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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 12, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#3922715)
I've got my log5 spreadsheet set up now to account for any projected quality you want, for both the Sox and Rays. I can take requests. Here are some basic ones - listing chance of Red Sox falling behind the Rays:

(BPro W3%)
RS .58, TB .54: 6%

(Sox bad, Rays great)
RS .48, TB .60: 27%

(Sox not so good, Rays good)
RS .51, TB .56: 15%

Do with that what you will.
   2. Dale Sams Posted: September 12, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#3922739)
How do Sox bad (7-9), Rays great (11-6)* give the Rays only a 27% chance? Or does 'fall behind' not include tie?

And thanks Matt for making another thread as the others are getting clogged up. So does anyone think giving Tazawa a couple of starts against the O's is a good idea? Or does that make too much sense?

*3-1 against the Sox if that matters.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 12, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#3922752)
How do Sox bad (7-9), Rays great (11-6)* give the Rays only a 27% chance? Or does 'fall behind' not include tie?
That's the projected quality of the team, not their projected winning percentage against their particular opponents in particular locations down the stretch. There are two basic reasons projected quality and projected record don't match:

1) The Rays play a tougher schedule than the Sox, with four against the Yankees while the Sox are playing the O's
2) The Sox have home field advantage for their games against the Rays, a ~4% advantage per game over the expected record

I do account for ties - the event of a tie is counted as a 50% chance of losing to the Rays.

As SG points out in the other thread, where he uses superior modeling and actual computer programming instead of my excel fiddling, there is also the chance of a scenario where the Rays and Sox both make the playoffs. There are 10 head-to-head games remaining for the two clubs vs the Yankees.
   4. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 12, 2011 at 05:57 PM (#3922754)
Just for what it's worth, the Sox followed up 2-10 with 11-5. They are 2-9 in their last 11, if they go 11-6 the rest of the way I can't imagine them not getting in.
   5. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 12, 2011 at 06:03 PM (#3922762)
So does anyone think giving Tazawa a couple of starts against the O's is a good idea?


I don't see why not. At this point Tazawa or Doubront or hell, Anthony Ranaudo is worth a shot. I mean, I'm sure they can put the team in a 4-0 hole just as easily as anyone else. I think there is a "dance with who brung ya'" argument to be had on the idea that Wake etc...are likely to pitch better but I wouldn't hate going to Tazawa here.
   6. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 12, 2011 at 09:31 PM (#3922954)
Hopefully he's somewhere close to right (from Extra Bases);

Josh Beckett threw off a mound at Fenway Park today, a first for him since he sprained his right ankle one week ago.

Under Beckett's usual pre-start routine, he would be ready to start on Thursday. But the Sox could wait an extra day to make sure he's OK. It does seem likely that he will pitch in one of the games against the Rays later this week. That series starts on Thursday.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 12, 2011 at 09:39 PM (#3922958)
It does seem likely that he will pitch in one of the games against the Rays later this week.
Best news in quite some time. Well, two weeks. But it's been a long two weeks.
   8. The District Attorney Posted: September 12, 2011 at 10:22 PM (#3922987)
I can take requests.
Chance of Theo going to the Cubs?
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 12, 2011 at 10:39 PM (#3922995)
7.268% (all figures significant)
   10. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 13, 2011 at 01:23 AM (#3923060)
if they go 11-6 the rest of the way I can't imagine them not getting in.

With the way NY is playing, they might take the division with 11-6. They've just gone 3-10; no way they are going 3-10 over the next 13 games. And with 17 games to go, I'd much rather have the 3 game lead, then be chasing like Tampa. Every loss they suffer is like 2 games gone. If Tampa goes all Rockies and pulls a 20-1 stretch, well there's nothing you can do about that.

I also think they have been overly cautious with Beckett. Thinking they could cruise to the wild card and rest him until the playoffs. If he's needed to help clinch, he will pitch.
   11. The Original SJ Posted: September 13, 2011 at 01:25 AM (#3923063)
True story...

My girlfriend is from Massachusetts, her grandfather is from Worcester. He was 95 years old.

He was diagnosed with cancer, again, this June. It got pretty bad pretty quick. sometime over the summer, his children pitched in and purchased a brick with his name and whatnot. One of his daughters took a picture of home with the brick and sent it back to the red sox, with a letter telling the Sox about his story, how he first attended a game at Fenway in the 20s, and he has been a fan for a very long time, etc.

The Sox tracked down his daughter (she did not have include her phone number) and called and offered him a behind the scenes private tour, including the field, press box, green monster seats and clubhouse.

His kids were all very touched. It was too late though. He died about 3 hours before they called. The Sox were actually talking to her and the rest of his children while boxing his things at the room in the home. The Sox rep expressed their sympathies and extended the invite to the entire family, and I would be shocked if their were not flowers when we get to the funeral home on Thursday.

I have never been a fan of John Henry, and no one is a fan of Lucky Luciano, but I must give credit where credit is due. Cheers, it was a very classy move by a few very kind individuals in the Red Sox organization. The family, especially my girlfriends' father, is very, very touched.

I thought I would post this in Sox Therapy, so you guys could get some nice news about the team. Good for the Sox.
   12. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: September 13, 2011 at 01:52 AM (#3923073)
I'll attempt some sunshine as well, though not as much as our friend Train.

Before the season, if God had told you that on September 12, you had a three-game lead for a playoff spot, would you take it?
   13. rr Posted: September 13, 2011 at 01:55 AM (#3923075)
Lucky Luciano


I have been been intensely critical of Lucchino as a frontman, pol, and media mouthpiece; I know people here in SD who dealt with him closely during the stadium "fight" and he was described as behaving as you would expect.

But, as I have said several times here, the guy is also a brilliant executive, very shrewd, hires good people, and lets them work. Even his enemies out here knew that. So, that Boston has people in place who would grasp stuff like this and handle it with class and compassion does not surprise me at all.

Sympathies to your GF's GF--and hey, he did see Boston hoist the trophy twice.
   14. Dale Sams Posted: September 13, 2011 at 01:56 AM (#3923076)
Grand Moff Tarkin weighs in, and backs up the numbers people here.
   15. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 13, 2011 at 02:02 AM (#3923079)
Before the season, if God had told you that on September 12, you had a three-game lead for a playoff spot, would you take it?

Absolutely, without question, no doubter. If someone(not god please) had told me after the 2-10 start that we'd have a 3 game lead on Sept. 12, I would have responded as I normally do, with something like, "you're sh*tting me, right?"

#11, good story and a nice full life of 95, you can't really complain about that.
   16. villageidiom Posted: September 13, 2011 at 02:08 AM (#3923081)
Thanks, sj, and sorry for your/her loss.
   17. tfbg9 Posted: September 13, 2011 at 05:07 PM (#3923481)
Bpro, this AM: 96.3%! Hahahahahaha!
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: September 13, 2011 at 05:15 PM (#3923492)
Before the season, if God had told you that on September 12, you had a three-game lead for a playoff spot, would you take it?


If he said 3 game lead for the division, then yes.
   19. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 13, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#3923536)
Christ did I pick the right week to go on a virtually completely unplugged Caribbean vacation. (Got home late last night.)

You may all feel free to credit me when they resume winning tonight.
   20. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 13, 2011 at 05:59 PM (#3923548)
Can we blame you for the losing?
   21. Dale Sams Posted: September 13, 2011 at 06:04 PM (#3923555)
Can we blame you for the losing?


It's actually my fault. Somewhere, sometime, I said "If we..ok, when we make the playoffs...". I felt dumb saying it and it never should have happened.
   22. Joel W Posted: September 13, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3923687)
You can blame me if it happens. I'll publicly play whipping boy.
   23. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 13, 2011 at 08:52 PM (#3923728)
A fair amount of good news today (stole it all from Extra Bases);

- Youk back in the lineup tonight
- Beckett will start Thursday or Friday
- Bedard "could" start one of the doubleheader games on Monday
- Probably not likely to help in 2011 but Buchholz will throw off a mound later this week
- Call ups; Tazawa, Anderson, Miller, Iglesias, Gathright. Spears DFA, Drew to 60 day DL

Also,Bobby Jenks has an embolism that "is not career threatening" and a fairly short but interesting bit on Adrian Gonzalez.
   24. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 13, 2011 at 09:33 PM (#3923748)
Can we blame you for the losing?
Yes, but only if they now start winning...that's the beauty part. I am either the essential ingredient for winning, or I have no impact whatsoever.
   25. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 13, 2011 at 09:40 PM (#3923754)
I blame dr jinxtable
   26. Joel W Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:51 AM (#3924287)
MCA can we get a little spreadsheet action? Feeling pretty good right now.
   27. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:18 AM (#3924301)
Spreadsheet had read 27%, 15%, 6% based on very pessimistic, somewhat pessimistic, and optimistic views of team quality down the stretch.

Now reads 22%, 11%, 4%.

We ain't out of the woods yet.
   28. Dale Sams Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:35 AM (#3924308)
No ones gonna ask me, the guy who predicted *in April* that AGon would hit 25 HRs?

I'm gonna change my name to Cassandra.

j/k, seriously, adding Beckett to the rotation does wonders. Now if they'd go to a 4 man (though I have no clue who the other 2 should be) I'd feel better.
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 14, 2011 at 12:02 PM (#3924432)
The little move that looks like it might have cost the team a game or two was giving Kevin Millwood his walking papers back in August. The Sox could use his "throw strikes and so what if I give up some homers" sub-mediocrity now, and they really could have used it last week.
   30. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2011 at 12:57 PM (#3924455)
No ones gonna ask me, the guy who predicted *in April* that AGon would hit 25 HRs?


Are you the guy who said "I don't see Gonzalez hitting more than 25 hr's"? Because you are still probably wrong
   31. Joel W Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3924615)
I don't know much, but I do know that Kevin Millwood-Andrew Miller /= 2 wins, let alone 1.
   32. tfbg9 Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3924619)
98.1%...I guess the Bpro simulator hasn't witnessed any recent Lackey starts.
   33. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:18 PM (#3924628)
Are any of you confident the team will make it to the post-season? Or is that not in Sox fan DNA?
   34. Dale Sams Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:23 PM (#3924633)
Like Matt getting mad when the Sox were 6 ahead and people are tossing out figures like "The Sox only have a 65% chance of making it!!"...

..I get mad when people say, "The Sox are too good not to make the playoffs". Really? Well maybe the Sox can carry the Dalai's golfclubs and on their deathbeds get total consciousness too.

You know what the Sox's record is when the give up 5 or more runs a game? Not good enough to make the playoffs. I don't think they have enough of a cushion to make it even if we restrict it to 5-7 runs a game.

So in other words...stop giving up 5 GD runs in the first three innings!!!
   35. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:23 PM (#3924636)
Now if they'd go to a 4 man (though I have no clue who the other 2 should be) I'd feel better.


I'd rather go 5 man and have Beckett/Lester 100% on their start days. The Sox don't need to be great, just mediocre the next two weeks. I'm still skeptical they can do that but a shift to a four man rotation is overaggressive.

No ones gonna ask me, the guy who predicted *in April* that AGon would hit 25 HRs?


No mention of your non-stop touting of Honus Lowrie?
   36. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:29 PM (#3924650)
Are any of you confident the team will make it to the post-season? Or is that not in Sox fan DNA?


I feel really bad about this. To be clear, I think the only two idiots of the opinion that the Sox aren't getting in are Dale and me (maybe Phil). There is general concern over recent play but I think most fans are confident that they will get in.

It's not a "red Sox fans" thing, it's a Dale and Jose thing.
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:29 PM (#3924651)
Are any of you confident the team will make it to the post-season? Or is that not in Sox fan DNA?


I am confident that they will make it to the post-season. I am not confident in them winning any series in the playoffs.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:32 PM (#3924656)
Are any of you confident the team will make it to the post-season? Or is that not in Sox fan DNA?
What's confident? I think it's significantly more likely than not. I'm not going to go around saying false things like "it's a lock" to express my confidence, and I'm not really much for fanboy bluster.

I worry about unlikely events, and maybe that's a part of the Sox fan DNA, but I don't know exactly what you're asking about. Does "confidence" mean repressing or not experiencing worry about possible bad outcomes? Does "confidence" mean willingness to bet on the outcome? I've done the latter, I'm not going to do the former.
   39. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:33 PM (#3924658)
I am confident that they will make it to the post-season. I am not confident in them winning any series in the playoffs.
If they get to the postseason with a healthy front three of Beckett-Lester-Bedard, what makes them meaningful underdogs against the Tigers or Rangers?
   40. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#3924660)
I'm the opposite of Nate, I'm fearful they won't get in but think if they get in they are well suited to do damage.
   41. Dale Sams Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3924663)
No mention of your non-stop touting of Honus Lowrie?


He got hurt!!!
   42. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:38 PM (#3924670)
If they get to the postseason with a healthy front three of Beckett-Lester-Bedard, what makes them meaningful underdogs against the Tigers or Rangers?


Nothing. But they currently don't have that healthy front three.
   43. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#3924671)
No mention of your non-stop touting of Honus Lowrie?

He got hurt!!!
And in April you went off on the assertion that Lowrie was injury-prone.
Nothing. But they currently don't have that healthy front three.
Fair enough. By the time we get to the point where we know if the Sox are in the playoffs or not, we'll know what the rotation will be. I would be confident with those front three, and not particularly confident in the Sox without them. Given that it's very possible all three will be healthy, I don't see much reason to express a blanket lack of confidence now.
   44. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#3924672)
He got hurt!!!


We were all stunned by that development.
   45. Dale Sams Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:46 PM (#3924679)
And in the preseason you went off on the assertion that Lowrie was injury-prone.


I went off on the non-SABR assertion that players *can* be injury prone...in a forum that is very SABR friendly. It just doesn't seem very scientific. Are they cursed? Do they have weak joints? Is there some kind of MD or even MS-lite thing going on here causing muscle weakness? Is it an actual physical malady or is it "JD Drew doesn't play unless he feels 90% or better"? If it is physical, shouldn't we be trying to test for this kind of thing?

How do you differentiate between injury-prone and bad luck?
   46. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:51 PM (#3924685)
Just because we don't know WHY something happens doesn't mean its not a real event. I can come up with some possible reasons Lowrie is injured often;

- physical weakness of bones/muscles
- low pain threshhold
- comparatively low athletic ability leading to pulls and strains (relative to MLB players, not the public at large)
- some form of genetics

that doesn't mean those ARE the reasons, but they are possible reasons. You're right, it's possible that it's just bad luck but I think it's fair in the case of a guy like Lowrie to argue that until he proves he can play six consecutive months of baseball without a limb falling off that he should not be counted on to do that.

We see pitchers who outperform/underperform their peripherals regularly. I thin Buerhle is one, Beckett another and just because we cannot figure out why that happens when something happens regularly it's folly to dismiss it out of hand.
   47. Joel W Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#3924695)
He's not a baseball player or anything, but you can't tell me that Greg Oden isn't injury prone. Of course some athletes are injury prone. Some injuries are going to be more predictive than others, of course. My guess is broken bones are less predictive than strains and ligament issues, for example. Back injuries tend to be more likely to recur, etc.
   48. Dale Sams Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3924698)
Beckett another


It would have been hilarious if the Sox had worked into his contract to pay him less every even-numbered year.
   49. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3924701)
It would have been hilarious if the Sox had worked into his contract to pay him less every even-numbered year.


I still say they should trade Beckett this offseason before another even-year stinker ... and then steal C.C. from NY.
   50. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#3924705)
In my experience, I know people who are more and less prone to injury or illness, and who are more and less apt to recover quickly from injury or illness. I know some people who need to be 100% to do their jobs well or to play sports well, and some people who are better at "playing through" whatever physical problems might arise. Why shouldn't ballplayers be the same?

MGL made the argument that there are no injury-prone players several years ago. Steve Treder made a bet with him - he would select a group of players he believed would be injury prone, and if they missed significantly more time than the average player, he would win the bet. Steve won in a landslide. That bet was not a fully scientific study, but it accords with our everyday experience, I think, and it is a good piece of evidence.
   51. Dale Sams Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#3924706)
The Trailblazers are cursed.
   52. Dale Sams Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:12 PM (#3924719)
Did Steve pick just baseball players? Did he pick a lot of pitchers that seem outside the physical norm? I'm asking because I was going to make a post about Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett, but couldn't really nail down my point.
   53. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:23 PM (#3924739)
When I say "Confident they will" win I don't mean cocky.

I mean if we were having a beer and I asked you "will the Sox get into the post-season this year?" you would reply something like "I am pretty confident they will but anything could happen."

I think that is a reasonable position for Sox fans to take (and I see some of you have).
   54. Joel W Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#3924746)
2 weeks ago I would have said "you are insane if you think the Red Sox are missing the playoffs." Today I'd say "it would take a string of relatively bad luck, but a 4 game series against Tampa and our depleted pitching staff make it more likely than makes me comfortable, and annoyed I was that cocky a couple weeks ago." I would describe that as confident, but still reloading the game on my phone constantly if i'm not home.
   55. Dale Sams Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:51 PM (#3924780)
2012 Red Sox schedule

/facepalm

That April.
   56. Textbook Editor Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#3924781)
So... according to the Globe here's the pitching for the Rays series:

It'll be Kyle Weiland followed by Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Tim Wakefield. Andrew Miller is being skipped.


[sigh] Aceves won't ever get a start, will he?

This sets up Lackey/Bedard as the pitchers for the DH on Monday against the Orioles; I suppose they figure they'll need Aceves for about 10 innings over both games...
   57. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#3924782)
I went off on the non-SABR assertion that players *can* be injury prone...in a forum that is very SABR friendly. It just doesn't seem very scientific.

See Johnson, Nick.
   58. tfbg9 Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:56 PM (#3924786)
If the Red Sox do manage to get into the playoffs, it will clearly be because I bet on them to not do so.
And then, you can all thank me, or know in your hearts that you are ingrates. I almost never win these bets.
   59. Dale Sams Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#3924952)
I just had one of those insane outside the box thoughts that I have from time to time.

Why don't players get a running start when tagging up from third? There's no rule you can't set up a few feet behind the third base bag and it really wouldn't be difficult to time where you're either on the base when the ball is caught or a foot behind it. You don't even have to be looking, the third base coach could say "Go!".

Somebody should look into the diference between having a running lead and no running lead.


enh...too much trouble...nevermind. Back to the 'outside the box think tank'.
   60. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:33 PM (#3925033)
Why don't players get a running start when tagging up from third? There's no rule you can't set up a few feet behind the third base bag . . .

IIRC, that was one of the little "tricks" that John McGraw introduced, but suprisingly (to me, at least) people reacted negatively, and there is actually a rule against it.
   61. Daryn Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#3925057)
I promise I will thank you, tfbg9.
   62. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:54 PM (#3925061)
No ones gonna ask me, the guy who predicted *in April* that AGon would hit 25 HRs?


26 and counting now...

Anyone know why Gonzalez is out of the game?
   63. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:59 PM (#3925067)
Why don't players get a running start when tagging up from third? There's no rule you can't set up a few feet behind the third base bag . . .


I didn't know there was a rule against it but I think it would be a bad idea even if there wasn't. I think it would be a bit difficult to get the running start, be watching the ball and not miss the base all while timing the play to make sure you don't give away the benefit of the running start by hitting the bag too late.
   64. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3925129)
Daniel Bard sucks big, hairy, sweaty balls. And not in a good way.
   65. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#3925153)
so he comes in and walks 2 guys and then makes an error?
   66. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:30 PM (#3925158)
and then gives up a 2 run single to a frigging ex-pitcher.
   67. Joel W Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:50 PM (#3925197)
Daniel Bard is a very good pitcher who is pretty clearly hurt.
   68. Joel W Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:52 PM (#3925202)
Also apparently Gonzalez had a "tight calf" and that's why he left the game. That, fortunately, doesn't sound all that serious. Of course, it's the Red Sox...
   69. Textbook Editor Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:08 PM (#3925280)
So... apparently I'm eligible to purchase ALDS tickets on Friday, but not guaranteed tickets (which seems only right, since they can't guarantee they'll be playing in the ALDS)... If anyone else has been through this: if you "win" the lottery to be eligible to get tickets, do you normally actually get tickets? I guess what I'm wondering is what the shutout rate is for those who get into the lottery...

Unless a miracle occurs we'll be the road team in any series, which means the game would be either 3 or 4 at Fenway October 3/4, I figure...
   70. konaforever Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:09 PM (#3925282)
I hate this team. That is all.
   71. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:15 PM (#3925284)
Another horrible loss the day after a blowout - fun times the last two weeks.

It's ok I wear brown undies now - I bought 14 pairs last week. Pants pissing is over rated - I prefer to just #### myself watching the constant injury updates and tough losses lately.

Probably best for all if I skip chatter tomorrow.

See you on the other side.
   72. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:34 PM (#3925294)
I couldn't watch the game today. Did the Red Sox really give up 3 runs in the 8th without a ball leaving the infield?
   73. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2011 at 11:37 PM (#3925334)
So... apparently I'm eligible to purchase ALDS tickets on Friday, but not guaranteed tickets (which seems only right, since they can't guarantee they'll be playing in the ALDS)... If anyone else has been through this: if you "win" the lottery to be eligible to get tickets, do you normally actually get tickets? I guess what I'm wondering is what the shutout rate is for those who get into the lottery...


I'm not sure, I've entered every lottery for postseason and for Monster/Yankees tickets but I have never won. I think you would have a good chance at getting tix. It sucks that the fee is $13.50 per ticket on top of the inflated face value.
   74. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 14, 2011 at 11:42 PM (#3925338)
Huh, went to bed pretty confident they'd win this one, now very glad I didn't get up to watch it. Unfortunately the "let's find painful ways to lose a ball game" tour apparently has a few more stops. What a shame after a reasonable Lackey start.

Maybe Tampa will lose today, there's always a chance. I mean after all Baltimore does have Wieters and look how that worked out yesterday!

I still reckon we'll split with Tampa the next 4 games.
   75. Darren Posted: September 14, 2011 at 11:58 PM (#3925348)
I "won" and got in a lottery for playoff tickets (might have been some other event) and was not able to purchase tickets.
   76. tfbg9 Posted: September 15, 2011 at 12:07 AM (#3925353)
Bard might be a very good pitcher, but he seems to lose a lot of ballgames. He says his mechanics are messed-up.

No Tobor he, at least not of late.
   77. tfbg9 Posted: September 15, 2011 at 12:09 AM (#3925354)
Hugh, you're nuts. This team is reeling.
   78. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 15, 2011 at 12:28 AM (#3925360)
#77, I'm trying to stay positive. The craptastic SP I could deal with knowing we'd get games like yesterday and squeeze out enough wins. However the mounting injuries to the lineup, particular the 3,4 and 5 spot, will kill this team off I'm afraid. There's only so much the Pellsbury combination can do. What is the news on Papi? Gonzo? And Youk just looks bad, he really needs to skip games until he can play well.

And yes, I agree, I am nuts.
   79. Dale Sams Posted: September 15, 2011 at 12:37 AM (#3925364)
Youk does look like Lowell. They need to sit him for Lowrie...and what the hell today? When does Lars rank ahead of Lowrie? I know Lowrie (just looked up Lowrie's Sept. numbers)

Emily Litella voice: Nevermind.

edit: And one little problem with the O's playing the Rays this tough...I assure you they arn't gonna roll over for us either.
   80. ray james Posted: September 15, 2011 at 01:24 AM (#3925389)
Wieters just hit a 2-run bomb to probably put the game out of reach for the Rays- down 6-2 with only 1 inning to play.
   81. Dan Posted: September 15, 2011 at 01:29 AM (#3925393)
Lowrie's shoulder is still ######. He got a cortisone injection on Tuesday. He probably came back too early (again).
   82. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 15, 2011 at 01:32 AM (#3925399)
Wow the Orioles really did us a solid. A split this weekend and I relax.
   83. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 15, 2011 at 01:34 AM (#3925400)
Yep Jose, a split will finish them off....finally. Tampa is reeling!
   84. Dale Sams Posted: September 15, 2011 at 01:36 AM (#3925404)
Until Baltimore does us the same favor! :>
   85. NTNgod Posted: September 15, 2011 at 01:40 AM (#3925409)
Wieters (3 HR in 3 games vs. TB) is probably licking his lips at the thought of facing the current Red Sox pitching staff.
   86. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 15, 2011 at 02:20 AM (#3925451)
Dale, love the reverse psychologically bit! Baltimore isn't really that good, so by the time we play them in 5 days, they'll be sucking again.
   87. Textbook Editor Posted: September 15, 2011 at 02:33 AM (#3925457)
...of course, a split doesn't do us any good if the Angels win all 3 against Baltimore... then they'd leapfrog TB, I think...
   88. Textbook Editor Posted: September 15, 2011 at 02:52 AM (#3925476)
BTW--Thanks for the info, Nate & Darren... I always just assumed if you were 'picked' you were guaranteed 2 tickets, just not that they'd be decent seats... Oh well; we'll see. It would be fun to take TE Jr. to a playoff game, though it would definitely involve a missed school day (and maybe two), depending on the timing.
   89. Dan Posted: September 15, 2011 at 10:01 AM (#3925561)
Can we talk about how awful Francona's in-game strategy has been this year? In both today's game and the game Bard blew in Toronto, it was clear from the first pitch he threw that Bard had nothing, and Francona didn't bring in Papelbon for 4-5 out saves either time, when it was clearly the correct move. Today, Papelbon hadn't pitched in 4 days. He had a quick 9th when he was brought in after the team was already losing; I think he could've handled two more outs just fine.
   90. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 15, 2011 at 10:57 AM (#3925567)
The state of the spreadsheet:

(BPro W3%)
RS .56, TB .51: 3%

(Sox bad, Rays great)
RS .48, TB .60: 20%

(Sox not so good, Rays good)
RS .51, TB .56: 10%

A small improvement across the board. With the Sox planning to have Beckett and Bedard back, I think we should consider a fourth projected WP scenario, in which both teams are good.

(Sox good, Rays good)
RS .55, TB .56: 5%

As has been noted, the Angels have been winning like gangbusters and are now only a half game back of Tampa. There is now in play a scenario where the Sox beat the Rays, but both teams stumble badly enough to let the Angels catch them. The Angels schedule - Oak, Bal, Tor, Oak, Tex - is not terribly difficult. I don't think it's a terribly high probability (a hot streak by the Angels might catch the Rangers first), but it's worth noting.
   91. Nasty Nate Posted: September 15, 2011 at 12:45 PM (#3925590)
Can we talk about how awful Francona's in-game strategy has been this year?


I agree, I think Francona has had a sub-par season for the in-game stuff.
   92. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 15, 2011 at 01:01 PM (#3925600)
I'll agree but of course I'm me so I have to offer up a defense.

This generally seems to be focused on two issues;

outfielder usage (platoons specifically)
sticking with starters to long

Regarding the outfielder usage I think a cautious approach with the unproven Reddick had some validity. At this point I think the gloves should be off but McDonald has been pretty good in the second half (.806 OPS) so it's hard to be too critical of that.

The pitchers is the bigger issue. I've never disputed the conventional wisdom that he sticks with the starters too long but I think it's an issue begging for a good study. The other thing is that even being cautious two of his top three relievers have completely broken down (Bard and Albers) as the season progressed. I think not going to Papelbon last week was indefensible, yesterday less so though I wanted him to do it.

But I'd love to see something more systematic on Tito's handling of the pitchers. I think it would be interesting.
   93. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: September 15, 2011 at 01:53 PM (#3925645)
Francona's been terrible this month. He had ample opportunity to limit the damage of both Bard meltdowns against Toronto and did nothing. Yesterday he had Papelbon warming as Bard went walk, walk, error, fielder's choice and yet STILL let Bard blow the game despite the obvious signs that Bard had nothing. Completely unacceptable.

And Kyle Weiland starts tonight. Awesome.
   94. villageidiom Posted: September 15, 2011 at 02:13 PM (#3925663)
Let's go back to the arbitrary date of August 1, and look by ten-day stretches at the slow hook and/or bullpen use from that point on.


8/1 Lackey gets to 2 out in the 7th, but gave up 3 in the 6th, and 5 overall. Morales faces 1 batter with success. Bard faces 4 batters, 3 scoring. Williams and Albers clean up the mess.

8/2 Beckett goes 6, gives up 2. Morales is harmless for 2 innings, and Papelbon saves it on 10 pitches.

8/3 Wakefield goes 6.2, giving up 3 runs. He passes one runner on to Williams, who pitches 1.1 without incident. Papelbon saves it on 14 pitches.

8/4 Welcome, Bedard. 5 IP, 3 runs. Morales lights a match, facing 3 batters, 2 scoring. Aceves finishes the 6th. Miller is called on to pitch the rest of the way, but gives up 2 runs and has 2 runners on in the 9th before Wheeler bails him out.

8/5 Lester goes 6, giving up 3. Albers throws 2, Williams and Aceves split the 9th, none of them giving up a run.

8/6 Lackey follows Lester's example: 6 IP, 3 runs. Aceves keeps the 7th quiet. Bard gives up a run in the 8th, and Wheeler pitches the 9th with a little alarm but no runs.

8/7 Beckett goes 6, gives up 1 run. Albers starts the 7th, gets 2 outs and gives 1 run, passes another runner on to Morales who walks the bases full but gets out of it. Wheeler pitches the 8th, Papelbon the 9th, and Bard the 10th, each giving up no runs.

8/8 Wakefield goes 7, giving up 5 runs, all by the 5th inning. Aceves gives up the tying run in the 8th, and Papelbon cruises to a save in the 9th.

8/9 Bedard goes 5 again, giving up 2. Albers pitches the 6th and allows 3 baserunners and 1 run. Morales gets 2 of 3 batters in the 7th, leaving the one baserunner for Bard, who cruises in 1.1. Papelbon saves in the 9th.

8/10 Lester goes 7.1, giving up 4 runs, 2 of them in the 8th. Aceves enters needing to get one out; he faces 4 and allows them all to reach, one scoring, and gets bailed out by Ellsbury's throw home to record one out. Miller finishes the 8th without giving up any more runs. There is no 9th.


OK, in that 10 day stretch, what do we see?

1. The starters other than Bedard seemed to go a decent distance into the game. Still, only twice did a starter complete the 7th.

2. Even in retrospect it's hard to say Francona generally had a slow hook. Do you remove Lackey after 5 on 8/1? Do you even have anyone warming? With Wakefield on 8/8, most of the damage is done early. The 8/10 game with Lester is probably the best candidate for slow-hook syndrome (SHS).

3. The bullpen other than Papelbon were inconsistent. Bard was not good in two outings, and good in two. Aceves was generally good but had one horrible outing. Likewise for Morales, Albers, and Miller. In many games it appeared that Francona had to use one more reliever than would otherwise be necessary.


I might not be able to get back to this the rest of the day, so if anyone has the time and patience they can feel free to post the 8/11 to 8/20 stretch. Otherwise I'll get back to this later.
   95. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 15, 2011 at 02:21 PM (#3925669)
I'll jump in, gimme a minute.
   96. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 15, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3925672)
I think the second guessing of Francona around here is overblown to some extent. I don't agree with some of the decisions he's made recently, but:

a) There have been (IMO) very few egregious before-the-fact moments.
b) Francona has a very good track record.
c) He and his coaches know their pitchers a heck of a lot better than any of you.

This is not to say he should be impervious to criticism or second guessing - but when things are going bad for the team, the manager almost always looks bad. Doesn't necessarily mean he's been ####### up left and right.

I am with Hugh - trying to stay positive. Trying to remember there's nothing I can do no matter how poorly they play or how frustratingly they lose. All we can do is root for them and hope for the best.
   97. Textbook Editor Posted: September 15, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3925678)
Aceves for 2 IP on a regular basis down the stretch (and in the playoffs) might be a damn good idea. I know I've been calling for him to start, but since they seem manifestly against this (or else Weiland wouldn't be starting tonight), then you might as well use him in the M. Rivera v.1996 role as a 2 IP-bridge to Papelbon while Bard gets his mechanics straightened out.

I'm assuming Aceves will be unavailable tonight, and they're likely to stay away from Bard, which leaves... Papelbon for 3 outs and... [sigh]
   98. Nasty Nate Posted: September 15, 2011 at 02:36 PM (#3925681)
re: 96, careful or you'll trigger a patented Darren "what? we're not allowed to criticize Francona around here!?!!" rant.

I think Francona has had a bad year in terms of in-game management, not just a bad month. I still think he's a good manager, probably the best Sox manager of my lifetime, and I don't think he should be fired or anything.
   99. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 15, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3925689)
8/12 - Lackey 6IP 4 runs but nothing in the 5th or 6th. Morales/Bard/Papelbon close it out

8/13 - Beckett goes 5IP allowing 5 runs (all in the first), Albers/Morales/Aceves finish up

8/14 - Wake CG loss allowing 5 runs. Nothing after the 6th on just 94 pitches.

8/16 (Game One) - Lester goes 7 giving up 1 run. Bard and Papelbon replace Lester after 113 pitches and pitch shutout relief for the win.

8/16 (Game Two) - Bedard goes 6 IP allowing 3 runs (1 earned). He gets replaced by Albers after 102 pitches and Albers pukes on himself (with some help from comical defense) allowing 3 runs in a second inning of work.

8/17 - Lackey goes 6.2 allowing 4 runs. With one on and two out in the 7th he faces Longoria (BB) and Zobrist (RBI 2B) after already throwing 116 pitches. He probably should have been lifted there. Aceves/Wheeler finish up.

8/18 - Beckett goes 7 allowing 3 early runs. Bard/Papelbon finish up and I blow out birthday candles in celebration.

8/19 - Miller goes 5.1 allowing just 1 run. After just 83 pitches Aceves comes in to get Butler/Hosmer and then he finishes up.

8/20 - Wake goes 5 strong then gets knocked around in the 6th. Albers comes in to throw gas on the fire and an 8 run inning is the result

Clearly the last two games are the most interesting games here. Francona was appropriately quick on the 19th but then arguably erred in letting Aceves finish up. The next day Francona had Wake at 84 pitches start the 6th. Maybe he should have lifted him there but Wake was coming off a 94 pitch outing where he retired 6 of the last 7 and 9 of the last 11 he faced. Albers then got creamed to completely ruin the night.

I think the biggest question is should Tito have lifted Aceves after the 7th on 8/19 with the 7-1 lead? Perhaps, but if he goes to Albers (the likely candidate) and Albers does what he did on the 20th he suddenly has to go to Bard/Papelbon to finish it out. Letting Aceves just close things out makes some sense there, win the game you have.

I think looking at these games the two slow hooks were both with Albers. Albers faced six hitters (retiring one) in the 8/20 game and in the 8/16 game sending him out for the 2nd inning clearly did not work.

The Lackey game on 8/17 also fits the bill but having used Albers, Morales and Wheeler the day before I understand trying to get one more inning out of the guy.
   100. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 15, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#3925697)
re: 96, careful or you'll trigger a patented Darren "what? we're not allowed to criticize Francona around here!?!!" rant.

I know, I was afraid of that. Had to throw in the "not to say he's impervious..." line for that very reason. .
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