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Sunday, May 13, 2018

At The Quarter Pole

The Sox wrapped up their longest road trip of the season a solid 6-4 including 3-3 through New York and Toronto.  With today’s games being completed the best home team in baseball so far, your Boston Red Sox, have played 10 fewer home games than their co-leaders in the division.  Currently the Sox are seven games ahead of where they were 12 months ago (21-19) and four games ahead of the same spot in 2016 (24-16).  Both of those seasons finished with 93 wins and a division flag.

That’s not to say all is well.  The bottom of the order can’t hit its way out of a paper bag with Jackie Bradley and both Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon are well south of the Mendoza line and after a strong start Eduardo Nunez has slumped as well.  Likewise the bullpen is a source of concern with Alex Cora facing the same issues John Farrell faced as a lack of consistency makes it difficult to find a bridge to Craig Kimbrel.  Joe Kelly is one guy who is finding himself more and more reliable. Since his Opening Day vomitfest (that doesn’t get spellchecked?) Kelly has pitched 19 innings allowing just 1 run and fanning 21.  Most encouragingly he has issued just 4 walks.  “Tyler Thornburg” is supposedly getting closer but…

What makes this a bit daunting is a similarly tough start from the minor leagues.  Michael Chavis is serving an 80 game suspension, Jay Groome has gone for Tommy John surgery and is looking at a mid-2019 return and despite 7 dingers Bobby Dalbec is hitting in the 180s.  Jalen Beeks is clearly the shining star at the moment but is pitching so well he’s rapidly moving from “useful piece, maybe a guy we trade for help” to “Jesus he’s the only guy in the system worth a damn, don’t trade him Dave!”

But those are nitpicks.  Mookie Betts and Chris Sale are doing what they do and after a slow start Andrew Benintendi has been rolling.  While this week featured some frustrating defeats I found it somewhat encouraging.  One guy who has grown on me over the past year give or take is Drew Pomeranz.  356 days ago he was barking at John Farrell (who barked back) for being lifted after four innings in a game that saw the Sox sink to a season worst .500 at 21-21. From there Pomeranz has become a strong contributor and while he is picking his way through the early season in 2018 I thought his outing Tuesday in New York was really encouraging.

Already behind on the scoreboard a ripped fingernail looked like it might cut his night short.  He wouldn’t be the first pitcher to let such a thing get to him and either leave the game early or stay in only to get pounded.  Instead Drew gutted out six innings and gave the Sox a chance to win a game against one of the best pitchers in baseball.  His body language is brutal to watch, he’s got more than a bit of the “Derek Lowe face” going on and always looks like he just got a C- on a test he thought he did well on.  But for a fourth starter he’s very good.

So now the Sox return home to try and get on a roll.  They have been up and down over the past few weeks and starting the home stand against Sean Manaea (prediction: they will hit more tomorrow than they did last time against him) is not ideal but they play 13 of their next 16 at home with the only road series being in Tampa.  The opportunity to get hot is there and at 28-12 (just your basic 116 win pace) is a nice place to start from.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 13, 2018 at 06:34 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 14, 2018 at 02:10 AM (#5671684)
28-12. 1st place. Best team OPS, 9th in team ERA behind Houston and a bunch of NL clubs. Sure team OPS and ERA aren't great stats but at least they are somewhat indicative of the team doing good things. Yes, the bottom of the order is a sucking vortex. Yes we all know Nunez is not a MLB 2B for a contending team. Yes, the 7th and 8th are a bit harum scarum and the Joe Kelly experience will not end well.
They are fun to watch and that JD contract is looking good so far!
   2. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 14, 2018 at 07:44 AM (#5671702)
What does it take to get Realmunto from the Marlins? Anyone know what his pitchcalling and framing rep is?
   3. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 14, 2018 at 08:41 AM (#5671707)
What does it take to get Realmunto from the Marlins?

I would imagine more than the Sox have. This is the one problem right now, I just can't figure out how the Sox can make a deal to fill a hole as the year goes on.
   4. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:34 AM (#5671714)
I would imagine more than the Sox have.

Any idea how the Cardinals prospects sent out for Ozuna would equate to current or recent Sox prospects?
   5. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 14, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5671742)
No I don't, that's a good question. Quickly looking Alcantara was ranked 70th by BA and became the Marlins #1 prospect. None of the others is top 100 though Gallen and Sierra look fairly interesting with Sierra already having been in MLB at age 21. Ignoring injuries for the moment I think a similar Sox package would be;

Bryan Mata

Of course Groome is out for this year and part of next with TJS and unless the Sox want to put Beeks in such a deal I'm not sure they can get there. To be clear I'm not saying they shouldn't trade Beeks but given the state of the system and the potential that he can help the team as much as anyone he is traded for it's not a no-brainer.
   6. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5672332)
The opportunity to get hot is there and at 28-12 (just your basic 116 win pace)

So I know you are an accountant and all and should be able know, like count and do percentages and all, but...

My basic math says 28 wins out of 40 games is 70%. 70% times 162 is 113 and change.

My faith in CPAs has dropped considerably now.

Unless you are going to regale us with tales of formulas that took into account the amount of home vs away games, their pythag record, strength of schedule, etc and they are actually projected to play .7213 ball, then I'm good with that.
   7. villageidiom Posted: May 15, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5672520)
Home/road alone would get you another win, before last night.

Speaking of last night... man, until the bottom of the 8th every time the Sox scored the A's came right back and scored. It was infuriating.
   8. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 15, 2018 at 09:04 AM (#5672522)
   9. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 15, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5672913)
Carson Smith is out, potentially with a serious injury, after throwing his glove coming off the mound last night. He's actually shown signs of not being completely terrible so that's not ideal.
   10. villageidiom Posted: May 16, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5673319)
"Carson Smith"
   11. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5673322)
"Base running."

Seriously, what in the #### was Benintendi doing last night? That was an easy easy play that he botched. The Sox are currently 23rd in baseball in BsR. They are giving away runs.
   12. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 18, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5674880)
The Sox are currently 23rd in baseball in BsR.

22nd after last night, moving on up!

Benintendi, Betts, and Bradley carrying the team BsR. This team really would be ###### without Betts.

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