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   1. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 24, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4191059)
Cross posting this from the Bleacher Report thread because it makes more sense here. It's probably overly harsh but if you don't want the pop psychology of the first paragraph I think the second paragraph still holds up at least as a theory;

My theory is he is dumb as a box of hammers and stubborn as a mule. He seems to throw the same pitch over and over and over again in the same spot and then is surprised when it gets lined to the Mass Turnpike. Going through the MLB.com GameDay for Sunday he threw 20 of 23 pitches as fastballs or sinkers in the 2nd inning. Fundamentally all the same pitch (the "sinkers" and "4 seam fastballs" weren't a lot different from each other) and that all culminated with a home run by noted slugger Rajai Davis. Finally he threw a couple of curves to Snider as part of a four pitch strikeout.

Maybe he's trying to do different things and just not executing, but it seems to me that he pitches like a little leaguer, whip it as hard as you can while still having it be a strike. When I watch games I love (like I imagine a lot of folks here) to guess at pitches and I never find myself off balance in a Jon Lester start. FanGraphs doesn't really support my theory but I'm not sure how precise their pitch type info is.
   2. villageidiom Posted: July 24, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4191215)
   3. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: July 24, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4191251)
FanGraphs doesn't really support my theory but I'm not sure how precise their pitch type info is.


Their pitch type info has a really tough time with different types of fastballs. That said, I think it is interesting that Lester is now throwing lots of pitches that pitchf/x classifies as sinking fastballs. It's likely just his 4 seamer, but the fact that it has properties that classify it as a different pitch says to me that something weird is going on there.

Maybe his high hard fastballs are getting too much sink on them and becoming hittable? Who knows.
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 24, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4191271)
Fangraphs also has him throwing many fewer cutters. I'm guessing some of his cutters aren't breaking enough, and are getting classified as two-seamers.

Something does seem to be wrong with Lester's cut fastball, but again what's going to cause that is hard to parse out. And if his struggles are based on real problems with those pitches, why does he have such a huge differential in pitching with runners on? Is that part just bad luck, and if so, that accounts for the plurality of the extra runs Lester has allowed.
   5. covelli chris p Posted: July 25, 2012 at 04:11 AM (#4191592)
i think he's fat and out of shape and the loss of athleticism has caused him to lose his mechanics a bit.
   6. tfbg9 Posted: July 25, 2012 at 08:25 AM (#4191639)
He doesn't K as many guys as he used to. He has a rep. for letting crappy home plate umping throw his focus off as well.
   7. Deacon Blues Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4191668)
a few years ago people were suggesting he was better than Sabathia...what happened indeed.
   8. villageidiom Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4191726)
a few years ago people were suggesting he was better than Sabathia...what happened indeed.
A few years ago people were suggesting Lester, Jed Lowrie, and Justin Masterson wasn't a big enough return in trade for Johan Santana, that the Red Sox should also throw in Jacoby Ellsbury.
   9. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: July 25, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4192025)
a few years ago people were suggesting he was better than Sabathia...what happened indeed.


Well, by fWAR, he was better than Sabathia in 2010 and pretty much the same in 2009.
   10. Swedish Chef Posted: July 25, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4192040)
Also, Valentine added almost 0.5 to his ERA by leaving him in to get knocked around last time.
   11. Deacon Blues Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4192126)

Well, by fWAR, he was better than Sabathia in 2010 and pretty much the same in 2009.

perfectly illustrating the problems with war for pitchers. Sabathia pitched way more innings, with as good/better ERA+.....
   12. Dave Cyprian Posted: July 28, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4194681)
Edes second unbelievable article of the summer: http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/_/id/8209344/carl-crawford-boston-red-sox-saturday

Muddying the picture further, Valentine said at a media session that Saturday he was told four games into Crawford's return to sit him, and played him anyway... "Actually, I did a manager 'no-no' thing, you know," Valentine said. "I went against what I was told to do. Never to be done again."


In another extraordinary scene Saturday, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona sat in the clubhouse, surrounded by a semicircle of players for close to a half-hour Saturday, sharing laughs and conversation...
   13. Swedish Chef Posted: July 28, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4194696)
He also embraced bullpen coach Gary Tuck, who is known to be at odds with Valentine.

Who needs Game of Thrones when there's the Red Sox clubhouse?
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 28, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4194705)
Lot of "interesting" stuff in the article referenced in # 12. Doesn't sound like Crawford's elbow is going to last long if he needs a 4-game rest after playing 6 games.
   15. The District Attorney Posted: July 28, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4194708)
Doesn't sound like Crawford's elbow is going to last long if he needs a 4-game rest after playing 6 games.
Only Monday rest days help him.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 28, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4194727)
Doesn't sound like Crawford's elbow is going to last long if he needs a 4-game rest after playing 6 games.
The story says that Valentine was supposed to sit Crawford after the fourth day, not that he needed to sit him for four days. He needs to sit every fifth day or so.

I do think the Sox should shut Crawford down. He's clearly hurt, and he seems about 85%.

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