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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Sunday, September 09, 2018

11 Days Later

A year ago vi wrote about “The Gauntlet,” a tough stretch of the schedule that really established the Sox on their divisional chase.  This year’s version was these past 11 days where the Sox faced first place Cleveland, a feisty White Sox team, first place Atlanta and first place Houston while the Yankees had a West Coast trip to deal with.  It was a bit grueling but the Sox did enough going 8-5 against this tough competition.  They now lead by 8 1/2 games with 18 to play and are firmly in control.

THere is a rush in some corners (I’m looking at you Joe!) to declare it “OV-AH!” (Cue Iron Chef guy) and while I’ll declare it over when games ahead +1 = games left the Sox are in very very good shape.  A few observations.

Rotation - Maybe the biggest news here was David Price’s excellent start Friday night.  While the reports were good after he took the ball off the hand seeing it in action against the potent Astro lineup was encouraging.  Add in the return of Eduardo Rodriguez and the impending return of Chris Sale-ish (2 innings Tuesday) and the rotation is stabilizing.

Bullpen - Look, at this point this is a problem and pretending otherwise requires an ostrich approach.  Alex Cora needs someone to establish themselves.  The Sox just cannot depend on anyone this side of Craig Kimbrel.  Steven Wright has been very good and was again Sunday night in a two inning performance.  Knuckleballers in relief are terrifying because you just don’t know but the guy can pitch and he’s done the job.

Alex Cora - OK look, Cora has done a very good job this year.  The Sox are 98-46 (holy crap) and saying otherwise would be nonsense but I thought he was terrible Sunday night.  Moves I didn’t like;

1. Lifting Porcello - Maybe Rick was gassed but I thought he was throwing OK and given the bullpen issues I’d have let him have Tyler White.  Yeah White is capable of losing one but I thought that was a rushed move.  There is a fine line between alacrity and rushing but I thought Cora was on the wrong side of it.

2. The 8th inning - I hated pinch hitting for Nunez.  Eduardo is a guy who can put the bat on the ball and I thought McHugh was struggling with his control going 2-0 on the first three hitters and walking the fourth.  He set things up where Swihart was batting from his weaker side and when that move didn’t work he was forced to use Christian Vazquez to hit for Sandy Leon rather than using Swihart there.  Isn’t Sam Travis on the roster?  He seems like he would have been a better option though he probably hasn’t had an at bat in about a week so that might have been a tough ask.

3. DON’T PINCH RUN FOR JD MARTINEZ - With two outs in the ninth Martinez should score on a hit and if Mitchy Two Bags hadn’t come through with his rocket line drive game winner (shut up) the chance that Tzu-Wei Lin rather than JDM would have batted later in the game was a high likelihood.

That’s a game specific critique.  The Sox have shown an ability to bounce back reminiscent of the Terry Francona years.  They have only been swept once but series in New York (lost first 2, won third), Houston (lost first 2, won last 2), Cleveland (lost first 2, won last 2) and this one they have bounced back from losing games to pick up wins.  He deserves big credit for that.

Importantly the Sox have an 8 game lead after the Yankees begin their traditional destruction of Minnesota tomorrow.  The important thing there is the Yankees, even if they were to sweep all six from the Sox (which is unlikely but gives them a chance) that wouldn’t be enough.

Off day Monday to enjoy immensely with 98 wins and an 8 1/2 game lead.  That’s an awfully nice place to be.

Other Stuff

- I thought the umpiring was dicey on Sunday night.  The HP ump really hurt Swihart and Vazquez with bad calls and I think the Sox caught a break on the Altuve play at the plate.  I think that was one of those “no conclusive evidence” but I think they got it wrong.

- Dave Dombrowski whiffed in not augmenting the bullpen at the deadline but his other moves have really paid off.  Brandon Phillips performance on Wednesday was just incredible and Ian Kinsler and Steve Pearce have fit the roster brilliantly.  Along those lines Cora’s willingness not to push Rafael Devers back in the lineup has been the right call. I think he’ll be a star but he’s struggled and Nunez’ performance (another great move by DD over the winter) leaves him the odd man out.

- The Matt Barnes injury is intriguing and I kind of wonder if there is a bit of “get him a break” at work here.  Barnes hasn’t been great either but he’s probably Cora’s best option.

Serendipity; 11 days has taken us to a magic number of 11.  I like that.

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 09, 2018 at 11:57 PM | 89 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5741494)
A few random follow-ups:
A year ago vi wrote about “The Gauntlet,”
Thanks for the reminder that I used to write things.
THere is a rush in some corners (I’m looking at you Joe!) to declare it “OV-AH!” (Cue Iron Chef guy)
Whatever happened to Ironchef Chris Wok? Dude, come back! Man, when the playoffs start I expect everyone to report in. ICW. OlePerfesser. chris p. MCOA. Coorey. Toby. Even the folks who are around but not really here, like GGC and PJMartinez. Really old-timers, like Vance Law Revue. And Furtado, dammit.
Bullpen - Look, at this point this is a problem and pretending otherwise requires an ostrich approach.  Alex Cora needs someone to establish themselves...

1. Lifting Porcello - Maybe Rick was gassed but I thought he was throwing OK and given the bullpen issues I’d have let him have Tyler White. Yeah White is capable of losing one but I thought that was a rushed move. There is a fine line between alacrity and rushing but I thought Cora was on the wrong side of it.
Given the lead and the likelihood of winning the division, having the bullpen (augmented via the expanded 40-man) handle a lot of innings isn't a bad thing even if they blow some leads and lose some games along the way. I'd rather they have a quick hook with Porcello and the other starters down the stretch to give them a break ahead of the playoffs. Having the pen pitch a lot of innings, but without putting all that on one or two guys, is the best way to give each reliever that chance to establish himself as a viable option.
Importantly the Sox have an 8 game lead after the Yankees begin their traditional destruction of Minnesota tomorrow
It really is too much to expect the Twins to win any of these games, isn't it? I mean, Boston controls their own destiny and the NYY/MIN series doesn't matter. But the Twins are the Charlie Brown baseball team whenever the Yankees visit.

All that aside, I said in the other thread that "It'll be 'over' with the Yankees' first loss to the Jays. Boston will clinch a tie in the Bronx, but will win the division while in Cleveland." I think we're still on pace for the former, even if they don't achieve the latter. That means the race could be "over" by the end of this week.
   2. Darren Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5741495)
I want to talk about the bullpen, but feel like it's only fair to say this first: the team is in great shape, they're having an amazing year, and it's really fun!

That said, the bullpen really is a worry going forward. I only ever felt decent about the setup guys and they have faltered recently. I would have liked a pickup for the pen but who knows how that would have worked out. And at the the end of the game, Kimbrel seems to have lost that tick of control that took him from good closer to otherwordly. Let's hope that some of our excess from the rotation can provide some bullpen relief. It doesn't look like Pomeranz is the answer, which would have been nice. But maybe Eovaldi and Wright can step in.
   3. Darren Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5741496)
Whatever happened to Ironchef Chris Wok? Dude, come back! Man, when the playoffs start I expect everyone to report in. ICW. OlePerfesser. chris p. MCOA. Coorey. Toby. Even the folks who are around but not really here, like GGC and PJMartinez. Really old-timers, like Vance Law Revue. And Furtado, dammit.


And Gary. Remember Gary? It's a blog about Gary.
   4. Darren Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5741498)
Another question: Will Mookie crack 30 HR? Reminds me a lot of 2016 when he hit his 30th HR on August 29 and ended the season with 31.

I'd really like to see 30/30.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:18 AM (#5741504)
Bullpen - Look, at this point this is a problem and pretending otherwise requires an ostrich approach.
Hopefully, "at this point" is the key variable there.

Let's hope that some of our excess from the rotation can provide some bullpen relief.
This is a realistic hope.
   6. jmurph Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5741512)
Another question: Will Mookie crack 30 HR? Reminds me a lot of 2016 when he hit his 30th HR on August 29 and ended the season with 31.

I'd really like to see 30/30.

Only one SB in his last 10 days, so it's going to be close. I'm guessing he doesn't get there, hopefully due to some rest over the final 2 weeks.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5741513)
Whatever happened to Ironchef Chris Wok? Dude, come back! Man, when the playoffs start I expect everyone to report in. ICW. OlePerfesser. chris p. MCOA. Coorey. Toby. Even the folks who are around but not really here, like GGC and PJMartinez. Really old-timers, like Vance Law Revue. And Furtado, dammit.


No love for Steve Buckley's Missing Thoughts?

Actually, a more recent AWOL Therapudian is tfbg9.

   8. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 10, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5741564)
That said, the bullpen really is a worry going forward. I only ever felt decent about the setup guys and they have faltered recently. I would have liked a pickup for the pen but who knows how that would have worked out. And at the the end of the game, Kimbrel seems to have lost that tick of control that took him from good closer to otherwordly. Let's hope that some of our excess from the rotation can provide some bullpen relief. It doesn't look like Pomeranz is the answer, which would have been nice. But maybe Eovaldi and Wright can step in.


Eovaldi is a guy I think can be effective out of the bullpen. He's fairly similar to Kelly but he's got better control than Kelly and gets more swings and misses. Pomeranz, boy oh boy that poor guy has just been lighting money on fire this year. Honestly I would kind of like to see the Sox bring him back next year on a pillow contract. He's a good pitcher and if he can get healthy this winter he can make an impact next year.
   9. TomH Posted: September 10, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5741615)
Pomeranz over his career has been much better in the pen. Not sure how much that helps :)
   10. Textbook Editor Posted: September 10, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5741654)
Pomeranz, boy oh boy that poor guy has just been lighting money on fire this year. Honestly I would kind of like to see the Sox bring him back next year on a pillow contract. He's a good pitcher and if he can get healthy this winter he can make an impact next year.


No, no, no, no, no, no no.... No.

We are *lucky* to be rid of him after this year. Signing him to a 1-year deal at cheap $ just means he'll have the chance to "prove" himself worthy of a massive overpay for 2020 and beyond because the brass will start wishcasting on him again the second he "turns a corner" in 2019, etc., etc., etc. No. Just say no. He should not even be on the playoff roster.

Wright, to me, is the real wild card here. If they can get him stretched out even a bit--to where he could do a 2-3 IP stint, rest 2 days, and then do 2-3 IP more, he becomes a real weapon in the playoffs. I think some of the baffling usage is because they're sorting through the BP options a bit without really caring about results because of the lead, to try to figure out the roster.

I mean... in an *actual* playoff game, is there a chance in hell Hembree & Johnson get trotted out in the manner they were last night? Heck, it's possible neither make the roster. It wouldn't even surprise me to see Price/Sale do a relief stint of 1 IP on their throw day in the playoffs--it's gonna be an all-hands-on-deck approach, I think.

   11. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 10, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5741660)
I haven't given it a lot of thought (when the time comes I'll get into it) but I can't imagine Hembree not making the roster. I agree about Johnson and Wright completely. Speaking of which, did Robby Scott kill a guy? He pitched well in Pawtucket and he did a good job in 2016 in limited time and last year. Why can't he get in a game?
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: September 10, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5741666)
In terms of the bullpen, lots can change between now and October.
   13. villageidiom Posted: September 10, 2018 at 05:56 PM (#5741823)
And Gary. Remember Gary? It's a blog about Gary.
Yes. I remember Gary's last name and occupation, too. Withheld because that's not how I roll.

Just checked the member list. Vance Law Revue has been gone a few months longer than The Original Gary. Huh. I did not expect that.
   14. John DiFool2 Posted: September 10, 2018 at 06:57 PM (#5741863)
Wright would seem perfect for the long relief role if a atsrter gets knocked out early.
   15. Textbook Editor Posted: September 10, 2018 at 07:01 PM (#5741867)
Hembree to me is just a guy. Yeah, he's got a fast fastball; who doesn't? That he doesn't ever seem to throw another pitch for a strike consistently is his main problem. Yes he can rear back and blow away a guy who struggles with heat; he's not going to fool good hitters. At all.
   16. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 10, 2018 at 08:00 PM (#5741900)
And yet no love for mr. It's over, it's always been over. RayD is a Red Sox fan. Not a great fan mind you. Sure, any fan could be a fan if they tried hard enough. He's a good fan, but not a great fan.

I'm not too fussed about the pen. Most of the guys who are there now won't see the ball in the playoffs anyway by the time you shorten the staff and throw Eovaldi in there also.
   17. villageidiom Posted: September 10, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5741906)
And yet no love for mr. It's over, it's always been over. RayD is a Red Sox fan. Not a great fan mind you. Sure, any fan could be a fan if they tried hard enough. He's a good fan, but not a great fan.
Trolling aside let's get Ray back in here, too.
   18. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 10, 2018 at 08:14 PM (#5741907)
I’m not a big believer in Hembree either but I think relative to what the options are he’s in the upper half.
   19. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 11, 2018 at 11:37 PM (#5742709)
It’s not the end goal but it’s a step, nice to clinch a playoff berth.
   20. Toby Posted: September 12, 2018 at 08:52 AM (#5742784)
Hi guys! I’m still here, still read Sox Therapy just about every day, I just don’t have a lot of time these days to post.

I am in a zen state over this team and have been most of the year. They have great players and great depth. I would not be surprised if they ran the table in the postseason. I will not be disappointed if they lose to Houston, who are also crazy good, but I will be disappointed by any other outcome.

   21. Nasty Nate Posted: September 12, 2018 at 08:56 AM (#5742787)
The Twins beat the Yankees!
   22. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 12, 2018 at 08:59 AM (#5742789)
That was a shocker. I did think it was very Twinsy for them to give up a grand slam immediately after hitting one themselves.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: September 12, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5742855)
Magic number is 9!
   24. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: September 12, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5743040)
THere is a rush in some corners (I’m looking at you Joe!) to declare it “OV-AH!”


It wasn't a rush. It was simple probabilities.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: September 12, 2018 at 03:05 PM (#5743041)
I'd say it was complex probabilities. Over-simplifying it is the rush to declare it over.
   26. villageidiom Posted: September 12, 2018 at 03:44 PM (#5743071)
Please, please, let's not bicker over whether it's over, nor over whether we're over the urge to say it's over.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: September 12, 2018 at 03:49 PM (#5743079)
what's the over/under on our bickering?
   28. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: September 12, 2018 at 04:31 PM (#5743111)
Take the under.
   29. tfbg9 Posted: September 12, 2018 at 06:51 PM (#5743174)
It's not over.
   30. villageidiom Posted: September 12, 2018 at 09:44 PM (#5743257)
I like the roll call that's emerging in this thread, with Toby and tfbg9 popping in.

All hands on deck in the playoffs!
   31. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 13, 2018 at 09:05 AM (#5743394)
I would not be surprised if they ran the table in the postseason. I will not be disappointed if they lose to Houston, who are also crazy good, but I will be disappointed by any other outcome.


This is where I am at, with the slight caveat that if the Sox lose to the Astros, it be in at least 6 games. And I would really like to see Mookie win the MVP and Sale win the CY.
   32. villageidiom Posted: September 13, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5743411)
Up 10, with 16 left to play.

Let's say the Yankees sweep both series against Boston. That would put them down 4, with 10 left to play. For Boston, those 10 are {1 at home against Toronto}, {3 at the by-then clinched Indians}, {3 at home against the Mets}, and {3 at home against the Orioles}. I think there's no way even a Boston team playing flat enough to get swept by the Yankees will fail to win 4 of those games. Ladies and gentlemen, you can consider the division race... over.

My thanks to the Minnesota Twins for having accelerated the schedule. An 8-game lead with 16 left to play, 6 of them HTH, would have been a different story.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: September 13, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5743429)
I think there's no way even a Boston team playing flat enough to get swept by the Yankees will fail to win 4 of those games.


I take it you're also factoring in some Yankee losses in there.
   34. TomH Posted: September 13, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5743444)
It appears that Chris Sale will now not qualify for the ERA title. He needs 15 IP. Will he get 3 starts?
   35. Textbook Editor Posted: September 13, 2018 at 11:12 AM (#5743520)
#34--I think that is the plan, but he's only going 3 IP max on Sunday, then he'll pitch again on 9/21, 9/26, and then 8 days rest before the ALDS. It's likely he'll get incremental increases from the 3 IP outing on Sunday in the last 2 starts, but I can't imagine he gets to 15 IP over the 3 starts in total.
   36. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 13, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5743538)
It will be interesting in part because of the off days. He's pitching Sunday so let's game this out;
Thursday - Rodriguez
Friday - Velazquez
Saturday - Porcello
Sunday - Sale
Monday - Off
Tuesday - Price
Wednesday - Rodriguez
Thursday - Porcello
Friday - Sale
Saturday - Johnson/Velazquez
Sunday - Price
Monday - Rodriguez
Tuesday - Porcello
Wednesdsay - Sale
Thursday - Off
Friday - Price
Saturday - Rodriguez
Sunday - Porcello

That's keeping them on rotation and that Eovladi is a reliever from here on out. Assuming they clinch at some point what happens then? Is there a skipped start in there? Just a hunch but I think given their druthers the Sox like the idea of Sale not facing the Yankees until an LDS game one so if things get pushed back he might throw a simulated game on Yankee weekend if it's all wrapped up.
   37. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 13, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5743553)
Friday - Price
Saturday - Rodriguez
Sunday - Porcello


There is no way Price's last start prior to the playoffs is against the Yankees. He's been pitching well, the last thing they should do is blow his confidence by letting him get shelled. If Price pitches against the Yankees I predict he goes <10 innings for the rest of the year, including the Yankees game and any postseason games.
   38. villageidiom Posted: September 13, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5743613)
I take it you're also factoring in some Yankee losses in there.
Yes, I should have been clearer. Even if the Yankees take 6 of 6 against Boston it's unlikely that the Yankees win enough of their other games, and Boston lose enough games, for the Yankees to overtake Boston. The Yankees face the Rays, who are closer to the Yankees in the standings than the Yankees are to Boston, have been playing hotter than NY the last few weeks, and have a nonzero chance of catching the Yankees. That might be the toughest series for the Yankees, even tougher than either of the Boston sets.
   39. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 13, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5743628)
There is no way Price's last start prior to the playoffs is against the Yankees. He's been pitching well, the last thing they should do is blow his confidence by letting him get shelled. If Price pitches against the Yankees I predict he goes <10 innings for the rest of the year, including the Yankees game and any postseason games.


Yeah, without making any adjustments that's how things line up right now. If the Sox have clinched before that final weekend (god please) I wouldn't be surprised if none of the top four starters get the ball given the likelihood of facing the Yankees a week hence.
   40. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: September 13, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5743646)
It's not over.


Is.
   41. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: September 13, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5743659)
Up 10 games on 9/13, please. Don't be ridiculous.
   42. Textbook Editor Posted: September 13, 2018 at 01:53 PM (#5743680)
Red Sox go 3-13, Yankees would have to go 14-2 (including winning all 6 against the Red Sox, presumably) to pass the Red Sox, right? Crazier things have happened (see the end of the 2000 regular season in the AL East as one example), but without checking I'm going to guess the Red Sox haven't come close to a 3-13 16-game stretch all season, and they seem unlikely to win only 3 games the rest of the way.

Go 4-12, the Yankees would have to go 15-1 to pass the Red Sox, etc., etc. It's not over, but it's extremely unlikely.

Should the division be wrapped up by then, yes, there's no way Price faces the Yankees the last weekend of the season.

The use of Wright last night was interesting to me. I do think they see him as a possible guy to pair up with Price/Sale--to mess with batters' heads by following their stuff with the knuckleball. Of course, in the playoffs this would mean going back-to-back days, possibly for 1+ IP in each. will be interesting to see how they employ Wright down the stretch to see if they get him to that sort of usage point.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: September 13, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5743688)
Red Sox go 3-13, Yankees would have to go 14-2 (including winning all 6 against the Red Sox, presumably) to pass the Red Sox, right?
They wouldn't have to win all 6 against the Sox in that scenario.
   44. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 13, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5743700)
The use of Wright last night was interesting to me. I do think they see him as a possible guy to pair up with Price/Sale--to mess with batters' heads by following their stuff with the knuckleball. Of course, in the playoffs this would mean going back-to-back days, possibly for 1+ IP in each. will be interesting to see how they employ Wright down the stretch to see if they get him to that sort of usage point.


Wright pitched back to back days on the 4th and 5th in Atlanta at least. I think the Sox like the idea of guys facing him then dealing with the someone else. Hitters who faced Wright then batted later in the game had 4 hits in 10 PA (4 for 9 with a sac fly) so small sample sizes it doesn't seem to have impacted the hitters.
   45. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: September 15, 2018 at 07:35 PM (#5744940)
Magic # is 5. In a half an hour or so it will be 4, with 13 games left.
   46. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 15, 2018 at 08:14 PM (#5744947)
We're getting there. I like the idea of just winning the first two in New York and being done.
   47. Chip Posted: September 15, 2018 at 08:33 PM (#5744952)
Four.
   48. Dale Sams Posted: September 15, 2018 at 10:48 PM (#5744985)
It was over when they swept the Jays. That along with the Atlanta sweep had them 3 ahead of my most pessimistic of projections and the Yanks two behind my most optimistic projection for them. All of which still had the Yanks two behind the Sox
   49. Silas Wegg Posted: September 16, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5745027)
Baseball Prospectus says it was over on Thursday, giving Boston a 100% chance of winning the division. On Friday, it was not-over at 99.9%, but as of yesterday, it's over again. I guess when it is over, we can look back and figure out when it stopped being not-over for the last time. Then we'll know when it was really over.

   50. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 16, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5745114)
I’m not gonna lie, I like our chances of holding on.
   51. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 16, 2018 at 06:30 PM (#5745147)
Well it would be nice to win tomorrow's game and just get this thing done. Maybe a slightly, over the top celebration in Yankee stadium would be kind of fun too. However they won't do that seeing as they are a classy team, have much the much bigger goal to focus on and now being the 3 time defending AL East champs this is kind of a normal thing now anyway.
   52. dave h Posted: September 16, 2018 at 09:16 PM (#5745185)
Went to my first game at Fenway in a couple years today. I bought tickets in January and forgot who they were playing. My wife (a Mets fan) figured out who they were playing, and then we looked up the starters. Pretty fun.

Didn't expect when I bought tickets I'd see win 103. May have just missed the clinching game too (although I know a couple people going to New York on Tuesday).
   53. Chip Posted: September 16, 2018 at 11:30 PM (#5745346)
So we have tickets for Tuesday afternoon with my Yankees-rooting sister-in-law & husband. Between the remnants-of-Florence rain delay potential and an Eovaldi start, I’m not sanguine.

Still : Two.
   54. villageidiom Posted: September 17, 2018 at 07:12 AM (#5745404)
I guess it really was over back at the end of August. Back then we didn't know that Clapper was done expressing concern about the state of the Red Sox. But looking back it appears to have been the case.
   55. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 17, 2018 at 08:51 AM (#5745416)
dave - Where were your seats? I grabbed myself a Pavillion box seat and it was fantastic. It's funny, when deGrom whiffed 6 of the first 7 batters I texted a friend "how does anyone get a hit off this guy?" Then sure enough Devers singled and the three run inning was underway. Really that was about perfect, got to see a pretty dazzling show from deGrom, Sale looked good and the Sox won.
   56. Nasty Nate Posted: September 18, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5746309)
Today's game has been moved back to 7:00 pm. It was originally a day game due to Yom Kippur.

Hopefully, these clinch attempts will go better than that excruciating Mark Teixeira game a few years ago.
   57. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 18, 2018 at 09:42 AM (#5746312)
I'm surprised at that. I figured they'd just push it back and play it tomorrow or Thursday during the day.
   58. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5746346)
Posted this elsewhere, but in case you didn't know how good Mookie Betts was: here is the list of players in MLB history with at least two 9 WAR seasons who are not in the Hall of Fame:

Joe Jackson
Roger Clemens
Barry Bonds
Alex Rodriguez
Albert Pujols
Mike Trout
Mookie Betts
   59. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:30 AM (#5746352)
So you're saying Mookie is going to bring dishonor and ill-repute upon the game of baseball?
   60. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 18, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5746392)
So you're saying Mookie is going to bring dishonor and ill-repute upon the game of baseball?


That's exactly what I was saying!
   61. SandyRiver Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5746505)
I'm surprised at that. I figured they'd just push it back and play it tomorrow or Thursday during the day.

And I'm surprised because NYC has been reporting partly sunny and low 80s for several hours. Radar shows a few upstream echoes while indicating that nearly all the rain has moved east of the city. (And the radar showed that to be the probable outcome since earlier in the morning.)
   62. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5747817)
So... Price probably shouldn't start at Yankee Stadium in the playoffs...
   63. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:27 PM (#5747830)
YOUR SEMI-DAILY REMINDER:

Joe Kelly should be fired into the sun.
   64. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5747840)
We’re going to lose the Wild Card game to Oakland so it doesn’t matter.

Seriously though, this is more annoying than anything else. I want to just wrap it up. I’m a bit surprised Cora stuck with Price. He was flexing the hand in the second inning and pushing it seemed unwise.

I have many thoughts on a poetential playoff roster though of course I’m not writing anything until we are assured of an ALDS appearance. But I’m not superstitious.
   65. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 19, 2018 at 11:25 PM (#5747905)
There is no way Price's last start prior to the playoffs is against the Yankees. He's been pitching well, the last thing they should do is blow his confidence by letting him get shelled. If Price pitches against the Yankees I predict he goes <10 innings for the rest of the year, including the Yankees game and any postseason games.


Well it wasn't his last start, but he did get shelled, confidence is now waning, the sky is falling and my pants are feeling damp!

Jokes aside, these 2 games against NY have not been great, but hey it's only 2 games and I'd much rather be the team with the 103 wins right now.
   66. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:02 AM (#5747948)
Cora rested Mookie on Tuesday, and Devers last night. Come crunch time JD is the DH and Nunez is a PH. Their SP ranks as follows: Sale, Price, ERod. In the ALCS Eovaldi is #4. Workman, Wright, Pomeranz (ugh), Barnes and Kelly are your bridges to Kimbral.
   67. TomH Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:20 AM (#5747950)
Price allowed two short-porch RF home runs that would have been F9 in most parks (like BOS, where the fence is about 390 ft there). Yes, he pitches at Fenway in the playoffs if they face NYY.
   68. Chip Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:21 AM (#5747951)
Pretty sure they’ve broken the MLB record for number of pop ups with men on base in consecutive games.
   69. Chip Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:47 AM (#5747958)
Devers has only started 6 of 13 games since coming back from the DL so how do we know Cora is planning to play him over Nunez when the games matter again?
   70. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:59 AM (#5747964)
Pretty sure they’ve broken the MLB record for number of pop ups with men on base in consecutive games.


The offense is struggling this month and these two games are very different if they get any of those runners in from third with less than two outs. The concern about Price at Yankee Stadium is pointless, as Tom notes he will pitch game two in Fenway and for all my joking and current agita they are going to win the division. The Devers/Nunez issue may have cleared itself out a bit last night with Nunez limping off though I wonder if Cora would prefer Holt to Devers.

Their SP ranks as follows: Sale, Price, ERod. In the ALCS Eovaldi is #4.


I think EdRod is your 4th starter with Eovaldi out of the bullpen. They've said they're going to use Eovaldi out of the bullpen next week and I think he can be a real weapon out there.
   71. Nasty Nate Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:12 AM (#5747967)
I think EdRod is your 4th starter with Eovaldi out of the bullpen.
Yeah, it should be Sale, Price, and then Porcello and E-Rod in some order. Eovaldi, Wright, and the LOOGY are the setup guys.
   72. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:14 AM (#5747969)
I like ERod over Porcello.
   73. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 20, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5748049)
Their SP ranks as follows: Sale, Price, ERod. In the ALCS Eovaldi is #4.

But in a Division Series vs the Yankees** wouldn't you want to push up a starter who's put up 79 and 71 Game Scores against them in a Red Sox uniform, over a pitcher with a 10.34 ERA against them in 4 starts?

Not that Price isn't a fine pitcher who's had a great overall second half, but at some point don't you have to consider his history against the Yankees?

I know one thing: If Price is given a game 2 start against them in Fenway, and implodes, I wouldn't want to be in Cora's shoes the next day.

** If the Yankees can make it past Oakland in the WC game
   74. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 20, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5748051)
I like ERod over Porcello.

In terms of what Red Sox pitchers have done against the Yankees, Sale, ERod, Porcello and Eovaldi are all solid choices.
   75. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: September 20, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5748234)
At Fenway, so is Price. Those 340ft HR's to right aren't even loud outs there.

I'm not just talking about the Yankees. Against Cleveland or Houston, Sale, Price and ERod go 1-2-3.

edit...plus, Price was done in by Nunez' error last night. If he gets out of that inning he gets a quality start at NYS.
   76. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 20, 2018 at 05:15 PM (#5748329)
Crud. Austin Maddox who I like a lot had rotator cuff surgery today and it looks like he will miss 2019 as well.
   77. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 21, 2018 at 09:35 AM (#5748679)
Random thoughts:

Mookie won the MVP with his performance last night. Trout is still frigging amazing, didn't realize he had narrowed the WAR gap so much (after missing time).
Nunez is bad at the plate, sucks on the bases, and sucks in the field. Stop playing him! Holt is a much better option, and at least Swihart can run and play defense.
The bullpen is a shitshow.
David Price is clearly the Yankees #####. The hand flexing was an excuse in case he got another few runs dumped on him early on. He would have flexed it enough that the trainer would come out and Price would have *had* to leave the game. How do I know this? BECAUSE HE ALREADY DID THAT AGAINST THE YANKEES EARLIER THIS SEASON. None of this "well those wouldn't have been HR's in Fenway' garbage. Price will find a way to implode. The only way he gets through 4 innings against them is if the # of runs against is > than IP. Better hope the offense comes to play in game 2.

Fun season overall. Would love for them to get to 110 wins. Just hope they make it to the ALCS.
   78. Nasty Nate Posted: September 21, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5748724)
Red Sox trivia: Mookie has now scored 120 or more runs in a season twice for the Sox, can you name the other 5 people who have done it?
   79. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 21, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5748729)
Williams
Boggs
Speaker
Damon
Pesky
   80. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 21, 2018 at 10:18 AM (#5748730)
Nunez is bad at the plate, sucks on the bases, and sucks in the field. Stop playing him! Holt is a much better option, and at least Swihart can run and play defense.


We'll see how things transpire but right now I'm thinking Kinsler at 2nd and Holt at 3rd for the playoffs. Sometime this weekend I hope to throw something up about the roster so I can get mocked and ridiculed.
   81. Nasty Nate Posted: September 21, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5748750)
Sometime this weekend I hope to throw something up about the roster so I can get mocked and ridiculed.
We don't have to wait until then to start!

edit: on that note, your terrible guess in #79 only got 1 right answer (Williams)!
   82. villageidiom Posted: September 21, 2018 at 10:58 AM (#5748791)
Throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall to see what sticks...

Dom DiMaggio
Nomar
Dwight Evans
Yaz

I wanted to name pretty much everyone from 2003-04, but if Damon didn't do it probably nobody did.
   83. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5748797)
1 out of 5? I"m still batting higher than Gary Sanchez.

I really felt good about my guesses.

Mo Vaughn
Vern Stephens
   84. Nasty Nate Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5748799)
Nomar, Evans, and Dom are correct. One remains.

edit: it's not Vaughn or Vern
   85. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5748801)
Fearless answer: it is not Marc Sullivan.
   86. Chip Posted: September 22, 2018 at 07:50 AM (#5749423)
Jimmie Foxx.
   87. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: September 22, 2018 at 08:50 AM (#5749432)
Burleson or Tommy Harper.
   88. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: September 22, 2018 at 09:06 AM (#5749436)
nope and nope
   89. Nasty Nate Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5749451)
Yes, it's Foxx

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