less Francona can rest guys to prepare for the postseason. Is that really controversial?


I understand that. But it's not like the 3-7 stretch has been built on playing a bunch of backups, it's been built on the "strength" of the nine guys that are going to be out there in an ideal world.
   57. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:30 AM (#3920774)
I'm not saying that it has been. But the fact that the team went 3-7 instead of 7-3 (or 8-2 or whatever) means that the starters are going to play more in the remaining games.
   58. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:31 AM (#3920776)
OK, here comes the 6 run inning that makes me eat my words!
   59. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:32 AM (#3920778)
But playing guys more who aren't winning is not necessarily a positive. The problem, as noted is not the lineup (though I think it's overrated) but the disaster of a pitching staff.
   60. Textbook Editor Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:36 AM (#3920779)
So... Should we maybe empty the bank for Cole Hamels? I can't imagine the Phillies would be able to go 5/$100, but we certainly could, with Drew/Cameron/Scutaro coming off the books... And it would only be treasure, not blood... I think this may be the move I advocate for in the off-season.
   61. Darren Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:36 AM (#3920780)
This meltdown is one of the top reasons that players sign guaranteed contracts. It's sort of ridiculous to compare their situation to at-will employees.

Rays, go 4-2 the rest of the way against the Sox and they only need to pick up 3.5 games otherwise. It's a race.


And sorry MCOA, this team has had Beckett in the rotation and Youkilis in the lineup for much of the rest of the year. They also had the good Pedroia in there.
   62. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:37 AM (#3920781)
Doesn't Hamels have one more arbitration year? I thought he was a FA after 2012. CJ Wilson is the only real front end starter on the market this year AFAIK.
   63. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:38 AM (#3920782)
Is Hamels a free agent?
   64. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:39 AM (#3920783)
Also keep in mind that some of that money coming off the books has to be earmarked for re-signing Ortiz and Papelbon (or replacements for them).
   65. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:39 AM (#3920785)
Just checked BBRef, he's a free agent after next year.

CJ Wilson is going to get the Carl Pavano Memorial "I'm Pretty Good but because I'm the best of a bad lot I'm going to get ridiculous years and money" contract.
   66. Darren Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:40 AM (#3920786)
Imagine if Carl Crawford could just be decent for the rest of the year? I mean, just play to his former capabilities for a month? I know, it's nuts.

Let me also ask, how does Tampa do this? How do they get every single pitching prospect to stay healthy and immediately succeed in the Majors, in the AL East? How do they get Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist to come up and play better than they ever did in the minors? How do they get retreads like Kotchman to turn great after years of sucking?
   67. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:41 AM (#3920787)
I think at this point they have to just put Buchholz on the mound as soon as they can. Even a rehabbing Buchholz is better than the likes of Miller, Wakefield, and especially Lackey.
   68. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:42 AM (#3920789)
CJ Wilson is going to get the Carl Pavano Memorial "I'm Pretty Good but because I'm the best of a bad lot I'm going to get ridiculous years and money" contract.

WOuldn't John Lackey be a better name to invoke here? Or AJ Burnett?
   69. Darren Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:44 AM (#3920790)
Imagine Lackey was as great as Burnett.
   70. Textbook Editor Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:44 AM (#3920791)
Hmmm... I might have read Cot's wrong. I saw 3 contracts and then his current 3-year deal and assumed he'd used up his 6 years, but then I see he started the year with only 4.143 years of service, so I guess he's NOT a FA... but somehow the Phillies signed him to a 3-year deal that covered 3 years of arbitration but not the last year he was under their control? That seems really odd--why would they risk a huge arb jump-up in his salary in the last year of control if they had hedged against that with the 3-year deal? Really weird.

OK, so let's trade for him, then. We need a starter. Unless we're willing to go $30 million/year and take Sabbathia away from the Yankees, who else is out there to be had?
   71. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:44 AM (#3920793)
Imagine if Carl Crawford could just be decent for the rest of the year? I mean, just play to his former capabilities for a month? I know, it's nuts.


I don't think my imagination is capable of picturing something that's so impossible.
   72. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:45 AM (#3920795)
Nah. Lackey was better than Wilson or Pavano and Burnett wasn't the best FA pitcher on the market in his year. I'm sticking with Pavano.
   73. Textbook Editor Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:45 AM (#3920796)
I'd swap Lackey for Burnett in a heartbeat.
   74. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:45 AM (#3920797)
Imagine Lackey was as great as Burnett.


Imagine if instead of Carl Crawford, John Lackey, and Mike Cameron, the Red Sox had spent similar money on Matt Holliday and Cliff Lee.
   75. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:47 AM (#3920798)
Does anyone watch the TV show Leverage? Any good?
   76. Textbook Editor Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:50 AM (#3920802)
Is Crawford a sunk cost at this point? At what point does he get the "bust" tag applied and not have it ever come off? I mean, jeez, if he'd at least learn how to take walks we could just call him JD Drew 2.0 and grumble for the next 6 years about he never led up to expectations, but is a sneakily useful player... At his current production, he's more useless than Raul Ibanez, and that's saying something.
   77. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:53 AM (#3920805)
I'm willing to give him a mulligan on 2011, guys have bad years. But if next year is like this then...yeesh.
   78. Textbook Editor Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:54 AM (#3920807)
"led up" should be "lived up" Jeez...
   79. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:55 AM (#3920808)
It's hard to imagine 2 worse off seasons of FA signings than Cameron+Lackey and Crawford. So far they've been worth a total of -1 rWAR, with the total commitment to these guys totaling something like $250M
   80. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:55 AM (#3920810)
Sorry, +1 rWAR, not -1.
   81. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:56 AM (#3920811)
According to a Gordon Edes tweet Beckett is telling teammates his ankle feels good.
   82. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:58 AM (#3920814)
It's hard to imagine 2 worse off seasons of FA signings than Cameron+Lackey and Crawford. So far they've been worth a total of -1 rWAR, with the total commitment to these guys totaling something like $250M


Yeah, those did not quite work out did they? It boggles my mind, especially Crawford. 29 years old, presumably in the prime of his career and he posts the worst year of his career by a long shot in every respect. At least with Cameron you could say it's age and Lackey is a pitcher and weird things happen to them.
   83. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:59 AM (#3920816)
Rays starters have thrown 4 straight CGs against the Sox now. That's absurd with this lineup. They really must have some good scouting reports.
   84. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2011 at 02:00 AM (#3920817)
They have good pitchers and the Sox don't hit good pitching. This team is top heavy and when they face good pitchers (except Sabathia for some reason) they can't get anything done.
   85. Dan Posted: September 10, 2011 at 02:04 AM (#3920819)
Wade Davis is a good pitcher? He had a 4.99 ERA in his last 4 starts coming into today, and a 4.50 on the season.

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Last: Buzzards Bay

Athletics (93-63) @ Angels (76-79), Monday, September 23, 2013, 10:05pm
(1 - 3:09am, Sep 24)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

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