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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Monday, September 04, 2017

So Here We Are

After 137 games despite a disappointing weekend in the Bronx the Red Sox are in pretty good shape.  With just 25 games left the Sox hold a 3 1/2 game lead in the division and have a decent if not fully comfortable lead in the division.  They weathered The Gauntlet¶ at 14-11 rather than vi’s hoped for 15-10 but a lead that was 3 games at the start is now ever so slightly better.

Now comes the opportunity to take the division home.  The Sox final 25 games feature just seven against teams over .500; 3 in Baltimore then 4 at home to end the season against Houston.  This is not to say it will be easy but the Sox have played themselves into a favorable position.

The natural concern, because hey we’re Red Sox fans and concern is our bag, is a repeat of past disappointments.  There are several reasons why this team is well suited to win a second consecutive division title for the first time in club history.

1. Collapses are rare - The simple fact is that while 1974, 1978 and 2011 live on in our collective conscience the reality is that teams with a lead at this stage generally hold a lead after 162 games are complete.  The Red Sox are a good team and over their last 25 games are 14-11.  That would almost certainly be a record that would give the club a division title.

2. They are a good team - Simple fact number two, this is a good team.  I don’t remember 1974 but in 1978 and 2011 the Sox battled injuries in the lineup and in the rotation.  The 2011 team in particular has little in comparison with this one as the Andrew Miller, Kyle Weiland, Ghost of Tim Wakefield starts will now go to Doug Fister, Eduardo Rodriguez and Rick Porcello.  That trio isn’t perfect but I’ll take my chances.

3. The rotation, this can’t be said enough - The biggest advantage this team has, like 2013’s group, is that the rotation is strong.  Maybe no starter is a guaranteed lockdown (though more on Sale in a moment) but they should expect good starts more often than bad starts.  That will get them wins.

4. They are healthy (mostly) - Xander Bogaerts is clearly hurting and I think it is fair to worry about Mookie Betts but on the whole the Sox are healthy.  The ghosts of Bob Bailey or Ryan Lavarnway (who batted cleanup that fateful night in Baltimore) should not haunt this club.

5. The Yankees are flawed - If the Sox can play a fairly pedestrian 13-12 the Yankees would need to go 17-9 to catch them.  The Yanks have not had a stretch that good since April 16-May 17 and they will play a few of those games without Gary Sanchez and have lost Aaron Hicks to the DL.  Hicks’ trip to the DL earlier in the year was a key loss for them.

None of this to say the Sox have it wrapped up.  The Yankees CAN get hot (their best 26 game stretch is 20-6) and the Sox CAN slump.  I want to quickly address a couple of concerns;

1. The bullpen still is scary - Color me unimpressed with Addison Reed and the flaws there that existed pre-deadline still seem to exist.  There is too much uncertainty within that group for my taste.

2. Chris Sale - A one man question mark.  The slightly built Sale has a history of struggling in September and he has not been at his best lately.  However, interspersed with a few clunkers are several excellent starts.  Even if he is not the uber-dominant Ace™ he was for most of the season he should still be very good and unlike the first six weeks of the season the Sox are getting performances behind him that mean any stumbles are not fatal.

When the season started I felt the Sox would get better as the season went on.  While it has not been an entirely linear performance that is about what they have done;

April - 13-11
May - 16-12
June - 16-12
July - 13-14
August - 18-9
September - 1-2 (they’re doomed!)

The opportunity is there, they simply need to seize it.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 04, 2017 at 12:32 AM | 103 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 04, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5525826)
Sept. 4:

1906 NYY sweep their 5th doubleheader in 6 days. Beat BOX 7-0, 1-0
1918 rain out in World Series opener
1941 Only time Joe Cronin plays in the OF
1941 Ken "Hawk" Harrelson born
1972 Luis Tiant's FOURTH straight shutout (2nd!!! Time he's done that). 36 IP, 16 H, 7 BB, 31 K
1973 WPA's favorite Luis Tiant game: CG 2-1 IP over BAL: 12 IP, 9 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 K. WPA: 1.005
1982 Final game: Luis Tiant (though not a Red Sox at the time)
1999 Pedro Martinez fans 15 Mariners: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 3 BB, 15 K
2000 Red Sox retire Carlton Fisk's number
2001 MLB debut: Josh Beckett
2013 BOX 20, DET 4. 8 BOX homers (2 by David Ortiz)


   2. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: September 04, 2017 at 02:53 PM (#5525855)
The Sox are a flawed team, just not as flawed as the Yankees.

If they rematch the Indians in the divisional series, expect similar results.
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 04, 2017 at 07:16 PM (#5525980)
5. The Yankees are flawed - If the Sox can play a fairly pedestrian 13-12 the Yankees would need to go 17-9 to catch them. The Yanks have not had a stretch that good since April 16-May 17 and they will play a few of those games without Gary Sanchez and have lost Aaron Hicks to the DL. Hicks’ trip to the DL earlier in the year was a key loss for them.

All true, but one thing about the Yankees is that their top 4 starters are (finally) showing some consistency as a group. The Red Sox should still be considered solid favorites for the reasons you mention, but I think you could see over those last four games (Game scores of 61, 59, 64 & 75) what those four starters are capable of.
   4. Textbook Editor Posted: September 04, 2017 at 10:53 PM (#5526045)
2.5 with 24 to go.

Porcello has given up 35 HRs in 181.1 IP. That is a staggering number. A 1.6 HR/9 rate is simply appalling. He should not, under any circumstances, start a playoff game this year.

Should we make it.

[goes to look for extra pairs of dry pants]
   5. Morton's Fork Posted: September 05, 2017 at 06:21 AM (#5526071)
Sox have looked a tired side the last few days, as if they were wearing gauntlets. Or, still running the gantlet™. Couple days off in the next week or two would come in awfully hand-y because it's time to take the gloves off and pick up the... challenge.

All baseball teams are flawed baseball teams, and all baseball analysis is flawed baseball analysis; the only flawless aspect of baseball is its beauty. This has been a really fun group to watch and root for, and coming up is the super-funnest part of the season, pants-pissing and all. Thank the stars we're not medieval knights; one assumes that armor gets rusty.
   6. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:55 AM (#5526088)
The Sox have one other 4-8 stretch this year. Their next 24 games they went 17-7.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 09:12 AM (#5526092)
The various projection sites have the odds of the Yankees catching the Red Sox as 19% (Fangraphs), 27% (538), and 32% (Prospectus). 30% seems too high. I'd say 20-25%.

Which means the Red Sox are in pretty good shape.
   8. Morton's Fork Posted: September 05, 2017 at 09:18 AM (#5526097)
Nice research, and that's sort of what I've been trying to say, as well: Sox are a good team, underperforming the last few games, but their results will improve soon naturally, and they have the makeup to get it together with talent, confidence, and willpower.
   9. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 05, 2017 at 09:23 AM (#5526099)
The various projection sites have the odds of the Yankees catching the Red Sox as 19% (Fangraphs), 27% (538), and 32% (Prospectus). 30% seems too high. I'd say 20-25%.


Yeah, I mean logically I feel confident in the Sox but emotionally...

The big edge for the Sox is the Yankees have very little room for error. The Sox have lost three games in three days but still lead. If that were to get flipped over the next three days it would be the effective death knell for the division for the Yankees. Still, it's unsettling to see the Sox playing so poorly.

I would say it's closer to 60-40 just because I always think those projections are too high.

Interestingly the Sox have the exact same record they had at this time last year (77-61) and they were tied for first then. Of course an eleven game winning streak isn't likely but even a routine 7-4, 8-3 kind of hot streak would be huge.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2017 at 09:57 AM (#5526121)
2013 BOX 20, DET 4. 8 BOX homers (2 by David Ortiz)
To link the thread together, the Detroit starting pitcher in that game was ... Rick Porcello.
   11. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 05, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5526136)
FTR....

Red Sox: 653/578 Runs Scored / Runs Allowed - 93 OPS+ - 120 ERA+ - 77-61 Pythag - BB-Ref SRS 0.7

Yankees: 711/571 Runs Scored / Runs Allowed - 101 OPS+ - 121 ERA+ - 82-55 Pythag - BB-Ref SRS 1.1

Those numbers are deceptive, since the Yankees' margins in all those departments were largely built up in the first 2 1/2 months of the season, but it's also true that those margins shrank when many of their key players were on the DL. Bottom line is that it's probably a good thing for the Red Sox that they've got that 2 1/2 game margin as a cushion.
   12. villageidiom Posted: September 05, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5526164)
I go away for a weekend and the place falls... together?

They might win the division. They might not. But at a minimum look at it this way. Since the trade deadline the Red Sox have run more than half the remaining season off the clock and gained 3 games in the standings. They needed to weather the storm of a difficult schedule, and they did. The shape of it wasn't ideal - better to win against the Yankees and lose against the Blue Jays than the other way around - but they got it done. They have positioned themselves well to win the division.

To add a little more context to this:
If the Sox can play a fairly pedestrian 13-12 the Yankees would need to go 17-9 to catch them.
OK, it's 13-11 and 16-9 after yesterday, for the Yankees to tie Boston. Let's instead say 12-12 for Boston, and 16-9 for the Yankees to pass them. While that happens the Twins would have to go 19-6 (while playing 3 against the Yankees), and the Angels 19-5, or the Orioles 20-4, for Boston to finish out of a playoff entry. I want the division, so the wild card stuff doesn't matter so much to me. But that's how crazy things would have to go down the stretch for this to end 2011-poorly if Boston simply goes .500 the rest of the way.

So what we're saying here is the bar is low for Boston. In The Gauntlet⚔ Boston had to outplay their typical level, but because they mostly did it they don't have to play crazy good the rest of the way. I mean, I'd love it if they did, but that's not what we're saying.
   13. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 05, 2017 at 11:40 AM (#5526177)
I'm not worried about missing the playoffs, but I want to win the division and it should be there for the taking. It's going to be disappointing if we come up short there.
   14. Answer Guy, outhacking you by a mile. Posted: September 05, 2017 at 12:01 PM (#5526190)
I want the division, so the wild card stuff doesn't matter so much to me.


In the 1995 system, that didn't matter a ton. Now it kinda does. I mean, I'd certainly like my odds with (presumably) Sale going up against the Orioles/Twins/Royals/Angels/whoever for a single game, but they're not that much above 50%. And then having to take on a better rested and probably better team (take your pick)..I don't like those odds so much.
   15. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 05, 2017 at 12:07 PM (#5526193)
I want the division, so the wild card stuff doesn't matter so much to me.


In the 1995 system, that didn't matter a ton. Now it kinda does.

Which is why the current system is so much better, even if it does clutter up the postseason a bit more for a day. Any system which incentivizes winning the division instead of coasting into a wild card spot is almost by definition an improvement.
   16. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 05, 2017 at 12:32 PM (#5526207)
Sept. 5:

1918 World Series Game 1: BOX 1, CHC 0. Only 11 hits. Both Ruth & Vaughn go the distance
1927 WILD NYY-BOX games: BOX 12, NYY 11 (18). Nyy tie w/ 2 in top9. Both get 3 in 17th. Red Ruffing: 15 IP (his high), 16 H, 8 R/ER, 11 BB (his high), 12 K
1957 Walkoff HR hit by pitcher. Bob Grim off of Willard Nixon
1973 MLB debut: Mike Easler
1974 MLB debut: Fred Lynn
1985 MLB debut: Mike Greenwell
1989 last game: Bob Stanley
2014 BOX 9, TOR 8 (10). It's 6-6 after 8, but after TOR score 2 in top of 10th, Boston gets 3 to win it. Same in 8th: 2 for TOR & 3 for BOX

   17. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 05, 2017 at 04:12 PM (#5526375)
Just because I have to do SOMETHING to make myself feel better. Worst 12 game stretches in some notable recent seasons and the 24 games that followed;

2017:
8/24-9/4: 4-8, -36
9/5-10/1: ?-?

2016:
6/20-7/2: 3-9, -37
7/3-8/1: 15-9

2013:
5/2-5/14: 3-9, -29
5/15-6/8: 16-8

2011: (yes, the worst 12 games was not during September)
4/1-4/15: 2-10, -33
4/16-5/10: 15-9
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 05, 2017 at 04:34 PM (#5526405)
2011: (yes, the worst 12 games was not during September)

But 6-18 would probably do them in again, right? But what are the chances? I mean, twice? You'd have to be really cursed.
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 05, 2017 at 04:48 PM (#5526428)
But 6-18 would probably do them in again, right? But what are the chances? I mean, twice? You'd have to be really cursed.

(obligatory)

Nah, it's over. It's always been over.
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 05, 2017 at 04:55 PM (#5526432)
OH. MY. GOD.

Say it isn't so....

Boston Red Sox Used Apple Watches to Steal Signs Against Yankees

WASHINGTON — For decades, spying on another team has been as much a part of the gamesmanship of baseball as brushback pitches and hard slides. The Red Sox have apparently added a modern — and illicit — twist: They used an Apple Watch to gain an advantage against the Yankees and other teams.

Investigators for Major League Baseball have determined that the Boston Red Sox, who are in first place in the American League East and likely headed to the playoffs, executed a scheme to illicitly steal hand signals from opponents’ catchers in games against the second-place Yankees and other teams, according to several people briefed on the matter.

The baseball inquiry began about two weeks ago, after the Yankees’ general manager, Brian Cashman, filed a detailed complaint with the commissioner’s office that included video the Yankees shot of the Red Sox dugout during a three-game series in Boston last month.

The Yankees, who had long been suspicious of the Red Sox stealing catchers’ signs in Fenway Park, contended the video showed a member of the Red Sox training staff looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout and then relaying a message to players, who may have then been able to use the information to know the type of pitch that was going to be thrown, according to the people familiar with the case.

Baseball investigators corroborated the Yankees’ claims based on video the commissioner’s office uses for instant replay and broadcasts, the people said. The commissioner’s office then confronted the Red Sox, who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to some players — an operation that had been in place for at least several weeks.

The Red Sox responded in kind on Tuesday, filing a complaint against the Yankees, claiming that the team uses a camera from its television network, YES, exclusively to steal signs during games.

It is unclear what penalties, if any, Commissioner Rob Manfred will issue against the Red Sox and whether he will order a more expansive investigation to determine the extent of the Red Sox’ sign-stealing system. It is also unclear how he will proceed with the countercomplaint....

The video provided to the commissioner’s office by the Yankees was captured during the first two games of the series and included at least three clips. In the clips, the team’s assistant athletic trainer, Jon Jochim, is seen looking at his Apple Watch and then passing information to outfielder Brock Holt and second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was injured at the time but in uniform. In one instance, Pedroia is then seen passing the information to Young....

Some in baseball would like for Mr. Manfred to take away some of Boston’s victories, a move that would be highly unusual. Others believe that a significant fine and the docking of draft picks would be sufficient.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:08 PM (#5526452)
Oh boy.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:12 PM (#5526455)
Some in baseball would like for Mr. Manfred to take away some of Boston’s victories, a move that would be highly unusual.

Well that's not going to happen.

Others believe that a significant fine and the docking of draft picks would be sufficient.

Oh yeah. Start with forfeiting their first 5 draft picks, reallocate the spending budget to the aggrieved teams, and fine the team $10M.
   23. jmurph Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:14 PM (#5526459)
Oh yeah. Start with forfeiting their first 5 draft picks, reallocate the spending budget to the aggrieved teams, and fine the team $10M.

Ha!
   24. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:29 PM (#5526490)
Oh yeah. Start with forfeiting their first 5 draft picks, reallocate the spending budget to the aggrieved teams, and fine the team $10M.

I'd settle for re-naming Yawkey Way Bucky Dent Drive, and Lansdowne Street Joltin' Joe Junction. Hit em where it really hurts.
   25. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:46 PM (#5526513)
This is the least-surprising news of the week. Boston spent over a decade being given free reign to bend and break as many rules as they wanted as part of the league-sanctioned war on the New York Yankees. The headhunted, they juiced with impunity, they conspired with the Budshovik regime at every turn to transform their also-ran franchise into a powerhouse. It was as obvious to an unbiased observed as David Stern's league-mandated deference to Michael Jordan, but nobody want to hear it over the jealous cries to hamstring the Yankees.

If we're lucky, someday someone in a position to know will write a book that lays bare all the dishonest subterfuge, both on the field and off, that arose as a direct result of Budshovism. When that day comes, there will be no point in me saying I told you so. You already know, deep in your heart, that I'm right.
   26. villageidiom Posted: September 05, 2017 at 06:10 PM (#5526536)
Big penalty should come their way. Whether they got a big advantage from this or not doesn't really matter. They shouldn't have done it.

As a side note it makes me wonder how many Apple Watches or similar devices are present in MLB dugouts. They should be prohibited across the board, from what I understand of their electronic device rules.

The schtick in #25 is always good for a laugh, although I suppose it's impolite to laugh at him or her if there's some kind of mental disability at play. Apologies if that's the case.
   27. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 06:22 PM (#5526539)
   28. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 06:29 PM (#5526542)
So, runner on 2nd sees sign, taps his watch, received by trainer, passed to Pedroia/Holt, then they sign the batter?
   29. Chip Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:58 PM (#5526639)
Offense getting shut down by the dessicated corpse of Estrada has to be the nadir for this current stretch of play.
   30. villageidiom Posted: September 06, 2017 at 12:14 AM (#5526762)
So, runner on 2nd sees sign, taps his watch, received by trainer, passed to Pedroia/Holt, then they sign the batter?
Guy in the clubhouse sees signs on TV feed, shoots a quick note to the trainer who sees it on his watch, who then alerts the players.
   31. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 06, 2017 at 01:21 AM (#5526815)
And after spending the day ######## and whining I am reminded why I have liked this team so much this year. Nothing going all night and they scratch out two ninth inning runs then get great performances throughout the roster (welcome back Carson Smith!).

Pennant race baseball...this is fun right?
   32. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 06, 2017 at 01:43 AM (#5526821)
One other thought...Eduardo Rodriguez had a hell of a start. I think that was very encouraging.
   33. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: September 06, 2017 at 02:03 AM (#5526826)
the video showed a member of the Red Sox training staff looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout and then relaying a message to players, who may have then been able to use the information to know the type of pitch that was going to be thrown, according to the people familiar with the case.
...
assistant athletic trainer, Jon Jochim, is seen looking at his Apple Watch and then passing information to outfielder Brock Holt and second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was injured at the time but in uniform. In one instance, Pedroia is then seen passing the information to Young....


So what's being alleged here, with a straight face, is that
1) somebody in the video room watched the CF camera, stole a sign and
2) tapped out a text to Jochim,
3) who received the text on his watch, read it, and
4) told Pedrioa, who's on the DL but in the dugout,
5) who told Young,
6) who then knew what pitch he was about to see?

No wonder so many people think baseball has a pace-of-play problem, if this scheme is working we've apparently got 90+ seconds between each pitch!
   34. Morton's Fork Posted: September 06, 2017 at 06:34 AM (#5526841)
My goodness, what a beautiful ballgame. Yes, this is fun.

The biggest problem with the offense is that nobody is The Hero. The best thing about the offense is that everyone's the hero.
   35. Textbook Editor Posted: September 06, 2017 at 07:12 AM (#5526842)
Yeah it's the timing here I don't get. Once the signs are run through you have maybe, what? 5 seconds before the pitch is delivered? How does all that sequence happen in 5 seconds? I suppose this is something where you need to see the video to really see how it worked. As described it sounds too involved a process to work in the timeframe involved but naturally I could be wrong.
   36. Morton's Fork Posted: September 06, 2017 at 08:44 AM (#5526879)
We're supposed to be the sophisticated baseball crowd, right? So here's a question for us: even granting the absurd series of steps 1-6 in Petunia's scenario, what's the statistical advantage for Young knowing in advance, e.g., that the expected frequency of a fastball is somewhat enhanced on the next pitch? The whole idea seems remarkably silly.
   37. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:15 AM (#5526901)
36 - Yeah, I think this is more an exercise in intent than execution.
   38. John DiFool2 Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:21 AM (#5526906)
JBJ's absolute cannon shot in the 11th is what amazed me.

I went to bed with the Yanks leading, Sox tied, was resigned to seeing 1.5 in the relevant column this morning. ^@^%#@#$^%&*.
   39. Textbook Editor Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:27 AM (#5526914)
FWIW, I'm not saying what they did was right, or allowed, or legal, or anything of the sort... I'm just saying IF it went down as described in #33, it seems pretty incredible that it could be carried out in enough time for the batter to get signaled what the pitch was. And of course it would be easier for a RHB to get any relayed signal--a LHB would have his back to the dugout at Fenway (though presumably could see something at the far end of the dugout in his peripheral vision).

They have sophisticated ways to sync up video; I'd love to see a video that sync'd 4 camera angles at once--(1) dead CF showing P & C & batter, (2) the dugout cam shot showing all this relaying going down (3) the isolated shot of the batter in the batter's box (to see if he's peeking in direction of the dugout), and (4) any baserunners (to see what they're doing).

It would seem pretty simple to do this, and then conclusions could be drawn (or not drawn) as a result. Maybe the Yankees already supplied such a video to MLB; if so, it should be released.
   40. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:37 AM (#5526920)
I went to bed with the Yanks leading, Sox tied, was resigned to seeing 1.5 in the relevant column this morning. ^@^%#@#$^%&*.


You mean you actually got some sleep last night? I'm jealous.
   41. John DiFool2 Posted: September 06, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5527385)
This is truly one of the more oddest lineups in recent memory.

Virtually everyone (who is currently the regular at their respective position) has an OPS between .727 (X) and .788 (AB) (Devers is at .854 tho note). OPS+ between 90 and 105. No horrible seasons, but absolutely no good much less great ones. I keep expecting someone to get hot, and for a week or so someone will, then they invariably cool right back off. More than a bit maddening. I'd thus like to think that the actual talent here is greater than their performance to date, but who is to say for certain.
   42. Nasty Nate Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:36 PM (#5527565)
JBJ seems to frequently get himself out in weird ways on the bases.
   43. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 06, 2017 at 10:15 PM (#5527586)
I'm with #41 - this lineup is full of average hitters. For some guys, like Betts and Bogaerts, it's disappointing. For others, like Ramirez, it's because they are in decline. For others, like Moreland, it is because this is what they are. For guys like Bradley, it's because the hot stretches and cold stretches average out. For Pedroia, he is getting on base, but has no power. Fro Benintendi, it is because he is a rookie, and is figuring stuff out. But they all are about a 100 OPS+.

Man, I miss Ortiz.
   44. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 06, 2017 at 10:27 PM (#5527589)
In Tuesday night's game, did anyone else think that Betts was lucky he didn't get trapped off second in the 9th inning when Donaldson fielded Ramirez's grounder? Or was there nobody near second to prevent Betts from retreating if Donaldson had rushed toward him instead of throwing to first? I mention it only because letting Betts advance to third turned out to be the key play of the game.
   45. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 06, 2017 at 10:46 PM (#5527596)
Yeah, looks like the second baseman really wasn't covering for some reason. Donaldson had to make sure he got an out so he didn't have a lot of time.
   46. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 06, 2017 at 10:47 PM (#5527598)
Getting there wasn't exactly pretty but two out of three is a thing of beauty. Just keep doing that,
   47. covelli chris p Posted: September 06, 2017 at 11:45 PM (#5527609)
I'm with #41 - this lineup is full of average hitters. For some guys,
a couple thoughts ...

1. they are betting big that having athletic guys that put the ball in play will play up in the postseason, when you get wave after wave of elite relievers.
2. when everybody is healthy-ish, they don't really have anybody that is awful. even vazquez and leon are cromulent hitters. with even a little bit of depth on the bench.
3. with betts, benintendi, and devers, the future looks bright. hell, bogaerts could still break out.
   48. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 07, 2017 at 01:09 AM (#5527618)
3. with betts, benintendi, and devers, the future looks bright. hell, bogaerts could still break out.


Agree and don't forget JBJ, streaky as hell but when he is rolling can really rake.

With a healthy Price next year and my wishcasting trade for Joey Votto, they look good for 2018!
   49. Morton's Fork Posted: September 07, 2017 at 07:05 AM (#5527643)
1. they are betting big that having athletic guys that put the ball in play will play up in the postseason, when you get wave after wave of elite relievers.
2. when everybody is healthy-ish, they don't really have anybody that is awful. even vazquez and leon are cromulent hitters. with even a little bit of depth on the bench.
3. with betts, benintendi, and devers, the future looks bright. hell, bogaerts could still break out.


1. MLB has more shifts and higher FB velocities, which incents offenses to value 1) oppo hitting, and 2) OBP. Sox seem to be ahead of the curve here.

2. The rotation looks wonderful, the relief corps formidable, and the offense strong. When was the last time the Sox were delivering this level of starting Catcher every day? Never ago. SP? RP? Same - same. And this OF is the best combination of offense and defense I can ever remember. Since Devers arrived, IF defense has been very good, whether or not Peewee's been in the lineup, so no worries here (OK, OK, Devers and/or Nunez might disappear...)

3.Yes, and Vazquez, and Swihart, and Marrero, and Lin, etc. Not to mention that "Bogaerts could still break out" is a huge undersell: Xander may well be MVP of the WS.

   50. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 07, 2017 at 07:22 AM (#5527648)
In Tuesday night's game, did anyone else think that Betts was lucky he didn't get trapped off second in the 9th inning when Donaldson fielded Ramirez's grounder? Or was there nobody near second to prevent Betts from retreating if Donaldson had rushed toward him instead of throwing to first? I mention it only because letting Betts advance to third turned out to be the key play of the game.

Yeah, looks like the second baseman really wasn't covering for some reason. Donaldson had to make sure he got an out so he didn't have a lot of time.


Thanks, since I didn't watch the replay and wasn't sure. And if Betts had the presence of mind to notice that second base was unguarded while at the same time keeping his eye on Donaldson, all within the split second that he had to decide, then that was a truly impressive exhibition of Baseball IQ. Because if second base had been covered, if Donaldson had been able to deke him for that split second by faking a throw to first, he probably would have been a dead duck.
   51. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 07, 2017 at 07:32 AM (#5527650)
1. they are betting big that having athletic guys that put the ball in play will play up in the postseason, when you get wave after wave of elite relievers.

Having suffered through way too many Red Sox late inning comebacks, that to me is their biggest advantage over the Yankees, the ability to put the ball in play, especially in the late innings. I've lost count of the number of times the Yanks have come up empty with RISP and less than two outs on account of their inability to even put the bat on the ball. Of all their regular starters, only Didi and Ellsbury don't whiff at the rate of at least 100 times per 162 games, and three of them are at a 150/162 pace or worse. When they're hot they're hot, but that 15-24 record in one run games kind of speaks for itself.
   52. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 07, 2017 at 08:43 AM (#5527667)
It's not a great offensive team but I think it's a good lineup. I think there are a few guys underperforming and while they may not be sluggers the speed and dynamism on the bases is paying dividends.
   53. Answer Guy, outhacking you by a mile. Posted: September 07, 2017 at 09:10 AM (#5527679)
Having suffered through way too many Red Sox late inning comebacks, that to me is their biggest advantage over the Yankees, the ability to put the ball in play, especially in the late innings. I've lost count of the number of times the Yanks have come up empty with RISP and less than two outs on account of their inability to even put the bat on the ball. Of all their regular starters, only Didi and Ellsbury don't whiff at the rate of at least 100 times per 162 games, and three of them are at a 150/162 pace or worse. When they're hot they're hot, but that 15-24 record in one run games kind of speaks for itself.


I am starting to wonder if perhaps this is an un- or under-recognized downside of not caring how much someone strikes out as a hitter (which is by no means limited to the Yankees) and if "putting the ball in play" has become something of an undervalued ability.
   54. Mike Webber Posted: September 07, 2017 at 10:15 AM (#5527724)
I am starting to wonder if perhaps this is an un- or under-recognized downside of not caring how much someone strikes out as a hitter (which is by no means limited to the Yankees) and if "putting the ball in play" has become something of an undervalued ability.


This has been bandied about in KC as a reason the Royals made the unexpected playoff runs that they did. The Royals ability to put the ball in play coupled with the Mets poor defensive series is what led to the WS victory as much as anything.

I think it's possible, but I think that hitting homers is the safer bet.
   55. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 07, 2017 at 10:30 AM (#5527734)
I think it's possible, but I think that hitting homers is the safer bet.


Agreed but ultimately you have to work with what you have. The Sox have a young athletic team. Mookie, X, etc...putting the bat on the ball and running their buns off is a good strategy for them. Hanley still swings for the fences as does Devers and they should. I think the bigger thing is playing to your strengths. That's something the Sox have done well.
   56. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: September 07, 2017 at 10:56 AM (#5527766)
Andy, they made a point of talking about Betts' baserunning on the NESN broadcast last night. Some opposing player or manager was quoted as saying he's the most terrifying guy to have on the bases in the game today, because he's hyperaware of where the fielders are -- not just knowing 2nd is uncovered but knowing where the RF is positioned -- and really good at projecting where a BIP will end up just watching it come off the bat. Also he's pretty damn fast.

Home team broadcasters gushing over a player, so take it FWIW.
   57. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 07, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5527774)
56 - Gary Disarcina, now the bench coach for the Sox formerly with the Angels' staff, said one area Mookie is better than Trout is in his instincts on the bases.
   58. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 07, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5527790)
Mookie, X, etc...putting the bat on the ball and running their buns off is a good strategy for them.


I almost felt bad for Montero last night. Even in #### conditions if a fast player on the Sox got on you knew they were going to steal 2nd successfully. And by fast I mean everyone except for Leon, Pedroia, and Hanley.
   59. Answer Guy, outhacking you by a mile. Posted: September 07, 2017 at 11:44 AM (#5527810)
Remember when Pedroia get a whole bunch of effectively free steals because some managers were so insistent on putting a hard shift on with Ortiz batting?
   60. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 07, 2017 at 11:57 AM (#5527825)

Remember when Pedroia get a whole bunch of effectively free steals because some managers were so insistent on putting a hard shift on with Ortiz batting?


That sorta came up last night actually. Betts on 1st, Moreland at the plate. Toronto shifted for Moreland, but knew Betts was going to steal, so when Betts did (shockingly) break for 2nd the Toronto SS, positioned to the 1B side of 2B, sprinted past 2nd towards 3rd in case the throw from Montero was off. Heads up from either Barney or the Toronto staff because Betts has taken 3rd before when teams are in the shift.
   61. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 07, 2017 at 12:51 PM (#5527861)
Having suffered through way too many Red Sox late inning comebacks, that to me is their biggest advantage over the Yankees, the ability to put the ball in play, especially in the late innings. I've lost count of the number of times the Yanks have come up empty with RISP and less than two outs on account of their inability to even put the bat on the ball. Of all their regular starters, only Didi and Ellsbury don't whiff at the rate of at least 100 times per 162 games, and three of them are at a 150/162 pace or worse. When they're hot they're hot, but that 15-24 record in one run games kind of speaks for itself.
I am starting to wonder if perhaps this is an un- or under-recognized downside of not caring how much someone strikes out as a hitter (which is by no means limited to the Yankees) and if "putting the ball in play" has become something of an undervalued ability.

This has been bandied about in KC as a reason the Royals made the unexpected playoff runs that they did. The Royals ability to put the ball in play coupled with the Mets poor defensive series is what led to the WS victory as much as anything.

I think it's possible, but I think that hitting homers is the safer bet.


It is in theory, but then what happens when those Three (or Two) True Outcome players go into home run droughts, as they inevitably will? An Aaron Judge can reduce the disastrous effect somewhat by continuing to accumulate walks in between all those strikeouts, but very few TTO players have either that much plate discipline or can instill that much fear in opposing pitchers.

I don't think it's just a statistical accident that the Red Sox have a combined 31-19 record in one-run and extra inning games, while the Yankees' corresponding record is 20-30. The Yankees have a 5 game lead in the Pythagorean standings, but unfortunately that won't win them any division titles.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Andy, they made a point of talking about Betts' baserunning on the NESN broadcast last night. Some opposing player or manager was quoted as saying he's the most terrifying guy to have on the bases in the game today, because he's hyperaware of where the fielders are -- not just knowing 2nd is uncovered but knowing where the RF is positioned -- and really good at projecting where a BIP will end up just watching it come off the bat. Also he's pretty damn fast.

Home team broadcasters gushing over a player, so take it FWIW.


I was recording a movie for much of last night's game, so I missed that commentary, but based on what I've seen of Betts over the past couple of years, I don't think that's just NESN hype.
   62. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 07, 2017 at 03:38 PM (#5528006)
Andy, they made a point of talking about Betts' baserunning on the NESN broadcast last night. Some opposing player or manager was quoted as saying he's the most terrifying guy to have on the bases in the game today, because he's hyperaware of where the fielders are -- not just knowing 2nd is uncovered but knowing where the RF is positioned -- and really good at projecting where a BIP will end up just watching it come off the bat. Also he's pretty damn fast.


I heard that bit as well. Not sure how much it was just OBrien blowing smoke, but he mentioned Betts was a very good point guard (and wiki confirms this - Betts was apparently MVP of his league and All City player of the year in Nashville TN. Spacial awareness and prediction is a huge asset as a PG, and I guess could be a thing for a bowler. Appears there's some fire to go along with the smoke.
   63. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 07, 2017 at 05:54 PM (#5528127)
Not sure how much it was just OBrien blowing smoke, but he mentioned Betts was a very good point guard (and wiki confirms this - Betts was apparently MVP of his league and All City player of the year in Nashville TN. Spacial awareness and prediction is a huge asset as a PG, and I guess could be a thing for a bowler. Appears there's some fire to go along with the smoke.

One common feature I've always heard associated with the great point guards is a degree of peripheral vision on a level that's comparable to Ted Williams' legendary long distance eyesight. I suppose that's another way of describing spacial awareness, or at least it's one of spacial awarenesses' requirements.

P.S. Glaucoma can creep up on you without any notice, so speaking from personal experience I'd strongly advise anyone and everyone to get periodic field of vision checkups. It's a disease that can be controlled, but first you have to know that you have it.
   64. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 07, 2017 at 06:42 PM (#5528152)
I am starting to wonder if perhaps this is an un- or under-recognized downside of not caring how much someone strikes out as a hitter (which is by no means limited to the Yankees) and if "putting the ball in play" has become something of an undervalued ability.


Agree. Isn't the average of BABIP always around .300? So if you have guys that hit the ball pretty hard, you're effectively getting .300 hitters when they don't strike out. A guy like Mookie just doesn't K all that much. Plus of course putting bat on ball gets you the side benefits of moving over the runner, SF, possible errors, teams throwing to the wrong bag, etc. etc.

Putting the ball in play results in all sorts of positive things above just the .300 average you inherently get. Heck just the other day in the 19 inning game, the Sox got 2 runners home from 2nd and 3rd without a hit. They got 1 ground out that resulted in a run and a runner moving over to 3rd and the 2nd grounder scored the next run. If you'd had 2 Ks there the Sox would've lost that game resulting in a collective pants p*ssing exercise of epic proportions amongst the fan base.

I think in the playoffs this stuff is really important. The staffs are good and usually run really deep and teams need to be able to scratch out runs. You do that by being patient and putting the ball in play and trying to make stuff happen. If you are giving the opposing pitcher 12 free outs in the form of K's each game, it's hard to win consistently.

Has anyone ever done a study of something like winning % of teams that strike out 10-12 times a game or more?

Edited for spelling
   65. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 07, 2017 at 10:05 PM (#5528195)
Has anyone ever done a study of something like winning % of teams that strike out 10-12 times a game or more?

If my SQL is right, then between 2009 and 2014, for games in which one team (but not both teams) struck out 10 or more times, the high-K team has a win% of .617 (2839 - 1761).

Raising it to 13 strikeouts (with the other team < 10 K's), the high-K team has a win % of .648 (580 - 315).

16 strikeouts: .694 (68 - 30).

18 strikeouts: .750 (9 - 3).

Clearly more strikeouts are better, at least in the regular season.
   66. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 07, 2017 at 10:16 PM (#5528198)
Clearly more strikeouts are better, at least in the regular season.


That's fascinating, considering the teams winning have fewer outs to work with.

   67. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 07, 2017 at 10:17 PM (#5528199)
If my SQL is right, then between 2009 and 2014, for games in which one team (but not both teams) struck out 10 or more times, the high-K team has a win% of .617 (2839 - 1761).

Raising it to 13 strikeouts (with the other team < 10 K's), the high-K team has a win % of .648 (580 - 315).


16 strikeouts: .694 (68 - 30).

18 strikeouts: .750 (9 - 3).

Clearly more strikeouts are better, at least in the regular season.


Clearly fielding a team that makes all its outs via strikeouts is now the new market inefficiency. Or is it that teams with pitchers who have low strikeout totals are the ones to be mimicked?

   68. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 07, 2017 at 10:17 PM (#5528200)
#65. I'm confused. So you are saying the team who's batters strike out 16 times in a game have a winning % of .694?

I find that to be quite an unexpected result.
   69. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 07, 2017 at 10:25 PM (#5528209)
The problem is that players who strike out a lot have to be good. You aren't going to roll a .240 Punch and Judy hitter who strikes out 180 times, even a Mark Reynolds type is going to give you 30 homers.

Obviously this was quick and dirty but I'd want to see matched pairs, high K team and low K team with similar numbers, does the low K team generate more offense? I think as a general rule high K teams are likely to be higher ISO teams.
   70. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 07, 2017 at 11:04 PM (#5528225)
Aw dammit.... my data is in the table as character data, not as numbers, so the logic on which score is higher and which team struck out more was fudged until I explicitly converted the data types. Updated numbers below that follow Hugh's intuition:

10 strikeouts: .348 (1600 - 3000).
13 strikeouts: .304 (272 - 623).
16 strikeouts: .255 (25 - 73).
18 strikeouts: .167 (2-10).

Clearly low strikeout teams are at an advantage, at least in the regular season.
   71. Answer Guy, outhacking you by a mile. Posted: September 07, 2017 at 11:05 PM (#5528226)
The problem is that players who strike out a lot have to be good. You aren't going to roll a .240 Punch and Judy hitter who strikes out 180 times, even a Mark Reynolds type is going to give you 30 homers.


180 Ks, yeah. But it does seem like there's more tolerance of guys who aren't huge sluggers who strike out quite a bit, and guys like Betts who are tough to strike out have become rare. There's always been room in a lineup for a power hitter who whiffs a ton, especially if they also can take a walk.
   72. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 07, 2017 at 11:09 PM (#5528230)
FWIW the Astros lead the AL both in runs scored and fewest strikeouts, with 56 more runs scored than the second place Rangers and Yankees, and 184 fewer strikeouts than the second place Indians. Talk about a team that "knows how to hit" and knows how to score as well. They're also 3rd in home runs with 212, just 6 behind the Rangers and 4 behind the Orioles. It's about as perfectly balanced an offense as we've seen in many years.
   73. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 07, 2017 at 11:12 PM (#5528234)
Aw dammit.... my data is in the table as character data, not as numbers, so the logic on which score is higher and which team struck out more was fudged until I explicitly converted the data types. Updated numbers below that follow Hugh's intuition:

10 strikeouts: .348 (1600 - 3000).
13 strikeouts: .304 (272 - 623).
16 strikeouts: .255 (25 - 73).
18 strikeouts: .167 (2-12).

Clearly low strikeout teams are at an advantage, at least in the regular season.


You just won my admiration for your skepticism about your own findings. That's almost as rare a trait these days as Mookie Betts' low strikeout rate.
   74. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 07, 2017 at 11:17 PM (#5528236)
You just won my admiration for your skepticism about your own findings.

Hah! I'm a natural skeptic anyway, and playing the trumpet keeps me very humble about my abilities (or lack thereof). It's interesting to see the data as another validation of what Bill James wrote in the 1988 Abstract in the Royals comment about how it's bad for a team to acquire too many players with the same weakness. One or two high strikeout players? OK. Four or five or six guys striking out 150-180 times a year? Not OK.
   75. SoSH U at work Posted: September 08, 2017 at 12:07 AM (#5528243)
Clearly low strikeout teams are at an advantage, at least in the regular season.


Along the lines of my first comment, teams that lose make more outs, so there's going to be a natural tendency for more strikeouts in that mix.
   76. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 08, 2017 at 12:27 AM (#5528245)
I'm wondering too if there's some selection bias at work since opposing teams aren't likely to roll out their 95mph 7th inning Setup Guy, 98mph 8th inning Setup Guy, and 100mph Designated Closer (and thus, more late-inning strikeouts) unless they're already leading in the game going into the late innings.
   77. Textbook Editor Posted: September 08, 2017 at 01:21 AM (#5528252)
I wonder... If a low-K team always puts the ball in play (assuming they're collectively around the .300 BABIP average), then it would seem to follow (I think) that in some sense such teams are "always in it" because even in late-game situations they're forcing the defense to make plays to get them out (instead of getting themselves out via the K).

If your team construction is such that you're "always in it," what does that mean in practice (in actual games)? And should perhaps mean that early & mid-game situations be treated as higher-leverage than they are right now from a pitching resources allocation perspective? I feel like the low-K team would seem to benefit much more from a very aggressive use of properly allocated, high-leverage bullpen, but of course every team could benefit from such a thing...
   78. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 08, 2017 at 07:48 AM (#5528266)
You just won my admiration for your skepticism about your own findings.

Hah! I'm a natural skeptic anyway, and playing the trumpet keeps me very humble about my abilities (or lack thereof).


I get a similar wakeup call every week playing in a pool tournament littered with pros and semi-pros. Beat the best player in Maryland in the first round last week and then got eliminated three rounds later and out of the money. I'm always glad that I never gave up my day job.

It's interesting to see the data as another validation of what Bill James wrote in the 1988 Abstract in the Royals comment about how it's bad for a team to acquire too many players with the same weakness. One or two high strikeout players? OK. Four or five or six guys striking out 150-180 times a year? Not OK.

That's exactly the point that's been buzzing around in my head for years but I never thought to articulate. But that's why he's Bill James and I'm not.
   79. villageidiom Posted: September 08, 2017 at 09:22 AM (#5528303)
Along the lines of my first comment, teams that lose make more outs, so there's going to be a natural tendency for more strikeouts in that mix.
Then just look at performance in road games. In a 9-inning game all road teams have 27 outs, win or lose.

EDIT: Or are you saying "teams that lose make more outs" as a percentage of PA? That shouldn't matter if we're looking at the type of out, should it?
   80. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 08, 2017 at 09:31 AM (#5528315)
Then just look at performance in road games. In a 9-inning game all road teams have 27 outs, win or lose.

EDIT: Or are you saying "teams that lose make more outs" as a percentage of PA? That shouldn't matter if we're looking at the type of out, should it?


I'm just saying that if you look at teams that strike out 10 or more times in a game, when the other team hasn't, as Pat did, it would be easier to rack up higher K totals on the losing end because those teams have more outs to distribute a little more than half the time.

Put another way, if there was absolutely no correlation between FOs and W-L percentage, you'd also expect teams that fly out more than 10 times in a game when their opponent doesn't to be on the losing end, simply because it's easier to get 10 events out of 27 chances than it is 10 out of 24.

But, yes, if you limit the sample to road victories, that effect would be wiped out.

   81. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 08, 2017 at 12:05 PM (#5528511)
Sept. 8:

1915 PHA 1, BOX 0 - on only 1 PHA hit. In 2nd game of d-header, BOX draw 12 walks and win 13-2
1971 MLB debut: Cecil Cooper
1977 2nd time in 3 games that Carlton Fisk hits 2 HR in a game
1988 MLB debut: Tom Gordon
1995 MLB debut: Scott Hatteburg
2000 NYY-BOX: P Bryce Florie hit in face w/ liner from Ryan Thompson Leaves w/ blood goin down face, fractured cheek, broken orb socket
2006 BOX releases Javy Lopez

   82. villageidiom Posted: September 08, 2017 at 03:57 PM (#5528790)
Jerry Remy is back in the TV booth tonight, per WEEI.
   83. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 08, 2017 at 04:21 PM (#5528822)
That's great news.
   84. Chip Posted: September 09, 2017 at 05:54 AM (#5528987)
I thought he, Eck, and O'Brien were great as a three-man booth.
   85. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 09, 2017 at 10:00 AM (#5528999)
Boston increasingly looks locked into the #3 seed in the playoffs. Cleveland and Houston are now about tied for 1 and 2. I think Boston would rather play Houston than Cleveland, right? Never thought Cleveland would be the #1 seed, but it is looking increasingly likely...
   86. Nasty Nate Posted: September 09, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5529020)
It's worth noting that the Astros are at Fenway for the last 4 games of the season. It would be great if the Sox did the opposite of last year and leap forward in the seeding at the end.
   87. Bad Fish Posted: September 09, 2017 at 03:57 PM (#5529061)
These big winning streaks take an emotional toll, and consume a lot of karma. Chances are good that Cleveland will be pretty flaccid come playoff time - not dissimilar to the RS after they went on an 11 game winning streak at the end of the '16 season.
   88. Chip Posted: September 10, 2017 at 02:20 PM (#5529310)
How the actual #### could the idiots working replay in NY not reverse that Vazquez call at the plate? Even the Rays knew O'Nora badly blew it.

This system as it works right now seems to get worse all the time.
   89. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 10, 2017 at 08:37 PM (#5529451)
Just for shits and giggles a path to the division title (by a game);

Current: up 3 1/2
Sox host A's - 2-1
Yankees at* Rays - 2-1
Up 3 1/2

Sox at Rays 2-1
Yankees host Orioles 3-1
Up 3

Sox at Orioles 1-2
Yankees host Twins 2-1
Up 2

Sox at Reds 2-1
Yankees at Jays 2-1
Up 2

Sox host Jays 2-1
Yankees host Royals 1-0
Yankees host Rays 1-1
Up 2

Sox host Astros 2-2
Yankees host Rays 1-0
Yankees host Jays 2-1'
Up 1

Sox 92-70
Yankees 91-71
This is going to be nerve wracking.
   90. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 11, 2017 at 09:19 AM (#5529524)

Sox 92-70
Yankees 91-71
This is going to be nerve wracking.


That assumes the Yanks go 14-6 and the Sox 11-8. The Sox record I can envision, not so sure about the Yankees pulling that off though, they are going to lose one of the series at least.
   91. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 11, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5529527)
It's definitely something of a worst case scenario but the Yankees are playing well against the bad teams on their schedule and that's all they have left. Honestly I think it's more likely that the Sox are better than that 11-8 record than the Yankees are meaningfully worse. That Oriole series scares the crap out of me. They have owned us.
   92. SoSH U at work Posted: September 11, 2017 at 10:39 AM (#5529560)
Honestly I think it's more likely that the Sox are better than that 11-8 record than the Yankees are meaningfully worse.


I think you're going to lose more bets than you win predicting any team to play .700 ball over three weeks, regardless the schedule they're looking at.

   93. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 11, 2017 at 11:44 AM (#5529612)
There's a reason I don't go to Vegas.
   94. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 11, 2017 at 11:45 AM (#5529618)
Sept. 11:

1907 Chief Bender allows his only HR of the year (1st since 8-16-06): an inside the park, walk-off solo shot by John Knight. 5-4 BOX
1909 BOX claims Jack Chesbro off waivers from NYY
1918 World Series Game 6: BOX 2, CHC 1. Only 8 hits total (5 for BOX, 3 for CHC). Ends it
1923 Howard Ehmke tries for his second straight no-hitter: contrversial call in 1st inning - leadoff hitter's grounder misplayed but called a hit. Turns out to be the only one Ehmke allows, BOX-NYY
1964 Ellis Burks born
1983 Jacoby Ellsubry born
2005 Tim Wakefield fans 12, his personal best. 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K. Loses 1-0 to NYY (BOX pitcher)

   95. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 11, 2017 at 11:52 AM (#5529624)
I'll add to Dag's list above;

2001 - Trot Nixon's son born.
   96. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 12, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5530185)
Sept. 12:

1907 MLB debut: Tris Speaker
1912 CLE-BOX 11-inning doublehader. First game called for rian after 5 innings. Rain stops, and G2 starts, 6 IP darkness. CLE wins both
1967 Catfish Hunter fans 12, tying his high but other was in extra innings: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, BB, 12 K. Loses 3-1 to BOX
1971 Carlton Fisk's 1st HR
1972 Yanks beat Boston 3-2, pushing Ralph Houk 147 games over .500 (859-712), his max in his career
1979 3,000 hits: Carl Yastrzemski: 2,850 games
1987 Wade Boggs, BOX, has his first pop up (according to PI) since 9-21-83
2011 ex-MLB'r Manny Ramirez arrested for domestic battery in Florida
2015 500 HR: David Ortiz



   97. SandyRiver Posted: September 13, 2017 at 09:12 AM (#5530664)
These big winning streaks take an emotional toll, and consume a lot of karma. Chances are good that Cleveland will be pretty flaccid come playoff time - not dissimilar to the RS after they went on an 11 game winning streak at the end of the '16 season.


I prefer recalling how the Rockies ended the 2007 regular season and blew through the Div/LCS, only to lay down and die against Boston.
   98. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 13, 2017 at 10:42 AM (#5530711)
That Oriole series scares the crap out of me. They have owned us.

The Orioles are one of the streakier teams in baseball, and up to this point the Red Sox have mostly just caught them when they were in one of their hot streaks. But they've now lost 6 straight, their hot hitters are cooling off, their starting pitchers are about the worst in baseball, and even Zach Britton is proving to be human. The Red Sox swept a 4 game series in Baltimore last September when the Orioles were a genuine wild card competitor, and I'd expect that they'll have little trouble with them next week.
   99. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 13, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5530714)
See it's funny, I tend to the opposite mindset. Because of the nature of baseball I always like catching a team when they've had a long winning streak because (Windians notwithstanding) teams don't typically go on long streaks. Baseball teams ebb and flow so much that I'd expect a team that has been hot to cool off.

The good news for the Sox is that if the Orioles stay on schedule Bundy pitches Sunday in the Bronx then we miss him. That's good on both sides of it; he gets the Yankees and we miss him.
   100. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 13, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5530756)
See it's funny, I tend to the opposite mindset. Because of the nature of baseball I always like catching a team when they've had a long winning streak because (Windians notwithstanding) teams don't typically go on long streaks. Baseball teams ebb and flow so much that I'd expect a team that has been hot to cool off.

The good news for the Sox is that if the Orioles stay on schedule Bundy pitches Sunday in the Bronx then we miss him. That's good on both sides of it; he gets the Yankees and we miss him.


Well, if momentum is only as good as today's starting pitcher, without Bundy facing them the Red Sox shouldn't have much to worry about in Baltimore. You know I'm a Yankees fan, but I've followed the Orioles almost as closely as I've followed the Yankees, and I'm trying to be realistic.
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