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   1. tfbg9 Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:22 AM (#3892364)
He's made himself 10's of millions of dollars in 100 or so games this year-he should jump on it (Theo's offer to buy-out Jake's arb years).
   2. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:38 AM (#3892370)
NESN said that Ellsbury is leading all leadoff hitters in pitches faced.
   3. Mattbert Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:42 AM (#3892372)
Yeah, add me to list of people who would've been perfectly content with something well short of the Peak Rickey Henderson we appear to have in CF right now. Lordy.
   4. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:37 AM (#3892399)
As amazing as Ellsbury has been, it's not just him. He's not even the most valuable player on the team. The Red Sox are amazing right now. 5 of the top 10 B-Ref WAR are Sox players. Despite the problems, I have to think this team is better than 2004 or 2007.
   5. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:04 AM (#3892405)
Which is funny, because a lot of you guys were acting like bratty two-year-olds earlier in the season as though they wouldn't end up seriously contending midway into the season.
   6. Hugh Jorgan Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:15 AM (#3892413)
because a lot of you guys were acting like bratty two-year-olds earlier in the season

I'm not sure people were acting like 2 year olds, but there was alot of concern. The 2-10 start was a shocker and though most of us knew they could still have a chance at 92-93 wins, no one could have predicted they'd be winning games at a 68% clip since that point and have a shot at 100+ wins. It's been an incredible season considering the issues with the rotation.
   7. OCD SS Posted: August 04, 2011 at 12:58 PM (#3892481)
The kid’s a legitimate star now, and I hope he’ll be a Red Sox for a good long time.


Is it assumed that this is him establishing a new talent level, or is it more of fluke? (I'm assuming it's a bit of both, but am interested how much people might lean one way or the other.)

I'd be all for locking him up, but I imagine with Boras as his agent it's not likely beyond the arb-deals that were struck for Teixeira or Holliday, in which case the Sox may as well make sure this level of performance is real before guaranteeing a ton.
   8. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:16 PM (#3892500)
As a Yankee fan, it is disheartening to check the BoSox box score every night and see that your Top 6 hitters average about a .400 OBP and .500+ SLG. It makes me sick. I also, unfortunately, have no faith that Freddy Garcia can do anything against you all, so this year the division title actually means something to me because I figure you guys will probably steamroll your way to the WS.
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:26 PM (#3892509)
Re: Ellsbury - I think the biggest thing that excites me going forward is his defense. He has looked much better at the games I've been to in terms of getting jumps on the ball and the numbers say he's been good as well. The reason I think this is key is because even if this is a fluke/career year offensively, a Jacoby Ellsbury who does what he did in 2009 offensively and plays good defense is a valuable guy. If he retains any of the offensive growth going forward he's going to be a hell of a valuable guy.

I wonder what kind of odds we would have gotten back in the Spring on "the Red Sox will feel confident in 2/3rds of the outfield heading into 2012 and beyond with the 1/3 being Carl Crawford."

Despite the problems, I have to think this team is better than 2004 or 2007.


I disagree with that. I think both of those teams had better pitching and the 2004 team at least had a deeper lineup.

Which is funny, because a lot of you guys were acting like bratty two-year-olds earlier in the season as though they wouldn't end up seriously contending midway into the season.


I think Hugh's point is a good one. The other thing is that a few teams (Rays, Twins specifically) have been worse to varying degrees than I thought they would be giving the Sox some cushion.
   10. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:34 PM (#3892518)
Is it assumed that this is him establishing a new talent level, or is it more of fluke? (I'm assuming it's a bit of both, but am interested how much people might lean one way or the other.)

A bit of both, from my perspective. I don't think he's going to keep hitting .320, or slugging over .500 - but I think he can manage to be in the vicinity of .300/.360/.460 or so - still a 5ish win player.
   11. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:34 PM (#3892576)
I disagree with that. I think both of those teams had better pitching and the 2004 team at least had a deeper lineup.


The bullpen and starters together have really improved since the early part of the season. I'm not sure the quality of the #3, #4, and #5 starters matters in the postseason if Beckett and Lester can get at least 2 starts in the longer series. Anyway, the team ERA is now better than it was in 2004(4.18 then vs 3.91 now) and is just behind 2007 (3.87). The 2004 team didn't have great pitching. If you recall, Derek Lowe was given the ball and it was a surprise that he won at all. I think many of us were conceding game 7 of the ALCS with Lowe on the mound. That was the game of his life. I even thought we'd lose game 4 of the WS against St. Louis. He just wasn't good. After Schilling and Martinez, it was a craps shoot. And the '07 team gave too many starts to Tavarez who basically put on a clinic for how to make me scream obscenities at the television.

The peripherals look about the same, with 2011 coming ahead of '04 and tied with '07 in K/9, K/BB, etc. I didn't realize it until I just looked, but this team is pitching about as well as they did in both of those years.

[Edited for clarity.]
   12. RobertMachemer Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3892580)
Offhand (without looking at the numbers), I'd guess Ellsbury isn't even the most valuable home-grown up-the-middle-defensive-player on the Red Sox. Though it'd be close.

People were commenting in spring training that they thought they saw something in Ellsbury's approach that indicated his power would improve this season. Even accepting that (and I was skeptical), I still would not have figured he'd be second on the team in home runs (at least not on a team that's second in the league in home runs). For years I'd been thinking his upside was Brett Butler, even if this power is a career high, it's clear he's not Butler (not enough walks, quite a bit more power). I can live with that. I wish I could see who his new similarity scores were already...

The thing is about this team is that it's so obvious that the overall pitching is mediocre, and yet they still keep winning because of this steamroller offense. Logically, I have no problem with it, but emotionally, it doesn't feel like a reliable way of winning consistently. They remind me of the 2003 Sox (who, disappointment about the final result aside, were a damn good team that nearly won it all), but (1) I think this offense is better, and (2) I trust this offense less. Makes no sense, I know, but there you are.
   13. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3892588)
but this team is pitching about as well as they did in both of those years.


That ignores the environment.

ERA+
2004 - 117
2007 - 123
2011 - 106

I agree about Lowe but I'm thinking regular season right now and I feel the 2004 (Schilling/Pedro/Wake/Arroyo/Lowe) and 2007 (Schilling/Lester/Wake/Daisuke/Beckett) were more complete than 2011. Also, the bullpen, as good as it has been this year, does not fill me with confidence. Maybe I'm being unfair in that one but after Bard and Papelbon (and probably Aceves) there isn't anyone I feel good about coming out of that pen. Contrast that with '07 which had an excellent pen and '04 which was probably one solid pitcher deeper (Embree/Timlin/Foulke).

Regarding the offense while this offense is certainly posting better numbers against the environment they are in, I think they are top heavy. The bottom third of the 2004 lineup (Varitek/Cabrera/Mueller) was better than this one (Saltalamacchia/Reddick/Scutaro). I think that team had a better ability to cover for a slump by it's 3-4-5 guys.
   14. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:49 PM (#3892591)
but (1) I think this offense is better, and (2) I trust this offense less. Makes no sense, I know, but there you are.
I think it does make sense, because there are guys in this year's lineup that feel like won't do much: Crawford, Scutaro and until recently Drew. 2003, that wasn't really the case, it felt stacked top to bottom--hell, all 9 regulars had at least a dozen homers and everyone but the leadoff guy had 85 RBI or more.

Some of the perception difference is probably the difference in offensive context too.
   15. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:54 PM (#3892595)
Maybe I'm being unfair in that one but after Bard and Papelbon (and probably Aceves) there isn't anyone I feel good about coming out of that pen.
I feel pretty good about Albers, and even Wheeler--who's been quite good overall since about mid-April.
   16. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:54 PM (#3892596)
Anyway, the team ERA is now better than it was in 2004(4.18 then vs 3.91 now) and is just behind 2007 (3.87).

This is the weakest picthing club of those three teams. Offensive levels have changed quite a bit:

2004 117 ERA+
2007 123 ERA+
2011 106 ERA+

(Edit: carbonated beverage to Jose)

Of course, offensively, this is the best club, despite the greater depth of the 2004 (and 2003, with the batting champion hitting 8th) offense:

2004 110 OPS+
2007 107 OPS+
2011 119 OPS+

It really is a different environment now, though. Pop quiz - can anyone tell me what the following represents?

.342/.400/.553
.339/.434/.526
.383/.446/.608
.299/.416/.539
.313/.405/.574
   17. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3892606)
.342/.400/.553
.339/.434/.526
.383/.446/.608
.299/.416/.539
.313/.405/.574


Opponents batting against John Lackey for the life of his contract?
   18. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:07 PM (#3892609)
That ignores the environment.


No it doesn't. It ignores the 2-10 start. It's hard to overstate how horrible they were during that stretch. I don't think that stretch in any way indicates the quality of the pitching.

Take out the 2-10 start and the team's ERA is 3.57. I think this pitching staff is better than its overall numbers, which would put them behind the Yankees, and somewhere between a 115 ERA+ and a 123 ERA+ (and MUCH closer to 123 than to 115). That makes this staff at least equal to, if not better than 2004, and perhaps slightly behind or tied with 2007.
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3892614)
I'm not sure the quality of the #3, #4, and #5 starters matters in the postseason if Beckett and Lester can get at least 2 starts in the longer series.


This seems strangely oblivious considering you are quoting a post about 2004, a postseason which of course featured vital performances by Lowe, Arroyo, and Wakefield....
   20. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3892616)
If Crawford and Lackey could unF!@# themselves then we'd be less prone to collapse.
   21. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:14 PM (#3892623)
As a Yankee fan, it is disheartening to check the BoSox box score every night and see that your Top 6 hitters average about a .400 OBP and .500+ SLG. It makes me sick. I also, unfortunately, have no faith that Freddy Garcia can do anything against you all, so this year the division title actually means something to me because I figure you guys will probably steamroll your way to the WS.

Nice attempted reverse Jinx there.

But forget about Garcia, you might want to start worrying what CC can do against the Sox. So far it's a 6.16 ERA in 3 starts.
   22. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:34 PM (#3892639)
This seems strangely oblivious considering you are quoting a post about 2004, a postseason which of course featured vital performances by Lowe, Arroyo, and Wakefield....


Other than maybe karlmagnus, there weren't many who thought Lowe and Wakefield would go out and win. I'm sure we all remember that '04 series and how much of a surprise it was that no matter how dramatic the wins were, it never seemed very likely that they'd get to play another day. A lot of that feeling that it was over had to do with the pitchers on the mound.

And I guess you ultimately prove my point: it doesn't matter who you send out there for #3, #4, and #5.

And as to Arroyo, you must be talking about his absolutely heroic 2 IP, 6ER in the 19-8 game. :)
   23. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:37 PM (#3892642)
.342/.400/.553
.339/.434/.526
.383/.446/.608
.299/.416/.539
.313/.405/.574
I'm assuming that's this year's top 5 translated to maybe the 2004 environment or something. But Jose's #17 made me laugh. :)
   24. RobertMachemer Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#3892645)
The starters' OPS+s...

POS    2003    2004    2007    2011     --    rough ordinal rankings
C       120     121     103     114           04
031107
1B      110     117     117     165           11
07 0403
2B       95     107     112     142           11
070403
SS      121      46      65      92           03
110704
3B      145     106     124     140           03
110704
LF      160     152     126      78           03
040711
CF       94     117      83     138           11
040307
RF      149      77     105      71           03
070411
DH      144     145     171     145           07
11 0403 


Am I correctly remembering that the OPS+s from this year should be taken with a grain of salt? Doesn't bb-ref re-do their park factors (and thus, OPS+s) at the end of the season? Given how the offense and pitching of the Sox look this year, it seems possible to me that some of the high numbers are weather-related.

Anyway, giving 4 points to the top score, 1 point to the bottom, and so forth (with 2.5 for ties between 2nd and 3rd), we have the following:

2011 = 24.5
2003 = 24
2004 = 21
2007 = 20.5

Most balanced top to bottom? 2003 looks pretty likely, since its lowest two OPS+s were in the 90s. Just as the 2011 team has a hidden Reddick (not a "starter"), so does the 2004 team (Nixon and Garciaparra) and so forth.

Comparing the 2003 offense to the 2011 offense, I see three positions at which 2003 was clearly better (SS, LF and RF), three where where 2011 is clearly better (1B, 2B, and CF), two where the numbers look pretty close but 2003 has a slight edge (C and 3B) and a push at DH.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:44 PM (#3892652)
It's weird to use "starters" and then use Pokey Reese. He was not the starter for any stretch of time, nor in the playoffs. He just had the most innings of any SS because of the trade.
   26. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:50 PM (#3892655)
And I guess you ultimately prove my point: it doesn't matter who you send out there for #3, #4, and #5.


Of course it does. Obviously in a one game scenario anything goes but play the odds.

Just out of curiousity how do people rank the pitchers? Thinking along the lines of Robert's post above I don't think there is any spot in the rotation where the 2004 team isn't better than 2011 and only the #5 spot is better in 2007;

#1 - Schilling (04) - Beckett(07) - Lester (11)
#2 - Pedro - Beckett (11) - Schilling (07)
#3 - Matsuzaka - Arroyo - Lackey
#4 - Wakefield (04) - Wakefield (07) - Wakefield (11)
#5 - Lester (07) - Lowe - Miller

Now, obviously I left out Bedard but I think we should see him pitch AND get some comfort that he'll actually be healthy come October before we get anywhere with him. I think it is hard to argue that 3-5 on this year's teams isn't worse than their 2004 and 2007 comparables.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:00 PM (#3892665)
And I guess you ultimately prove my point: it doesn't matter who you send out there for #3, #4, and #5.

And as to Arroyo, you must be talking about his absolutely heroic 2 IP, 6ER in the 19-8 game. :)


I honestly have no idea what you mean. If the #3,4,5 guys in 2004 had not been as good pitchers as they were, the Sox never win the pennant and the world series. Wake had a season-preserving relief outing game 5, and Lowe did what he did in Game 7 (and game 4 of the WS). The run through the playoffs can often find every corner of a pitching staff.
   28. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3892667)
I'm assuming that's this year's top 5 translated to maybe the 2004 environment or something. But Jose's #17 made me laugh. :)

You're right, but I like Jose's answer better too.

Seriously though, that's a translated .337/.420/.560 (in 2004 numbers) for your top five guys. That's NUTS.
   29. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#3892687)
Seriously though, that's a translated .337/.420/.560 (in 2004 numbers) for your top five guys. That's NUTS.
Essentially five Edgars in a row? Yeah.
   30. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:04 PM (#3892717)
If the #3,4,5 guys in 2004 had not been as good pitchers as they were, the Sox never win the pennant and the world series.


This is revisionist. Wakefield was horrible and was demoted to the bullpen. His ERA for the post-season in '04 was 8.59 and 12.27 in the WS!!! He started one game in the WS and pitched 3.2 innings and gave up 5ER with 5BB. I remember at the time that the thought was "if Wake can just keep us close, we'll be OK." Arroyo came in after Wake and pitched 2 IP and gave up 2 runs.

If by "good" you mean "lucky" and "pitching completely out of character for short bursts in deciding games" then I agree with you, they were "good." Those guys pitched well when the Sox faced elimination. It was not expected. With Schilling and Pedro, I think the consensus was that the Sox had a fighting chance, and some probably expected to win. But it's absolutely revisionist to say that anyone thought the Sox 3, 4, and 5 starters would do anything other than lose.

In any case, my point is not about how bad those 3 were, but rather that overall, the pitching staff we have right now is as good as or better than that one, and that in regards to '07, this staff is slightly behind or as good as that one.
   31. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:10 PM (#3892723)
I understand that the 2003-2004 lineups had incredible depth, but the 2011 lineup is getting better beyond 1-through-5. Saltalamacchia has become a pretty good bat in the bottom thirs of the order. His OPS+ is now comfortably above 100, and he's shown pretty good power. Reddick now has over 150 PAs, and has an OPS+ of 153. Even Scutaro's doing fine - a slash line of .267/.337/.366, and OPS+ of 92. It's not great, but for a number 9 hitter, it's fine.

The real challenge is Crawford. He's supposed to be a major asset in the lineup...instead, he's just a major ass. Five of the nine guys in the lineup have higher OBPs than Crawford has a SLG average...and Ellsbury's OBP (.373) is almost better than Crawford's SLG (.381) as well. I like seven of the nine guys in that lineup most days, and I don't give a crap about Scutaro. It's Crawford.

And one last thing: Wakefield is fine, as long as they don't leave him for more than about 80 pitches. Look, he's been in the rotation since Mayy 22nd, and has made 13 starts since then. He's averaged about 6.1 IP per start, and gives up between 3 and 4 runs per start. Doesn't that sound about right? In 8 of those 13 starts, he pitched between 6 and 8 innings, and gave up 4 ER or fewer. With this lineup, the Red Sox have a great chance of winning a game like that - in fact, the team is 9-4 in games he starts since joining the rotation. He makes very little money, does whatever the team asks him to do, and has been quite healthy this season - which is more than you can say for anybody else in the rotation. He's 45 years old, the team has a .680 winning percentage in his starts, and he - not Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Buchholz, or Matsuzaka - is the only one not to go on the DL.
   32. RobertMachemer Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:14 PM (#3892726)
No it doesn't. It ignores the 2-10 start. It's hard to overstate how horrible they were during that stretch. I don't think that stretch in any way indicates the quality of the pitching.

Take out the 2-10 start and the team's ERA is 3.57. I think this pitching staff is better than its overall numbers, which would put them behind the Yankees, and somewhere between a 115 ERA+ and a 123 ERA+ (and MUCH closer to 123 than to 115). That makes this staff at least equal to, if not better than 2004, and perhaps slightly behind or tied with 2007.


Runs allowed per game, by month...

Apr 4.35
May 4.31
Jun 3.80
Jul 4.23
Aug 4.67 (after 3 games, so meaningless)

League average is 4.30 runs per game. The one that stands out (to me) isn't April, it's June. This is roughly a league average pitching staff.
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:27 PM (#3892738)
But it's absolutely revisionist to say that anyone thought the Sox 3, 4, and 5 starters would do anything other than lose.


This seems like you believe everyone went into that series thinking that the Sox had a good chance in Pedro/Schilling games but NO CHANCE AT ALL in games started by the other guys. That's not true (especially for game 7 - when at the time (not revisionist) - plenty of people felt like the Sox would win that game).
   34. Joel W Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#3892743)
They have an ERA+ of 106. I really don't get how the Yankees have the best pitching staff in the league.
   35. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#3892772)
League average is 4.30 runs per game. The one that stands out (to me) isn't April, it's June. This is roughly a league average pitching staff.


As Joel points out, they're quite solidly above average with a 106 ERA+ (which I contend is actually better than it looks). Fenway's park factor for this year is 107/105 (B-REF). By ESPN's ranking, it's the 3rd highest scoring environment in MLB. So going by runs per game is a bit misleading.

[Edited for erroneous park factor for Fenway.]
   36. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 04, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#3892780)
This seems like you believe everyone went into that series thinking that the Sox had a good chance in Pedro/Schilling games but NO CHANCE AT ALL in games started by the other guys. That's not true (especially for game 7 - when at the time (not revisionist) - plenty of people felt like the Sox would win that game).


Meh. What I said above: "In any case, my point is not about how bad those 3 were, but rather that overall, the pitching staff we have right now is as good as or better than that ['04], and that in regards to '07, this staff is slightly behind or as good as that one."
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: August 04, 2011 at 06:06 PM (#3892784)
Ok, I was just quibbling with a minor point - carry on.
   38. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 05, 2011 at 09:03 PM (#3893595)
Interestingly (to me, at least), for all the OFFENSE IS DOWN talk, runs per game in the AL this year is at 4.36 - not that big a difference compared to last year's 4.45. The difference is a little bigger in the NL (4.33 to 4.12), but for the fuss I've heard about it, I thought the AL difference would be larger.
   39. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 09:22 PM (#3893606)
Well, the big drop in the AL was from 2009 to 2010 - from 4.82 to 4.45. The arrangement of offense between the two leagues during this recent shift has been weird. These are the shifts in runs scored in all MLB 2009-2010-2011, and then for each league:

4.63 -> 4.38 -> 4.23 - MLB
4.82 -> 4.45 -> 4.36 - AL
4.43 -> 4.33 -> 4.12 - NL

I don't really know what to do with that, but there it is.
   40. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 05, 2011 at 10:53 PM (#3893654)
They have an ERA+ of 106. I really don't get how the Yankees have the best pitching staff in the league.


3.83 runs/g versus 4.22

team era 3.45 versus 3.93

in 300ip Yankee relievers have a 3.04 ERA, Redsox relievers 3.53 in 333 ip
Yankee Starters are at 3.63, Sox at 4.14
   41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2011 at 11:01 PM (#3893660)
That's not really an explanation, is it?

The point is that the Yankees had obvious holes in both their rotation and bullpen coming into the season, and they've gotten inexplicably great performances from seven or eight not-that-great pitchers. Some of those pitchers may have really been a lot better than we thought (Colon obviously, possibly Robertson), but to some degree, wtf.
   42. 1k5v3L Posted: August 06, 2011 at 08:34 PM (#3894378)
Even though I don't remember seeing this confirmed by the Dbacks or Red Sox, rumor back during the offseason was that the Red Sox could've acquired Justin Upton if they included Ellsbury and Bard in the deal. Looking at how this season has unfolded, I think both the Red Sox and Dbacks are happy that Upton is in AZ and Ellsbury and Bard are in Boston. It's quite amazing though to see how similar Upton and Ellsbury are in terms of the more advanced fangraphs stats (and even more traditional stats).

Through 111 games, Upton has .397 wOBA and 148 wRC+, with 5.3 WAR.
Through 110 games, Ellsbury has .395 wOBA and 148 wRC+, with 5.9 WAR.
I'm guessing the higher WAR is due to Ellsbury position (CF vs. RF).

As a fan of the game, I am personally very happy to see both of them having excellent seasons for their respective teams. Both have been a lot of fun to watch, whenever I've had the chance to catch a Dbacks or a Red Sox game on television.
   43. Darren Posted: August 07, 2011 at 03:41 AM (#3894538)
but to some degree, wtf.


Nicely put.

Ellsbury's big game tonight is the kind of thing that gets people thinking and talking about MVP awards. If he can end up with 25 HRs, 100 RBIs, 120 runs, a .310 average and 40 steals, he's going to look awfully good. At this point, I cannot see how Pedroia wins it over him or AGonz (others could, of course).
   44. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 07, 2011 at 02:14 PM (#3894613)
Ellsbury's big game tonight is the kind of thing that gets people thinking and talking about MVP awards. If he can end up with 25 HRs, 100 RBIs, 120 runs, a .310 average and 40 steals, he's going to look awfully good. At this point, I cannot see how Pedroia wins it over him or AGonz (others could, of course).


I have to think Sabathia's Cy Young stock will fall after yesterday's game. 0-4 against the division rival and the team that may end up beating you for the division crown? That game may have sealed his 2nd place finish this year.
   45. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3894618)
I doubt it'll matter much. Those clutchy discussions rarely arise in Cy Young discussions outside of wins totals. The AL Cy Young looks like a race between three entirely deserving pitchers, and it'll probably come down to a few factors-

1) Win totals, especially if either CC or Verlander can pull ahead and win 22 or something
2) If Weaver can keep his ERA under 2
3) If either Weaver or Verlander gets a "carrying his team" bump going down the stretch
   46. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#3894635)
Ellsbury's big game tonight is the kind of thing that gets people thinking and talking about MVP awards. If he can end up with 25 HRs, 100 RBIs, 120 runs, a .310 average and 40 steals, he's going to look awfully good. At this point, I cannot see how Pedroia wins it over him or AGonz (others could, of course).
I think the fact that all of the non-Bautista MVP candidates are on the Red Sox is going to pretty much seal it for Bautista.

The key thing to watch on the MVP race, I think, is whether a narrative congeals around one of the Red Sox stars. Gonzalez has the most obvious one (leader in two of three triple crown races), but since they're both power hitters, it's really easy to see that Bautista's been the superior player, so I don't think Gonzo is the best guy to unseat Bautista. If Ellsbury can put together a couple more dramatic games - especially if he can toss a highlight catch or two into the mix - he'd be a fun one.
   47. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 07, 2011 at 03:47 PM (#3894650)
Will there be any "steroids" accusations and backlash against Bautista? Was there any last year when he was 4th in MVP voting?
   48. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 07, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3894654)
There have already been some stage whispers but no one is willing to come out and say anything meaningful. I don't put anything into this but Bautista is not a McGwire-style muscle guy, he doesn't look outrageously big so there isn't the "just look at him, come on!" kind of stuff. You know, like known steroid users Alex Sanchez and Juan Rincon.
   49. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 07, 2011 at 04:55 PM (#3894666)
3) If either Weaver or Verlander gets a "carrying his team" bump going down the stretch

Has this ever made a difference in the Cy Young?
   50. Darren Posted: August 07, 2011 at 11:07 PM (#3894839)
Sabathia finished 5th in 08 when he carried the Brewers into the playoffs, despite only playing 1/2 a season for them. I seem to recall other cases where others actually won, but I can't remember who.
   51. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2011 at 11:29 PM (#3894852)
Sabathia in 2007 isn't a bad fit. He wasn't the most obvious choice - Beckett led the league in wins and was the only guy in the AL to win 20 games (CC had 19), Lackey led the league in ERA (really) and won as many games as CC, Verlander had the best W% and won 18 games.

Down the stretch, as Cleveland pulled away starting in mid-August, Sabathia went 5-1, threw at least seven innings in all but one of his starts, and put up a 2.40 ERA. I think his stretch run performance was a big part of his Cy.
   52. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2011 at 11:30 PM (#3894853)
EDIT: double post
   53. Joel W Posted: August 10, 2011 at 03:57 AM (#3896878)
Sox need to go 28-19 the rest of the way to win 100, i.e. .596 baseball.
   54. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 10, 2011 at 04:33 AM (#3896893)
Since the 2-10 start, the Red Sox have gone 70-33. That is ridiculous.

Also, when the starter is Beckett, Lester, or Buchholz, the Red Sox are 37-20.
When Lackey/Wakefield/Matsuzaka/Weiland/Bedard/Aceves atart, they are 35-23.

I think they are likely to win 100 games now. They have 15 games left in a stretch where they're on the road for all but three games of it - but it's a weak set of road opponents (MIN, SEA, and KC - but also TEX for four games). If they can go 7-5 on the 12 road games, and win of 3 against Tampa at home, that'd put them at 9-6 for this stetch, and 81-49. To win 100 at that point, they'll have to go 19-13. This all seems pretty reasonable...
   55. villageidiom Posted: August 10, 2011 at 10:40 AM (#3896932)
Reposting from the Winning Without Pitching thread:

1 vs. KC (1-0) (0-1)
3 at CHW (2-1)
4 vs. CLE (3-1) (2-2)
3 vs. NYY (2-1)
3 at MIN (2-1)
3 at SEA (2-1)
3 vs. TB (2-1)
4 at KC (3-1)
4 at TEX (2-2)
3 vs OAK (2-1)
3 vs. NYY (2-1)
3 vs. TEX (2-1)
4 at TOR (3-1)
3 at TB (2-1)
2 vs. TOR (2-0)
4 vs. TB (3-1)
4 vs. BAL (4-0)
3 at NYY (1-2)
3 at BAL (2-1)

Subtotal: 40-20
Total: 104-58
   56. Joel W Posted: September 08, 2011 at 05:36 PM (#3919591)
Ellsbury is now ahead of Bautista in fWAR.
   57. Darren Posted: September 08, 2011 at 05:57 PM (#3919609)
Where does he rank compared to Carl Crawford since May 27? ;)
   58. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 08, 2011 at 06:20 PM (#3919623)
Where does he rank compared to Carl Crawford since May 27?


He's third, Ramon Ramirez is 2nd :-)

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