Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, April 07, 2019

3 reasons the Red Sox have started worse than any World Series champion since 1998

The Boston Red Sox are looking for the reset button.

After dominating Major League Baseball throughout the entire 2018 season, leading to a franchise-record 108 regular season wins and a World Series victory, the Red Sox are off to a dreadful start in 2019.

Friday’s 15-8 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks dropped their record to 2-7, which is the worst nine-game start by a reigning World Series champion since the 1998 Florida Marlins.

It seems that panic hits earlier and earlier each year….

 

 

QLE Posted: April 07, 2019 at 03:25 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baserunning, defense, pitching, red sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. bobm Posted: April 07, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5829359)
We've seen this before...

2014 Red Sox among worst defending champs in MLB history

If paces hold, then the Red Sox will finish the 2014 season in last place in the AL East and with a record of 71-91. That's notable because the Sox are, of course, the reigning World Series champs, and they're in line for a 26-game decline from 2013 levels. The worst-to-first ascension was the story last October, but "first to worst" is the tale in Boston as August, 2014 draws to a close.

[...]

Sure, the '98 Marlins are the worst defending champ in the annals of modern major-league baseball, but the 2014 Red Sox are shaping up to be the worst defending champ who made even a perfunctory effort at, you know, actually defending.
   2. Spahn Insane Posted: April 07, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5829367)
.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 07, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5829368)
What's remarkable to me is just how bad the SP has been.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 07, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5829369)
If paces hold, then the Red Sox will finish the 2014 season in last place in the AL East and with a record of 71-91.

Well, the 2014 Red Sox did finish at 71-91, last in the AL East, and 25 games out of 1st. So, they’re doomed this year?
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: April 07, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5829371)
Well, the 2014 Red Sox did finish at 71-91, last in the AL East, and 25 games out of 1st. So, they’re doomed this year?


If pace holds, the 2019 Red Sox will finish 32-130 and 72 games out of first.
   6. bobm Posted: April 07, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5829374)
The 2014 Red Sox started 4-6. If pace held, that's 65-97 over a full season.

                                                 
Gm#                       Date    Tm Opp W/L R RA
1       Monday Mar 31 boxscore   BOS BAL   L 1  2
2     Wednesday Apr 2 boxscore   BOS BAL   W 6  2
3      Thursday Apr 3 boxscore   BOS BAL   W 4  3
4        Friday Apr 4 boxscore   BOS MIL   L 2  6
5      Saturday Apr 5 boxscore   BOS MIL   L 6  7
6        Sunday Apr 6 boxscore   BOS MIL   L 0  4
7        Monday Apr 7 boxscore   BOS TEX   W 5  1
8       Tuesday Apr 8 boxscore   BOS TEX   L 7 10
9     Wednesday Apr 9 boxscore   BOS TEX   W 4  2
10    Thursday Apr 10 boxscore   BOS NYY   L 1  4


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/7/2019.
   7. bobm Posted: April 07, 2019 at 02:24 PM (#5829376)
Abraham (4/11/14): Doing the math on Red Sox’ poor start

But let’s parcel out what is going on here:

Poor play (30 percent of the problem): [...]

Injuries (25 percent): [...]

Resting on laurels (15 percent): [...]

Missing Ellsbury (15 percent): [...]

Getting to know each other (10 percent): [...]

Bad luck (5 percent): [...]

The solution for now is to ride this out and let good players be good. April is no time for impatience. The 2013 Red Sox were 6-4 after 10 games and everybody thought that was wonderful. A two-game difference with all that has gone wrong and changed is not worth getting distressed about.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 07, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5829380)
Missing Ellsbury (15 percent)

Might be even more of a factor now, eh? Absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all. Maybe a trade could help both teams? Ellsbury for the skinny guy in RF would be comparable salary wise. Might be the spark the Red Sox need.
   9. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 07, 2019 at 04:40 PM (#5829411)
Might be even more of a factor now, eh? Absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all. Maybe a trade could help both teams? Ellsbury for the skinny guy in RF would be comparable salary wise. Might be the spark the Red Sox need.


Don't be greedy. Maybe the Yanks could throw in a prospect or two.
   10. TomH Posted: April 07, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5829418)
There is ONE primary reason the Sox have started so poorly.

The Sox pitchers have allowed 23 home runs. The AL average is... 9.
Anyone here think is more sustainable/blamable on the pitchers than fluke? Especially considering the Sox arms have struck out more opponents than the league average? If so, please offer a reasonable defense.

By May 15th, the Sox will be over .500, something like 23-20.

(The best SECONDARY reason is they are 0-0 at home so far. The only other team with 0 home games are the 2-6 Cubs.)
   11. bobm Posted: April 07, 2019 at 06:10 PM (#5829438)
The Sox pitchers have allowed 23 home runs. The AL average is... 9.
Anyone here think is more sustainable/blamable on the pitchers than fluke? Especially considering the Sox arms have struck out more opponents than the league average? If so, please offer a reasonable defense.


Their babip is not wonderful, and that has nothing to do with surrendering home runs. That said, that doesn't necessarily mean that this isn't a small sample size, road game fluke pitching performance to date.


For 2019, Total (within Season Totals), sorted by greatest for this split

                               
Rk   Team       Split BAbip W L
1     WSN 2019 Totals  .373 3 4
2     CHC 2019 Totals  .349 2 6
3     NYM 2019 Totals  .332 6 2
4     KCR 2019 Totals  .324 2 5
5     TEX 2019 Totals  .322 5 4
6     BOS 2019 Totals  .321 2 8
7     CIN 2019 Totals  .306 1 7
8     BAL 2019 Totals  .303 4 4
9     MIA 2019 Totals  .301 3 6
10    ARI 2019 Totals  .294 5 4
11    COL 2019 Totals  .293 3 6
12    SFG 2019 Totals  .292 3 6
13    CLE 2019 Totals  .289 5 3
14    CHW 2019 Totals  .288 3 4
15    MIL 2019 Totals  .284 7 2
16    SDP 2019 Totals  .284 6 3
17    LAA 2019 Totals  .284 3 6
18    NYY 2019 Totals  .283 4 4
19    PHI 2019 Totals  .282 5 2
20    MIN 2019 Totals  .270 5 2
21    TOR 2019 Totals  .269 3 7
22    ATL 2019 Totals  .268 4 4
23    SEA 2019 Totals  .268 8 2
24    LAD 2019 Totals  .267 7 2
25    HOU 2019 Totals  .262 4 5
26    OAK 2019 Totals  .255 6 6
27    STL 2019 Totals  .251 3 5
28    TBR 2019 Totals  .245 6 3
29    DET 2019 Totals  .233 6 3
30    PIT 2019 Totals  .217 4 3


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/7/2019.
   12. TomH Posted: April 07, 2019 at 06:22 PM (#5829439)
agree, babip =/ gopherballitis

the gopher itis seems so random tho.
   13. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: April 07, 2019 at 07:18 PM (#5829447)
What's remarkable to me is just how bad the SP has been.


The Sox made a decision to ease the starters into it this spring. Between age (Price) or injury history (Sale, Eovaldi, EdRod) they felt by taking it easy they’d be better positioned to finish strong. Now obviously I think if they knew they’d pitch THIS badly to start they’d revisit their approach a bit but I think there was a plan.

What’s been surprising to me as a Sox fan watching every games is the number of times the outfield defense has let them down. I can think of three important plays off the top of my head that should have been routine outs by Betts and/or Bradley that fell in including a “I got it i got it i got no you got it oh crud” play in Oakland. It almost has looked like the rest of the team has decided to ease into it on their own.
   14. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 07, 2019 at 08:48 PM (#5829462)
I'm looking forward to the first Red Sox-Orioles game on Friday. So far each of their pitching staffs has given up 23 home runs.
   15. bobm Posted: April 07, 2019 at 09:17 PM (#5829464)
It seems the SP issue is both HRs and babip, but for different SPs

2019 Red Sox SP, sorted by babip

                                                                
Rk              Player      Split Year G BAbip W L   ERA GS   IP
1        Rick Porcello as Starter 2019 2  .500 0 2 13.50  2  7.1
2    Eduardo Rodriguez as Starter 2019 2  .452 0 2 12.38  2  8.0
3          David Price as Starter 2019 2  .300 0 1  6.00  2 12.0

4       Nathan Eovaldi as Starter 2019 2  .250 0 0  8.10  2 10.0
5           Chris Sale as Starter 2019 2  .185 0 2  8.00  2  9.0


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/7/2019.

2019 Red Sox SP, sorted by HR/BF

                                                       
Rk              Player      Split Year   HR9   IP HR BF HR/BF
1           Chris Sale as Starter 2019 4.000  9.0  4 42  .095
2       Nathan Eovaldi as Starter 2019 3.600 10.0  4 49  .082

3        Rick Porcello as Starter 2019 3.682  7.1  3 45  .067
4          David Price as Starter 2019 2.250 12.0  3 49  .061
5    Eduardo Rodriguez as Starter 2019 2.250  8.0  2 46  .043



Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/7/2019.
   16. Jack Sommers Posted: April 08, 2019 at 02:14 AM (#5829497)
The Red Sox found a winning formula. Don't let any of the starters pitch
   17. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 08, 2019 at 02:36 AM (#5829498)
I'm looking forward to the first Red Sox-Orioles game on Friday. So far each of their pitching staffs has given up 23 home runs.


So bad that Chris Davis has a chance to get a hold of one...that's how bad it is!
   18. Rally Posted: April 08, 2019 at 08:33 AM (#5829506)
Last year's team didn't reach 8 losses until May 1st.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 08, 2019 at 09:21 AM (#5829511)
Their babip is not wonderful, and that has nothing to do with surrendering home runs. That said, that doesn't necessarily mean that this isn't a small sample size, road game fluke pitching performance to date.

They're also walking the ballpark.

Eovaldi 5.4 BB/9, Sale 4.0 BB/9, Rodriguez 6.8 BB/9, Porcello 8.6.
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: April 08, 2019 at 09:21 AM (#5829512)
They at least got a W to end the trip. Now they can come home, get their rings or whatever on Tuesday, and then get down to business - 11 straight games within the division.
   21. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 08, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5829534)
2019 is over. It's always been over.
   22. villageidiom Posted: April 08, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5829634)
The Sox made a decision to ease the starters into it this spring. Between age (Price) or injury history (Sale, Eovaldi, EdRod) they felt by taking it easy they’d be better positioned to finish strong. Now obviously I think if they knew they’d pitch THIS badly to start they’d revisit their approach a bit but I think there was a plan.


Starting rotation, 1st start vs. 2nd start:

21.0 IP 25.1
11.14 ERA 7.46
.349 BABip .325
.420 OBP .398
.798 SLG .524
5.6 BB/9 4.6
10.3 K/9 5.3
4.7 HR/9 1.8
125 Pit/6 106

The above does not include the Hector Velazquez start; just the five pitchers in the regular starting rotation.

Obviously the OPS components suck; even the 2nd-start OBP and SLG are each 100 points worse than the staff's starters did in all of 2018. But they're moving in the right direction. The K-rate is not.

Let's hope they collectively take off another 3.5 points of ERA in this pass.
   23. villageidiom Posted: April 08, 2019 at 01:50 PM (#5829636)
Another way of looking at this: Boston is 4.5 games out of first place, with 151 games to go.
   24. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: April 08, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5829646)
As of today the Red Sox starters have the following ERA+; 66, 49, 50, 33, 30. If that continues then yeah we have a problem. I expect that to happen as much as I expect Ryan Brasier to finish the year with a 0.00 ERA.
   25. rconn23 Posted: April 08, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5829703)
The Red Sox will be fine as long as Sale is healthy. The starting pitching and hitters have underperformed, the bullpen has probably overperformed and those will probably even out.
   26. bobm Posted: April 10, 2019 at 12:57 AM (#5830299)
No HR or BB for Sale today!
   27. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 10, 2019 at 01:15 AM (#5830301)
The only thing that is working in their favour right now is that NY is scuffling. With the Mariners off to such a good start they can almost just play .500 ball the rest of the way and have 1 wild card spot wrapped up. Houston will win that division going away.
Unless they have a 12-1 stretch or a couple of 9-2 stretches, they are battling the Rays for the other WC spot.
   28. Chip Posted: April 10, 2019 at 01:24 AM (#5830304)
Unless they have a 12-1 stretch or a couple of 9-2 stretches, they are battling the Rays for the other WC spot


C’mon, the Rays have the inside track on the division already, with the Northeast Corridor stumblebums both being so stumblebummy.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
danielj
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogCC Sabathia has a case for Cooperstown
(22 - 3:36am, Oct 21)
Last: Jaack

NewsblogAstros enter World Series against Nationals as heaviest favorites since 2007
(2 - 2:38am, Oct 21)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogWhy did Jeff Bridich give Nolan Arenado an opt-out clause?:The Athletic (paywall):Groke
(3 - 1:05am, Oct 21)
Last: Dr. Vaux

NewsblogChampionship Series OMNICHATTER!
(1140 - 11:39pm, Oct 20)
Last: Red Voodooin

NewsblogEric Cooper, MLB umpire for 21 years, dies at age 52
(4 - 11:30pm, Oct 20)
Last: Walks Clog Up the Bases

NewsblogOT - NBA thread (pre-season)
(575 - 11:25pm, Oct 20)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogSavages in the box go bust with slew of strikeouts
(25 - 11:05pm, Oct 20)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogClinching heroics net Altuve ALCS MVP honors
(16 - 11:02pm, Oct 20)
Last: bobm

NewsblogOT- Soccer Thread- October 2019
(192 - 10:55pm, Oct 20)
Last: Sean Forman

NewsblogCapital hill: Astros, Nats put World Series eyes on pitching
(4 - 9:11pm, Oct 20)
Last: puck

NewsblogWaiting game: Nationals get 6 days off before World Series
(14 - 8:47pm, Oct 20)
Last: AndrewJ

NewsblogThe hit-by-pitch god
(11 - 8:42pm, Oct 20)
Last: The Duke

NewsblogOT - 2019 NFL thread
(33 - 8:36pm, Oct 20)
Last: It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out

NewsblogEx-Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright to undergo Tommy John surgery
(4 - 5:24pm, Oct 20)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

Hall of MeritRoy Halladay, Mariano Rivera, and "Cannonball" Dick Redding elected - Hall of Merit Class of 2019
(57 - 4:51pm, Oct 20)
Last: Jaack

Page rendered in 0.3597 seconds
46 querie(s) executed