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Monday, September 26, 2016

Looking Ahead - Playoff Roster

The Sox have earned themselves at least a berth in the Wild Card game and if all goes well will return home Friday night with the division wrapped up.  In any case, just the fact that they will at least play in the Wild Card game means that it is worth considering a playoff roster.

(Jose rereads intro, nods satisfied that he’s put enough caveats in to not be accused of jinxing anything, moves on)

The Sox rolled with eleven pitchers in 2013 and I suspect there is no reason to expect otherwise in 2016 so I will operate on that assumption.

Infield: Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, Travis Shaw, Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt, Marco Hernandez, Aaron Hill
Outfield: Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Chris Young, Andrew Benintendi
Catcher: Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez
DH: David Ortiz
Considered and Rejected: Yoan Moncada, Ryan Hanigan, Pablo Sandoval, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo

Notes:  For my money Hernandez, Hill and Vazquez are where the questions come in. I think Hill has to be kept around just to give the Sox a right-handed bat at third base and off the bench and another will be the backup catcher spot.  With all due respect to Ryan Hanigan I don’t see any reason not to carry Christian Vazquez.  I want his defense more than Hanigan’s back there and it is not like either guy can hit.

That leaves one more spot.  It would be nice if the Sox would have some kind of designated runner in the Dave Roberts/Quintin Berry mold.  Ideally Yoan Moncada would be that guy but he looked out of it.  If the Sox could clinch in the next couple of days that would give them a chance to roll Moncada out a bit and see if he can be that guy but I would be surprised if he earns that level of trust.  Likewise Castillo might be a guy to fill that role but he is not even on the 40 man roster.

With Hill and Vazquez making up two of the three available spots I think the question becomes what John Farrell wants.  Personally I would love to carry Hanigan also and be willing to pinch hit/run aggressively with the catchers.  I don’t think Farrell will do that though and if he is not going to use the third catcher I think Marco Hernandez probably is your best bet.  Pablo Sandoval would be an interesting story but I think the Sox were just pumping him up a bit this weekend and there is zero chance he plays.  He has not swung a bat in anger in six months and it is not like his defense is something you want around.

Rotation: David Price, Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz, Eduardo Rodriguez
Bullpen: Craig Kimbrel, Koji Uehara, Brad Ziegler, Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, Robby Scott, Robbie Ross
Considered And Rejected: Drew Pomeranz, Junichi Tazawa, Fernando Verybad, Heath Hembree, Steven Wright, Ryan Lamarre

I don’t think there should be any dispute about the rotation.  I think the question the Sox have to ask is how they set it up.  With all due respect to Porcello and acknowledging Price’s post-season history…the $217 million man is your Game One starter.  I don’t put a lot of stock in Porcello’s home record (one loss in 2016) but hey roll with it.  If they are the third seed division winner or Wild Card winner (yup, good non-jinx Jose, carry on) I would start EdRod in Game Two on the road.  His ERA is much better on the road (3.71) than at home (6.10) and I suspect he is a guy who gets a little amped up in Fenway.

Then I looked at all of that, punched myself in the face and said keep it simple stupid.  It’s Price in Game One, Porcello in Game Two then Buchholz and EdRod in some order.  Don’t be cute.

For the bullpen, that’s a bit questionable.  It’s hard to keep your lowest ERA reliever off the roster but I think the Sox can survive the absence of Lamarre.  Tazawa and Abad simply have not been good enough though I think Tazawa has Farrell’s trust but I don’t see a spot for him.  I really think there is one available spot out there right now and that is the spot occupied by Ross.  Scott looks virtually unhittable for lefties so you have either Pomeranz or Ross in that spot.  Again it seems that Farrell’s faith in Ross is stronger than in Pomeranz. 

And what about Steven Wright?  Dude has become persona non grata which is a damned shame.  He hasn’t pitched in a month and even if he can come back, would you trust him over any of the 11 pitchers I listed?  It really is a shame because he was a great story and the 2016 Red Sox are probably buried by Memorial Day if not for him.  He saved this team’s bacon and deserves recognition but not a playoff roster spot.  The other guy I feel for is Hembree who really has been jerked around this year.  He has done great work but I do not see a spot for him.  I don’t think the Sox have been unfair to him, he has just been the unfortunate soul with options who got on the I-95 shuttle.

That’s what I got if the Sox can reach the LDS either by winning the division or the Wild Card game (nice work) then that is the roster I would go with.  Commence mockery.

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 26, 2016 at 09:11 AM | 56 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: September 26, 2016 at 10:39 AM (#5306987)
The most absurd thing in all of the above is only in your handle.

I'd said a while back that I thought Tazawa looked like he needed some time off. Sure enough, he didn't pitch from the 4th through the 11th, then has pitched 3 times, each time with two full days of rest in between:

One low-leverage inning against Baltimore. 1 BB, 0 K, 0 H, with a 10-run lead.

The 5th inning against NY in the game EdRod left in the 3rd. 0 BB, 3 K, 1 H, with a 4-run deficit.

The 6th inning against NY in the game Pomeranz left in the 4th. 0 BB, 1 K, 0 H, with a 1-run deficit.

He has had another week off since then. So I guess there are two ways to take this.

a) He no longer has Farrell's trust, since Farrell is only going to him in desperation or with a lead that could be entrusted to anyone except Abad.

b) Farrell is trying to give him the rest he needs, in order to rejuvenate him for the playoffs.

Either way, Tazawa has dropped in the bullpen depth chart. He's what, sixth now? Clearly Kimbrel, Koji, and Ziegler are ahead of him; and Kelly and Scott might be ahead of him as well. Even if he's as good as his last 3 appearances, Tazawa is 6th on the depth chart. That's a damn good bullpen.
   2. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 26, 2016 at 11:22 AM (#5307039)
Yeah, I should have said I think Farrell WANTS to trust Tazawa but Taz won't give him a reason too. Ideally the Sox will clinch tomorrow and Taz will give up about 6 runs in a third of an inning on Wednesday just to bury himself.
   3. villageidiom Posted: September 26, 2016 at 11:52 AM (#5307079)
The other thing I'd note is that a pinch-runner in the Roberts/Berry mold isn't as necessary with this team. There are two roster spots (DH and C), maybe three (3B), where you might need a PR. In 2013 there were at least five positions. In 2004, seven?
   4. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 26, 2016 at 12:51 PM (#5307139)
A few points:

1) I kind of like Hembree, and he looked awfully good yesterday (five guys faced, five strikeouts). I like having him on the roster for a few reasons: First, he has been used in a number of ways this season (mop up guy, 5th/6th inning guy in a close game where the starter is out early, back-to-back days sometimes, once a week other times), and his ERA and K/BB rates have been very consistent all season despite the varied usage. I imagine a scenario where ERod starts Game 3, pitches OK, but Farrell gives him a quick hook in a 5-3 game in the 5th inning or something. Hembree is a good guy to come in and get you five outs in the 5th and 6th innings, and put the bullpen in order for a Ziegler/Uehara/Kimbrel last three innings. Also, if you are in a blowout loss scenario, you could have him pitch three innings and keep Boston's bullpen intact for subsequent games. I guess I'd rather have him than Scott in Round 1 of the playoffs.

2) Keep in mind that the team gets to reset its roster after each playoff round. Perhaps Tazawa is a round 2 playoff arm, if they get that far? I wonder if there is scenario where Panda makes it for Round 2, if he looks good in rehab?

3) In terms of a speed guy on the bench, if you're talking about somebody who can give you a better chance of scoring from second on a base hit, either Hernandez or Hill will be a lot better than Ortiz or Leon. If you're talking about a guy who can steal second base because we need that base right now, well, that doesn't exist in the system right now. Even Moncada isn't a high-percentage basestealer right now.

4) Under the heading of "first-world problems", two minor trades that have not worked out are Abad (who is A-ful) and Aaron Hill (who has not hit since the trade). In fact, the two best additions to the team this year are probably internal (Benintendi) and the Ziegler trade. The real keys to this season were largely decisions made early in the season: Givign Bradley the job and leaving him there; giving Shaw the job over Panda; sticking Ramirez at first base and leaving him there; etc.
   5. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 27, 2016 at 05:04 PM (#5308631)
I can't imagine it will matter but Pomeranz scratched for Thursday due to a shoulder/innings combo. Owens to start. I really really really don't want Toronto to come to town with a chance. I'd be shocked if they did but geez, I'll relax when it's over.
   6. villageidiom Posted: September 27, 2016 at 05:44 PM (#5308651)
I can't imagine it will matter but Pomeranz scratched for Thursday due to a shoulder/innings combo. Owens to start. I really really really don't want Toronto to come to town with a chance. I'd be shocked if they did but geez, I'll relax when it's over.

They've won 11 in a row, and are playing 3 games against a team that is at .500 for the last month or so and roughly at .500 for the season as well. Relax.
   7. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2016 at 06:02 PM (#5308669)
Worst-case scenario is Red Sox lose out while Blue Jays win out, right? Then there's a 1-game AL East playoff Monday and the loser plays in the WC game on Tuesday.

I don't see the Blue Jays winning out (for starters), but crazier things have happened. Best win this one tonight.
   8. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 27, 2016 at 09:51 PM (#5308794)
See, TE gets it! It's my fault for posting this thread.
   9. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2016 at 11:06 PM (#5308866)
I have special pants I wear around the house during the last week of the season, because of nights like tonight.
   10. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2016 at 11:08 PM (#5308870)
...and now we're looking to Buchholz and Owens to save us from a weekend series that mens something. Wheee!
   11. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 28, 2016 at 01:33 AM (#5308921)
See, TE gets it! It's my fault for posting this thread


I have special pants I wear around the house during the last week of the season


I would like to think that Mrs. TE shows a bit more decorum and requires no such pants; and as for TE junior let's just hope that this is one aspect of the genetic gene pool he(she?) did NOT inherit from TE.
   12. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 28, 2016 at 08:44 AM (#5308949)
OK, it's a new day...it ends tonight. Tillman vs. Liriano is a good one for Baltimore and Buchholz vs. Mitchell...go get 'em Clay. 10:30 tonight or so champagne gets popped!
   13. Textbook Editor Posted: September 28, 2016 at 10:04 AM (#5309001)
I would like to think that Mrs. TE shows a bit more decorum and requires no such pants; and as for TE junior let's just hope that this is one aspect of the genetic gene pool he(she?) did NOT inherit from TE.


Lol. TE Jr. seemed genuinely confused this morning that the magic number did not go back up to 2 or 3 because TOR won and BOS lost. Had to explain the magic number concept to him... He didn't inherit my PP gene, thankfully. He's openly making plans with the kids of a friend of mine who's a Cubs fan so they can watch the Cubs-Red Sox WS he expects will be happening this year.

Mrs. TE still teases me that I walked away from Game 6 of the 2013 ALCS and missed Victorino's HR... She takes these things in stride.
   14. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 28, 2016 at 10:13 AM (#5309013)
I'm wearing a Cubs vs. Red Sox shirt I got in 2011 at the interleague series. I'm hoping this is foreshadowing.
   15. Textbook Editor Posted: September 28, 2016 at 11:17 AM (#5309066)
They had better win it tonight; tomorrow looks a washout and the whole weekend in Boston looks very wet. It could be a real mess getting all games in for East Coast teams by Sunday night.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: September 28, 2016 at 11:24 AM (#5309075)
There is a chance that the Red Sox will be playing an ALDS game in Cleveland on the same day that the Patriots are playing the Tom Brady return game in the same city.
   17. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 28, 2016 at 11:32 AM (#5309080)
To #16's point: Sunday, October 9th has a chance of being one of those "I'm using all of my spousal points" days for New England sports fans. It could be one of those days where we all sit around and watch Brady/Belichick go for it on 4th down in the 4th quarter with the score 66-3 or something, just to tell the NFL to bite it. Meanwhile, it could be an elimination game for the Red Sox in the ALDS or something.

I feel so fortunate to be a lifelong New England-area sports fan during this past 15 years. Even when we don't win a championship (and we've been to 13 Big Four finals in the past 15 years, at least twice in each sport), it is usually really interesting, anyway.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: September 28, 2016 at 11:55 AM (#5309110)
There could also conceivably be an NFL game and a MLB playoff game in Baltimore on that day.

The following Sunday could have both in Chicago - although that day's Bears-Jaguars matchup isn't very exciting.

The Sunday after that could possibly have 2 NY vs LA matchups in Los Angeles.

   19. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 28, 2016 at 01:20 PM (#5309187)
It could be one of those days where we all sit around and watch Brady/Belichick go for it on 4th down in the 4th quarter with the score 66-3 or something, just to tell the NFL to bite it.


Ah, the Pats vs. the NFL, where the only satisfactory outcome involves some kind of minor, but debilitating, explosion.
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: September 28, 2016 at 01:31 PM (#5309204)
I struggling to imagine a minor explosion that would debilitate the NFL.
   21. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 28, 2016 at 01:42 PM (#5309215)
I didn't want to be accused of being too negative. It's just impossible to find the guy to root for when Goodell is on one side and Belichick the other.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: September 28, 2016 at 01:50 PM (#5309220)
I understood. I was just hassling you for the clumsy use of the idiom - it's not as if the spats between the NFL and the Pats involved the entire team being in the same physical space as the league itself (if that was even possible).

Naturally, I began my post with the garbled "I struggling..."
   23. Textbook Editor Posted: September 28, 2016 at 07:50 PM (#5309505)
The Orioles aren't going to help us. Hell, they can't even help themselves at this point.
   24. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 28, 2016 at 11:00 PM (#5309640)
May I disagree with TE?
   25. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2016 at 12:08 AM (#5309680)
I stand corrected.

I'm assuming/hoping that their minds were elsewhere as soon as the Orioles score was posted, and that lead to the shitshow of a 9th inning. The amount of mound visits by the IF in that half-inning tells me that might have been the case.

But. Still. Helluva way to win a division.

I'm fine with not having top seed... but I do want home field for the 1st series, so winning 2-3 of the last 4 would be a nice icing to the cake.
   26. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 29, 2016 at 08:49 AM (#5309730)
I'm fine with not having top seed


Indeed. The Indians with their depleted starting pitching look more appealing than either the Orioles or the Jays.

And who knows, maybe starting in Texas would be better for Price. Warmer weather? Home crowd isn't firing him up too much? Not the Yankees so he's ok?
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: September 29, 2016 at 09:57 AM (#5309768)
Indeed. The Indians with their depleted starting pitching look more appealing than either the Orioles or the Jays.
I tend to agree, especially if Kluber is out. Although, my guess is that he'll pitch.

Last night was kind of a baseball/gambling whirlwind for me. As a Sox fan, I wanted them to clinch the division and obviously wanted them to beat the Yankees to get it. But I'm in a heated race in roto baseball and my rival and I are battling for the saves category. He has Kimbrel and Osuna, and I have Britton, so it was a great turnaround for me when Kimbrel couldn't get the save and what happened in the dome. However, I also have a season-long over-under bet against the Yankees that hangs in the balance so I really wanted Kelly to close out the game (in addition to my fan interest).
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: September 29, 2016 at 10:03 AM (#5309773)
How scrubby will the lineup be tonight in front of an empty Yankee stadium?
possibly:
C - Vasquez
1B - Shaw
2B - Hill/Marrero
SS - Hernandez
3B - Hill/Marrero
OF - Benintendi, Young, Holt
DH- Moncada
   29. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 29, 2016 at 10:17 AM (#5309783)
I wonder if Moncada might get rolled out at second base.

By the way, did anyone else see Hill get clobbered by the cameraman last night? He was being interviewed by Guerin and some cameraman backed into him. It was pretty funny.
   30. Nasty Nate Posted: September 29, 2016 at 10:18 AM (#5309784)
No, I missed that.

I did get queasy watching Ortiz slide into home plate. He seemed OK after, though.
   31. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 29, 2016 at 10:59 AM (#5309817)
DH- Moncada


Ortiz is going to get at least one AB. No way he skips his last game in NY.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: September 29, 2016 at 11:27 AM (#5309838)
Ortiz is going to get at least one AB. No way he skips his last game in NY.
Normally, I would think he would pinch-hit once (or start the game but only have one PA), but he's looked slightly uncomfortable at the plate the last 2 nights and had that awkward play at the plate, so he might just rest up.
   33. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 29, 2016 at 11:33 AM (#5309845)
I'm with jacksone, I think he'll at least pinch hit at some point. I wouldn't be surprised if he started and got a 1 or 2 at bat cameo.
   34. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 29, 2016 at 02:48 PM (#5310013)
Am I overreacting to how bad Price was the other day or is Porcello our game one starter?
   35. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: September 29, 2016 at 02:53 PM (#5310018)
Overreacting, but then I still don't fully trust Porcello.
   36. Joe Bivens, Floundering Pumpkin Posted: September 29, 2016 at 03:09 PM (#5310029)
I've been saying that Joe Kelly should be the closer since last year, before they got Kimbrel. Now they're stuck with Kimbrel, and it's becoming obvious that he can't be trusted, with his control issues. Why they felt they had to go out and get him rather than getting another quality starter is troubling. Closer is an overrated position, in the sense that lots of guys can do it adequately, not in the sense that you don't need a good one. Take a guy like Kelly who throws 100mph, and let him go in for the 9th inning 60 or 70 times a year and just let him throw it like there's no tomorrow and you'd see a better pitcher than what you see out of him as a starter.

Last night was not his fault. He almost got out of the inning with the save.

But, instead, we're stuck with Kimbrel. I don't want to see close games in the playoffs. He may succeed, but he's just as likely to walk the ballpark.
   37. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 29, 2016 at 03:11 PM (#5310032)

Last night was not his fault. He almost got out of the inning with the save.


Then gave up a 420 foot home run on a night when no one could hit a ball out of there.

Don't get me wrong, Kelly has been great lately but on the subject of guys I don't trust...he worries me. Every time someone throws hard and fails as a starter it seems like the expectation is you just put them in the bullpen and they will be stars. I don't think it's that easy. Kelly's command isn't very good, he gets hit awfully hard for a guy with his velocity.

Not that Kimbrel has been any great shakes. Man does he scare the hell out of me.
   38. Joe Bivens, Floundering Pumpkin Posted: September 29, 2016 at 03:19 PM (#5310038)
Kelly's command was fine. He was in a tough spot, he got two quick outs starting off those batters with nasty curves, then just got unlucky when Teixeira was waiting for a fastball and got one. If he comes in with no one on base and a 3-0 lead, they win that game 3-1, at worst.
   39. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2016 at 04:12 PM (#5310085)
As I said last night to TE Jr... I suspect that if the Red Sox are going to get to the WS (or even win it), that at some point Uehara and Kelly and Ziegler will all probably get save situations thrown at them--either because of extra innings or Kimbrel ineffectiveness on a given day.

The real question, to me, is whether or not Farrell will pull the rip cord on Kimbrel if he walks the bases loaded with a 1-run lead in the playoffs. For me, it's a no-brainer: if you have the arms still available, you get him. He's much like 1993 Mitch Williams (who I recall vividly): when he doesn't have it, he doesn't have it and there's no way he rights the ship. Just go get him and tell him you're saving pitches in his arm for another day.

   40. Nasty Nate Posted: September 29, 2016 at 04:14 PM (#5310090)
You guys were right, Ortiz is starting tonight (as are Bogaerts and JBJ).
   41. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 29, 2016 at 04:23 PM (#5310094)
As I said last night to TE Jr... I suspect that if the Red Sox are going to get to the WS (or even win it), that at some point Uehara and Kelly and Ziegler will all probably get save situations thrown at them--either because of extra innings or Kimbrel ineffectiveness on a given day.

The real question, to me, is whether or not Farrell will pull the rip cord on Kimbrel if he walks the bases loaded with a 1-run lead in the playoffs. For me, it's a no-brainer: if you have the arms still available, you get him. He's much like 1993 Mitch Williams (who I recall vividly): when he doesn't have it, he doesn't have it and there's no way he rights the ship. Just go get him and tell him you're saving pitches in his arm for another day.


I'll agree with all of this. Yesterday was the second time he has come into a save situation, not had it, and been lifted before the inning reached a conclusion (both three run games against the Yankees). The unusual circumstances of yesterday's game make it tough to read too much into it but at least we've got some history of Farrell yanking him when it's falling apart. As annoying as he's been there haven't really been many bad outings but when it goes bad it is just so ugly.
   42. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: September 29, 2016 at 04:25 PM (#5310095)
Nate - I suspect each of those guys will get a couple of at bats and then get lifted. The MLB Radio guys on Sirius (Steve Phillips and Todd Hollandsworth I think) were talking about it this morning. With game one on Thursday the Sox (and Indians and Rangers) don't really have a need to go overboard resting people this weekend.
   43. Joe Bivens, Floundering Pumpkin Posted: September 29, 2016 at 05:18 PM (#5310134)
TE I agree too except I'd yank him after walk one, if he looked like he was missing by a lot.
   44. Joe Bivens, Floundering Pumpkin Posted: September 29, 2016 at 05:49 PM (#5310147)
Whew, he's only signed thru next year.
   45. toratoratora Posted: September 29, 2016 at 09:16 PM (#5310225)
Whew, he's only signed thru next year.

I know.
Thank God the Sox didn't give up the farm for him or anything.

Bitterness aside (Oh why didn't they pick up Chapman on the cheaps instead of getting mauled for Kimbrel?),Carson Smith was the guy I saw stepping into the closer role if need be. He has incredible stuff and looked to be the primary candidate for closer in waiting. His injury really hurt the Sox.
   46. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2016 at 09:53 PM (#5310239)
TE I agree too except I'd yank him after walk one, if he looked like he was missing by a lot.


This is the knife edge, I think. I mean, I tend to agree with you, but I think no manager pulls the rip cord before a 2nd consecutive walk. And even then it would largely depend on who's available in the pen too. AND the problem is no one is going to be up and throwing when Kimbrel comes in. No one. So if the 1st batter is a 4-pitch walk you COULD get a guy up, but that's probably/likely seen as a complete "no confidence" move by the manager, and in the clubhouse he'd be ripped for it. You probably can't even get a guy up until the 2nd walk, and then while you can stall a bit, visit the mound, etc. it's probably impossible for the next guy to get warm before Kimbrel would have to pitch to at least a 3rd batter and possibly a 4th.

Unless a guy is warming as Kimbrel comes in the game--which I'm going to guess has not happened once this year (for the "no confidence" sign reason I mention above)--unless Kimbrel has some very long ABs, he's likely got to stay in for at least 3 batters and possibly 4 before you can reasonably have a guy warmed up and ready to come in. And that's assuming Kimbrel is not almost the last guy out there because the game up until then has caused you to blow through the rest of the bullpen.

It's a damn tricky business, getting your closer because he's wild. There's no good way of doing it... except to not have a "closer" to begin with...
   47. Nasty Nate Posted: October 03, 2016 at 03:02 PM (#5312303)
I was able to get a couple of bleacher tickets to game 3. The game time has not been announced, but I'm guessing it will be a night game.
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: October 03, 2016 at 03:40 PM (#5312336)
Game times announced for first 3 games:
Game 1: Thursday, October 6 at Cleveland – 8:08, TBS
Game 2: Friday, October 7 at Cleveland – 4:38, TBS
Game 3: Sunday, October 9 vs. Cleveland – 4:08, TBS


I imagine the sports bars around Fenway will have a booming day on Sunday as game-goers will be there extra early to watch the return of Brady against the Browns at the Factory of Sadness.
   49. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 03, 2016 at 06:42 PM (#5312536)
New Hampshire is obviously both a big New England/Boston sports fan state, as well as the only real hub of political action in New England with a month until election day. A Sunday in October would normally be a big day for door-to-door canvassing involving staff and volunteers for the presidential, US Senate, congressional, and gubernatorial races - all of which are competitive in NH this year.

But if you want to lose some votes this Sunday, cause voters to leave their couch after about 12:45 pm...
   50. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: October 06, 2016 at 09:03 AM (#5315593)
Robby Scott has been sent to Fort Myers to stay sharp, Drew Pomeranz is going to be the lefty for the LDS.
   51. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: October 06, 2016 at 10:55 AM (#5315732)
PITCHERS (11): Matt Barnes, Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly, Craig Kimbrel, Drew Pomeranz, Rick Porcello, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez, Robbie Ross Jr., Koji Uehara, Brad Ziegler.

CATCHERS (2): Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez.

INFIELDERS (8): Xander Bogaerts, Marco Hernandez, Aaron Hill, Brock Holt, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Travis Shaw.

OUTFIELDERS (4): Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Chris Young.


Not a lot of real surprsises here. 11 pitchers is Jose approved. There weren't a lot of question marks, the lefty reliever situation and the backup catcher were in doubt but I think they made good calls here. Seeing Pomeranz bring it on Sunday has me optimistic about him.
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: October 06, 2016 at 05:57 PM (#5316371)
Lineup:
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Brock Holt 3B
Mookie Betts RF
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Andrew Benintendi LF

I'd rather Bogaerts be higher, but clearly Farrell is trying to avoid back-to-back lefties.
   53. esturminator_CT Posted: October 07, 2016 at 07:48 AM (#5316929)
Batting Bogaerts higher in the order would not have helped last night. XB, JBJ, and Mookie all looked fairly lost at the plate. As a whole the offense looked to be over anxious and over aggressive at the plate. There was an awful lot of swinging and missing at balls bouncing in the dirt or out of the strike zone. That did not look like a typical patient, high contact Red Sox lineup we are used to watching last night.

Credit to Francona for going to his bullpen before Bauer got hurt too badly. Wonder if the high pitch counts for Miller and Allen will hinder their utility this afternoon. In any case, Francona definitely wanted to take Game #1 at home and his strategy worked to that end. Need to see better plate discipline today from our boys.
   54. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: October 07, 2016 at 08:39 AM (#5316935)
I think Farrell deserves credit for last night. Batting Holt second was questionable and that paid off and Pomeranz was a questionable player on the roster but I think he pitched well also.
   55. Nasty Nate Posted: October 07, 2016 at 09:03 AM (#5316943)
I'm surprised Young wasn't brought in for an at bat against Miller. On the other hand, I would have pinch hit him for Holt, so what do I know?
   56. esturminator_CT Posted: October 07, 2016 at 09:16 AM (#5316951)
Holt was perhaps the best looking Red sox hitter last night. I counted 28 swing and misses over the course of the game by the Red Sox hitters but none of them were Brock Holt, and he had a single, fly out, double and homer. Perhaps if Dusty could have held up on his swing at ball four, the Brockstar \o/ would have won it for us.

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