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   1. Darren Posted: August 09, 2009 at 12:11 AM (#3286249)
3 odd things about today's game:

--In the 7th/8th, Girardi and Francona had very different takes on the closeness of the game. Francona, in a 2-0 game, replaced RamRam with Enrique Gonzalez, essentially giving up on winning the game. Yet, with the score extended to to 3-0, and after pretty long layoff, Girardi sent Sabathia back out to get 2 outs in the 8th, even after he had thrown more than 110 pitches.

--The ejection of RamRam, without any warning, was odd to say the least. When contrasted with the repeated throwing at Pedroia two nights before, it's even weirder. Hitting a guy in the elbow in a 2-run game doesn't seem like grounds for ejection. I wonder if Bob Watson will decide to suspend Ramirez for this.
   2. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: August 09, 2009 at 12:49 AM (#3286263)
In the immediate future I'd like to see Kotchman in the mix more against righties (and Lowell to a lesser extent), mainly at Ortiz's expense. Before the trade Kotchman was having a great month; I'd rather give him the chance to show that's a real improvement than keep letting Papi 'work himself out' of this. The big guy hasn't looked very good since June, but for a while at least the power was kinda there; lately he's completely bottomed out and the lineup just can't afford that from its DH. A lot is also on Bay coming back and producing, but what can you do?

Didn't see the last half of the game; location aside did it seem like Ramirez was throwing at him?

The potential for an august sweep at the hands of the Yankees that pushes the team from just-outta-first to a solid deficit, combined with the injuries to Dice-K, Wake and now apparently Bay, are enough to give me some horrible flashbacks to the summer of 2006.
   3. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: August 09, 2009 at 12:54 AM (#3286264)
So I'd like to see:

v. RHP:
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
VMart C
Youk 3B
Drew RF
Bay LF
Kotchman 1B
Lowell DH
SS


v. LHP:
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
VMart 1B
Youk 3B
Drew RF
Bay LF
Lowell DH
Tek C
SS


(or in both lineups, Reddick/whoever slotted 8th if no Bay)

Slot Ortiz in against weak righties unless it's clear Kotchman can't sustain .800+ OPS.
   4. Darren Posted: August 09, 2009 at 12:57 AM (#3286265)
Barrett--

It didn't seem to me that he was throwing at him. He had a runner on already and threw a pitch that ran way too far inside and hit him in the elbow. Of course, that's probably how I'd throw it if I was throwing at someone, but the context made it seem unlikely. And to re-second-guess that idea, Tito immediately put in our AAA scrub, so I guess they viewed the game as over, which would make it a good time to hit someone.


One thing about Papi--as long as he's not putting up a 1.000 OPS, he has GOT TO make teams pay for using the shift. They play him so far up the middle that any weak grounder to the left side would be a guaranteed hit. That cannot be tough to do.
   5. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 09, 2009 at 01:03 AM (#3286268)
I agree with McCrapper - I don't think we'll see Youkilis out there in left again this year. Give the man points for trying, but he's an infielder.

I'm still curious about Wakefield's status - they showed him in the dugout and the announcers were extremely silent. Noticeably so. I suspect that if they had something on him, they'd have used it.
   6. tfbg9 Posted: August 09, 2009 at 01:09 AM (#3286270)
I agree w/Barret's basic set-up. Papi has to sit for awhile, perhaps the DL. He's simply killing the team as is.
But we're likely screwed anyway. And just 15-18 since the Brutal Baltimore Bullpen Blowup.

When's football start?

/looks down, sees pants are now wet
   7. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: August 09, 2009 at 01:17 AM (#3286271)
One thing about Papi--as long as he's not putting up a 1.000 OPS, he has GOT TO make teams pay for using the shift. They play him so far up the middle that any weak grounder to the left side would be a guaranteed hit. That cannot be tough to do.


That's an interesting point. From what I've seen, he seems focused on reestablishing himself as Big Papi, hitting through the shift rather than exploiting it. It's a bit like watching an older pitcher trying to do what he used to without the tools, rather than adjusting his style to what he's got left. Of course it may well be tough mentally-- in Papi's mind nothing's changed, he's just in a slump. Between that and his decent power numbers (until August), I can see why he'd resist the cheap hit and keep trying to pull himself out of the slump. It's hard for a slugger to accept that almost certainly getting to first might be more helpful than maybe (but probably not) knocking one out, especially when he has had some power left. All the more reason to give Kotch some AB's, IMO.
   8. JC in DC Posted: August 09, 2009 at 01:23 AM (#3286273)
Stupid ejection, I agree.

Re Boston's lineup: there is no good lineup without Manny Ramirez. What a huge difference his absence makes. Obviously, there's no going back, and of course teams look bad when they're losing, but Ortiz is Dead Man Walking. Youkilis is the only guy who bugs me in the lineup, and when that's the case, NY will do what they did this weekend, give him almost nothing to hit.

Buchholz looked ok. Good stuff, not much idea how to use it. What's the problem, there?
   9. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: August 09, 2009 at 01:36 AM (#3286276)
there is no good lineup without Manny Ramirez. What a huge difference his absence makes.

Easy now. Losing Manny is huge, obviously, but was (at least initially) offset by Bay's production. Keeping Papi has been much more damaging than losing Manny, since they've had to keep putting him out there. It'll be a while before we see something approaching '03/'04's offense (if ever), but if you convert the DH (and lately LF) black holes into an .800+ OPS, it's a very good lineup.


Buchholz looked ok. Good stuff, not much idea how to use it. What's the problem, there?

Nothing, if he keeps pitching like that. It's stuff like his last start (vs. Bal) that worry people:
4.0IP, 9H, 7ER, 4BB, 3K, 2HR

Edit: some seem concerned that he's lost movement on his fastball, and movement/location on his curve. Plus makeup. But starts like today's should allay those concerns.
   10. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 09, 2009 at 02:00 AM (#3286288)
Snark answer: the best lineup is one with different players than what we have.
   11. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 09, 2009 at 02:31 AM (#3286314)
The Sox were a better scoring team in 2008 without Manny than they were with him and until a couple of weeks ago were doing fine this year. Early in the season the Sox took advantage of the Yankees who were without A-Rod, it shouldn't be surprsing that now that the Sox are without a key middle of the order performer (Bay) they are the ones having a problem scoring.

That's not to ignore some issues with the offense but put a healthy Jason Bay in the middle of the lineup and Friday and potentially Saturday look very different. How many times has Ortiz hit in the #5 slot with men on this weekend and failed? Bay isn't Manny, who is, but he's a damn sight better than the 2009 Papi.
   12. Tripon Posted: August 09, 2009 at 02:37 AM (#3286316)

The Sox were a better scoring team in 2008 without Manny than they were with him and until a couple of weeks ago were doing fine this year. Early in the season the Sox took advantage of the Yankees who were without A-Rod, it shouldn't be surprsing that now that the Sox are without a key middle of the order performer (Bay) they are the ones having a problem scoring.


Wasn't one of the main criticisms about Manny is that he was only main healthy veteran for a while, while guys like Ortiz, J.D. Drew, etc were out with injuries, forcing Manny to play every day? If that's a case, of course the Red Sox would have a better run scored average with a healthy Red Sox team with Bay over a non healthy Red Sox team with Manny.
   13. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 09, 2009 at 02:50 AM (#3286323)
I'm with Biff.
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 09, 2009 at 02:51 AM (#3286324)
I agree with the assessment on Lowell. Any word on whether he's likely to improve with rest? Or will it impact him next season, too? Even with the bad hip, he's a much better DH option than Ortiz at the moment, so he ought to DH against left-handeders at least. If the Red Sox want to maximize their chances of winning, they can also use him frequently to pinch hit for SS, Varitek and even Drew in spots.
   15. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 09, 2009 at 03:04 AM (#3286330)
If Andy Pettite holds them scoreless tomorrow then they should quit on the season.

How is this team meant to be a threat with the holy wheelchair trinity of Ortiz, Lowell and Varitek?

Painful to watch would be an understatement.
   16. Fat Al Posted: August 09, 2009 at 03:34 AM (#3286345)
Sorry to do this in the wrong place, but I wanted to ask before I forget. Did anyone see Martinez tug very deliberately on his left jersey sleeve before Ramirez hit Rodriguez? Nobody mentioned it on tv, and I haven't seen it mentioned in any of the articles. I can't imagine why they would want to throw at Rodriguez there, but it really jumped out at me and I just want to make sure I'm not crazy (or confirm that I am).
   17. Obama Bomaye Posted: August 09, 2009 at 04:01 AM (#3286351)
Mike Lowell is a serious burner.
   18. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 09, 2009 at 04:54 AM (#3286368)
some seem concerned that he's lost movement on his fastball, and movement/location on his curve. Plus makeup. But starts like today's should allay those concerns.

I was unable to watch the game so it's entirely possible I missed a lot by not watching it, but why would today's start alleviate concerns about Buchholz? Because he only gave up 2 runs? He walked 5 and struck out 3. That's a bad K rate and a terrible walk rate. I understand that he held a good Yankee lineup to only 2 runs today, but I don't think I would view his outing today as a positive just by looking at the line. Do the numbers miss something?
   19. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 09, 2009 at 05:01 AM (#3286370)
Wasn't one of the main criticisms about Manny is that he was only main healthy veteran for a while, while guys like Ortiz, J.D. Drew, etc were out with injuries, forcing Manny to play every day?


There really wasn't any criticism of Manny's production. There never was, regardless what else might have been going on with him. The point is, the Sox offense can exist fine without him, but not at the 2009 production levels of Drew and Ortiz coupled with Bay's absence and Lowell's incapacitation.
   20. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: August 09, 2009 at 05:16 AM (#3286380)
How would the Sox have fared if they'd kept Manny and had to endure his 50-game vacation this season?
   21. Obama Bomaye Posted: August 09, 2009 at 05:23 AM (#3286383)
Cowboy, I only watched from about the 3rd-4th inning, but I saw a lot of bad swings by the Yankees. And I hate that gremlin pitcher.
   22. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 09, 2009 at 05:30 AM (#3286385)
Jason Bay's bat appears to have been suspended for the last 70 games or so. Bay's complete cratering for what is now approaching half a season is the biggest unreported story on the Red Sox this season. When will people start giving him a little grief, too? Does anybody still think he's a 5 year/$75 million guy?

And the thought that the Red Sox will have the lead-footed trifecta of Ortiz, Lowell, and Varitek through next year is scary. It'll take a double to score any of these guys from third base!
   23. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 09, 2009 at 06:36 AM (#3286401)
I wouldn't expect a guy to walk as few batters against the Yankees as I'd expect against most other teams. And he didn't totally collapse with men on base, which is a big step. The first time I can recall, at least in the past two years, that he got in trouble and actually got out of it.
   24. Dan Posted: August 09, 2009 at 07:03 AM (#3286405)
It was the first time he looked composed on the mound since a game last April in Tampa where Francona left him in to give up the game-losing 2 run homer to Iwamura in what had been a 1-0 game. This is the game.
   25. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 09, 2009 at 07:25 AM (#3286409)
Ah, yes, I remember that game.
   26. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: August 09, 2009 at 08:38 AM (#3286416)
I was unable to watch the game so it's entirely possible I missed a lot by not watching it, but why would today's start alleviate concerns about Buchholz? Because he only gave up 2 runs? He walked 5 and struck out 3. That's a bad K rate and a terrible walk rate. I understand that he held a good Yankee lineup to only 2 runs today, but I don't think I would view his outing today as a positive just by looking at the line. Do the numbers miss something?


Yes. Buchholz held it down for a complete outing, both in the result (runs) and his 'look'. Buchholz has had great numbers in the minors but in MLB has underperformed expectations, while appearing (yeah, yeah) scared/overmatched: taking an excessive amount of time between pitches, getting totally preoccupied by ROB, and some of the most expressionate facial reactions to balls in play since DLowe. It's Boston and people see that stuff, so the general consensus is "kid has stuff, does he have stones?". That his MLB experience is apparently the first 'struggle' in his baseball career lends some extra weight to the psychological angle. It's also possible the Sox's tinkering with his FB and CB may have something to do with things. Whether he's a headcase or not, a quality start in Yankee stadium can only be a good thing for a kids mindset.

Besides, the team just released a guy with a 33-9 K/BB ratio. Eff stats; the Sox need quality starts, not peripherals...

Edit: also, what Dan said.
   27. Darren Posted: August 09, 2009 at 12:49 PM (#3286440)
Buc had good movement, kept up his super-high groundball rate, and picked up his team after some horrible fielding behind him. The BB/K issue was still a concern, but against that lineup, you take what you can get.


Thanks for the great memory, Dan. What a terrible game that was. Francona ruined his whole career right there! :)
   28. Darren Posted: August 09, 2009 at 12:51 PM (#3286441)
Fat Al, I didn't notice that jersey tug. That would seem like an obvious signal though, no? The announcers were saying that the ump and Martinez were talking about something before the pitch. ??? The whole thing's a mystery.
   29. Darren Posted: August 09, 2009 at 12:59 PM (#3286444)
From the Globe regarding the ejection:

“I just think there are a lot of reasons there why we would want to try to keep the game close,’’ (Francona) said. “I just didn’t understand.’’

Nobody understood what Ramirez was doing, either. He claimed he was merely coming inside to try to get a double play, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, “We expected something to happen and it did.’’


So Francona thought the game was still close and he went to Gonzalez? And Girardi's sure he was throwing at him?

The pitch to Tex was barely inside, plus it should have not factored in the decision to toss Ramirez. If the ump thought that was intentional, he should have issued a warning at that point.
   30. OCD SS Posted: August 09, 2009 at 01:50 PM (#3286460)
Buchholz really does seem to be victimized by his defense. IIRC a lot of his meltdowns last year came when he did his job and the defense couldn't convert; he started thinking he had to do everything yourself, and before you know it he's grooving pitches and mistaking 1B for the plate.

If the kid needs an actual defense behind him, I'm not sure how having Lowell at 3B and then playing Youks in LF was supposed to help anything. Trading Papi's bat for Reddick's doesn't seem to be much of a trade off to me, especially with the defensive improvement the switch brings.
   31. Fat Al Posted: August 09, 2009 at 02:12 PM (#3286466)
Fat Al, I didn't notice that jersey tug. That would seem like an obvious signal though, no? The announcers were saying that the ump and Martinez were talking about something before the pitch. ??? The whole thing's a mystery.


It was definitely a signal, I'm only guessing that it was to hit him, but it was pretty obvious when I rewound and played it again. I understand the young pitcher taking it upon himself to do something dumb at the wrong time, but I find it hard to believe that Martinez thought that was the thing to do in that situation. Very odd.
   32. tfbg9 Posted: August 09, 2009 at 03:16 PM (#3286487)
Well, maybe he was signalling the pitcher to keep his shoulder from flying open on his delivery?
   33. Darren Posted: August 10, 2009 at 01:25 AM (#3286904)
Whoops.
   34. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 10, 2009 at 03:20 AM (#3287148)
After all the #### they have served this weekend - they go and lose like that??

#### me
   35. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: August 10, 2009 at 03:24 AM (#3287153)
Was listening, not watching; does an MLB shortstop get to that bloop by Swisher?
   36. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 10, 2009 at 03:27 AM (#3287155)
yes
   37. Darren Posted: August 10, 2009 at 03:32 AM (#3287159)
#35--who cares?
   38. Dan Posted: August 10, 2009 at 03:33 AM (#3287161)
Was listening, not watching; does an MLB shortstop get to that bloop by Swisher?

Not sure, but I know an MLB shortstop doesn't catch the balls hit by Teixeira and Damon.
   39. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 10, 2009 at 03:40 AM (#3287167)
deleted - cause I'm over it - why complain?
   40. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: August 10, 2009 at 03:43 AM (#3287170)
#35--who cares?

The Sox effing should. Yeah I'm pissed Tito went with Bard but the bullpen remains a strength. The fact that a AAAA tweaker has been our starting SS for most of the year is fricking ridiculous.

edit: LOUD NOISES.
   41. Dan Posted: August 10, 2009 at 03:52 AM (#3287180)
Green has been fine with the glove, although his throws are sometimes erratic. It's at the plate where he's lacking.
   42. Darren Posted: August 10, 2009 at 03:54 AM (#3287182)
I only meant that it was irrelevant to the outcome and we already knew our SS was pretty lousy.
   43. JB H Posted: August 10, 2009 at 05:14 AM (#3287237)
I missed tonight's game and watched it on Tivo. Normally when I do this I fastforward the Sox pitching half innings - nothing good can happen so it's kind of like peeling off a band-aid as fast as possible. Tonight I watched the entire game on fastforward.

So sick of this team
   44. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: August 10, 2009 at 01:36 PM (#3287354)
Is anyone up for a fire sale?

Sox are now 1-14 against .500 or better teams since July 1.

Schedule doesn't get any easier going forward. DET in for 4, @ TEX for 3, @ TOR, NYY, CWS, TOR again, @ TB, @ CWS. That's a very tough stretch of games. They don't get a cupcake until BAL in town September 8.

Tied for the WC for the moment. But it's tough to see them holding on to the position unless their play dramatically and immediately improves from what they've been doing over the past 6 or 7 weeks. Only positive taken out of this NYY series was that they got 3 excellent starts from Beckett, Buchholz, and Lester. Unfortunately the offense and Dan Bard ensured those good starts didn't result in wins.

Very difficult to watch.
   45. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 10, 2009 at 04:34 PM (#3287536)
Sox are now 1-14 against .500 or better teams since July 1.


come on. you don't think they'll have some sort of regression back to the mean? christ, they were 8-0 against the yanks this year. the series in isolation looks bad, but they have beat the #### out of the yanks until this series.

Unfortunately the offense and Dan Bard ensured those good starts didn't result in wins.


are you ready to send bard back to AAA? your comment is absurd.
   46. SoSH U at work Posted: August 10, 2009 at 05:04 PM (#3287567)
Now's the time we need Nasty Nate to rally the Aught-Seveners.
   47. JB H Posted: August 10, 2009 at 05:30 PM (#3287601)
Is anyone up for a fire sale?


A little perspective: The Red Sox have improved their playoff chances from where they were on opening day
   48. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 10, 2009 at 05:42 PM (#3287610)
Just as an informational point, slash stats since the break;

Ellsbury - .308/.354/.429
Pedroia - .289/.356/.444
Youkilis - .341/.426/.561
Ortiz - .208/.271/.377
Drew - .242/.333/.333
Varitek - .153/.254/.220
Bay - .204/.377/.296
Lowell - .352/.422/.500
Lowrie - .184/.233/.316
Martinez - .324/.390/.541 (Sox only)
Green - .118/.184/.206
Baldelli - .192/.192/.346
Kotchman - .111/.200/.444 (Sox only)

I see one player on that list likely to regress from what he's been doing (Lowell) while there are two almost certain to improve (Drew/Bay) and two more (Varitek and Green) likely to improve just based on the fact that it's almost impossible to be THAT bad.

This isn't going to be 950 run monster offense from 2003/2004 obviously but I'll be stunned if this team doesn't start producing more fairly soon.
   49. Answer Guy Posted: August 10, 2009 at 05:44 PM (#3287612)
come on. you don't think they'll have some sort of regression back to the mean?


What if this *is* the regression to the mean?

I wouldn't say "fire sale," but I think I'm against any more mortgaging of the future right now. I wish we still had Justin Masterson.
   50. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: August 10, 2009 at 05:58 PM (#3287628)
Is anyone up for a fire sale?

I'm waiting until after the Texas series to consider opening the little plastic cover on the panic button. But besides still leading the WC, there's the issue of what's to sell? Bard has made a strong recent case that Paplebon isn't expendable just yet. Penny (and Saito?) might still bring something back, I guess. Otherwise it's a bunch of good younger/cheaper guys we'll need next year, and decrepit corpses that nobody else wants anyway.


I only meant that it was irrelevant to the outcome and we already knew our SS was pretty lousy.

Fair enough. A see-saw battle, giving up two in the 8th, seems par for the course in a Sox-Yankees game; whereas giving up four, well @*(@##. Win probability %'s aside, the extra runs felt way more crushing since there's no way the team as it's playing now comes back from that.
   51. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 10, 2009 at 06:13 PM (#3287636)
I wish we still had Justin Masterson.


wow. ok.... this place gets weirder by the week.

and also, doesn't fire sale mean selling veterans, and not, you know, the farm or rookies?
   52. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 10, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3287641)
I wish we still had Justin Masterson.

And the scoreless streak would still be intact!
   53. Answer Guy Posted: August 10, 2009 at 06:29 PM (#3287652)
and also, doesn't fire sale mean selling veterans, and not, you know, the farm or rookies?


Yeah. A team that's selling is trying to get payroll flexibility, give younger prospects a chance to play, or both. A fire sale implies that a team is going to unload it's best and/or most costly players at deep discounts. I'm certainly not in favor of that, and it's not clear to me what most such players would even fetch at this point.
   54. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 10, 2009 at 06:40 PM (#3287664)
Yeah. A team that's selling is trying to get payroll flexibility, give younger prospects a chance to play, or both. A fire sale implies that a team is going to unload it's best and/or most costly players at deep discounts. I'm certainly not in favor of that, and it's not clear to me what most such players would even fetch at this point.


i was being sarcastic. i know what a fire sale is. but you put "fire sale" next to "mortgaging the future." i don't see how shedding veterans/contracts is mortgaging the future.
   55. Answer Guy Posted: August 10, 2009 at 07:01 PM (#3287683)
I'm probably don't need to explain this, but the "fire sale" is in success cycle terms the polar opposite of "win now at all costs." I am saying that I don't want to see any more "win now at all costs" type deals because I don't see any one stretch drive acqusition that's likely to happen from here on out being worth what it would cost.

There will probably be a time of reckoning this offseason where some things will need to be sorted out. I don't see any major contracts coming off the books either apart from the option on Varitek.

EDIT: Jason Bay is up. I am guessing someone else will overpay for him.
   56. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: August 10, 2009 at 07:20 PM (#3287695)
are you ready to send bard back to AAA? your comment is absurd.

Of course not. But Bard blew two leads this week against key division rivals at a time when the Sox could've badly used the wins. It doesn't make him a bad pitcher, but it does make his struggles extremely ill-timed. This past week absolutely sucked.

As far as fire sale, it was in reference to dealing vets unlikely to be with the team next year if the Sox should continue falling in the playoff race. Such a scenario is not here just yet, but the Sox have a very difficult upcoming schedule and if they don't start winning some games they may start thinking about trading away some vets (Penny and Saito would be the likeliest candidates to go). If the Sox fall out of the race they would need to keep their young players and perhaps try to acquire more.
   57. Answer Guy Posted: August 10, 2009 at 08:47 PM (#3287790)
if they don't start winning some games they may start thinking about trading away some vets (Penny and Saito would be the likeliest candidates to go).


Problem is that I see little trade value there from the perspective of other teams. Plus this team already has a bit of a hole in the rotation even with Penny, if you're going to see (without much downside) if you can somehow hold onto a wildcard spot. (I'm not optimistic right now, but things could break their way.) There will be opportunities to start Bowden or whomever down the stretch should things turn ugly in the next couple of weeks.
   58. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 11, 2009 at 01:55 AM (#3288286)
Seriously, did anyone expect Delcarmen to do anything BUT blow the ####### lead?
   59. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 11, 2009 at 01:56 AM (#3288289)
Delcarmen's been lousy all year. Why put him into a medium- or high-leverage situation?
   60. Darren Posted: August 11, 2009 at 03:21 AM (#3288444)
Delcarmen's been a pretty darn good pitcher over the past few years, not so much this year. Who are you going with there--Ramirez? I was more suprised to not see Oki against Granderson--who is not good against lefties. Was Oki not available?
   61. Darren Posted: August 11, 2009 at 03:44 AM (#3288460)
Can someone explain to me the pick of Tazawa over Bowden? I'm very surprised by this.
   62. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: August 11, 2009 at 04:12 AM (#3288482)
^ I thought it was something like; they needed someone right after that 15 inning game, and Bowden had just pitched so wouldn't be rested enough for the remainder of the ny series.
   63. Darren Posted: August 11, 2009 at 04:15 AM (#3288487)
I thought that's why he was up to pitch in relief. I thought he'd be sent down and Bowden brought up to start.
   64. JB H Posted: August 11, 2009 at 04:25 AM (#3288505)
I don't think there's a lot of difference between Tazawa and Bowden, even if I think Bowden is probably better.

It is kind of weird how every Red Sox fan has no confidence in Delcarmen. He keeps on putting up good ERAs and Fangraphs doesn't think he's THAT unclutch. When he's on the mound I sure feel like everyone else does though.
   65. Textbook Editor Posted: August 11, 2009 at 04:40 AM (#3288522)
Darren, I think their thinking on Tazawa went something like this: Tazawa is already up, so no roster move is required for him to pitch Tuesday. If you bring Bowden up for the start, some kind of move has to be made and they didn't want to send down Tazawa or Cabrera or DL/outright anyone to get Bowden up. Plus, if you send down either Tazawa or Cabrera (the two likely candidates since Reddick is your sole non-starting OF at the moment), they can't be recalled for 15 days (I think that's the right #) unless someone goes on the DL and they're called up to take the DL'd person's spot.

I do think they have every intention of bringing up Bowden at some point (and perhaps before 9/1), but for the moment they didn't want to lose the services of either Cabrera or Tazawa for the next 15 days by sending one of them down now.

Of course, this could also mean they're not counting on Wakefield to join the rotation anytime soon (Matsusaka already was pretty much a given to stay on the DL until 9/1), despite him throwing soon, etc. It could also mean they simply wanted Cabrera to remain up to see what he had, and to get a look at a Tazawa start or 2 to see if he had a Bob Walk v.September 1980 in him, and would thus ride the hot hand into September and beyond.

What we really need is far less Varitek and Ortiz in the lineup. Green/Lowrie is a complete loss of a lineup spot from here on in, I'm assuming, but the other 2 giant sucking holes in the lineup we do have options for. Granted, this all assumes Casey Kotchman > Ortiz > Varitek, but at this point I'm willing to assume this and roll with it. I'd really like to see more Mike Lowell at DH, but I'm guessing this won't happen unless we happen to run into a stretch of LHP.
   66. Marcel Posted: August 11, 2009 at 05:11 AM (#3288543)
Delcarmen's been lousy all year. Why put him into a medium- or high-leverage situation?

All relievers suffer from small sample-size problems. Unless you can explain to me why his strikeout rate is so far down when his plate discipline numbers are right in line with his career rates, I'll continue to chalk it up some back luck and a lot of real bad pitch selection by Tek.
   67. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 11, 2009 at 05:39 AM (#3288561)
and a lot of real bad pitch selection by Tek.


The default position of all the game-calling mavens online. I find it fascinating how knowledgable we are about pitch selection.
   68. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: August 11, 2009 at 05:45 AM (#3288564)
is dice-k actully injured?
I thoguh he was just not worth his rotation spot, but if that was the case wouldn't they rather try him again than go with a rookie?
   69. Dan Posted: August 14, 2009 at 01:10 AM (#3292109)
I'm pretty sure that the best lineup is Lowell at DH vs LHP and RHP, with a Kotsay/Varitek platoon and Vmart shuffling from 1B to C, with Ortiz on the bench. Outside of his dead cat bounce June, he's been beyond terrible.
   70. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 14, 2009 at 05:16 PM (#3292446)
Did the Red Sox just get Alex Gonzalez?
   71. tfbg9 Posted: August 14, 2009 at 05:31 PM (#3292470)
Yes.
   72. RobertMachemer Posted: August 14, 2009 at 05:53 PM (#3292493)
Is Kotsay still no the team? I thought he wasn't.
   73. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 14, 2009 at 05:53 PM (#3292494)
Works for me. Looks like Gonzalez is actually having a decent year with the bat.
   74. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 14, 2009 at 06:15 PM (#3292518)
Even if he isn't hitting at all his glove makes him a huge upgrade over Green who is neither hitting nor fielding well.
   75. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 14, 2009 at 06:23 PM (#3292536)
Looks like Gonzalez is actually having a decent year with the bat.

.554 is his OPS, not his SLG...
   76. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: August 14, 2009 at 06:43 PM (#3292571)
Is Kotsay still no the team? I thought he wasn't.

Kotsay went for Brian Anderson. I think Dan meant Kotchman.

Edit: or Kotteras? We gotta lotta Kots.
   77. Darren Posted: August 15, 2009 at 01:03 PM (#3293269)
Hey, what's our next exciting lineup adventure? I'm guessing Bay gets a night off with Agonz replacing him and batting leadoff.
   78. tfbg9 Posted: August 15, 2009 at 03:20 PM (#3293324)
Hey--its a marathon, not a sprint, dummy.
   79. Darren Posted: August 15, 2009 at 10:32 PM (#3293615)
Even in a marathon, you're still supposed to run forward and not take miles off.
   80. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 15, 2009 at 10:44 PM (#3293624)
You got one wish: Ortiz 7th. That's a good move. I like him there. That puts pressure on the opposing pitcher. Of course, not if he's going 4 for 39, but he looked good there last night. He got some good pitches to hit, and he didn't miss.
   81. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 17, 2009 at 08:11 PM (#3295330)
.554 is his OPS, not his SLG...


Man, what the hell was I looking at? That sucks.
   82. RobertMachemer Posted: August 27, 2009 at 05:44 PM (#3306825)
Ortiz since May 31st:
.256 AVG, .341 OBP, .563 SLG

Ortiz since the ASB:
.239 AVG, .322 OBP, .522 SLG

And, apparently, last night Ortiz moved into a tie for 7th-most all-time career walk-off home runs.

Jimmie Foxx 12
Mickey Mantle 12
Stan Musial 12
Frank Robinson 12
Babe Ruth 12
Tony Perez 11
Dick Allen 10
Harold Baines 10
Reggie Jackson 10
Mike Schmidt 10
David Ortiz 10
   83. RobertMachemer Posted: August 27, 2009 at 05:58 PM (#3306851)
Not that these splits necessarily mean anything, but since the all-star break (with the Red Sox):

player     AVG     OBP     SLG
Lowell    .356    .412    .604
Youkilis  .331    .417    .554
Martinez  .326    .400    .543
Bay       .250    .382    .509
Pedroia   .294    .364    .490
Ortiz     .239    .322    .522
Drew      .274    .374    .462
Gonzalez  .275    .275    .475
Ellsbury  .291    .327    .418
Varitek   .181    .284    .289 
   84. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 27, 2009 at 06:05 PM (#3306859)
I know nothing helps the outlook like winning a few games, but I'm back in "this is a really good team that's almost certainly going to the playoffs" mode.

The bullpen is still excellent, Wakefield is back, and that's a very good offense. Honestly, I'll be shocked if Texas makes the playoffs ahead of the Red Sox. I'm actually still more worried about Tampa of anyone.

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