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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: September 11, 2007 at 02:59 AM (#2519381)
...their options were pretty limited, especially since they didn’t call up Lowrie.


Well yeah and whose fault is that? The failure to pinch-hit for Cora, time and time again, is incomprehensible, but would have been solved by that other (non-) move. Yeah yeah 40-man/arb time/lost options blah blah blah. Strange set of priorities that this management team seems to have.
   2. philly Posted: September 11, 2007 at 02:59 AM (#2519382)
The division, to me, is an important achievement in its own right.


I've been using "meaningful" instead of "important", but a-freakin-men.

OF course whatever happens in Oct will be more pleasurable, but taking the division from the Yankees - finally beating them over 162 games - will be meaningful/important/significant/whatever.
   3. rr Posted: September 11, 2007 at 03:06 AM (#2519385)
pull it out.


Up 5 with 17 to play--NYY has 19. Yeah, I think they are going to "pull it out." And the Red Sox have spent how many days out of first place?

Barring a big injury, the Red Sox will go into the post-season as slight favorites to win the World Series. If I had to put money down, it would be on them.
   4. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 11, 2007 at 03:17 AM (#2519389)
As an aside, I just wanted to note that the Red Sox are having a much year than last year. Most people expected them to be better because of all the big-name additions they made but they've been better almost despite those additions. Drew, Dice-K, and Lugo have all been something of a disappointment and yet the Sox are still having a great year. The improvement is almost wholly due to guys they had last year.
   5. Darren Posted: September 11, 2007 at 03:17 AM (#2519390)
Yay, Philly and I agree on something. Mark that down!

Well yeah and whose fault is that? The failure to pinch-hit for Cora, time and time again, is incomprehensible, but would have been solved by that other (non-) move.


Oh, I'm not trying to absolve anyone from blame. I just didn't get too caught up in it because it had already been decided a while ago that Lowrie wasn't coming up.
   6. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 11, 2007 at 03:17 AM (#2519391)
WE'RE GOING TO WIN THE DIVISION.

Jesus.
   7. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 11, 2007 at 03:21 AM (#2519393)
I'd like to see the Sox beat the Yankees this weekend, and see if Detroit can make a run at them for the wild card.
   8. Darren Posted: September 11, 2007 at 03:23 AM (#2519397)
WE'RE GOING TO WIN THE DIVISION.

Jesus.


Dear Jesus,

Thanks for the reassurance.

Best,

Darren
   9. PJ Martinez Posted: September 11, 2007 at 03:24 AM (#2519398)
"Yeah yeah 40-man/arb time/lost options blah blah blah. Strange set of priorities that this management team seems to have."

I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not. Does anyone really think Jed Lowrie is the difference between winning the division and not? Maybe he'd have gotten a hit tonight in Cora's place, but this isn't Ryan Braun we're talking about-- it's a guy who might have an okay career as a shorstop if he can stick there defensively and, oh, would be getting his first look at the majors. And the Sox have a five-game lead in the division plus two more in the wild card chase if for some crazy reason it came to that.

As for Series favorites: I could see Vegas giving the Yankees the best odds depending on how they end the season. Barring any major injuries to any of the relevant teams, I don't see a big favorite in the AL. The Sox, Yankees, Angels, or Indians all have good playoff weapons and none of those teams looks dominant. Whichever one gets out of the AL should be favored in the Series.
   10. plink Posted: September 11, 2007 at 03:31 AM (#2519401)
The failure to pinch-hit for Cora, time and time again, is incomprehensible

This, I agree with, though I approve of not calling up Lowrie. The only possible explanation is that Tito wants to see if Cora has any hitting value at all (because clearly the rest of his career is too small a sample size).

But if Clayton's on the roster, there's *no* reason to let Cora hit in high leverage situations. Tito appears to have entered the same "winning games doesn't actually matter" phase he was in last September.
   11. Answer Guy Posted: September 11, 2007 at 03:45 AM (#2519408)
I just read this in the box score.
DH Lugo

I don't care if he's a righty against a lefty. If he's your DH...you're in trouble.

And this is before we get to the "letting Cora bat in a crucial situation" thing.

They seem determined to make sure the AL East comes down to the last day.
   12. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 11, 2007 at 03:52 AM (#2519411)
I don't know what was more fun, seeing Lugo DH or seeing Wily Mo hit 2 home runs today in AAAA.

In saying that, I wasn't upset when he left....
   13. tfbg9 Posted: September 11, 2007 at 04:00 AM (#2519419)
Barring a big injury, the Red Sox will go into the post-season as slight favorites to win the World Series. If I had to put money down, it would be on them.


I not so sure about that. The NYY's will end up as the first choice in Vegas, I think, by a small ammount.

10 of the last 11 losses have been aggravating.
   14. Xander Posted: September 11, 2007 at 04:00 AM (#2519420)
Give me an option this year, the World Series or the Division and I'd take the division. I know that sounds crazy, but whatever.
   15. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 11, 2007 at 04:11 AM (#2519424)
The blame falls clearly on the Mets, who F!@#ed us with the Kazmir trade.

The failure to pinch-hit for Cora, time and time again, is incomprehensible

Did Brandon Moss eat Francona's children or something? Frak.

Also, F!@# you Eric Hinske for being Terry Francona's gay lover. If it weren't for you and your stupid jackassery we'd still have Wily Mo.
   16. Chip Posted: September 11, 2007 at 04:32 AM (#2519441)
The blame falls clearly on the Mets, who F!@#ed us with the Kazmir trade.


The most amazing part is that all he does, ever, is start against the Red Sox. Close enough, anyway: as I noted in the game chatter, tonight was his 16th career start against Boston. Four more than against any other opponent (Baltimore). Nine more than he's started against the Yankees! Even Oakland has seen him start against them more than New York.
   17. Joel W Posted: September 11, 2007 at 05:17 AM (#2519468)
Darren and Philly are you at all concerned that the Red Sox won't hold off the Yankees? The only reason it's even a question is because of this weekend, but win one and it's over. I think they'll take two and just finish it.
   18. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 11, 2007 at 05:35 AM (#2519478)
Once again, I'm wiff Biff.
   19. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 11, 2007 at 06:19 AM (#2519497)
Darren,
As a Sox fan for over 40 years I understand your concern about holding off the MFY. However, with the exception of Dice-K, the staff is simply brilliant and to cough up a 5 game lead with 17 to play is almost incomprehensible.
   20. philly Posted: September 11, 2007 at 11:26 AM (#2519542)
Darren and Philly are you at all concerned that the Red Sox won't hold off the Yankees? The only reason it's even a question is because of this weekend, but win one and it's over. I think they'll take two and just finish it.


I haven't been, but I was a tad surprised when they flashed the standings at the end of the game and noted that the margin in the loss column was just 4 games. That's close enough to potentially make the next couple weeks a grind.

I guess I don't just want the division, I want a cakewalk coronation as well.
   21. Joel W Posted: September 11, 2007 at 01:23 PM (#2519602)
Yeah, the four games in the loss column thing is disconcerting, but ultimately the only difference between the loss and win columns is .1 game?
   22. John DiFool2 Posted: September 11, 2007 at 03:39 PM (#2519751)
I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not. Does anyone really think Jed Lowrie is the difference between winning the division and not? Maybe he'd have gotten a hit tonight in Cora's place, but this isn't Ryan Braun we're talking about-- it's a guy who might have an okay career as a shorstop if he can stick there defensively and, oh, would be getting his first look at the majors. And the Sox have a five-game lead in the division plus two more in the wild card chase if for some crazy reason it came to that.


Oh I've been on Jed's side ever since he started tattoing the ball at AA; a .911 OPS (both levels) is pretty good for an outfield prospect-for a SS it is up there. "First look at the majors" didn't seem to affect Clay and Jake much; if they can come up here and contribute why can't Lowrie, who is the same age (if he was 20-21 I could grok their reluctance)? Point is he's better than having Cora in the lineup twice a week, sucking royally and not being pinch-hit for. And "difference between winning the division and not" is a straw man, but I certainly feel like he could contribute in a positive way, even if his D is a little raw.
   23. rr Posted: September 11, 2007 at 03:51 PM (#2519773)
Darren,
As a Sox fan for over 40 years I understand your concern about holding off the MFY. However, with the exception of Dice-K, the staff is simply brilliant and to cough up a 5 game lead with 17 to play is almost incomprehensible.


I would say there is about a 3-5% chance.
   24. karlmagnus Posted: September 11, 2007 at 04:04 PM (#2519796)
Given that Manny and Ortiz are at best walking wounded and we have 3 games against the MFY I would put the chance of blowing the division much higher than that, say 25%. Given that Schilling pitched well, we needed to win last night, and we didn't. We could easily split the next 2 while the MFY sweep Toronto and then we're only 3.5 up going into the Yankees series, maybe 2.5 up if we win 1 of 3. Also, I don't trust Oakland and Minnesota to lose if we need them to in the last week.
   25. Joel W Posted: September 11, 2007 at 04:09 PM (#2519805)
25%! Karl, would you like to put up a wager on that? Come on, there's no way you'd make that bet.
   26. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 11, 2007 at 04:13 PM (#2519813)
Allow me to channel Bivens for a second:

Pants pissers!
   27. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 11, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2519817)
Nice.
   28. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 11, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2519843)
Give me an option this year, the World Series or the Division and I'd take the division. I know that sounds crazy, but whatever.

Deal. What good have those last six crummy division titles done for the Yanks? Do they give you a one game head start in the postseason as a prize?

Only a Red Sox fan would ever write something like that. Only a psychiatrically challenged Red Sox fan.
   29. Chip Posted: September 11, 2007 at 05:07 PM (#2519908)
Pants pissers!


Of course, the other extreme is just as bad: Remy and Orsillo giggling their way through an extended discussion of Sox Appeal in a 1-0 game (like they did last night), or the Fenway crowd more concerned about doing the wave than paying attention to events on the field in another tight one (as happened on the last home stand), or Tito letting Alex Cora have not one but two ABs in the middle-to-late innings with men on base in a game where they trail. Games? What games? Oh, you mean they're keeping score?
   30. The Essex Snead Posted: September 11, 2007 at 05:17 PM (#2519920)
Given that Schilling pitched well, we needed to win last night, and we didn't.


Please - as well as Schilling pitched, Kazmir outpitched him in every way, & while Tito's lineup chicanery (Lugo DH? Pedroia 3rd?) didn't help, I doubt the optimal Red Sox lineup would've done a damn thing against what Kaz had working last night. There's nothing wrong about losing a 1-0 game like that, and it's certainly not some sort of harbinger of woes to come (especially when the next 2 guys on the mound are Andy Sonnenstine & Edwin Jackson). Anti-wishcasting like "OMG what if we DO split the next 2 w/ Tampa & the Yankees sweep Toronto" is nonsense. The Red Sox have won 7 of their last 11, and have LESS than a 3% chance of losing the division. Note to the Chicken Littles of RSN: stop giving a sh!t about the Yankees catching up & worry about the Red Sox taking care of their own damn business.
   31. Darren Posted: September 11, 2007 at 07:30 PM (#2520164)
I didn't mean to give the impression that I think the division is in serious jeopardy. They're in good position to take it. But it's far from guaranteed with Ortiz and Manny hurting and Matsuzaka not doing so hot. And the Sox recently dropped 5 in the standings over a 13-game span so it's not impossible.

And like Philly, I want them to breeze to it a bit.
   32. PJ Martinez Posted: September 12, 2007 at 03:55 AM (#2520983)
According to the New York Post, the team that has the best record in each league gets to choose whether they have extra days off in the postseason:

http://tinyurl.com/yrovml

Before Matsuzaka's struggles, I would think it a no-brainer that the Sox go without the extra day off, to force the other team to throw their 4th starter. Now I'm not so sure. Might still be the way to go, given that Cleveland and Anaheim would both far prefer to use their 1-2 starters as much as possible.
   33. tfbg9 Posted: September 12, 2007 at 04:19 AM (#2520992)
Tonight helped a bunch.
   34. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: September 12, 2007 at 11:38 AM (#2521102)
If the Red Sox utterly collapse (and I don't think they will), they are still almost assured of getting to the postseason. If Boston finishes 4-12, The Yankees would have to go 11-8 AND the Tigers would have to be 14-4 to knock us out.

Relax.
   35. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 12, 2007 at 12:28 PM (#2521116)
If the Sox win the division, it's a big psychological blow to the "count the rings" bunch. Which is what concerns me most. Hurting them. Because they suck and need to be taken down. That's one reason why winning the division is paramount.
   36. bunyon Posted: September 12, 2007 at 01:04 PM (#2521129)
However, with the exception of Dice-K,

Anyone have a link to the Dice-K prediction thread? I was travelling for two months in the middle of the season and didn't realize he was having as tough a year as he is.
   37. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 12, 2007 at 01:14 PM (#2521144)
I just want us to make the playoffs, and home field advantage I also find a big deal.
   38. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: September 12, 2007 at 01:43 PM (#2521163)
bunyon,

Here you go.
   39. Dr. Vaux Posted: September 12, 2007 at 01:45 PM (#2521165)
I thought my prediction was the most pessimistic one reasonable. Shows what I know.
   40. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 12, 2007 at 01:48 PM (#2521169)
Boy, was I wrong.
   41. chris p Posted: September 12, 2007 at 01:50 PM (#2521173)
i didn't post in that thread, but i figured a 3.5-3.9 era was about right ... which was about where he was until he imploded. i really think he's tiring and needs to be skipped ... probably twice.
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: September 12, 2007 at 01:53 PM (#2521177)
i didn't post in that thread, but i figured a 3.5-3.9 era was about right ... which was about where he was until he imploded. i really think he's tiring and needs to be skipped ... probably twice.


Me too. I wouldn't start him until the Friday or Saturday of the regular season. If he looks like he's been refreshed by the layoff, you can start him in Game 3 of the playoffs.
   43. bunyon Posted: September 12, 2007 at 01:58 PM (#2521180)
Thanks for the link.

My prediction:

14 / 6 / 173 / 4.01 / 142 / 44

To date:

14 / 12 / 184 / 4.44 / 179 / 70

I thought I was being pessimistic, too.

Also thanks for the scouting reports (looks tired). As I said, I haven't actually seen him pitch since May.
   44. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: September 12, 2007 at 05:15 PM (#2521436)
DCA's prediction looks good:

"13-10 198.0 4.50 220 96"
   45. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 13, 2007 at 04:03 AM (#2522690)
Credit where credit is due for Tito tonight, with the use of the pitching staff.

Lester and Tavarez were pulled before potential disasters and he used Paps to keep it a one run game. If Drew and Pedro didn't screw up the flyball we would have seen no Okijima...
   46. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 13, 2007 at 04:28 AM (#2522710)
Eric Hinske needs to burn.
   47. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 13, 2007 at 05:18 AM (#2522740)
wok, starting to think about the Japan trip.

How hard will it be to get tickets on a scale of 1 to 10??

10 being impossible
   48. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 13, 2007 at 05:57 AM (#2522749)
No details yet, Tokyo Dome sits around 50k people, but the local turnout will probably be crazy though.

I'm thinking 9, but I'm going to try my F!@#ing hardest to get tickets (It better be on a weekend though)
   49. ptodd Posted: September 13, 2007 at 07:39 AM (#2522770)
Very fortunate the Red Sox won the past 2 games with pretty lousy starting pitching and having to come from behind, otherwise we could be looking at being only 2 games ahead in the loss column.

As it is, 4 games is healthy, but I remember this team almost 20 years ago that was up 4 games in the loss column at 147 games, they were 90-57, and they blew and it, and were tied up forcing a playoff game. Who blew the lead?

The Yankees of course, and then they went on to win the playoff game.

So now the situation is reversed, but this year may not result in playoff game if one of the teams gets in on the wild card, which looks likely. If the Red Sox repeat the Yankees 78 collapse and end up in a tie, they most likely lose 2 out of 3 in the coming series and so would repeat their fate in 2005 by losing the division race as a result of having a worse record in H2H competition with the Yankees.

I think this is a doubtful outcome, but the Red Sox can put it to rest by taking the upcoming series, and they need to do so in order to give some of their guys a blow and get ready for the playoffs.
   50. villageidiom Posted: September 13, 2007 at 12:47 PM (#2522822)
If the Red Sox repeat the Yankees 78 collapse and end up in a tie, they most likely lose 2 out of 3 in the coming series and so would repeat their fate in 2005 by losing the division race as a result of having a worse record in H2H competition with the Yankees.

Boston leads the season series 8-7 right now. If they lose 2 of 3 the season series is tied 9-9.

Second tiebreak is intradivision record... Boston is 40-24 and NY is 29-27 after last night.

If Boston loses 2 of 3 vs. NY they'll be 41-26 vs. the east, with 6 East games left. Let's say they go 3-3, even though it's Tampa Bay and Toronto, and they finish 44-29 vs. the division. As for the Yankees... the Boston series would put them at 31-28 vs. the East if they take two. They need to run the table - yes, 13-0 - in their remaining games (all vs. the East) to win the second tiebreak. If instead Boston goes 4-2, it's over.

If NY wants the division, they're probably going to have to take it outright. Their current deficit is equivalent to five games in the loss column, because if they don't sweep they likely won't win a tiebreak.
   51. bunyon Posted: September 13, 2007 at 12:49 PM (#2522824)
ESPN has Boston as 7-8 against the Yanks this year. They have three this weekend - I thought they were supposed to play 19. Is there a missing rainout or something that would need to be madeup in the event of a tie? What do they do if they tie for the division and are tied head to head? Anyway, it looks to me like Boston needs to sweep to assure they hold the tie breaker, but if they sweep they'll almost certainly not need the tie breaker. And it really feels like I have bad info on that head to head record.

EDIT: Okay, fine VI, make me look bad. Are you sure Boston is up? And thanks for listing the next tiebreaks.
   52. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 13, 2007 at 01:06 PM (#2522834)
The Red Sox are 7-8 against the Yankees this year.
   53. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 13, 2007 at 01:13 PM (#2522840)
April 20-22: Boston 3, New York 0 (Boston 3, New York 0)
April 27-29: Boston 2, New York 1 (Boston 5, New York 1)
May 21-23: Boston 1, New York 2 (Boston 6, New York 3)
June 1-3: Boston 1, New York 2 (Boston 7, New York 5)
August 28-30: Boston 0, New York 3 (Boston 7, New York 8)

So VI is wrong in his calculation, it Boston loses the series it becomes 10-8 in the Yankees' favor. Of course, this is all just shouting at the wind in any case because (a) Boston almost certainly won't lose this upcoming series; (b) even if they do, the Yankees won't catch them anyway and (c) even if the Yankees do tie them for the division, it will be another 2005 where both teams make the playoffs and we spend the off-season arguing about the validity of tiebreaker rules and division titles and all that nonsense.
   54. villageidiom Posted: September 13, 2007 at 01:13 PM (#2522842)
bunyon is right, Boston is behind 7-8 in the HTH results. If NY takes 2 of 3 they win the HTH battle.

So that puts the shoe on the other foot. To sum up:

1. If Boston sweeps, it's effectively over. Not counting tonight's games, a Boston sweep would put them up 7 in the loss column with 12 games left, plus the tiebreak in hand. Yankees would thus have to make up 8 games in the loss column to get the division-champion playoff seeding and win the division outright.

2. If Boston takes 2 of 3, they'll almost certainly win the division. Not counting tonight's games, Boston would be up 5 in the loss column with 12 games left; no winner on the first tiebreak, but the second tiebreak would almost certainly go to Boston. Yankees would thus have to make up 6 games in the loss column to get the division-champion playoff seeding and win the division outright.

3. If Boston takes 1 of 3, it's another story. Not counting tonight's games, Boston would be up 3 in the loss column with 12 games left, but wouldn't have the tiebreak. Yankees would only have to make up 3 games in the loss column to get the division-champion playoff seeding, 4 to win the division outright.

4. If Boston is swept... Boston would be up 1 in the loss column, and wouldn't have the tiebreak. Yankees would only have to make up 1 game in the loss column to get the division-champion playoff seeding, 2 games to win the division outright.

It's still on the Yankees to get it done, but either of the first two scenarios effectively ends it. The third scenario makes it interesting; the fourth, unsettling.
   55. bunyon Posted: September 13, 2007 at 01:21 PM (#2522846)
Nice summary, Mr. Idiom.

So, should the Sox manage this as if they're closing out a series? Go all out to take at least 2 so they can rest?
   56. villageidiom Posted: September 13, 2007 at 01:35 PM (#2522863)
So, should the Sox manage this as if they're closing out a series? Go all out to take at least 2 so they can rest?
No. And yes.

Obviously based on the above there's a pretty big swing between winning 2 and winning 1. If We Want The Division! they should do what they can to win 2. So, yes.

Looking at the matchups the one that worries me the most is the first: Pettitte vs. Matsuzaka. Daisuke has looked pretty bad the last few starts, and hasn't demonstrated he can fool anyone in the NY lineup. If things go bad quickly, and if we want to go all out to win the series, then Matsuzaka would have to be pulled early... and replaced with whom? We have all kinds of minor-league arms on the roster now, so we don't have to burn the best arms in the pen right away; but if we're going all out, wouldn't we use our best arms to keep the game close? And if we do that, I think we hurt our chances to win either of the next two. So, no.

I think if DM has trouble early on, we go to one of the young arms to get us out of the inning, and bridge them to the point where they can bring in Clay in a "structured" (X innings, starting with 0 on 0 out) relief outing. If it's way out of hand, save Clay for another day. I think Sunday has an edge to Boston: Schilling has been pitching better, and Clemens is coming back from injury. Saturday is a toss-up, and could come down to which bullpen lasts the longest. I don't want a win-at-all-costs effort in vain on Friday to cost us Saturday.

EDIT: That, and I'm going to the game on Saturday. I want to see them win.
   57. bunyon Posted: September 13, 2007 at 01:42 PM (#2522878)
I don't want a win-at-all-costs effort in vain on Friday to cost us Saturday.


True enough. Of course, with the wild card, both teams are probably better off not treating the series as urgent. Without the wild card, I'd argue the Yanks should view all three games as elimination games but that would be silly when trying to hold off the Tigers. And the Sox, even in a scenario where they blow the division almost certainly win the wild card.

From what I've read and heard, I think the Sox should be ready to lift Dice-K early if he struggles but not from a win at all costs POV. I think the boy needs rest, so no need to flog him in a loss. I expect Clemens to get lit up on Sunday.
   58. villageidiom Posted: September 13, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2523285)
True enough. Of course, with the wild card, both teams are probably better off not treating the series as urgent.
They might just do that, and they probably should. But that kind of talk doesn't belong in the I Want The Division! thread.
   59. Joel W Posted: September 13, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2523347)
Can we get over the whole "in the loss column" thing, the Sox are up 5. The difference between it being in the loss column and the win column is .1 games, that's it. It feels and looks worse, but it's not that different, as you can't just assume the Yankees will win the games that they haven't played yet.
   60. karlmagnus Posted: September 13, 2007 at 06:50 PM (#2523349)
Why can't we start Friday with Buchholz, and then bring in Dice-K if he fails or uses a lot of picthes to get through 5. That solves the bullpen problem. Of course Dice-K might commit seppuku if made to relieve for a day.
   61. bunyon Posted: September 13, 2007 at 07:18 PM (#2523393)
Can we get over the whole "in the loss column" thing, the Sox are up 5. The difference between it being in the loss column and the win column is .1 games, that's it. It feels and looks worse, but it's not that different, as you can't just assume the Yankees will win the games that they haven't played yet.

You're right that you can't just assume the Yanks will win those games. But they have the opportunity to, which is the key thing. The Yanks control the outcome there - if they get hot and play well, it is a bigger deal than you're letting on, though probably not as big as color commentators make.
   62. Textbook Editor Posted: September 13, 2007 at 08:02 PM (#2523438)
I suspect one of the reasons why they've held off on Buchholz since the last relief stint is that he's "shadowing" Matsusaka; either that or they're thinking seriously of starting him in the playoffs and really want him to rest up the last few weeks so that, at most, instead of 10 more innings they maybe squeeze 25 out of him between now and the end of the playoffs.

When you think of it, if he basically rests except for maybe another couple of 3-inning stints (6 IP total) in the last 2.5 weeks (and assuming they're going to let him throw 25 more innings instead of 10), you're left with 19 innings left in his arm...

If they win homefield advantage and do the 5 games-in-8 days series, they may not need him to pitch at all in the ALDS

If he starts Game 4 of the ALCS, figure 6-7 innings (hopefully), and then he may not need to pitch again (7 IP Total)

He'd then be lined up for a Game 1/Game 2 WS start at home (which I think is where the Sox might prefer he pitch in any scenario where they make the WS); figure another 6 IP in Game 1/2 and then another 6 IP in Game 5/6 (12 IP total)

The above gets you to 25 IP. I would say that the difference between 10 IP for the rest of the year and 25 IP just isn't that great, and if they do something akin to the above, they get maximum usefulness out of a key asset.

I do think the Sox are purposefully putting out a lot of smoke n' mirrors regarding their future usage of Buchholz. To some extent, this is completely understandable, because all of a sudden they have a wild card they can play that some opponents may not plan for... or may plan for at the expense of "under-planning" against other pitchers they're sure to use (if that makes sense).

At this point Buchholz is sort of like Terrell Owens in the Super Bowl for the Eagles... People know he is ABLE to play, but they have no idea what he'll bring to the table, how he'll be used, etc. and this makes it hard to plan against him.

...but this may be giving the Red Sox way too much credit in the "Psych Out the Oppostition" department...
   63. villageidiom Posted: September 14, 2007 at 02:20 AM (#2523725)
Yankees lose, 2-1, on a Frank Thomas single in the 9th.

So let me update the above. First, the tiebreakers:

1st tiebreaker, head-to-head. Same as before: if Boston takes 2 of 3, the first tiebreaker is, er, tied. More, they have this; less, the Yankees have this tiebreaker.

2nd tiebreaker, intradivision. Boston is 40-24 with 6 games left, NY 29-28 with 15 games left. We'll get back to this.

Now, for this weekend...

1. If Boston sweeps, they're up 8 in the loss column with 12 games left, plus the first tiebreak in hand. Yankees would thus have to make up 9 games in the loss column for the division-champion playoff seeding and to win the division outright.

2. If Boston takes 2 of 3, they're up 6 in the loss column with 12 games left. They're tied on the first tiebreak. Intradivision records are: Boston 42-25 with 3 left, NY 30-30 with 12 games left. The second tiebreak is Boston's; NY would have to make up 7 games in the loss column for the seeding and the division outright.

3. If Boston takes 1 of 3, they'd be up 4 in the loss column with 12 games left, but wouldn't have the tiebreak. Yankees would have to make up 4 games in the loss column for the playoff seeding, 5 to win the division outright.

4. If Boston is swept... they'd be up 2 in the loss column, and wouldn't have the tiebreak. Yankees would have to make up 2 games in the loss column to get the playoff seeding, 3 games to win the division outright.

I'm already feeling much better about this weekend. I think I'm comfortable with any of the first three scenarios, though in decreasing order.

And, yeah, the whole loss column thing is overblown... but I decided to pick one rather than explain both, and I went with the one people get all sensitive about if you don't mention it.
   64. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 14, 2007 at 02:27 AM (#2523732)
Um, worst case scenario, if we get swept, what are our chances for the Wildcard? Detroit with Sheff back actually look alive right now.

How many games at 1B did Brandon Moss get at AAA anyway? because if we get a big lead, I'd like to start resting one of Lowell/Youkilis, and get Brandon Moss some AB's at 1B as well as in the OF.

C'mon, there's gotta be one Brandon Moss fanboy out here somewhere.

(I'm not a Moss fanboy. I just hate Eric Hinske

P.S.

We've got 3 games left with NYY at home, 3 games with TOR and TAM on the Road, and then we come home for 2 games against Oakland and 4 games with Minny.

We're at 89 wins right now. If we can take 3 out of 6 from TOR/TAM, and also 3 out of 6 from Oak/Min, we'd have 95 wins for the season. 95 wins does not make me comfortable at all. I'd feel a lot more comfortable if we were able to take at least 1 or 2 games from NYY, giving us a better chance at 96-98 wins, which will give us a more comfortable margin.
   65. Dan Posted: September 14, 2007 at 02:37 AM (#2523746)
I wasn't impressed with Moss's numbers until I realized he's still only 23, for some reason I thought he was 25 or 26. His AA and AAA numbers are decent for his age, is not spectacular.
   66. villageidiom Posted: September 14, 2007 at 02:49 AM (#2523760)
Right now Boston has a 9-game lead on the wild card over Detroit, with 15 games left to play. If Boston goes 0-15, Detroit has to win 10 games to win the wild card. (Ten to win the WC outright, or 9 to tie + the one-game playoff. It's 10 wins either way.)

Boston is in the playoffs. Anything is possible, but come on.
   67. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 14, 2007 at 02:49 AM (#2523761)
-I agree with Darren and Philly. The division matters, and I'm rooting for it heavily. It's not that I'd rather have the division than the WS - given a choice, I take the Series - it's that the Series is really unlikely and I can see the division in reach. It's what's closest to my mind right now, and it's what I want. Failing to knock off the Yankees for a decade has been really annoying, and winning it would be really sweet.

-The whole "are you worried?" argument is beyond stupid. We can all argue rationally over the X% risk of missing the division or the playoffs, but we all know the answer is "small" - the actual issue is instead how we feel about a small risk of losing the division to the Yankees. My way of being a fan is to worry about #### like that. I'm not going to stop - it's just how I am. I'm happy that Joel and Biff express their fandom differently, but in the end this is about emotional wiring, not analysis.
   68. villageidiom Posted: September 14, 2007 at 03:09 AM (#2523774)
I'm happy that Joel and Biff express their fandom differently, but in the end this is about emotional wiring, not analysis.

We try to balance the irrational with the rational around here - where thinking Red Sox fans obsess about the Sox, or so it's said.
   69. Dave Cyprian Posted: September 14, 2007 at 05:10 AM (#2523848)
If Tito deploys RoboBury to the outfield this weekend after charging his batteries these last two days, Sox are going to win at least one game.
   70. Answer Guy Posted: September 14, 2007 at 02:34 PM (#2524025)
I'll turn in my membership of the Gloom & Doom Club(tm) if the Sox win tonight.
   71. Dan Posted: September 15, 2007 at 03:58 AM (#2525628)
Terry Francona can die in a fire for all I care. I know I sound like Wok, but Christ what a shitty managing job to spit the bit tonight.
   72. Answer Guy Posted: September 15, 2007 at 04:26 AM (#2525661)
the actual issue is instead how we feel about a small risk of losing the division to the Yankees.

It looks like a bigger risk every day though. I mean, they seem to keep finding new ways to lose to the Yankees.
   73. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 15, 2007 at 04:29 AM (#2525664)
Terry Francona can die in a fire for all I care. I know I sound like Wok, but Christ what a shitty managing job to spit the bit tonight.

Right now, that's too lenient. I want him to overdose on his F!@3ing anti-coag meds and die from multiple papercuts from his new contract.

Also, I wouldn't mind if Vladimir Guerroero sexually assaulted him.
   74. Answer Guy Posted: September 15, 2007 at 04:34 AM (#2525666)
Bucholz people, Jeebus, how ####### obvious does it have to be that he needs to pitching more? Unless they don't want the Yankees to see him until October.

I am still more worried about not having to win two different series on the road in October myself....
   75. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 15, 2007 at 04:35 AM (#2525671)
what October?
   76. Answer Guy Posted: September 15, 2007 at 04:39 AM (#2525675)
what October?

There's not really enough time left for them to fall behind Detroit.
   77. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 15, 2007 at 04:41 AM (#2525676)
If we keep playing like this with a braindead manager we will.
   78. Answer Guy Posted: September 15, 2007 at 03:02 PM (#2525833)
Alright. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict a Sox disaster today. I don't think Beckett will get crushed or anything, but I expect him to run out of gas and for the team to turn to Kyle Snyder in a crucial situation and have him predictably fail miserably.
   79. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 15, 2007 at 03:18 PM (#2525848)
The pants pissing never ceases.
   80. rr Posted: September 15, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2525875)
The pants pissing never ceases.


This game hurt the Tigers a lot more than it hurt the Red Sox.
   81. John DiFool2 Posted: September 16, 2007 at 12:07 AM (#2526743)
Math:

Sox win tomorrow season series is 9-9 and they will own the tiebreaker due to better intradivision record, means magic number is effectively 6 not 7 unless Detroit wins out or something. Even with a loss, Sox get to 96 wins by going 6-6, Yanks would have to go 11-2 to tie and win the tiebreak.

Feeling:

Beckett came up as big as a starting pitcher possibly can tonite (and kudos for clunking Giambi even if Cano's subsequent single raised a few fears). Ellsbury looks to be the real deal-I hope it is a 50/50 platoon in the postseason with Coco, they have to give him ABs. The Secret Weapon (Buchholz) remains sheathed, no idea when it will see the light of day (hoping for a start early next week for Wakes or Lester). After yesterday's debacle the team just shrugged it off and took care of business, refusing to swing at any of Wang's balls out of the zone. I have a good feeling for Schill tomorrow.
   82. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 16, 2007 at 12:20 AM (#2526751)
Alright. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict a Sox disaster today. I don't think Beckett will get crushed or anything, but I expect him to run out of gas and for the team to turn to Kyle Snyder in a crucial situation and have him predictably fail miserably.

Swing and a miss.
   83. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 16, 2007 at 12:25 AM (#2526752)
Is YOukilis hurt?

The Secret Weapon (Buchholz) remains sheathed

I hope he doesn't get rusty
   84. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: September 16, 2007 at 12:49 AM (#2526771)
I don't know that I have a good feeling about Schill tomorrow, but I have a great feeling about facing Clemens tomorrow. Today went a long way (a HUGE way) towards alleviating my fears. If we went into tomorrow down 0-2 in this series, I'd have been terrified, but I went into this series telling myself we just needed one of three to be safe, and we've guaranteed that, no matter how painful last night was. I went to bed last night at 11, turning off my TV as the Giambi HR landed. I had a horrible feeling about that decision, but I was exhausted from a long week...waking up this morning to "Sox Victory Yanked Away" was awful.
   85. Dan Posted: September 16, 2007 at 12:58 AM (#2526773)
I assure you, watching it unfold live was worse.
   86. The Essex Snead Posted: September 16, 2007 at 01:17 AM (#2526781)
I don't know that I have a good feeling about Schill tomorrow


Given that his last start (@ NYY) saw Schill get through 7 w/ only 2 Cano HRs as the blemishes on his line, and how he's pitched since that game, looking for worry from that area seems kinda silly.

If, on the other hand, Tito sticks w/ Okajima 3 hitters longer than he should have...
   87. Nick Warino Posted: September 16, 2007 at 02:10 AM (#2526806)
I hope Clemens repeats his 1999 ALCS appearance tomorrow, is mercilessly booed off the mound (or given a sarcastic cheer), and then the media calls Sox fans "classless" for booing him in his "Final Fenway appearance."
   88. Darren Posted: September 16, 2007 at 04:25 AM (#2526872)
Big sigh of relief. I couldn't stand to watch much today. Even up 5-1 I had the jitters. Great job by Beckett and it will help him get an undeserved Cy Young.
   89. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 16, 2007 at 04:36 AM (#2526875)
I hope Clemens repeats his 1999 ALCS appearance tomorrow, is mercilessly booed off the mound (or given a sarcastic cheer), and then the media calls Sox fans "classless" for booing him in his "Final Fenway appearance."

No matter what we do, we're going to be called classless, so we might as well be classless and feel good.

Do you ever hear anybody call Raider fans classless? No, because they have shotguns and 12 packs of batteries in their trunks. Compared to them, we're a bunch of gutless cowards. Of course we're going to get called classless.
   90. Joel W Posted: September 16, 2007 at 07:17 PM (#2527183)
Darren, it's not *that* undeserved. The difference in VORP between Beckett and Sabathia right now is 3.5 runs of VORP. He's still got two or three starts, I could see him basically being equal to the top guys at the end of the season.
   91. Darren Posted: September 17, 2007 at 03:21 AM (#2528024)
3.5 runs of VORP sounds really low. How could these two guys be 3.5 runs apart?

Beckett 188.3 IP, 143 ERA+
Sabathia 227 IP, 138 ERA+

Quick and dirty. If you match up Beckett's 188.3 IP to the same number for Sabathia, you get about a 4.5 run advantage for Beckett. Then we've got the other 38.7 IP to contend with. If we're going from a replacement level 5.50 ERA (???), you get about 10 runs. That's ~ 5.5 runs difference between the two. Boy that's a lot closer than I thought it was.

Maybe I was thinking of a worse replacement level or something, but it seems like the guy with the 40 IP advantage and very similar ERA+ should have a huge advantage.
   92. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: September 17, 2007 at 03:30 AM (#2528054)
I think Beckett has given up a lower percentage of unearned runs than Sabathia as well, which cuts into Sabathia's innings advantage some more.

I absolutely hate Beckett. I think he's a whiny little ##### and I would love for horrible things to happen to him on the mound. And even I think he'd be a deserving Cy Young award winner this year, although Carmona and Sabathia are right there with him.
   93. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 17, 2007 at 03:36 AM (#2528060)
We lose another 1 run game because we can't cash in with a runner on 3rd with 1 out and Francona with a late hook.

It's like f!@#ing ground hogs day
   94. Darren Posted: September 17, 2007 at 03:46 AM (#2528071)
To me, it's more like he wouldn't be an embarrassment. I think that Sabathia has the clear advantage and even has the whole phony baloney "team in contention" thing working. I tend to credit unearned runs to the defense, although I acknowledge that's not perfect.

FWIW, here are some relevant stats from THT:

PRC
Santana 124
Sabathia 124
Beckett 114
Carmona 108

FIP
Beckett 3.19
Sabathia 3.28
Santana 3.89
Carmona 4.01 (but league-leading 64.6 GB%)
   95. Answer Guy Posted: September 17, 2007 at 03:47 AM (#2528073)
Well, I guess the Sox accomplished all that they needed to this weekend, but not in a way that should inspire much confidence.

4.5 up with 19 to go still doesn't sound as good as 5.5 up with 22 to go.

And the 22-24 record in 1-run games is kinda frustrating.
   96. Darren Posted: September 17, 2007 at 03:48 AM (#2528077)
We lose another 1 run game because we can't cash in with a runner on 3rd with 1 out and Francona with a late hook.

It's like f!@#ing ground hogs day


Schilling had a low pitch count and looked very good. It was frustrating but you can't really Francona that much in that situation. I didn't love Coco bunting Hinske to 3rd but there's a very reasonable argument in favor of it.

I was surprised to see that they didn't try to match up Okajima or Lopez against Damon or Giambi. Again, though, leaving Schilling in was pretty defensible.
   97. Darren Posted: September 17, 2007 at 03:54 AM (#2528086)
Well, I guess the Sox accomplished all that they needed to this weekend, but not in a way that should inspire much confidence.

4.5 up with 19 to go still doesn't sound as good as 5.5 up with 22 to go.

And the 22-24 record in 1-run games is kinda frustrating.


How about with 12 to go?

The really frustrating aspects of this weekend:
--Our two best relievers got torched.
--"Injured" Clemens shut the Sox down hard after a rocky start.
--Sox went 1-2 while outscoring the Yanks 20-13.

Positives:
--All 3 of our top starters, who had been questionable against the Yanks, were good.
--Won the 1 game that they really needed to keep a decent lead.
--Got to Joba and Mariano a bit.
   98. konaforever Posted: September 17, 2007 at 03:55 AM (#2528087)
4.5 up with 19 to go still doesn't sound as good as 5.5 up with 22 to go.


Um, there's 12 games to go.
   99. Darren Posted: September 17, 2007 at 04:00 AM (#2528095)
This game is a bitter pill because it was very close to a victory and it would have pushed the lead to 6.5 while putting the Yankees WC chances in serious jeopardy.
   100. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 17, 2007 at 04:29 AM (#2528117)
I think that Sabathia has the clear advantage and even has the whole phony baloney "team in contention" thing working.

I really don't think anyone cares about that w/r/t the Cy Young. Just the MVP.
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