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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 27, 2010 at 06:12 PM (#3515501)
One further thing I forgot to add. The offense did come around this last week, as the Red Sox hit 289/364/449, led by Kevin Youkilis hitting .419 with a homer and three doubles. Ortiz got a few hits, and Francona platooned aggressively and found good production from McDonald, Hermida, and Lowell.

The run prevention side was just as bad as it's been all year, as the Red Sox allowed opponents to hit 293/366/463 with eight hundred thousand stolen bases. Boston was a bit lucky or a bit clutchy just to be able to keep pace with their opponents in run scoring.
   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 27, 2010 at 06:29 PM (#3515523)
I think 9-11 is about right for this team right now. They're hitting well but they aren't pitching (and who expected THAT when the season started) and they've played so many close games I think they could easily be 12-8 or 6-14 without much difficulty. If Hamilton plays the outfield with any skill the Rangers win the McDonald game and if John Buck can catch a relay throw last night's game easily could have gone the other way.

Conversely a Scutaro error and an Ankiel shattered bat and any competence from Ortiz or Beltre in the suspended game and the Sox have a few more wins.

I fully expect the starting pitching to come around and until it does just hanging around is fine with me.

The only place I'm worried is the bullpen. I was a bit concerned when the year started but it really looks bad now. Ramirez has been awful and Okajima is inspiring zero confidence. Of all the things that have happened over the first three weeks that's the one that I'm concerned may not turn around. I know it's bad because when the Royals released Juan Cruz I thought "hey, he might help" then realized I was interested in a pitcher the Royals deemed unacceptable.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 27, 2010 at 07:00 PM (#3515557)
I'm more than happy to go to war with Papelbon/Bard/Okajima/Delcarmen. Two bad games from Okie, that's all it's been. He was brilliant just last Wednesday in the 12-inning game.

The bullpen's been one of the few strengths of the Red Sox to this point in the season.
   4. tfbg9 Posted: April 27, 2010 at 07:42 PM (#3515590)
If MDC is throwing 95-96 he's useful. If not, he's going to hurt us again.
   5. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 27, 2010 at 10:36 PM (#3515843)
The win at Toronto Monday night was another weird one. Beckett and Okajima were horrible, and they still won. I'm with those that say that treading water until the starting pitching comes around is acceptable to me...assuming the starting pitching comes around pretty soon.

We'll see in a few months, but it is possible we'll realize we were fortunate to be playing a lot of really lousy teams while we weren't playing very well, either (Texas, Toronto, a lot of Baltimore, Kansas City). But a look at May's schedule shows:

4 against LAA
5 against the Yankees
3 at Detroit
2 vs. Minnesota
3 at Phily
3 at TB

That's 20 pretty tough games in one month...if we don't get the pitching figured out by the time we finish the current road trip, I don't think we'll be seeing lots of wins like the last week...
   6. fret Posted: April 28, 2010 at 01:05 AM (#3516006)
About those stolen bases...

Leaving aside Tim Wakefield, just how bad is Victor Martinez at throwing out baserunners?

---Yr/tm       Inn  SBA/9    CS%
2006/CLE    1110.0    1.0    18%
2007/CLE    1042.7    0.9    32%
2008/CLE     447.3    0.7    37%
2009/CLE     430.0    1.0    15%
2009/BOS     239.0    0.3    11%
2010/BOS      96.0    1.7    11


All I can say is, we better hope he improves. If not we're in for a long season.
   7. Darren Posted: April 28, 2010 at 02:16 AM (#3516151)
Oh yeah, another 1-run win! Loving Clay this year--he's off to a very nice start. It's sort of hilarious that there was some talk that he might be the one to go to the pen. Speaking of Dice-K, why is he taking 6 weeks off between his last start in AAA and his first in the bigs?
   8. villageidiom Posted: April 28, 2010 at 02:26 AM (#3516172)
I'm more than happy to go to war with Papelbon/Bard/Okajima/Delcarmen. Two bad games from Okie, that's all it's been. He was brilliant just last Wednesday in the 12-inning game.

The bullpen's been one of the few strengths of the Red Sox to this point in the season.
Agreed, though with the starters falling apart it puts a strain on those guys. The escapades of the weekend and Monday led them to use Ramon Ramirez in a legitimate save situation tonight; they were trying to stay away from your top three. This kind of thing has to be the exception.

Thankfully Buchholz did what we expect from... well, all the starters.
   9. Darren Posted: April 28, 2010 at 02:33 AM (#3516189)
Ramon actually looked okay and had a clean inning.
   10. tfbg9 Posted: April 28, 2010 at 01:17 PM (#3516330)
He didn't seem to be throwing all that hard...
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: April 28, 2010 at 04:01 PM (#3516439)
Old friend Alan Embree called up to the bigs today...
   12. tfbg9 Posted: April 28, 2010 at 04:31 PM (#3516467)
AE was on the hill for some very tense innings back in the mid-aughties, and did a good job. One of the 25... and I loved his monster chaw.
   13. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 28, 2010 at 04:33 PM (#3516471)
I'd love to see that work out but I can't imagine it will. Hopefully last night kick starts Ramon a little bit. If Francona could count on him that would be a big boost.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 28, 2010 at 05:02 PM (#3516509)
I mean, the Sox obviously just need warm bodies in the pen right now, but it's not particularly clear to me what Alan Embree's purpose is. They already have Okajima for high-lev lefty innings and Schoeneweis for low-lev lefty innings. Embree is probably a pure loogy at this point in his career, so he can't really cover that many innings. I guess anyone who can handle an inning of mop-up and who hasn't pitchd seven times in eight days is an asset to the bullpen right now.
   15. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 28, 2010 at 05:06 PM (#3516511)
They had to call him up this week or he would have opted out of his deal. I'm with you, I don't really see that as a big problem but they are looking for a lefty out there to supplement Okajima who isn't really a LOOGY (or at least not used that way). Schoenweis hasn't dealt with lefties particularly well so far so giving Embree a shot makes a bit of sense. The Sox have to make another move Saturday so I wouldn't be surprised to see Embree pitch one, if not both games at some point and then the Sox will release either he or Schoenweis to make room for Matsuzaka.
   16. Joel W Posted: April 28, 2010 at 05:19 PM (#3516535)
Thank god for the Clay. He's been a minor revelation so far. His fastball average speed, btw, is #5 in the majors according to Fangraphs.

If Lester, Beckett, and Lackey ever get their #### together, I might actually enjoy watching this team.
   17. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: April 28, 2010 at 05:31 PM (#3516550)
Lester, Beckett, and Lackey


I think this law firm handled some of my real estate business a few years back . .
   18. John DiFool2 Posted: April 29, 2010 at 03:10 AM (#3517133)
If Lester, Beckett, and Lackey ever get their #### together, I might actually enjoy watching this team.


Lester's gem tonite is a start on that goal then.
   19. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 29, 2010 at 04:03 AM (#3517163)
Plus they managed to win by two runs. The last time the Red Sox won a ballgame by more than a run was exactly two weeks ago, in Minnesota.

I actually think Darnell McDonald looks like a legit big leaguer. I don't know if his defense in center is good enough that he can be an asset to a playoff club as a starter, but he puts together consistently good at-bats, he has major league power, he can run, he can throw, that's a ballplayer. At the very least, he'll be a perfect 4th outfielder. I hope he stays around.
   20. Joel W Posted: April 29, 2010 at 04:49 AM (#3517178)
Yeah the first named partner in the firm threw a dandy tonight. Looked completely sharp. Now has a non-terrible ERA with the FIP to match (actually lower). My man crush of last season (Bard) continues to impress.

How did Papelbon look out there tonight (I missed the last few innings)? He's had 3 straight outings without a walk, so that's encouraging. It's rather remarkable with him that I/we have been complaining about him for how long now, and yet if he has a 2.46 ERA this year it will be his highest as a closer in his career.
   21. Hugh Jorgan Posted: April 29, 2010 at 06:03 AM (#3517193)
Well they solved the SB problem. Good starting pitching, very few walks and even less base hits will do that, you know.
   22. tfbg9 Posted: April 29, 2010 at 06:25 PM (#3517639)
I actually think Darnell McDonald looks like a legit big leaguer.


The various projection systems peg the guy at ~.730, except for ZIPS, which slags him a bit at a .700ish level. He can certainly run, and seems to have a decent arm. Being a righty helps his cause a little, you'd have to think, no?
   23. JB H Posted: April 29, 2010 at 08:55 PM (#3517911)
I like McDonald too, but he's not staying on the roster as long as we have two guys that can't field platooning at DH
   24. Joel W Posted: April 29, 2010 at 09:01 PM (#3517921)
Well, it's possible we might not have those two guys some time soon.
   25. JB H Posted: April 29, 2010 at 09:06 PM (#3517926)
Fun fact: ZiPS still thinks David Ortiz is the 2nd best hitter on the team. Best vs RHP.
   26. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 29, 2010 at 09:19 PM (#3517952)
How did Papelbon look out there tonight


I've been encouraged by Papelbon lately. His fastball hasn't looked as straight as it did last year and he seems to be hitting his spots with regularity.
   27. Darren Posted: April 30, 2010 at 02:00 AM (#3518133)
Pap has looked awesome the past few games. He's getting people to chase his fastball AND his splitter AND his slider out of the zone. Getting lots more swings and misses lately. The SOSH guys are saying he's back to more of a sidearm delivery. His fastball certainly seems to have a bit more movement and he seems to have more control of everything.
   28. Dan Posted: April 30, 2010 at 08:21 PM (#3518893)
I think that Papelbon can pitch well with that arm slot if he makes the proper adjustments. The biggest problem he was having last year is that the lower arm slot means his fastball runs more (in the direction in to righties) instead of being straighter and "rising". The fastball had a lot of movement, but he was still aiming it like it was his old fastball that had little horizontal movement and a lot of rise. So he was aiming it to the edges of the plate. But with the run the fastball was getting, that means the balls to the inside vs RHH (and outside to LHH) were running out of the zone and being taken for balls. And the fastballs he was throwing to the other side of the plate and aiming at the outside corner (inside to LHH) were running right back over the heart of the plate and being hammered.

He can succeed with that running fastball as long as he aims it properly to account for its new movement. I haven't seen the last few appearances from him, so I can't say for sure, but I'd guess that maybe he's made this adjustment and is now letting the movement take the pitch to the corners.
   29. Pony-Upton Posted: April 30, 2010 at 08:23 PM (#3518900)
I just noticed that this is the first April that Lackey has pitched in, in 3 years. With sad peripherals this April let's hope he mentally makes the leap into May a day early. I'm sure he wants to follow Buch and Lestah's starts with a dominant outing of his own. With a 2010 BABIP a couple of points above his norm and a BB rate that's up too, he's likely going to see a correction that will help him and the Sox. (That is, unless he's hiding an injury, which if his peripherals continue to underwhelm may be the case?)

Looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in May!
   30. Dan Posted: May 01, 2010 at 03:02 AM (#3519333)
Ortiz needs to go. It's just painful to watch him now.
   31. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: May 02, 2010 at 11:06 PM (#3520408)
Anyone worried now? What a joke
   32. Hugh Jorgan Posted: May 03, 2010 at 12:22 AM (#3520443)
Anyone worried now? What a joke

well yeah. I'm sticking by my "we need to be .500 or better after 30 games to even have a slim chance of making the playoffs" mantra. At 15-15, that still allows us to play .600 ball the rest of the way and come up with 95 wins..which still might not be enough.

Losing two games in extra innings is brutal, considering both starters gave the team what was needed to actually win the games.
And I agree with Dan, in spite of the 2 jacks, Ortiz is a spent force(do I sound like a broken record?) and I don't see even a Drew like resurgence out of him.
   33. Textbook Editor Posted: May 03, 2010 at 02:05 AM (#3520558)
Phil, I'm deeply worried.

But I'm not sure there's a damn thing that can be done about it. The rotation is more or less locked down in spots 1-4 (and perhaps has turned a corner). We can debate Wakefield vs. Dice-K, but until Dice-K shits the bed 5 or 6 more starts in a row, the #5 slot is going to be his to lose.

This team does seem to find creative ways to blow games; it drives me mad. The worst is that I'm not sure we're going to get some kind of "bounce" when Ellsbury and Cameron return, (a) because who the hell knows when that will be and (b) who knows if either will be effective when they do; both have injuries that could easily turn 2010 into "lost years" for both of them.

Sure, dumping Ortiz frees up a roster spot, but to what end? So we can keep VanEvery or McDonald around instead? I'm not saying we shouldn't do it (dump Ortiz), but it's not like the alternative is Ortiz v.2005 walking through the door instead...

There's been a lot of luck (good and bad) these first 25 games. I feel like we've perhaps seen the worst that they can be but certainly not the best, and this gives me hope... but the longer they #### around, the harder it gets to get to 95 wins... and this looks like one of those years 95 wins might get you 3rd place.
   34. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 03, 2010 at 12:03 PM (#3520703)
I'm of two minds. On the one hand, they are last, freakin' last, in runs allowed. That is simply not going to continue. Assuming they start pitching to their ability they will get this thing turned around. The flip side is that the competition is very very good and by the time they do turn this around they'll be too far back to make a difference.
   35. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: May 04, 2010 at 12:51 PM (#3521841)
They were saying on the tube last night that Cameron is feeling good and is looking to go out on a rehab assignment later this week, putting him on schedule to come back sometime next week.

It's irrational, but after last night's game, I'm feeling pretty good all of a sudden.
   36. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 04, 2010 at 12:56 PM (#3521846)
Two touchdowns and a field goal will do that for you.

That was a nice win but boy that game could have been a lot different if Torii Hunter hadn't gone for his stroll to start the 4th inning. That was a 5-6 run inning waiting to happen and that would have been a kick in the nuts after the good start.
   37. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: May 04, 2010 at 01:01 PM (#3521852)
That was a very weird play. Watching it, looked like he lost the ball in the lights, but then he seemed to find it, but then he veered off to the right as the ball sailed left.

That said, the Sox could probably have won that game with six or seven runs if they had to. Schoenweis is nowhere near that game if it's close, I bet.
   38. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 04, 2010 at 01:34 PM (#3521889)
I was talking about the play where Hunter got himself picked off by breaking for 2nd before Buchholz moved after leading off the 4th with a walk. Which play are you referring to? I was at the game so no replay for me but I don't remember a ball that looked catchable for Hunter that wasn't.
   39. Joel W Posted: May 04, 2010 at 09:04 PM (#3522402)
Voxter is referring to the play where it looked in real time like Hunter was faking-out the hitters, but really, had just lost the ball.

It appears that the Red Sox can catch some teams stealing, as long as it's the pitchers who do the work.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: May 05, 2010 at 04:02 AM (#3522882)
Pedroia double-play in the 8th a turning point? a boundary
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: May 06, 2010 at 04:10 PM (#3524500)
So they play a few very good games, and Sox Therapy dries up like a periwinkle's #### at low tide?
   42. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 06, 2010 at 04:17 PM (#3524513)
95 wins..which still might not be enough.

You know what though? If the Red Sox win 95, and still somehow finish third, you have to just tip your hat to the Yankees and Rays and look ahead. I can't get upset at a 95 win season.
   43. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: May 07, 2010 at 06:57 PM (#3525710)
So they play a few very good games, and Sox Therapy dries up like a periwinkle's #### at low tide?


It's Sox Therapy. Who has anything to talk about when things are going well? We don't like it. We just need it.

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