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   1. Phil Coorey. Posted: August 19, 2016 at 01:04 AM (#5286898)
Absurd loss today , my 8 year old knew letting Tazawa start that inning was idiotic . If the Sox go deep these playoffs we are stuck with idiot Farrell.

Dear god , can't believe I said that as it's obvious what I am implying
   2. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 19, 2016 at 08:32 AM (#5286920)
This is interesting. It's a tweet from Alex Speier yesterday and I wouldn't have guessed at these numbers. I know he's had some rough outings lately but this surprised me;

Many suggest Ziegler has been different with bases empty. Last 6 appearances w/clean inning: 0-3, 2 blown saves, 5.1 IP, .400/.464/.560
   3. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: August 19, 2016 at 08:48 AM (#5286925)
There's no reason to replace Barnes with Papelbon. Barnes is better.
   4. Textbook Editor Posted: August 19, 2016 at 12:11 PM (#5287035)
So it's almost 24 hours later and... I'm still angry about yesterday. But it'll pass. All things do. Eventually.

I'm somewhat resigned to having to go the WC playoff route into the playoffs. Sure, 1.5 GB of Toronto is not a killer, and they certainly aren't world-beaters, but it just feels like this is a team that can go on short winning streaks, but not trot out a really sustained winning streak (% wise), and that's the sort of thing I think will be needed to really leave BOTH BAL and TOR in the dust and win the division. (Shorter version: overcoming one team is easier than overcoming two.)

One question I'd have is what they're going to do if/when Wright comes back... Do they try a 6-man rotation once or twice through to try to give guys a bit extra rest? Or does Buchholz go back to the pen to shore up problems there? If he really, truly, has turned a corner and has 30-40 good IP left in his arm this season, he'd be a massive upgrade in the bullpen, but less so to the rotation.

I still have zero faith in Farrell's bullpen management. After Tazawa struggled early in that inning, having him face Cabrera instead of Zeigler was just nuts.

I should always keep in mind that our lives might be totally different had Curt Leskanic not done a job in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS... so sometimes the blind squirrel does find the nut, but with Tazawa, he just looks so cooked (and already they won't use him on back-to-back days) that I don't see how they can keep him on the roster.
   5. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 19, 2016 at 12:35 PM (#5287051)
(Shorter version: overcoming one team is easier than overcoming two.)


Technically we only have to overcome one team, we are tied with Baltimore. Beyond that silly and pedantic point is the fact that I don't think the Orioles are all that good. For all the panic about the Sox the Orioles have been under .500 since the end of June and are even more prone to the losing streak than we are it seems. Long story short, I'd take the Sox over the Orioles the rest of the way. Unfortunately I would take Toronto over the Sox also.

I still have zero faith in Farrell's bullpen management.


He is not very good at it is he? Speier had a good tweet yesterday about this that I agree with;

"It's fair to question Sox' bullpen management. But in doing so, it's necessary to note that it's not a very good bullpen."

I don't think Farrell is particularly great at that part of the game, even in 2013 I think he had some ups and downs and that bullpen was dealing. With that said I think he is severely limited by his options. Every single one of these guys has blown games in the last few weeks. As much as it feels like Farrell is just pulling a name out of a hat I can't argue with a theory that says that's all he can do. A couple of these guys NEED to get on a roll.


One question I'd have is what they're going to do if/when Wright comes back


That's a hell of a question. Buchholz has made two solid starts in a row, and probably has one more start before Wright returns. The rotation has actually been pretty solid lately, there isn't anyone I want to see yanked out of there. Part of me thinks that if Buchholz buys into it and has Farrell's trust he might be the guy we are looking for in that eighth inning role. He didn't seem too keen on going to the bullpen based on some comments but at the same time he did really well in the role (he had one bad outing but other than that was solid as I recall). At this point just having someone Farrell can trust and goes to in a regular role I think would be a good thing.

I'd be shocked if they went to a six man rotation. I guess it's possible but that would surprise me.
   6. esturminator_CT Posted: August 19, 2016 at 12:51 PM (#5287064)
Is it crazy to suggest that adding Steven Wright to the bullpen makes lots of sense at this time? I understand that he was an all-star and has been one of the top two Red Sox starters to this point in the season, and I also worry a little about a post-season top three that is Price, Porcello and one of EdRod, Buck, or Pom. But at the same time I think Wright in the bullpen gives flexibility, a different look out of the pen, a viable long relief option, and the chance to throw him once a series potentially to mess with hitters' timing. I think as long as he was getting regular work he could be moved back to the rotation if necessary in late September or October, especially as the weather cools, the air thickens, and his knuckleball becomes more affective again. I may be underestimating the necessity of routine for a knuckleballer, not being one to know firsthand, but I would guess that Wright could handle such a move.
   7. esturminator_CT Posted: August 19, 2016 at 01:37 PM (#5287102)
I just read on MLB.com that the Red Sox rotation has a 2.56 ERA (second in the MLB only to the Cubs) to this point for the month of August. I know Wright contributed to that with an Aug 5th complete game shut-out, but it seems like the rotation has weathered his absence pretty well, with Buck at 2.84, Pom at 2.37, and EdRod at 2.08 for August. I'd think EdRod needs to stay in the rotation when Wright returns. So barring a 6-man rotation plan, it comes down to Buck, Pom, or Wright. With Buck needing to regain his confidence I'd lean to Wright or Pom in the bullpen. If moving Pomeranz to the bullpen meant they could save his career highinning count and they could stop relying on Fernando VeryBad, maybe that is a good route. But I'd still seriously consider Wright out of the bullpen for a few weeks while he returns from the injury and the weather cools.
   8. esturminator_CT Posted: August 19, 2016 at 01:41 PM (#5287105)
The worst starter's ERA in the rotation for the month of August, by a full run is David Price at 3.81. But I assume he and Porcello need to stay in the rotation if the Red Sox are ever going to get into the post-season and perform once they get there.
   9. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 19, 2016 at 02:18 PM (#5287132)
I'm somewhat resigned to having to go the WC playoff route into the playoffs.

The worst starter's ERA in the rotation for the month of August, by a full run is David Price at 3.81. But I assume he and Porcello need to stay in the rotation if the Red Sox are ever going to get into the post-season and perform once they get there.

Combining those two thoughts, I was actually wondering, at this point, who do you start in a potential WC game, if you have the choice?
   10. Textbook Editor Posted: August 19, 2016 at 02:36 PM (#5287141)
They didn't acquire Pomeranz to put him in the bullpen 2 months after getting him in favor of Buchholz... or at least I can't imagine Dombrowski signing off on that move.

If/when (and I'll keep using that until Wright starts a game) Wright comes off the DL, I guess you have to assess where things are at that point w/r/t Buchholz, etc. Buchholz could get torched his next start and then the decision becomes easy. Or someone else gets hurt (god I hope not). Or--as I suggest above--they could do a 6-man rotation once through the rotation just to (a) buy time and (b) give everyone a bit more rest. Given the stretch of games they're on, I wouldn't have a problem with them doing that.

It's a good problem to have, and I'd like to think Buchholz has turned a corner, but Buchholz has been Lucy-with-the-football w/r/t his effectiveness now for... pretty much 4 years. He is what he is. The key is riding his hot streaks and once he goes belly up to not insist on running him out there every 5th day.

Are there any real internal options for the bullpen that we haven't tried yet? Is it insane to consider pushing Kopech to come up and do a job for the last 5 weeks of the season? (Yes, I know, it is probably insane... desperate times, etc., etc.)
   11. Textbook Editor Posted: August 19, 2016 at 02:42 PM (#5287144)
Combining those two thoughts, I was actually wondering, at this point, who do you start in a potential WC game, if you have the choice?


This is a great, great question.

I am 100% certain the starter in reality will be Price.

In TE World--assuming he's healthy--I give it to Wright, with Price fully available to go in at first sign of trouble.

I think Porcello is a little too homer-prone to start (though this might depend a bit on the location of the game).

Of course, if they have to fight/scrape to get to a WC playoff game, this all may be moot, and they'll just start the freshest guy.
   12. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 19, 2016 at 02:53 PM (#5287154)
Are there any real internal options for the bullpen that we haven't tried yet? Is it insane to consider pushing Kopech to come up and do a job for the last 5 weeks of the season? (Yes, I know, it is probably insane... desperate times, etc., etc.)


Joe Kelly, Henry Owens and Brian Johnson are all interesting for a variety of reasons. I'm not a fan of Kelly and Owens comes with many of the same flaws as Kelly. Despite that I think there is a non-zero chance that Owens is the second coming of Andrew Miller. Reports on Johnson have always been that he could be a good reliever though I'm not sold on that. With that said you can't tell me they can't outpitch Verybad.

If you want a more out there name how about Chandler Shepherd? Big kid, Sox Prospects says he comes from a bit of a funky angle that might give righties a problem. In a situation where Toronto or Baltimore is an opponent, guys like Machado, Trumbo, EE, Bautista, Donaldson all kind of might be off kilter not having seen him.

Lastly, how about the guy who pitched the 8th inning of the deciding game of the 2013 World Series? Brandon Workman just had a nightmare (5 walks, 1.1 IP) for Portland but he is back pitching. If he can find himself in the next 3-4 weeks he's a guy who you wouldn't worry about letting the moment overwhelm him.


who do you start in a potential WC game, if you have the choice?


As TE notes I think this is a purely theoretical exercise as I fully expect it to be Price. Where I disagree with him is that I'd rather it be Porcello. Yeah the home run ball is a bit scary I think Wright is just such an all or nothing guy. I think starting Wright is a great way to be down 5-0 in the second inning. I think Porcello has as good a chance to be excellent as Wright and a better chance to succeed. If he's off his game Wright is just an ugly night waiting to happen, Porcello is more likely to get through it just by the nature of the knuckler.

And if that game is played at Fenway and Porcello is 15-0 or 14-1 at Fenway, I mean do you just roll the dice on a bit optimism from the team on that one?
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: August 19, 2016 at 03:01 PM (#5287157)
I think when Wright gets back it has to be Clay that's bumped from the rotation (if everyone else is healthy). It's gotta be him.
   14. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 19, 2016 at 04:21 PM (#5287210)
This is a great, great question.

I am 100% certain the starter in reality will be Price.

In TE World--assuming he's healthy--I give it to Wright, with Price fully available to go in at first sign of trouble.

I think Porcello is a little too homer-prone to start (though this might depend a bit on the location of the game).

Of course, if they have to fight/scrape to get to a WC playoff game, this all may be moot, and they'll just start the freshest guy.

With 2 WC spots, I don't think that's a given. It's entirely possible they have the WC sewn up 3-5 games before the end of the season (they have a 3 game lead right now), and can effectively set up their rotation for the game as they want.

I was actually leaning Porcello. Wright has given up a ton of unearned runs, and passed balls are a direct result of his knuckleball. Porcello has actually given up 1 fewer run in 11.1 more innings pitched.

Of course I was also thinking, in a 1-game elimination game, with no other concerns, you might well just want to give Price/Wright/Porcello 2-3 innings each, and tell them to go balls to the wall (well as much as you can with a knuckler), have Kimbrell for the 9th and basically make sure it doesn't end up being decided by the pen. Of course, other concerns (getting to the WC game, series after WC game) do matter.
   15. GGC Posted: August 19, 2016 at 07:04 PM (#5287270)
Any Therapudlians old enough to remember 1972? I know that management did not like Sparky Lyle and wanted to get rid of him, but do any of you remember why the team traded him for Danny Cater? Was it to fill the hole at first after George Scott was traded to Milwaukee? IIRC, the Sox dealt with Milwaukee because Yaz wanted Billy C gone. I was wondering if the that deal necessitated the Lyle-Cater deal in a way. If so, maybe some of the blame for not winning in '72 rests at Yaz's feet.
   16. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 19, 2016 at 11:41 PM (#5287402)
Not old enough to remember it but read a lot about it. The conventional wisdom I can recall is that Cater was deemed a Fenway hitter because he had great success there and as you say, the Sox management was not in love with Sparky so they made the move. I'd never heard the Billy C/Yaz connection (or lack thereof I suppose) but that wouldn't shock me. Yaz was always very tight with Tom Yawkey.
   17. Dale Sams Posted: August 20, 2016 at 12:19 AM (#5287413)
It would have been a lot easier to hit Jose's "12 out 15" that I'm rooting for, if they hadn't of blown yesterday's game. Going 4-3 is easier than 5-2.
   18. Bad Fish Posted: August 20, 2016 at 10:33 AM (#5287491)
I would like to see Hembree and Ross used for more than three outs as the first option out of the pen when the starter only goes 5 or 6 innings. If we make the playoffs we will lots of options in the bull pen with a shorter rotation and better options returning from injury. Not sure if going with a modified 3 man rotation or a 4 man makes the most sense considering the yard sale quality of the current bull pen, as constructed.

It seems that for the last 15 years, with only a few exceptions, I thought we had a good team that had a chance if it could line everything up. This is starting feel like a year where things are lining up...
   19. ReggieThomasLives Posted: August 20, 2016 at 11:36 AM (#5287510)
Not Doomed but Probably Not Saved


Being in pennant races sucks. Why can't they ever just hand it to you?
   20. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 20, 2016 at 02:10 PM (#5287539)
While the team appears to be rounding into shape, I've got to say: The schedule is awful going forward. They are on the road so much over a month-long period that it seems inevitable that they'll run out of gas at some point.

Consider this: Between July 19th (when they started a 9-game homestand after getting a day off on the 18th, and just coming back from NY on the 17th) and September 25, they get exactly three days off. In each case, the day involves a cross-country trip (August 8th, from LA back to BOS; September 1, from BOS to OAK; and September 8th, from SD to TOR). 28 home games, 38 road games in 69 days. I'll be impressed if they come out of that in a playoff position!
   21. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 20, 2016 at 08:36 PM (#5287606)
Regarding Bogaerts, I wonder if it isn't a kind of hiccup in his transition from the guy he was last year who was almost always looking to ping a single to right center to the guy he is this year who beats the bejeezus out of some inside pitches, yanking them out to left.

He probably caught some pitchers off guard that he wasn't working desperately to ping that inside pitch to left but was pulling it with power. Maybe pitchers have adjusted. They're not going to be so predictable in working him in a fashion that was just attempting to counter his ping to right center swing. And maybe Xander's a bit caught in between as to which approach he should be taking in each at bat.

Just one fan's guess.
   22. Dale Sams Posted: August 21, 2016 at 12:50 AM (#5287666)
Just one fan's guess.


In the OTM game thread, I posited that he is a first pitch hitter who is letting first pitches go down the pipe by via team instruction. He promptly gets two hits swinging first pitch.
   23. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 21, 2016 at 12:57 AM (#5287670)
Xander is by all accounts a very smart dude. I wouldn't be surprised if he is one of those guys who can overthink at times. He also seems very willing to adjust and take instruction (just based on watching the way his career has unfolded) so these slumps won't last too long.
   24. GGC Posted: August 21, 2016 at 07:03 AM (#5287686)
I'd never heard the Billy C/Yaz connection (or lack thereof I suppose) but that wouldn't shock me. Yaz was always very tight with Tom Yawkey.


Maybe it was Tony C that Yaz got traded. Yaz somehow became a subject of a sidebar conversation in this thread.
   25. villageidiom Posted: August 21, 2016 at 10:23 AM (#5287693)
They are 8-1 in their last 9. That includes:

2-1 vs. Detroit, the loss coming in the day-game-after-overnight-travel game.

2-0 vs. Baltimore

1-0 vs. Cleveland

3-0 vs. Arizona

So, just to be clear... After sweeping a team they should sweep, they have gone 5-1 so far on a difficult road trip against playoff contenders.
   26. Chip Posted: August 21, 2016 at 12:00 PM (#5287713)
Apparently Farrell on WEEI pre-game show said EdRod is being skipped today because at 5:45 last night he told his manager he was having "second thoughts" about his hamstring. Uh, way to #### with your team, kid.
   27. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 21, 2016 at 12:48 PM (#5287725)
I don't mind that too much. Prefer a bit more notice but it's a fine line between "fighting through it" and just being stupid and risking further injury.

With that said I wonder if EdRod has a bit of Buchholz in him that he needs everything to be perfect to perform. His first half was a disaster after what everyone seemed to say was a pretty minor knee injury. Does he let stuff get into his head a bit?
   28. Chip Posted: August 21, 2016 at 01:23 PM (#5287731)
The problem with that is that Owens was in Scranton and had to be rushed onto an early morning flight to get him to Detroit on time as the emergency starter.
   29. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 21, 2016 at 03:02 PM (#5287745)
Yeah but he's pitching fi...oh never mind.
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 21, 2016 at 03:06 PM (#5287748)
8 runs through 5 innings, mostly via 2 Upton HRs. Not great, but Boston can take some solace in Baltimore's pitching being even worse of late.
   31. Chip Posted: August 21, 2016 at 03:16 PM (#5287751)
Yeahm the start was pretty much exactly as expected under the circumstances. Continues to show awful control.
   32. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 21, 2016 at 03:29 PM (#5287755)
Split in Detroit is fine and let's face facts; down 8-1 in the 6th is the PERFECT time for Tazawa!
   33. Chip Posted: August 21, 2016 at 03:32 PM (#5287757)
He even sucks at mop up these days.
   34. Chip Posted: August 21, 2016 at 03:41 PM (#5287761)
Well at least we got to see Benintendi's first career HR. Too bad Taz's tack on runs made it less meaningful in the game.
   35. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 21, 2016 at 04:12 PM (#5287766)
First career HR AND triple. Nice day for the kid after hitting a bit of a slump.
   36. Darren Posted: August 21, 2016 at 05:29 PM (#5287795)
Please bring back Papelbon, if for no other reason than to see Fly lose it.
   37. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 22, 2016 at 10:25 PM (#5288496)
First place!
   38. Norcan Posted: August 23, 2016 at 04:32 PM (#5288901)
I don't know why Tazawa is still on the roster. Relievers can just lose it, especially ones worked as hard as he has the last few seasons. There hasn't been anything fluky about his disastrous outings. Even the occasional good one on the box score like when he struck out the side against the Mariners was filled with extremely hittable hanging splitters that Mariners hitters fortunately missed.

I'd like to see Noe Ramirez get more of a shot and Joe Kelly as well. They have to see if they can improve their bullpen internally. Back to Ramirez, he's been outstanding over his last ten appearances in Pawtucket spanning 14.1 innings: 13 hits/3 ER/2 BB/29 Ks. I don't know if something just clicked with him or he made a mechanical adjustment or whatever but prior to this stretch, he had struck out 19 in 23.2. innings. To go from 7.37 K/9 to to 18.51 K/9 should at least merit giving him a look.
   39. Dale Sams Posted: August 23, 2016 at 10:26 PM (#5289091)
Getting damn close to 12-3!!
   40. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 24, 2016 at 02:07 AM (#5289179)
Getting damn close to 12-3!!


Well now I'm kind of pissed that the prophecy didn't state 18-4!
   41. TomH Posted: August 24, 2016 at 02:44 PM (#5289345)
cross-posting from Omnichatter thread
-------------
Team stat of the day: AL OBP
Lg avg is .321
Red Sox, .350
Blue Jays, .328, 2nd highest, .022 behind
Rays, .309, 2nd to last, .019 behind them
Difference between Boston and next best team is *larger* than the spread from 2nd to 14th.
By standard deviations, the Sox are 4.12 above the 'rest of league'; commonly 4 std devs is used to spot a true outlier when removing the piece of data in question from the sample.

caveat: Fenway park effects apply. But I'll note the Red Sox pitching is better than the mean at OBP allowed.

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