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Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Friday, October 26, 2007

World Series Game 2 Reaction: Nice Game Tito

A real nailbiter tonight. The Red Sox couldn’t get that hit to put the game away, but the pitching was so good that they held the line. Great job by Terry Francona in getting Curt Schilling out of the game at a critical juncture and sticking with Hideki Okajima just long enough but not being tempted to push him too far. Papelbon’s fun to watch.

Darren Posted: October 26, 2007 at 04:15 AM | 72 comment(s)
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

World Series Game 1 Reaction: Beckett

Is there anything else to say? Josh Beckett was just awesome once again, under less than ideal circumstances, and the offense was great too. The only beef I had was with Beckett going 7 IP for no discernible reason. I’d have pulled him after the long bottom of the fifth or at least after the 6th. The only reason I could think for leaving him out there was so that they could completely rest the pen. But if he was looking to rest the pen, he wouldn’t have warmed Delcarmen or used Timlin.

All ...

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Darren Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:38 AM | 84 comment(s)
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

World Series Preview

It seems like it’s all been said, but I thought it would still be nice to have a Sox Therapy World Series preview thread. A couple points of interest:

—Ortiz/Youk/Lowell: Who sits in Colorado? I’m really worried about Ortiz’s knee. If it’s bothering him as much as it seems to be, they may not want to risk him in the field. Plus, having his bat ready for a super-important AB would be nice too.

—Coco/Ellsbury: Who sits? I could see Francona going with Ellsbury in Fenway and Crisp in the vast ...

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Darren Posted: October 24, 2007 at 02:03 AM | 29 comment(s)
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Monday, October 22, 2007

Red Sox win AL Pennant; Headed to the World Series

I’ve been pretty good about taking this postseason in stride. Until today, I wasn’t living or dying with every pitch. I was happy the Sox had won the Division and I figured that any postseason success would be gravy. But when they took a 3-0 today, I finally gave in. When it got to 3-2 with Dice-K on the mound, I was screaming at the TV, hoping for him to get out of the 5th. I felt the same way as the team seemed hopeless against Westbrook for the next couple innings. 

But they came through ...

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Darren Posted: October 22, 2007 at 04:06 AM | 126 comment(s)
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Sunday, October 21, 2007

ALCS Game 6 Reactions: Drew Comes Through (and Schilling too!)

The Red Sox absolutely dismantled the Indians tonight. Throughout the series, the Indians had been the ones coming up with 2-out hits. This time, it was JD Drew blasting a HR to center with 2 outs and the bases loaded in the first. This after two very fortunate infield hits.

The game was far from over when David Ortiz grounded into a DP to end the 2nd. Trot Nixon and Casey Blake, the #8 and 9 hitters got on to start the 3rd. Curt Schilling recovered admirably and then cruised after the Red ...

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Darren Posted: October 21, 2007 at 03:57 AM | 68 comment(s)
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Friday, October 19, 2007

ALCS Game 5 Reactions: Beckett Comes Through… Again

Josh Beckett once again comes up huge in the postseason. His 8 IP, 11 K, 1 BB 1 ER performance puts his 07 postseason totals at 23 IP, 1 BB, 26 K, 1.17 ERA. He’s been more than amazing. On the offensive side, I’ve given up on the bottom of the lineup, but if Pedroia is actually bouncing back, the Red Sox have a fighting chance.

Going back to Boston, Cleveland has an edge in game 6 with Carmona on the mound but I think it shifts the other way if we get to game 7.

Darren Posted: October 19, 2007 at 04:15 AM | 101 comment(s)
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

ALCS Game 4 Reactions: Panic!

Well, that was pretty lousy. I missed most of the game, so I don’t have much to say. From what I saw, the Indians outplayed the Red Sox pretty convincingly. Only a few hitters are actually doing anything for Boston and their starters are not getting the job done. Would have been nice to have two starts from Beckett in the last 4 games instead of one.

Darren Posted: October 17, 2007 at 03:40 AM | 85 comment(s)
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

ALCS Game 3 Reactions: Dice-OK and the big question

You know, Daisuke Matsuzaka has pitched two games during this postseason and gotten lousy results, but I still think he’s looked pretty good. A lot of balls found holes tonight. The bats went to sleep for most of the evening against a rather unimpressive-looking Jake Westbrook. Really, his stuff looked pretty hittable but the Red Sox seemed to just be missing it.

The big question now is who will pitch game four. From everything I’ve heard, it’s going to be Tim Wakefield instead of Josh ...

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Darren Posted: October 16, 2007 at 04:14 AM | 64 comment(s)
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Sunday, October 14, 2007

ALCS Game 2 Reactions: What a Battle

As nerve-racking as it was to watch, game 2 was a game for the ages. Both teams got to the starters early and found their way into the opposing bullpens. The Red Sox managed to get to Perez pretty well but were shut down thereafter. Meanwhile, the Red Sox bullpen did a pretty good job of holding the Indians in check until the inning that shall not be mentioned.

Overall, there are a million ways you could second guess decisions or curse a bad break here or there. Should they have stuck with ...

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Darren Posted: October 14, 2007 at 01:15 PM | 52 comment(s)
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Saturday, October 13, 2007

ALCS Game 1 Reactions: More Manny Ortez

Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz combined for the following line today: 4-4 with 5 BBs and 1 HBP. They batted 10 times between them and reached base every time. Those guys are simply amazing. Meanwhile, Josh Beckett was efficient and effective, giving up just 2 runs in 6 IP. His low pitch count (80) means that he’d like be available for game 4 on 3 days rest, if needed.

Plus Gagne held them scoreless too!

Darren Posted: October 13, 2007 at 03:30 AM | 71 comment(s)
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Friday, October 12, 2007

ALCS Preview

Sorry guys, been pretty busy so this is late and there’s not much too it. The Red Sox have a big advantage in this series in goofy facial hair, with Kevin Youkilis’s stupid goatee easily defeating Casey Blake’s Grizzly Adams beard. However, the Indians make up for that by having the most bizarre and frightening name on their roster—Fausto “deal with the devil” Carmona. Pretty evenly matched overall, but I’ll give Boston a slight edge.

Darren Posted: October 12, 2007 at 10:36 AM | 39 comment(s)
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Now I Really Wish They Pitched Sabathia

The victory by the Indians tonight means there will be no Yankees/Red Sox ALCS, which as I’ve expressed before, is just fine with me. Unfortunately, it also means that Cleveland will come in with CC Sabathia and Fausto Carmona will come into the series on full rest and ready to pitch games 1 and 2. Should make for a great matchup with the Red Sox as a slight favorite.

Darren Posted: October 09, 2007 at 03:54 AM | 50 comment(s)
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Sunday, October 07, 2007

ALDS Game 3 Reactions: Not Much of a Series

Well, that was pretty anticlimactic. The Angels had a nice regular season and they have a good team. They were banged up, the Sox were on, and the series got out of hand quickly. Early Game 3 was pretty tight but fell apart late. Sox head on to the ALCS able to rest up their injured players and line up their pitching.

Stat of the series: Ortiz was 5-7 with 6 walks and 2 HR. He’s doing well.

Darren Posted: October 07, 2007 at 11:00 PM | 48 comment(s)
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Weekly Minor League Thread: Pineiro Deal Completed

According to Soxprospects.com, the Red Sox received Sean Danielson from the St. Louis Cardinals to complete the Joel Pineiro deal. Danielson looks like just about the type of player you’d expect to get in such a deal. An older player for his level, he put up a .291/.370/.384 line in AA at age 24 this year, with a very nice 38/41 BB/K. According to SP, he plays all three OF spots and and apparently has good range, speed, and arm. Looks like a 4th/5th OF of the future, with some small chance of ...

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Darren Posted: October 07, 2007 at 02:14 AM | 9 comment(s)
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Rooting for the Indians: Good Fun or Bad Fan?

As I was watching the Yankees/Indians marathon Friday night, I was rooting hard for the Indians to put some runs on the board and take game 2 of the series. I cheered Grady Sizemore’s leadoff triple and cursed that he was stranded. I jumped for joy when Joba Chamberlain’s wild pitch, despite a very fortunate bounce, scored Sizemore from third to tie it. I was ecstatic when Travis Hafner finally came through and ended it with a liner to right in the 11th. One more game and the Yanks would be ...

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Darren Posted: October 07, 2007 at 02:07 AM | 157 comment(s)
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Saturday, October 06, 2007

ALDS Game 2 Reactions: The Manny Show

Manny certainly had quite the adventure today. He looked ridiculous in LF, costing the team at least 1 run and possibly 2. But that shot in the ninth made up for it on this night. What a complete, monstrous bomb. Not only did the homer win the game for them, it also made the Angels pay for constantly walking Ortiz. This will pay dividends in this series and beyond, as teams will not be nearly as tempted to view Manny as a singles hitter working himself back into shape.

Matsuzaka didn’t have ...

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Darren Posted: October 06, 2007 at 05:19 AM | 108 comment(s)
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Thursday, October 04, 2007

ALDS Game 1 Reactions

Wow, that game really flew by. The offense looked good early and then went to sleep. Beckett was amazing. After he got through the first unscathed, I felt pretty good, but I didn’t expect a shutout. With a 4-0 lead going into the 9th, I think sticking with him was the right move. He was pitching well and taking him out would risk finding someone who wasn’t pitching well. A great game in spite of several terrible calls by the umps.

Darren Posted: October 04, 2007 at 02:36 AM | 63 comment(s)
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Monday, October 01, 2007

Red Sox v. Angels ALDS Preview

The Red Sox are preparing to take on the Angels in the American League Divisional Sub-mini Semi Series (I think that’s what it’s called) and it will be a long two more days before the series starts. Plenty of time for arguing over what’s to come, who should be on the team, and how they should approach the series. Here are some of the more interesting subplots of the matchup from my perspective. Feel free to add your own or eviscerate mine.

—A lot is being made of John Lackey’s past poor ...

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Darren Posted: October 01, 2007 at 11:57 PM | 87 comment(s)
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Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Amazing Year of David Ortiz… Again

Every time you think David Ortiz has reached a plateau from which he cannot possibly improve, he goes out and does the impossible. For the seventh straight year, his OPS+ will have gone up. His OPS+ this year was a striking 174 before his 3-4 with a HR and double last night.

And in 2007, his achievements are all the more impressive because his ailing knee and shoulder caused him to alter his style considerably. No longer could he simply muscle the ball out of the ballpark with ...

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Darren Posted: September 29, 2007 at 01:47 PM | 57 comment(s)
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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

The Red Sox win the AL East outright for the first time in over a decade. What a great way for it to end. Dice pitches well, Ortiz is still on fire, and Pap close it out! The Red Sox win the AL East!

Darren Posted: September 29, 2007 at 03:22 AM | 51 comment(s)
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Monday, September 24, 2007

The wild card playoff idea, again

Another year, another attempt to trot out the wild card playoff idea. I put this in Sox Therapy because that’s where I have keys, but the idea really is worth general discussion, IMO:

Each league has two wild-card teams.

The wild card teams play a one-game playoff, with the team with the better record hosting.

The playoffs then proceed as they currently do.

Why?

1. One-game playoffs are awesome.
2. Division races become more significant, because the division winner avoids the huge risk of ...

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Toby Posted: September 24, 2007 at 04:40 PM | 42 comment(s)
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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Boston Clinches the Playoffs!

Tonight the Red Sox clinched a spot in the playoffs, which is a big part of what should constitute a successful season for them. The team started out on a torrid hot streak, went into a long period of mediocrity, and has returned playing about .600 ball over the past couple months. Consider this a celebration of what the team’s done so far and a look forward to future success.

Darren Posted: September 23, 2007 at 03:32 AM | 141 comment(s)
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

2.5 Games and Winning Is Still not a Priority

The Red Sox are pushing back Matsuzaka until this weekend. In so doing, they are giving a start to Buchholz, who will be pitching on 13 days rest. They will also be pushing back Wakefield, thus eliminating his start in Tampa, where he has pitched his best. And of course, let’s not forget tonight’s Eric Gagne debacle. Inserting Gagne into a 1-run game is questionable enough, but letting him turn it into a 2-run deficit is just beyond explanation.

This team now has a 2.5 game lead with 10 to ...

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Darren Posted: September 19, 2007 at 02:02 AM | 381 comment(s)
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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hinsker Do

Even before yesterday’s nice game, I had been thinking that Eric Hinske has been taking an unfair amount of abuse around these parts. In sporadic playing time, he’s been putting up a 100+ OPS+ while playing a respectable first base and a lousy-ish OF. In short, he’s been a good bench player and an important part of a winning team.

His performance yesterday was another feather in his cap. 2-4 with a key double and a tack-on HR late, but most importantly taking out Posada at the plate. For the ...

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Darren Posted: September 16, 2007 at 02:19 PM | 38 comment(s)
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Weekly Minor League Thread: Mickey Hall and His Weird Splits

Mickey Hall has been somewhat of a forgotten man among Red Sox prospects, and for good reason. After being selected in the 2nd round in 2003 and lured away from Georgia Tech (where he was to replace Matt Murton), Hall has not done much to distinguish himself since. Before 2007, the only thing that he did with consistency was strike out in big numbers.

His 2007 started out like the others. He began the year in Greenville, where he hit .213/.330/.325, but with an encouraging 14/21 BB/K rate. ...

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Darren Posted: September 11, 2007 at 02:43 AM | 2 comment(s)
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I want the division!

And judging from the cursing in the game threads recently, I’m not the only one who does. The division is key because it sets up home field advantage for the Sox, but there’s another reason that I want it. The division, to me, is an important achievement in its own right. The Yankees have at least tied for the AL East for the past decade, and to knock them off would be a really impressive accomplishment.

I’m not saying I want to see Papi hobbling out there on one knee, Manny rushed back, or ...

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Darren Posted: September 11, 2007 at 02:35 AM | 106 comment(s)
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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Is it time to discuss the postseason roster?

With another win tonight, the Red Sox move ever closer to securing a playoff spot. And with that being the case, they will soon have to decide who is going to be on the roster. The starting nine, Mirabelli, Cora, the top four starters, and Pap/Okajima/Delcarmen/Timlin are a given, assuming health. That leaves six other spots to fill in. Loogy Lopez is probably in and Kielty too, leaving four more players. Who else gets in there? Does Lester or Tavarez make it as a reliever? Is Ellsbury a sure ...

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Darren Posted: September 08, 2007 at 02:45 AM | 101 comment(s)
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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Jacoby Ellsbury: Where Did This Come From?

The big question about Jacoby Ellsbury’s future has to be his power. After being promoted to AAA early this year, Ellsbury put up a .380 slugging percentage. But in his brief stints in the majors, he has displayed great power. His current MLB line of .452 .514 .774 is enough to make you say, “Manny who?” Why has he been so good in the majors this year? Can such an outburst be random? Whatever the case, he’s been about the most fun Red Sox player to watch for the past week or so. ...Read More...

Darren Posted: September 05, 2007 at 02:44 AM | 41 comment(s)
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The Papelbon Rules: ???

In many of my recent posts, I have decried this team’s seeming lack of urgency down the stretch. Time after time, the Red Sox have opted to err on the side of caution and plan for the long run, even as their lead in the East dwindled down to 4 games. And it appears that that strategy, whether I agreed with it or not, has not hurt them so far. They’ve returned their lead to a rather comfortable 7 games and the BPro postseason odds has them at over 99 percent chance of winning the division. If ...

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Darren Posted: September 05, 2007 at 02:13 AM | 79 comment(s)
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Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Much-Needed Youth Infusion!

The arrival of Buc and co. couldn’t have come too quickly. After last night’s heartbreaker, this team really needed a victory. Brandon Moss and Jacoby Ellsbury contributed with the bats and Clay Buchholz, well, you know what he did. One of the most enjoyable games of the season given the context.

Darren Posted: September 02, 2007 at 03:26 AM | 40 comment(s)
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