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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

OTM: Botched: Red Sox Fail Spectacularly, Fall To Royals In Fourteen

The first eight innings of the game were bad enough, but what transpired was truly the stuff of legends. Pathetic, pathetic legends.

Let’s review RISP we had that could have won the game at any time:
9th inning: Navarro on third, 1 out
11th inning: Gonzalez on second, 2 out
12th inning: Reddick on third, 1 out
13th inning: Ellsbury on third, 1 out
14th inning: Reddick on second, 1 out

And I will tell you what you must already know when I say not a one of those batters scored.

...But really, Marco Scutaro steals the show with his twelfth inning disaster. Josh Reddick had reached base to start the inning, and then advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt that got well away from the Royals. With one out, and the defense showing some serious difficulties, Terry Francona called for the suicide squeeze. Josh Reddick picked up the signal, and broke for home as the pitcher delivered…and found himself completely dead between third and home.

The signal hadn’t made its way to Scutaro, apparently, who later told reporters he could only think that he “[expletived] it up”

Yes, Scoot, you certainly did.

Thanks to It’s Getting Arnold Earley Out There.

Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 10:43 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: game recaps, red sox, royals

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 26, 2011 at 11:36 AM (#3885561)
On paper, this has to be one of the Red Sox most winnable games of the year. Davies has been awful, the Royals suck, the Red Sox have been playing at a 111-win pace for the last 90 games, it's at Fenway, and Jon Lester is starting.

I'll tell you what is not included in the list of opportunities above - that Carl Crawford was in the middle of a lot of that failure:
14th inning: Crawford leads off the inning with a swinging K.
11th inning: Crawford strikes out to end the inning with Gonzalez on second base
9th inning: With Navarro on 3rd base and one out, Crawford strikes out
4th inning: One out, Ortiz one first. With two strikes, the Sox do a hit-and-run. Crawford swings and misses for strike three, Ortiz is out by 20 feet because he is, well, David Ortiz.
   2. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 26, 2011 at 12:29 PM (#3885577)
Red Sox Play Badly In A Game: World Ends
   3. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 26, 2011 at 12:42 PM (#3885584)
#1 - That's what struck me when I woke up and read through the play by play. After a pretty good run coming back from the DL he had a bad game yesterday.

The loss is annoying but I don't particularly care, they can't win 'em all as they say. What is troubling is Youkilis left another game with an injury. The more I watch the more I thinkt he Sox might be well served finding a competent third baseman as a just in case. Youk has been battling injuries all year and I fear this is going to be a Mike Lowell 2008 situation where we'll get to October and he'll just be done and we'll be pinning our hopes on Yamaico Navarro.
   4. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 26, 2011 at 12:46 PM (#3885588)
Red Sox Play Badly In A Game: World Ends

Crawford Pisses Fans Off, Fans Piss Pants
   5. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 26, 2011 at 12:54 PM (#3885590)
The Wild Card has really screwed both of our fanbases out of a real race this year. On July 31, what's the driving need for the Yankees or Red Sox to sell off assets in order to improve? In a world where second is good enough, both of these teams (particularly the Sox) can essentially start setting their pitching rotations. There won't be a significant game for either the Yankees nor the Sox for the rest of 2011, unless the Angels or Rays make a run.
   6. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 26, 2011 at 01:01 PM (#3885593)
The Wild Card has really screwed both of our fanbases out of a real race this year. On July 31, what's the driving need for the Yankees or Red Sox to sell off assets in order to improve? In a world where second is good enough, both of these teams (particularly the Sox) can essentially start setting their pitching rotations. There won't be a significant game for either the Yankees nor the Sox for the rest of 2011, unless the Angels or Rays make a run.


Yeah. Just to play devil's advocate for a moment we've got some pretty good divisional races shaping up elsewhere and the NL Wild Card could also be a good one (though I think the Braves will pull away in the end).
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 01:11 PM (#3885598)
4th inning: One out, Ortiz one first. With two strikes, the Sox do a hit-and-run. Crawford swings and misses for strike three, Ortiz is out by 20 feet because he is, well, David Ortiz.


I don't see how this is Crawford's fault. If you call for a hit and run with a tree sloth like Ortiz on first base, you're pretty much asking for a kick in the groin.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 26, 2011 at 01:14 PM (#3885599)
The Wild Card has really screwed both of our fanbases out of a real race this year. On July 31, what's the driving need for the Yankees or Red Sox to sell off assets in order to improve? In a world where second is good enough, both of these teams (particularly the Sox) can essentially start setting their pitching rotations. There won't be a significant game for either the Yankees nor the Sox for the rest of 2011, unless the Angels or Rays make a run.

You're probably right, although it's only been in the past 10 days that the Rays have kind of dropped out of the picture. That 16 inning loss to the Red Sox in front of their home crowd seems to have completely taken the wind out of them.
   9. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 26, 2011 at 01:20 PM (#3885604)
You're probably right, although it's only been in the past 10 days that the Rays have kind of dropped out of the picture.


Yes. I wouldn't call the season until July 16 or so this year. It's a sad state when there are three months of meaningless games in front of us.
   10. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 26, 2011 at 01:40 PM (#3885611)
I like having the wild card, but there needs to be a way to make a division title worth meaningfully more than a wild card berth. Right now, what do you get for winning the AL East, rather than finishing second?

1) Home field (which means a lot less than in, say, football or basketball)
2) You get to pick whether you get a schedule with an extra day off early, or more evenly distributed

I'm not even sure you get much help with an easier 1st round opponent. I mean, the second best team in the AL will be the wild card team, and the gap between the second-best and third-best is much greater than the gap between number three and number four.

Football has it right - if you have one of the two best records among division champs, you get to skip Wild Card Weekend. That's a big advantage.
   11. Answer Guy Posted: July 26, 2011 at 01:42 PM (#3885614)
I'd just as well not have to beat Texas w/o home field in the first round. Not that you're going to wear your whole team out to do that. There's an interesting AL Central race going on. Under the old rules, the Tigers and Indians would be about as relevant as the Royals.
   12. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 26, 2011 at 01:48 PM (#3885621)
I am not sure a weeklong bye in baseball is a big advantage. I'm pretty certain that it's not as big an advantage as it is in football.
   13. JE (Jason) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 02:01 PM (#3885632)
Yeah. Just to play devil's advocate for a moment we've got some pretty good divisional races shaping up elsewhere and the NL Wild Card could also be a good one (though I think the Braves will pull away in the end).

As of this morning, Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds page gives the Braves as a 87.9% chance of making the postseason. (The Phillies are listed at 99.4%.) That does not sound like a recipe for an exciting wildcard race.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: July 26, 2011 at 02:23 PM (#3885653)
As of this morning, Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds page gives the Braves as a 87.9% chance of making the postseason. (The Phillies are listed at 99.4%.) That does not sound like a recipe for an exciting wildcard race.


That's what I was thinking. It believe the only races this year will be between the dross that make up the central divisions (apologies to the Pirates, for whom dross is a mighty step forward).
   15. Dale Sams Posted: July 26, 2011 at 02:27 PM (#3885656)
Just nitpicking but, when you've sworn never to squeeze "Cause it doesn't work", as Francona has. You might want to get a return signal from your batter indicating he caught the sign.
   16. Dan Posted: July 26, 2011 at 02:28 PM (#3885657)
I'm not even sure I'd prefer winning the division to winning the Wild Card in the AL. If Detroit wins the AL Central, the AL East winner (assuming they have a better record than Texas, which looks likely) will have to face Verlander 2 times in a short series. I think I'd rather play Texas at home than have to face Verlander twice when 3 games wins the series.
   17. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 26, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#3885688)
As of this morning, Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds page gives the Braves as a 87.9% chance of making the postseason. (The Phillies are listed at 99.4%.) That does not sound like a recipe for an exciting wildcard race.


The lead is only 3 games, it's not like that's insurmountable. They are the team to beat and I'd put money on them but I wouldn't be too confident of that number. I have to admit the NL West has spread out more than I expected it too. What the hell happened to the Rockies? I really thought they were the team to beat.
   18. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 26, 2011 at 03:07 PM (#3885689)
I think I'd rather play Texas at home than have to face Verlander twice when 3 games wins the series.

Eh. The Red Sox have Beckett and Lester. I'd rather take my chances with 3 games at Fenway.
   19. JE (Jason) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3885694)
What the hell happened to the Rockies? I really thought they were the team to beat.

Cliff Hurdle is managing a first-place club, while his celebrated successor in Denver, Jim Tracy, is trying to figure out why his team is seven games under .500. Go figure.
   20. Dale Sams Posted: July 26, 2011 at 03:14 PM (#3885697)
Verlander vs Beckett at home or Beckett vs. CJ Wilson in Texas.

I'd take Beckett vs. Verlander in Fenway, but that's just me.
   21. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 03:44 PM (#3885713)
They should have pinch run with Buchholz and done a straight steal of home.
   22. stanmvp48 Posted: July 26, 2011 at 03:50 PM (#3885716)
With respect to baseball prospectus playoff odds reports. They have the Rockies with a better chance of the wild card than of winning the division (both infinitessimal, admittedly) However, this seems wrong. They have only two teams to pass to win the division, both of whom they play. They are 11 games behind the Braves and a number of other teams, many of whom they do not play. Any insights on how this is calculated?
   23. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 26, 2011 at 04:00 PM (#3885724)
Any insights on how this is calculated?


Ineptly.
   24. scotto Posted: July 26, 2011 at 04:02 PM (#3885727)
I saw the last couple of innings. Rather than rend my garments over the Red Sox' failures, I'll point out that the squeeze that scored the winning run was a thing of beauty. I have no idea if it was intentional but popping the bunt over the charging AG's head but such that Pedroia couldn't catch it was a great idea that was pretty sweetly done.

Otherwise you win some, you lose some.
   25. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 26, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#3885729)
Yeah, was that intentional? I couldn't tell either.
   26. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: July 26, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#3885734)
Another point about the squeeze play: on my team, I'd tell baserunners to take off and run hard all the way in to the plate in that situation, regardless of whether the bunt goes down or not.

I think Reddick was better off looking for a chance to either slide around the catcher or at least put the pressure on him to catch / hold the ball and get into position to make a tag.
   27. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 04:36 PM (#3885741)
Cliff Hurdle is managing a first-place club, while his celebrated successor in Denver, Jim Tracy, is trying to figure out why his team is seven games under .500. Go figure.


Nobody who watched Tracy manage the Pirates would be at all surprised by that.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: July 26, 2011 at 05:05 PM (#3885755)
Another point about the squeeze play: on my team, I'd tell baserunners to take off and run hard all the way in to the plate in that situation, regardless of whether the bunt goes down or not.


The problem is in situations like Reddick found himself in, if the batter misses the sign. The run is important, but it's not worth a braining if the batter unwittingly swings away.
   29. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#3885777)
Of all the things to cry wolf about, we're going to choose a completely-out-of-character mistake festival in which the pitching was actually GOOD?
   30. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#3885785)
I am not sure a weeklong bye in baseball is a big advantage. I'm pretty certain that it's not as big an advantage as it is in football.
Well, with football you have injuries, so I guess it's a big advantage for that reason -- but since the better team in football is more likely to win than the better team in baseball is, it's not clear to me that it's bigger in football.

The argument about a "weeklong bye" not being a big advantage in baseball is that your players get rusty. But for pitchers, it's the equivalent of missing one start. For batters, it's shorter than a DL trip. I don't think rustiness outweighs the advantage of not having to win another series, which is, as we all know, a crapshoot.
   31. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 26, 2011 at 06:57 PM (#3885833)
I'll point out that the squeeze that scored the winning run was a thing of beauty. I have no idea if it was intentional but popping the bunt over the charging AG's head but such that Pedroia couldn't catch it was a great idea that was pretty sweetly done.

Somewhat accidental, in that news reports indicate that the other runners shouldn't have been running, but when Francoeur mistakenly took off, that cued Gonzalez that the squeeze was on, so he charged in, and the Royals lucked out when the bunt was blooped over Gonzalez. If Francoeur doesn't screw up, Gonzalez may have held his ground long enough to have a chance at the ball. Yay, Frenchy!
   32. villageidiom Posted: July 26, 2011 at 06:59 PM (#3885835)
With respect to baseball prospectus playoff odds reports. They have the Rockies with a better chance of the wild card than of winning the division (both infinitessimal, admittedly) However, this seems wrong. They have only two teams to pass to win the division, both of whom they play. They are 11 games behind the Braves and a number of other teams, many of whom they do not play. Any insights on how this is calculated?
They run 1 million simulations of the remainder of the season. I think there are three factors at play here that produce what you see:

(1) CO doesn't play SF and AZ as often as they need to. They have 13 head to head games total, and thus only about half their destiny is in their hands.

(2) Both SF and AZ are better than most of the WC teams.

(3) Each of the NLW contenders has a lot of games left against bad teams (those behind CO for either the WC race or the NLW race).

Based on these, it's unlikely that SF and AZ will both collapse and let CO back in the NLW race. Thus in order for CO to win the NLW they'd likely need to play at an insanely great level for two months. But if they can do that, they're moving past a lot of teams in the WC race, too.
   33. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 26, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#3885838)
The argument about a "weeklong bye" not being a big advantage in baseball is that your players get rusty. But for pitchers, it's the equivalent of missing one start. For batters, it's shorter than a DL trip. I don't think rustiness outweighs the advantage of not having to win another series, which is, as we all know, a crapshoot.


I'll see if I can dig up the exact quote, but last year Teixiera was asked about this specifically, and he said that batters would rather play through, that timing and other things go away if the skills aren't used repeatedly.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: July 27, 2011 at 12:48 AM (#3886033)
4th inning: One out, Ortiz one first. With two strikes, the Sox do a hit-and-run. Crawford swings and misses for strike three, Ortiz is out by 20 feet because he is, well, David Ortiz.

Yep. Put this one on Francona. The main rationale behind the hit-and-run is to stay out of the DP. But, being fast and LHB, Crawford doesn't hit into a lot of DPs. Being deathly slow, Ortiz with a running start still has a good chance of being forced at second anyway (with some chance of Crawford doubled up). And even if you end up with Ortiz at second, he's still, well, David Ortiz and it's gonna take two singles to score him. Meanwhile, while it's not a high rate by today's standards, Crawford Ks in about 1 of 6 PA which, with Ortiz running, gives you a 16% chance of getting a DP there.* Putting on the hit-and-run turned Crawford into Jim Rice.

*Ideally I'd want to know Crawford's DPs per opportunity; how often he swings and misses; I'm assuming it was at least a 3-2 count but Crawford is not known for his walk rate either; how often Ortiz gets the extra base on hits, etc. for a more precise measurement. But I can't imagine that precision will ever make it a good idea to risk a near-certain DP on Crawford's ability to make contact.
   35. ptodd Posted: July 27, 2011 at 06:33 AM (#3886297)
Terry Francona called for the suicide squeeze. Josh Reddick picked up the signal, and broke for home as the pitcher delivered…and found himself completely dead between third and home.

The signal hadn’t made its way to Scutaro, apparently, who later told reporters he could only think that he “[expletived] it up”


Given the rarity a squeeze is called and the consequences if it is missed by the hitter, many teams require the hitter to confirm the play with a sign before it is executed.

The runner rarely misses the sign because the 3B coach makes sure of it (according to Jerry remy).

It was a dumb call anyways, with Jacoby on deck. As it turns out, Scutaro who has been hitting well would have ended the game with his single. Tito must of got carried away with his 1000 W and thought he was back in the NL.

Carl Crawford failing with 2 opportunities for a walkoff with horrendous pitch selection were also key opportunities lost, and he led everyone with a -0.444 WPA.
   36. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: July 27, 2011 at 07:54 AM (#3886303)
OTM: Botched: Red Sox Fail Spectacularly, Fall To Royals In Fourteen



Spectacular failure in July - what is this? 2004?

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