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Monday, July 17, 2017

That’ll Do I Guess

It wasn’t exactly a dominating performance but the Sox picked up a split with the third place Yankees and lead the AL East by 3 games with 70 to play.  A few thoughts on an entertaining weekend of baseball;

- One thing that struck me this weekend is how well played these games were.  This was four solid baseball games, good pitching, some great defense (more on that in a moment), clutch hitting and pitching at various moments and all close games.  When these teams ruled the AL roost in the mid-naughties the games were often tense but rarely well played.  I never felt like those games were great advertisements for the sport of baseball.  These games were.

- Defense.  Oh. My. God.  I am one of the bigger curmudgeons you’ll ever meet regarding home run saving catches.  I think they are vastly overrated, you settle under it then jump no big whoop.  But that catch in that part of the ballpark was remarkable.  Unlike most of those grabs he had to navigate the tricky angles in that spot at Fenway then time his leap absolutely perfectly and one thing he does if you watch the replay is consciously make sure his elbow doesn’t clip the wall as he jumps.  Jackie Bradley Jr. ladies and gentlemen.  And how about Matt Barnes’ reaction?  That was awesome.

That catch will be remembered and rightly so Deven Marrero made a play on Sunday afternoon that deserves recognition.  It was very similar to a play we’ve seen from Manny Machado, grabbing a chopper in foul ground, continuing a couple of steps and throwing across the diamond to get the out.  What made Marrero’s play so incredible is that he did it to retire the very fast Clint Frazier.  The arm strength to get everything on that throw really can’t be overstated.

- Aaron Judge=Reggie Jackson.  The Yankee-Red Sox rivalry generates differing opinions but the response of the crowd Friday and Sunday afternoon (the two games I went to) to Judge reminded me SO much of Reggie.  EVERYONE wanted to see him, there was a buzz in the crowd and they wanted to see him do something.  Whether he homered or struck out the crowd was interested and there wasn’t the dislike there was for A-Rod or the annoyance there was with Jeter.

- This weekend in a lot of ways is why I’m so confident in this team.  The Sox went 3 for 38 with RISP and still split the series and could have easily won 3 of 4.  While the poor clutch hitting was annoying to me it was the nearly 10 at bats w/RISP per game that was important.  On top of that when a team can rely on its starting pitching to deliver good start after good start on a regular basis they are going to avoid losing skids.  The Sox have six more Quality Starts this season than any team in the American League.  When 3 out of 5 starts are QS you are going to win a lot. 

- David Price has gotten a lot of grief during his Boston tenure, some deserved a lot not, but he is dealing right now.  This is not unlike 2016 for him where he carried the team during the summer months and his last 7 starts he has a 2.66 ERA including shutout baseball in two of his last three outings.

- A good start helps a player avoid grief.  Mitch Moreland had a hot start but has been slumping for awhile now and shouldn’t really be in the middle of the lineup.  Just a note, Todd Frazier has played 94 games at first base in his career including four this year so a Frazier-Pedroia-Bogaerts-Devers infield could be an option.  Frankly, I’d like to start seeing a bit more of Sam Travis and see what he can do.  But if the Sox deal for Frazier and Devers forces his way up it is possible that Frazier won’t just be wasted on the bench.

- Full credit to those Yankee fans in the Judge wigs in the bleachers on Saturday and Sunday.  That had to be uncomfortable.

- Clint Frazier REALLY impresses me.  I’m tempted to make the hot take that he will be better than Judge in the long run.

- And I don’t know who you were, but if you are the guy with the Heiker Meneses spring training jersey that I saw Friday night, good on ya’.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: July 17, 2017 at 08:20 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: July 17, 2017 at 11:34 AM (#5494569)
Clint Frazier has a very weird swing. Watch his back foot. On many of his swings it's not planted and is in the process of moving to another spot in the batters box as he makes contact.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 17, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5494667)
Deven Marrero made a play on Sunday afternoon that deserves recognition. It was very similar to a play we’ve seen from Manny Machado . . .

So, a good play, not a great one?
   3. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: July 17, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5494677)
2 - Exactly. Anyone could've made it.
   4. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: July 18, 2017 at 07:43 AM (#5495081)
This thing where Xander Bogaerts stops hitting in mid-June every year is starting to get a little old.
   5. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 19, 2017 at 01:20 PM (#5496172)
This thing where Xander Bogaerts stops hitting in mid-June every year is starting to get a little old.

He really does need to stop getting hit on the wrist. try some wrist guards or something.
   6. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: July 19, 2017 at 01:34 PM (#5496199)
It's funny, I remember when he got hit I had the immediate fear that it would affect him but then completely forgot about it until they mentioned it yesterday.

Unrelated but I've seen a bunch of articles about how Dombrowski "has to respond" to the Yankees' move yesterday. I mean don't get me wrong, I'd still like to see a third base move and a relief upgrade but at the same time the Sox don't have to respond, the Sox need to put the best team on the field they can. Doing something because the Yankees did something is just stupid.

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