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   1. Darren Posted: October 02, 2007 at 12:48 AM (#2553856)
Game starts at 6:30.

One other thing: I'm not even really nervous about this. I'll root for Boston to win but I won't feel terrible if they lose (or so I think now). Them taking the division did wonders for me.
   2. PJ Martinez Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:01 AM (#2553900)
"A lot is being made of John Lackey’s past poor performances against the Red Sox, but I don’t put much stock in it."

Neither do I. He's a good pitcher.

And I second the confusion about Schilling and Matsuzaka's respective spots. To a layman, it would appear that Schilling 1) has been better, 2) is, unlike Matsuzaka, generally better at Fenway (right?), and 3) has great big-game credentials. He seems like a better choice for game 2, and a much better choice for game 5. While Matsuzaka seems like possibly a better choice for game three.

I don't get it. And I suspect there's something we don't know (whether it's some idea about optimal rest, as Darren suggests), or some kind of fatigue issue for Schilling or something.
   3. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:21 AM (#2553968)
Chone Figgins? Before this year, he seemed like a good bet to put up a .290/.350/.400 year and provide great versatility and speed. So where did the .330/.393/.432 come from? He looks like a force to be reckoned with or maybe a BIP fluke.

Oddly, last year he had the exact opposite problem: his average took a dive out of nowhere. This year almost seems like a course correction.

He has looked good at the bat, and seems to be doing a better job of waiting on the ball. He's hitting more line drives and groundballs than in years past, both of which are good results for him. And yes, he's getting some luck.

But he's also had a wrist injury, and has been incapable from the right side of the plate. His health is a real question, I think.
   4. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:22 AM (#2553970)
i think schilling at game 3 gives you protection in two senses: if somehow they lose the first two, they'll need him to stop the bleeding. i wouldn't trust that job to dice-k at this point. i would trust beckett in that role, but he really needs to start game 1. on the other hand, if they win two, schill is the better candidate to win game 3.

also, matsuzaka has yet to face the angels, so maybe they fold. schilling was not good in his only start in anaheim this year, but was lights out last year.
   5. John DiFool2 Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:24 AM (#2553975)
Schilling's declining K rate (6.02) is worrisome to me; that is likely the rationale here, even if it means the possibility of suffering through yet another Dice-K control meltdown or three.

My stat of the year: The Red Sox have had 420 more baserunners than their opponents. When a team typically gets c. 2000-2300 people on base, that is a huge advantage. The Angels' success mostly has depended on them outhitting the opposition by 18 points, which is nowhere near the same magnitude. Yeah we'll ##### and moan when the Sox strand their runners, but really this is why they have the best record in baseball.
   6. PJ Martinez Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:32 AM (#2553992)
"if somehow they lose the first two, they'll need him to stop the bleeding. i wouldn't trust that job to dice-k at this point. i would trust beckett in that role, but he really needs to start game 1. on the other hand, if they win two, schill is the better candidate to win game 3."

Am I the only one who thinks this makes no sense?

Your second points seem feasible.

And I wonder if, following Difool's points, the Sox think Schilling is not pitching as well as his results suggest, and think the opposite is true of Matsuzaka?
   7. Joel W Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:54 AM (#2554104)
I think that it might be the nature of the Angels' lineup. Dice-K is constantly outside of the zone, while Schilling is constantly in the zone. This would seem to be to Dice-K's relative advantage versus the Angels, who are a free-swinging team, and to Schilling's disadvantage.
   8. Darren Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:56 AM (#2554111)
I agree with PJ. Any argument about who pitches game 3 that is based on the outcomes of game 1 or 2 doesn't make sense. The problem is that the results of game 1 and 2 are greatly affected by the decision to pitch Schilling in game 3. So saying "If you're down 2-0, you want Schilling out there for the must win," then you're ignoring the fact that having Schilling out there in game 1 or 2 would have given them a better chance to not be down 2-0.

Joe Torre has made this same sort of logical misstep when talking about the postseason. He has said that game 3 is very important in any series because if you're down 2-0 you're in big trouble already, if you're at 1-1 winning puts you ahead and if you're up 2-0 winning puts it away (paraphrasing here). What he and others miss is that games 1 and 2 are just as important in setting up all those scenarios.
   9. Darren Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:58 AM (#2554130)
Another possible reason: maybe they feel that Schilling is best equipped to come back on 3 days rest if needed in game 5 relief?

On Joel's point, I've noticed that teams seem to have a book on Dice in that they almost always lay off his breaking stuff when it's out of the zone. I think the book on him is that he can't consistently get it over so if you think it's off the plate it is. I don't know how that will play out here.
   10. Hugh Jorgan Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:01 AM (#2554146)
I think #6 makes some sense. I reckon the reasoning is if they win the first 2, Schilling would be better to close it out in Anaheim. Not my reasoning...the managements. In saying that, Dice-K's ERA in nearly a run lower on the road so I'm not sure what they are thinking there. And Darren, I hate to say I told you they'd get the 96 wins and take the division, but...
   11. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:05 AM (#2554165)
To a layman, it would appear that Schilling 1) has been better, 2) is, unlike Matsuzaka, generally better at Fenway (right?), and 3) has great big-game credentials.


Is there any pitcher with better big game credentials in the history of mankind than Matsuzaka?
   12. The Original SJ Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:22 AM (#2554252)
Joe Torre has made this same sort of logical misstep when talking about the postseason. He has said that game 3 is very important in any series because if you're down 2-0 you're in big trouble already, if you're at 1-1 winning puts you ahead and if you're up 2-0 winning puts it away (paraphrasing here). What he and others miss is that games 1 and 2 are just as important in setting up all those scenarios.

Joe Torre has never pushed back a pitcher to game 3 because it was more important.

And Joe Torre, in that instance, was talking about a 7 game series.
   13. Darren Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:24 AM (#2554260)
And Darren, I hate to say I told you they'd get the 96 wins and take the division, but...


Yeah, nobody saw that coming.

And I wonder if, following Difool's points, the Sox think Schilling is not pitching as well as his results suggest, and think the opposite is true of Matsuzaka?


The peripherals say they're pretty equal: 4.33 FIP for Schil and 4.35 for Matsuzaka. And Schilling's been better of late with a 3.16 ERA in September vs. Matsuzaka's 7.62.

I'm leaning more and more towards Joel's idea that it's a choice of style. Schilling is a BIP guy and that's the Angels' strength. Matsuzaka may be better equipped to beat them.
   14. Darren Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:26 AM (#2554269)
Joe Torre has never pushed back a pitcher to game 3 because it was more important.

And Joe Torre, in that instance, was talking about a 7 game series.


The point is the same in a 7 game series, though. Game 3 doesn't matter any more than 1 or 2.
   15. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:31 AM (#2554295)
Is there any pitcher with better big game credentials in the history of mankind than Matsuzaka?

That was a long time ago though.


WE gotta control the running game. Does anbyody have any confidence in the Captain's less than 30% CS rate? Coco's arm in the OF? Manny being Manny?
   16. PJ Martinez Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:39 AM (#2554342)
If the Sox really set the rotation like this because of matchups, well, I hope they haven't outsmarted themselves.
   17. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: October 02, 2007 at 03:32 AM (#2554764)
christ. i was speculating on what the sox were thinking starting schilling in game 3. but i'm glad the experts here agree and i only wish the sox were in your hands. we would have nothing to fear, there would never be a wrong move, a mistake in lineup or roster construction, or scheduling snafu. we'd probably win 162 games based on your irrefutable logic.

i hate reading this board sometimes because no one ever gets the benefit of the doubt.

my point again is that, next to beckett the sox and most fans probably don't trust dice-k to stop any potential losing streak. he's pitching like he's tired. if beckett sh*ts the bed, matsuzaka is not the go to guy, and i don't think he has been all season. do you actually trust him to shut down the angels? i don't and i don't think the sox do or they wouldn't sandwich him between schilling and beckett. so f*ck off.
   18. tfbg9 Posted: October 02, 2007 at 03:59 AM (#2555034)
At first I thought that the team that is able to pitch best will take the series, but lately I'm starting to feel whichever ballclub outhits the other has a real good shot at advancing. I keep going back and forth.
   19. Darren Posted: October 02, 2007 at 03:59 AM (#2555036)
my point again is that, next to beckett the sox and most fans probably don't trust dice-k to stop any potential losing streak. he's pitching like he's tired. if beckett sh*ts the bed, matsuzaka is not the go to guy, and i don't think he has been all season. do you actually trust him to shut down the angels? i don't and i don't think the sox do or they wouldn't sandwich him between schilling and beckett.


You trust Schilling over Dice K when the chips are down, so you want Dice K to put them in a 2-0 hole so that Schilling can save the day, rather than having Schilling tying it at 1-1 and then having Dice K lose? And you want Dice K to get two starts to Schilling's one?

That doesn't make sense to me no matter how many times you say it or how many times you tell me to #### off.
   20. Darren Posted: October 02, 2007 at 04:00 AM (#2555046)
At first I thought that the team that is able to pitch best will take the series, but lately I'm starting to feel whichever ballclub outhits the other has a real good shot at advancing. I keep going back and forth.


I bet the team that scores a lot of runs on offense, but also is able to hold the other team to only a few runs, will win.
   21. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: October 02, 2007 at 04:02 AM (#2555062)
That was a long time ago though.


Well, the WBC was recent.
   22. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 02, 2007 at 04:33 AM (#2555514)
I bet the team that scores a lot of runs on offense, but also is able to hold the other team to only a few runs, will win.
Or you could go for the ever-popular 1960 Pirates plan wherein you get smacked 2 or 3 times and eek one out 3 or 4 times.

That's kind of a ##### for your fan base, though.
   23. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:06 AM (#2555666)
yup, that's precisely what i'm saying. i want dice-k to put the sox in an 0-2 hole all by himself, because i'm convinced he'll lose. so are the red sox, and they're actively trying to lose the series. that's why they're starting schilling in the third game. and to make extra sure, i also hope they make papelbon the dh and ortiz the closer.

i'm glad we were able to clear that up.
   24. bibigon Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:08 AM (#2555671)
The "Schilling is more likely to come up big, so we want him pitching game 3" logic is hilarious.

I think it's simply that the Sox don't think there is a big difference in their abilities, and think Schilling is better equipped to deal with/needs the extra rest more.
   25. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:27 AM (#2555710)
Or you could go for the ever-popular 1960 Pirates plan wherein you get smacked 2 or 3 times and eek one out 3 or 4 times.


Yes, the Pirates were better at executing that particular strategy than the Yankees in the 2001 World Series.
   26. bibigon Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:35 AM (#2555724)
Red Sox pay $6.10 against $3.90 to lose the series. Almost certainly going to take that action.
   27. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: October 02, 2007 at 06:07 AM (#2555763)
The main reason cited for the Game 2-3 alignment is that the 40-year-old Schilling can benefit from the extra rest time more than Matsuzaka. Schilling was on the disabled list from June 19-Aug. 5 as he recovered from right shoulder woes.

"Doing what we're doing, we're trying to gear up for two and a half, three weeks worth of starts, and we're hoping this would be the best way to get the maximum Schilling," said Francona. "Obviously, there's other things involved -- Dice-K, the way he throws the ball, things like that. But that's how we're trying to set this up."

And thus, Matsuzaka, fresh off a strong eight innings (two runs and eight strikeouts) of work against the Twins on Saturday, will make the first postseason start of his career on six days' rest and in front of the Fenway Park faithful on Friday at 8:30 p.m. This will also be the first time the Angels will face Matsuzaka, who won 15 games in his first Major League season.

"I think that Dice-K's last performance here, closing out the regular season, was a main contributor to that," said Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell. "And he has not faced the Angels to date. So we feel like somewhat of the unknown may be in the favor of the pitcher at this point."
   28. bibigon Posted: October 02, 2007 at 06:29 AM (#2555780)
In fairness, the real money is in shorting the Yankees. Sabathia and Carmona in a five game set, with three home games? That series looks like even money to me, or a slight Yankee edge - not anywhere near the line I see.
   29. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: October 02, 2007 at 06:32 AM (#2555785)
In fairness, the real money is in shorting the Yankees. Sabathia and Carmona in a five game set, with three home games? That series looks like even money to me, or a slight Yankee edge - not anywhere near the line I see.


I checked the odds from my Aussie Bookie and noticed the same thing. Yankees are shorter priced to win their series than the Red Sox are out here....

Strange to say the least
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 02, 2007 at 11:54 AM (#2555862)
christ. i was speculating on what the sox were thinking starting schilling in game 3. but i'm glad the experts here agree and i only wish the sox were in your hands. we would have nothing to fear, there would never be a wrong move, a mistake in lineup or roster construction, or scheduling snafu. we'd probably win 162 games based on your irrefutable logic.
Good christ man, I hope you got a good rest, had a nice glass of warm milk, and you're feeling better this morning. No one said anything stronger than "I don't understand this". No one said the Red Sox were dumb and they were smarter. People responded to your argument because, well, they didn't follow it.

Yes, Schilling would be able to pitch Game 3, but even allowing arguendo that Game 3 is clutchier than Game 2, Matsuzaka would then be lined up for Game 5, the clutchiest of them all. The pitcher that you have more faith in has to be the Game 2 pitcher because he is also the Game 5 pitcher.

I do agree with E-X that Daisuke has a great history of coming up huge in big games. He hasn't done it in MLB yet, but I don't think "big game pitcher" is my most important category here - I think they're both big game pitchers. Matsuzaka hasn't done it in MLB, while Schilling hasn't done it while topping out at 88 mph. They're both in new situations.

My problem is the Game 5 on normal rest thing. Daisuke basically never pitched on four days rest before, and he's struggled on four days rest all year long. I hope the Red Sox are right. (I think the suggestion that Schilling's not fully healthy is perhaps the most likely.)

EDIT: Somehow missed Phil's post. Yup, seems like it's about resting Schilling.
   31. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:04 PM (#2555905)
Is Lester even on the playoff roster? We might end up sending him up there if Daisuke's not ready or whatever.

I wouldn't mind seeing Daisuke come out in relief. He's done it in Japan.
   32. chris p Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:39 PM (#2555944)
i'm feeling pretty good about this team right now. drew's hitting, manny's back, daisuke broke his streak of crappy outings, and papelbon is untouchable. oh, and pedroia--he's awesome!
   33. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:41 PM (#2555948)
Dustin is so awesome ,I'd let him do me without a condom
   34. Joel W Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:12 PM (#2555981)
I'd really love Drew to have a huge Series, maybe even have him walk in a game winning run w/ the bat on his shoulders, and for Dice-K to have that goofy-yet-steely look on his face while commanding his stuff through the zone.
   35. Toby Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:19 PM (#2555992)
what I take from Tito's quote in #27 (thanks Phil) is not that Schilling needs extra rest but that they are slotting Matsuzaka and Schilling because of some larger strategic considerations, i.e. with the ALCS in mind. Exactly what the thinking is there, I haven't bothered to figure out.
   36. Vin Middle Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:41 PM (#2556329)
I'm still trying to get over Tito's reference to 'Maximum Schilling'

That sounds unpleasant
   37. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:55 PM (#2556349)
One other thing: I'm not even really nervous about this. I'll root for Boston to win but I won't feel terrible if they lose (or so I think now). Them taking the division did wonders for me.

IOW, the regular season has you spent, and now you are smoking your figurative post-coital cigarette?

You have my sympathies, Darren. However, I will not be satisfied with "just" the division, as satisfying as it was to see them win it.

Fear not, for I am your rock. No pants pissing this October, please. Onward to victory! As in 2004, why not the Red Sox?
   38. karlmagnus Posted: October 02, 2007 at 07:14 PM (#2556475)
tfbg9, it's your lucky day. Wake has been left off the ALDS roster. Probably back for ALCS but of course without Wake in ALDS, they may not get that far :-(
   39. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 02, 2007 at 07:17 PM (#2556482)
The roster (from Boston Globe):

Regulars:

Jason Varitek
Kevin Youkilis
Dustin Pedroia
Julio Lugo
Mike Lowell
J.D. Drew
Coco Crisp
Manny Ramirez
David Ortiz

Bench:

Eric Hinske
Alex Cora
Jacoby Ellsbury
Bobby Kielty
Doug Mirabelli
Kevin Cash (!)

Pitchers:

Josh Beckett
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Curt Schilling
Jon Lester
Jonathan Papelbon
Eric Gagne
Hideki Okajima
Mike Timlin
Manny Delcarmen
Javier Lopez
   40. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2007 at 07:30 PM (#2556498)
I'm pleased about 10 pitchers. SHOCKED about no Wakefield, though! Lopez and Lester over Wake? Really? Couldn't we have gone with Wake over Lopez and made Lester the second lefty or something?

Three catchers? Why take Mirabelli if you aren't bringing Wakefield? Heck, I'd take Moss over Mirabelli, and I'm not even that big of a Moss fan.

EDIT: Now I see that Wake's back kept him out. In that case, I like the staff they chose - I would have taken the same ten. My second point still stands, though, unless Moss is hurt too.
   41. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2007 at 07:32 PM (#2556503)
So where did the .330/.393/.432 come from?

The same place Posada's .336 came from. And Mike Lowell's .324, for that matter.
   42. Textbook Editor Posted: October 02, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2556530)
Cross-posted with the roster thread...

All I have on the 3 catcher front is that maybe the thought process is this:

Should Manny get hurt or Ortiz get hurt (or Youkilis, or Drew, etc. etc. etc.) One of the myriad options would be to DH Varitek and let Cash or Mirabelli catch. Because if you DH Varitek, should you lose a C or PH for the C you'd need a 3rd catcher to come in or you'd lose the DH.

You can't DH Hinske because he's Youkilis insurance. You could DH Ellsbury, but I suspect they wouldn't want to because they may want him as a late defensive sub or as a PR option late.

So I think there is a train of thinking that gets you to where you'd need a 3rd C, but it also means that perhaps they're worried about Ortiz (and Manny) far more than they've been letting on. It could also mean they might start Ortiz at 1st should Youkilis not be able to go, DH Manny and start Ellsbury.

But I don't know. I mean I get that maybe you'd want Moss in there over Cash or Mirabelli, but if that is the difference in the series the Red Sox are in trouble.
   43. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2007 at 07:56 PM (#2556553)
I'll buy that, TE.
   44. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:10 PM (#2556573)
I don't know - I'd rather see Kyle Snyder or something than a 3rd catcher. If Papi isn't right, you DH Manny and put Ellsbury in LF. If Manny is hurting, you put Ellsbury in LF. If Youks is hurt then I imagine they'd rather use Hinske than Papi at 1B. They have enough bench players so that they shouldn't have to DH Varitek and then worry about a backup catcher injury. I don't really see a situation where it makes sense to DH Varitek unless they're both out, and if that's the case then crap. Maybe if Varitek is hurting it makes sense (sort of?), but he actually seems to be hitting pretty well lately.
   45. plim Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:14 PM (#2556579)
just submitted it as a news item

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2007/news/story?id=3046494&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines

that's why no wakefield.

personally i think wakefield is complaining about his back because he's not starting =)

but this begs the question: if the red sox were ready to go into the first round with 2 catchers, and wake is out, why are we keeping doug mirabelli on? why can't we go with varitek/cash and either snyder or tavarez?
   46. Mister High Standards Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:15 PM (#2556583)
TE - I don't see it. If Manny or Ortiz get hurt, Chief plays left. I have little doubt that is the direction they are going in. I think I'd rather have them carry another SS than another C.
   47. Mister High Standards Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2556596)
From extra bases:
"Up until just a little bit ago, Wakefield was on our roster. Trying to be competitive in the last month of the season. You know, Wake got a cortisone shot. In his role with us now, if something unfortunate ever happened to a starter, Wake would be asked to come in and fill something like that in the game, and he's not ready to do that. He's been fighting it for a long time and it's not fair to Wake.


"In the five-game series, I think we're comfortable going 10 pitchers as long as there was health," Terry Francona said. "So we try to maximize everybody on thre roster by having the third catcher. We want [Jacoby] Ellsbury to be able to impact the game, if needed, and that can mean running for a number of different people.
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2556598)
As I said in the other thread, if you're playing 5 games in 8 days, the odds of your 25th man appearing in even one game run very, very low. This is about as far from a high-leverage decision, on average, as roster moves get.

I still don't understand it though. A third catcher helps if (a) your starting catcher will be pinch-hit for or (b) if your backup catcher is a good pinch-hitting option or (c) a back-up to another position. None of these obtain - they never pinch-hit for Varitek, Mirabelli is a bad hitter (and the Angels staff is almost entirely right-handed), and Mirabelli is certainly not going to play anywhere other than C. If the Sox are particularly worried about Varitek's health, this makes sense, but that would be a very new, wholly unreported development.

Well, here's a theory. 1) The Red Sox don't think an 11th pitcher would appear in any games. 2) The Red Sox used up their K-Rod loopholes on Lester and Ellsbury. 3) The only position player they can add outside of the loophole is Cash, so they figure what the hell, he's not completely worthless.

As long as you argue that the position of 11th pitcher is worthless in a 8 day, 5 game series, you can make a case for adding Cash by default. That doesn't make a ton of sense - seems like another long man (Snyder/Tavarez) would have more value as an insurance policy, but I could be wrong - I haven't run the numbers or anything. And the numbers will show, as I said in the first paragraph, a very very small effect, since it's the 25th man.
   49. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:26 PM (#2556608)
if the red sox were ready to go into the first round with 2 catchers, and wake is out, why are we keeping doug mirabelli on? why can't we go with varitek/cash and either snyder or tavarez?
Because as bad as Doug Mirabelli is, he's still a far, far better hitter than Kevin Cash. I would not think twice to start Mirabelli over Cash. Cash hit .176 in Pawtucket. And this wasn't his worst season in AAA - he hit .183 with even less power in Durham in 2006.
   50. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:31 PM (#2556618)
One note, clarifying a point in 48:

The Red Sox did not have the option to add all three of Lester, Ellsbury, and Moss to the postseason roster. (At least, not without bending the rules pretty seriously.) So, even though Brandon Moss adds more value than Kevin Cash, he wasn't eligible unless they wanted to dump Ellsbury or Lester.
   51. Textbook Editor Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:34 PM (#2556623)
MCofA--your reasoning on the loopholes and Cash then going in over Moss (who would not be able to be added) makes the most sense.

I could also see a disaster set of circumstances where, in an extra-inning game, Mirabelli stands on 2nd as the winning run and your only available PR option is Cash... who you'd have to use because otherwise you'd lose the DH. Of course, all of this presupposes you already PR for Varitek, have run out of position players, etc. And Cash probably isn't any faster than Mirabelli... But yeah, if you're starting from the standpoint of "more than 10 pitchers is crazy for a 5 games-in-8 days series" then adding Cash makes sense--he may even be the only remaining position player who could have been added, actually... I don't have the full list of position players who were up on 8/31.
   52. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:35 PM (#2556626)
The Red Sox did not have the option to add all three of Lester, Ellsbury, and Moss to the postseason roster. (At least, not without bending the rules pretty seriously.) So, even though Brandon Moss adds more value than Kevin Cash, he wasn't eligible unless they wanted to dump Ellsbury or Lester.

Good point, M.
   53. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:37 PM (#2556630)
he may even be the only remaining position player who could have been added, actually
He is.
   54. chris p Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:39 PM (#2556633)
so, what you're saying is that somebody needs to kneecap kevin cash before the start of tomorrow night's game? then he could be dl-ed and they could add moss!!!
   55. chris p Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:45 PM (#2556647)
crisp is still a regular? i thought ellsbury was the starter now!!!

please?
   56. Dan Posted: October 02, 2007 at 09:54 PM (#2556799)
Crisp's defense is a notch above Jacoby's at the moment, I think, especially going back on the wall. So I don't mind having him start in CF.
   57. Mattbert Posted: October 02, 2007 at 10:18 PM (#2556842)
I agree with Dan. As much raw talent as Ellsbury clearly has, Coco's the more polished (and just flat out better) defender at this point and by a noticeable margin I'd say. Ellsbury's also cooled off slightly since the first half of September. If he were still playing out of his mind it'd be a tougher call, but now that he's shown signs of being mortal I think it's an easy choice.

I definitely would've taken Snyder or Tavarez over Cash. The disaster scenario that involves needing significant innings from your swingman, thus limiting his availability for long relief in subsequent games, seems more likely to me than the disaster scenario that involves needing three catchers. Mikael's right that both are unlikely; I suppose it boils down to whether you think it's more likely that Varitek will come out of a game prematurely or something will go sideways with a starting pitcher (e.g. Matsuzaka has an especially turd-ariffic inning very early in a game, Schilling has a health issue early in a game, etc). Given the choice, I'd take another cannon fodder body in my bullpen over yet another backup catcher who can't hit for squat.
   58. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 02, 2007 at 11:07 PM (#2556902)
Ellsbury is a great guy to have on the bench for the playoffs.
   59. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 02, 2007 at 11:38 PM (#2556922)
If there's a legit reason for not taking Wakefield, I'm all for it. But why would they take both Doug AND Cash? Why not a Moss or Tavarez?
   60. Mattbert Posted: October 02, 2007 at 11:41 PM (#2556928)
I was going to wax on about how great Ellsbury is as a bench option too, but I hesitated. If he's such an incredible bench option, then why wouldn't you just start him over Crisp in the first place?

I'm not trying to say Ellsbury isn't a terrific asset as a 4th OFer, PH/PR guy. He quite obviously is. But so is Crisp, and if I was going to argue that Ellsbury was the superior bench player then I'd feel obligated to argue that he's also the superior starting CFer.

I guess I'm more prepared to believe that what I see as Crisp's advantage defensively is more "real" than what appears to be Ellsbury's advantage with the bat. And given the high number of BIP we can expect from the Angels, I'm more comfortable with Crisp as the starter. Also, we shouldn't discount the fact that Tito would need a damn good reason to start a September callup (mid-season cup of coffee notwithstanding) over a veteran in the playoffs. That would invite heaps of criticism if it backfired and would have the potential to greatly upset both players.
   61. Mattbert Posted: October 02, 2007 at 11:44 PM (#2556932)
Why not a Moss or Tavarez?

As more than one person has stated, Cash is the only position player eligible. It's either him or a pitcher, you can't take Moss. If the situation were otherwise, I'm nearly 100% certain Moss would be the 25th man.

That said I'd take Tavarez or Snyder over Cash, for the reasons I stated in #57.
   62. bibigon Posted: October 02, 2007 at 11:51 PM (#2556937)
Can someone explain to me why Lester needed a K-Rod loophole to be eligible?
   63. Darren Posted: October 02, 2007 at 11:53 PM (#2556939)
Cash? I'd sooner put Buccholz on the roster as a pinchrunner than have Cash on the roster. I can think of WAY more scenarios where an 11th pitcher would come in in handy than where you'd need a 3rd catcher who should never, ever bat in the Major Leagues (much less the playoffs). Cash's only value on this team was as a person who could catch Wake when Mirabelli was out. No Wake on the roster + Mirabelli active = super-redundancy.

The last few games of the 2004 ALCS show how quickly you can end up needing more pitchers than you anticipated. Imagine, for the sake of argument, that game 1 goes 14 innings and Dice gets hurt in the 2nd inning of game 2. All of a sudden you need Lester to start game 5 and you've blown through your other relievers quite a bit (largely because Terry likes to use them for 1 ip each). This seems a lot more likely than Varitek leaving and then Mirabelli needing to leave a game.

I agree with MCOA: The reasons for Cash on the roster do not obtain! But I'd go even further and say that they don't procure either! And if you think they acquire, you're very wrong, sir!
   64. Dan Posted: October 03, 2007 at 12:11 AM (#2556958)
I was going to guess they put Cash on the roster so they could DL him with an "injury" and reuse his slot for Moss if they advance to the LCS
   65. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 03, 2007 at 01:07 AM (#2557004)
more than one person has stated, Cash is the only position player eligible. It's either him or a pitcher, you can't take Moss.

Why not? Take Cash, and then Doug becomes a K-Rod loophole DL Guy, and then bring in Moss.

Edit: I'd start Coco against a LHP, but Jacoby against RHP. One would be available to PR/DS for Manny
   66. Dan Posted: October 03, 2007 at 06:07 AM (#2557213)
So how often does a team underperform its pythagorean record by 5 games and still end up with the best record in baseball?
   67. Chip Posted: October 03, 2007 at 06:15 AM (#2557216)
So how often does a team underperform its pythagorean record by 5 games and still end up with the best record in baseball?


A different way of asking this is, how many teams with the best record did so overcoming a Gagne-esque performance from a late season addition to the bullpen?
   68. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: October 03, 2007 at 06:38 AM (#2557224)
Gagne could be the reason we win it all...

We could have been like the 2003 Braves and been complacent without any meaningful games in September if not for Gagne.

:)
   69. villageidiom Posted: October 03, 2007 at 12:37 PM (#2557279)
Can someone explain to me why Lester needed a K-Rod loophole to be eligible?
Lester was sent down to the minors in late August, and not recalled until after playoff rosters were set.
   70. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 03, 2007 at 02:21 PM (#2557400)
Fairly in-depth BPro Red Sox v. Angels preview here, although it's not up to date with the current rosters.
   71. Dave Cyprian Posted: October 03, 2007 at 02:22 PM (#2557403)
I know you all will laugh this out the joint, but I am happy Dice-K is starting game 2. He stinks under sunlight (3:07 PM Sunday Game 3 in Anaheim-- that is scorching midday sun in California), and this keeps him in the "spotlight." A night game in the US allows his compatriots in Japan to watch him live easier as well.
   72. villageidiom Posted: October 03, 2007 at 02:33 PM (#2557415)
He stinks under sunlight

3.54 ERA, 9.4 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 1.01 HR/9 in day.
4.70 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9 at night.

Incorrect.

I know you all will laugh this out the joint

Correct.
   73. Joel W Posted: October 03, 2007 at 03:13 PM (#2557485)
Anybody know a Red Sox bar in the Village area of Manhattan?
   74. Fat Al Posted: October 03, 2007 at 03:18 PM (#2557497)
The Riviera.
   75. Fat Al Posted: October 03, 2007 at 03:19 PM (#2557500)
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Just doing my part as a Yankee fan to keep the Sox fans in the Sox bars.
   76. villageidiom Posted: October 03, 2007 at 03:20 PM (#2557501)
Anybody know a Red Sox bar in the Village area of Manhattan?
Google suggests Riviera Cafe, West 4th St. & 7th Av.

They list NESN above MSG, YES, and SNY on their page. That's a good sign.
   77. Joel W Posted: October 03, 2007 at 03:21 PM (#2557505)
Thanks Al, I vaguely remember seeing NESN walking by it.
   78. Fat Al Posted: October 03, 2007 at 03:22 PM (#2557506)
Its Sox-ness and my snarkiness aside, the Riv is a very good bar. I recommend it. I have fond memories of watching the 1994 hockey and basketball playoffs (Knicks/Rangers) there. The last time either of those teams was worth watching.
   79. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: October 03, 2007 at 03:38 PM (#2557540)
Anybody know a Red Sox bar in the Village area of Manhattan?

Someone told me Professor Thoms on 219 2nd Ave is a Red Sox bar. I was thinking of going there after work, actually, if I can find a barmate.
   80. Mattbert Posted: October 03, 2007 at 03:44 PM (#2557553)
I'm taking my kid to a doctor's appointment about 2.5 hours before game time this afternoon and, well, I don't think I'll be going back to work after that.

Any other Seattle-area Sox fans besides Ghost?
   81. Sexy Lizard Posted: October 03, 2007 at 03:47 PM (#2557559)
FWIW, I like the 3rd catcher, only because if Varitek is hurt or otherwise not playing it allows you to pinch hit/pinch run for Mirabelli in a high leverage situation. But it's a marginal consideration.
   82. Mattbert Posted: October 03, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2557615)
Otherwise not playing? Given the absence of Wakefield on the ALDS roster, Varitek had better play every inning of every game unless he's injured.

The only reason carrying Cash makes cents (yuck, yuck) is if they somehow ended up in a game where it was advantageous to pinch run for Varitek and pinch hit or pinch run for Mirabelli at some point later in the game. That one situation is spectacularly unlikely to occur, far less likely than needing significant innings out of the bullpen if a starter gets fragged early or a game goes extras.
   83. Jon T. Posted: October 03, 2007 at 04:21 PM (#2557629)
I would imagine it will be pretty hard to get into the Riv unless you leave work at lunch.
   84. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: October 03, 2007 at 04:22 PM (#2557631)
I would imagine it will be pretty hard to get into the Riv unless you leave work at lunch.

I didn't think of this. Maybe I'll just go to the Alligator Lounge or sumpin.
   85. Joel W Posted: October 03, 2007 at 05:07 PM (#2557728)
I would just go an camp out after Contracts, but alas, i have no money with which to do so.
   86. ptodd Posted: October 04, 2007 at 08:25 AM (#2559543)
Dice-K is going game 2 because Iassogna will be home plate ump and he is anything but a pitchers best friend. Runge is behind the plate game 3 and is a pitcher friendly sort. Sox rookie being sacrificed for the veteran.

The purpose of having a 3rd catcher is to allow the Red Sox to run for Varitek in a close game w/o having to worry about Mirabelli then getting injured.
   87. villageidiom Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2561807)
Here's your Game 2 preview, brought to you by... The Weather Channel?

Game time temp will be around 70 degrees, with temps decreasing down to 65 by game's end. This favors the Red Sox, whose most favorable conditions are temps between 61 and 73. The Angels' most favorable conditions are temps between 74 and 83. On the other hand, the fact that the game is being played at night favors the Angels.

Please, Weather Channel, tell me who will win! You're so sometimes correct about the future weather, so you must almost know something about future baseball!

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