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   1. chris p Posted: July 11, 2007 at 12:56 AM (#2436320)
bad timing + ortiz and manny slumping ... they should be alright.
   2. John DiFool2 Posted: July 11, 2007 at 01:21 AM (#2436402)
I pointed the following out elsewhere. It seems like there's always someone (often several players) in the lineup who is/are slumping, and when a rally hits that spot it typically ends up dying on the vine right there. From Lugo and his season-long suckitude to the slumps of Manny, Drew, Peds (early), Coco, and others (not to mention Beerbelly when he is catching Wakes), when they aren't doing anything it is hard for this lineup to string together several hits/walks and have a big inning. Combine that with the power outages of our top two power guys, and the offense is underperforming. IOW in any given game/series the lineup often has a huge disparity in OBP from spot to spot, which is worse than if the OBP was more consistent across the lineup, and that leads to tons of guys left on. That's one factor behind the underperformance IMHO.

In a rational universe, eventually everyone will start hitting again at the same time, and we'll have more 9+ batters up, 4+ run innings like we did in April/May.
   3. Darren Posted: July 11, 2007 at 01:53 AM (#2436520)
People are talking about the Manny/Ortiz power outage as if Ortiz's lack of power has hurt the team. I don't think it has because his overall production is about the same. Manny's power outage has hurt, but even with that, the team still has a great OPS.

I think having the big sinkholes in the lineup is not necessarily a problem when the overall numbers are still good. But, as you allude to, it seems like the timing of these sinkholes coming to the plate has been bad. I don't think that's likely to be the case going forward because the sinkholes have largely recovered. (Since sitting for a couple days, Lugo has hit .300 .440 .500!)

kevin, try to contribute something worthwhile.
   4. TomH Posted: July 11, 2007 at 02:09 AM (#2436602)
check results over a series of years.

I believe the Red Sox have Historically underperfromed any runs estimator. Sometimes lack of team speed could be a factor, but I also think they get less base advancement on Fenway-special singles to short left and doubles off the monster.

It would be interesting to track home/road trends over the years, and see if visiting teams underperform as well. I'll try to take time tomorrow to run the ###s.

But yes, this year it's particularly bad. Still, it's much easier to get more largely hosed by close losses than under-"running". Like the Yankees so far :)
   5. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 11, 2007 at 03:04 AM (#2436822)
Julio Lugo and Doug Mirabelli should be the answers.
   6. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 11, 2007 at 03:06 AM (#2436831)
Sometimes lack of team speed could be a factor

Darren, this would be a good time to post that thing i sent you.
   7. walt williams bobblehead Posted: July 11, 2007 at 03:08 AM (#2436844)
I get constantly annoyed by their seeming inability to hit sacrifice flies in close games, but I don't know if they are actually relatively poor at it.
   8. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 11, 2007 at 03:12 AM (#2436855)
Send in the runs.
   9. RobertMachemer Posted: July 11, 2007 at 04:12 AM (#2437151)
I looked at this the other day. My impression is that a fairly decent part of the problem is simple double plays -- the Sox are among the worst teams in the league in GIDP (at least partly understandable because it leads the league in OBP). A team that draws a walk and then hits into a double play is going to have a better OPS but be no better off than a team for whom both batters make outs (right?); thus, the OPS will appear better, but the results will be the same. I'd guess that for a team whose power is doubles-heavy and that is hitting into a lot of doubles, OPS is not going to tell enough of the story.
   10. PJ Martinez Posted: July 11, 2007 at 05:27 AM (#2437206)
"A team that draws a walk and then hits into a double play is going to have a better OPS but be no better off than a team for whom both batters make outs (right?)"

I believe that's true. Also, as you suggest, a lot of doubles may make up, OPS-wise, for few HRs-- but they are not as efficent when it comes to scoring.

But a fair amount of this is timing, I think. Ortiz should be contributing a lot with his overall numbers, despite his recent struggles-- but he's been one of the least clutch hitter's in all of baseball, if I'm not mistaken. Karma's a #####, a guess. (By which I mean simply that perhaps no one can be as consistently clutch forever as Papi has been over the last few years.)

Anyway, the luck factor here actually bodes well for the second half. There may be structural lineup issues-- like the GIDPS-- as well, but I doubt they can explain this entirely.
   11. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 11, 2007 at 06:22 AM (#2437227)
Anyway, the luck factor here actually bodes well for the second half.

isn't it a gambler's fallacy to think that Ortiz will become more clutch in the second half with the same numbers because he's due?
   12. TomH Posted: July 11, 2007 at 01:23 PM (#2437299)
I compared AL teams from 1985 to 2004 actual runs scored versus runs created estimate, sotlen base version, no GIDP data (I don't have the BaseRuns formula handy). And I 'corrected' the asnwers back so the totals came out equal.

The Red Sox over that period averaged scoring 24 fewer runs than predicted, as compared to other AL clubs. That Is A Lot; almost 500 runs in 20 years.

I don't have the home-away data to check Fenway effects. But it seems like the Sox have had this issue before. And it can't be all the third base coach's fault :)
   13. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 11, 2007 at 04:29 PM (#2437453)
Oh Jesus Ortiz might be hurt he might need surgery oh god oh god oh god oh god PANIC PANIC PANIC
   14. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 11, 2007 at 04:56 PM (#2437486)
Dr. Chaleeko, try to contribute something worthwhile.

Tell it to Stephen Sondheim.
   15. Mister High Standards Posted: July 11, 2007 at 05:01 PM (#2437490)
I don't think it has because his overall production is about the same. Manny's power outage has hurt, but even with that, the team still has a great OPS.


That would be true if the rest of thelineup is typical, but in a lineup partially devoid of other powersources at least right now, the Sox need Ortiz thunder for run production. Not to mention while his OPS is roughly in line with his recent stretch it hasn't been levered well at all, as his WPA added is fairly low. While Papi hasn't been a detractor from performance, he hasn't added the value he has added in previous years.
   16. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 11, 2007 at 05:19 PM (#2437501)
I looked at this the other day. My impression is that a fairly decent part of the problem is simple double plays -- the Sox are among the worst teams in the league in GIDP (at least partly understandable because it leads the league in OBP). A team that draws a walk and then hits into a double play is going to have a better OPS but be no better off than a team for whom both batters make outs (right?); thus, the OPS will appear better, but the results will be the same. I'd guess that for a team whose power is doubles-heavy and that is hitting into a lot of doubles, OPS is not going to tell enough of the story.


Yeah but Darren used XR which, IIRC, accounts for DP.
   17. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 11, 2007 at 05:47 PM (#2437531)
I liked it, Dr Chaleeko. And I hate show tunes.

Kevin: the Frank Burns of BTF.
   18. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 11, 2007 at 05:48 PM (#2437534)
Red Sox R/G by month

Apr: 5.21 (24 g)
May: 5.54 (28 g)
Jun: 4.15 (27 g)
Jul: 5.38 (8 g)

Here's the regular Sox' batting lines for June:
Varitek: 234/322/403 (23 G, 87 PA)
Youkilis: 264/394/368 (26 G, 109 PA)
Pedroia: 333/410/473 (24 G, 107 PA)
Lowell: 227/271/386 (25 G, 96 PA)
Lugo: 089/170/139 (24 G, 90 PA)
Manny: 322/444/494 (26 G, 108 PA)
CoCo: 330/362/455 (25 G, 96 PA)
Drew: 325/404/558 (23 G, 89 PA)
Ortiz: 326/439/539 (26 G, 107 PA)

Cora: 216/286/378 (17 G, 43 PA)
Pena: 208/255/313 (19 G 51 PA)
Hinske: 333/429/778 (14 G, 21 PA)
Mirabelli: 148/207/148 (12 G, 29 PA)

No Sock had an alien-in-body good June. Everyone who did well except Hinske was within normal performance expectations. But a few guys were unreasonably bad. Lugo, Lowell, Pena, Mirabelli add up to 266 PAs of just terrible production. When you have two gaping holes in the lineup each day plus one every fifth day and another every three days, it's tough to sustain an offense. (I didn't count Cora in this group, his performance was poor, but not that poor).

Lugo alone was 6 runs below this year's average AL shortstop, and he's a better than average player. Lowell was 3 runs below an average AL 3B, and he's a better than average player. Pena lost 3.4 runs to an average RF (he's supposed to be around average, I suppose), and Mirabelli lost 2.3 runs to the average catcher (and I guess he's around average too). So these four guys cost the team 14.7 runs or so relative to their positions. Stick those runs lost to average into the team's June total, and you're at a more normal 4.7 R/G. Still .5 runs lower than their pace in other months, but better than a full run below.

In addition, the team played 9 games in NL parks, where pitchers batted.

In addition, the distribution of away parks was very pitcher friendly. They hit Safeco, Petco, and Oakland, with only a stop at Chase to perk them up. I didn't check the scores in these games, so I don't know whether or not they actually played as tough as they looked.

Anyway, so I think a lot could have to do with performance fluctuation in June, pitcher batting, and tough away parks. Otherwise, we're looking at the usual Red Sox lineup of run machines.
   19. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: July 11, 2007 at 11:50 PM (#2437795)
SI had a small article about the Angels, which emphasized the team's aggressive baserunning and propensity for hit and runs and sacrifices. How does the Angels expected runs compare with the league and the Red Sox?
   20. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 12, 2007 at 01:19 AM (#2437845)
Panic aside, we'll see what happens with Papi's MRI.

1. Something is structurally damaged: shut him down, get him surgery, and we'll do the best we can without him. I don't want him playing with a torn meniscus or a bad collateral ligament or anything that jeopardizes his career.

2. Something is inflammed: Shut him down for 15 days, see what happens then. If it's still not great, cut his playing time, only have him DH against RHP, put Manny at DH against LHP and we'll put another LF out there, and shut Papi down against LHP. It'll give him somewhere around 2 days off a week, which will probably be sufficient to keep him going until the playoffs

As much as this blows, I really really do not want Papi to "fight through it" or whatever it is that he's planning to do if he's hurt. If it's an overuse issue, shut him down for 2 weeks. If something is damaged, just get him the surgery, and we'll do the best we can without him. I'd much rather have 4 more years of good Papi rather than him trying to play hurt and then "never be the same again"
   21. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 12, 2007 at 01:25 AM (#2437852)
SI had a small article about the Angels, which emphasized the team's aggressive baserunning and propensity for hit and runs and sacrifices. How does the Angels expected runs compare with the league and the Red Sox?


If I read salfino correctly, they are scoring more runs than OPS expects.
   22. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 12, 2007 at 04:48 PM (#2438437)
I'd much rather have 4 more years of good Papi rather than him trying to play hurt and then "never be the same again"

Do people see Papi's injury as a weight issue? Should the Sox get him on a weight-loss and maintenance program on the hurry to avoid chronic weight-related injuries? He's not exactly Mo Vaughn or Cecil/Prince Fielder big, but he's one of the few players I regularly think of as possibly being overweight, even for his big frame.
   23. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 13, 2007 at 12:09 AM (#2439048)
Do people see Papi's injury as a weight issue? Should the Sox get him on a weight-loss and maintenance program on the hurry to avoid chronic weight-related injuries?

I'd like to see waht the injury is about first. But if he lost 15 pounds his kneeds would definitely be better when he got o like 50 years old, that's for sure.

Big Papi for a large fella is pretty quick though.
   24. Darren Posted: July 13, 2007 at 03:03 AM (#2439669)
Papi and Vaughn are pretty similar players: big, burly lefthand pull hitters for the Red Sox. During his prime, Vaughn put up 6 years with OPS+s between 137 and 155. Ortiz is currently working on his 5th such season.

Vaughn did drop off a bunch at age 31, but he also moved at that time away from Fenway, where he hit very well. Ortiz isn't moving and doesn't seem to rely as much on Fenway. Also, Vaughn's big dropoff, from respectable to terrible, came after he hurt his ankle.
   25. Darren Posted: July 13, 2007 at 03:06 AM (#2439673)
FYI: the XR formula I used was the simple one, and didn't include DPs. Probably one major factor, but not the only one. Also, in response to the question about the Angels, they outscore expectations by about 5 percent. The only team worse than the Red Sox is Oakland, at about -7 percent.
   26. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 13, 2007 at 03:13 AM (#2439680)
Papi took a foul ball off the bad knee. Ugh. Shut him down against lefties in this series plz.
   27. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 13, 2007 at 12:05 PM (#2439774)
Papi's a lot taller than Vaughn. In the book store I saw Papi's book, and there's a picture with him and Vaughn, and Papi seems like he's several inches taller. bb-ref has vaughn at 6'1" and Papi at 6'4", but the difference seemed bigger to me in the photo. Perhaps photographic distorition of some sort? Of course they are both listed at 230 pounds.... In this photo, c. around 1997-1998ish Vaughn's width is abundantly obvious, while young Papi looks pretty svelt actually.
   28. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 13, 2007 at 12:18 PM (#2439777)
Sox "created" about five runs last night, scored seven. We're coming back!
   29. chris p Posted: July 13, 2007 at 12:30 PM (#2439785)
   30. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 13, 2007 at 12:53 PM (#2439792)
Get him the surgery, playing with a torn anything is beyond retahded.
   31. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 13, 2007 at 01:05 PM (#2439798)
Get him the surgery, playing with a torn anything is beyond retahded.
So that article says Ortiz has been playing with the same knee problem since middle of last summer and his line over the past 365 days (thanks BBRef!) is .310/.441/.611. I shudder to think what kind of OPS he'd be putting up without said injury.
   32. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 13, 2007 at 01:19 PM (#2439807)
Not that I'm one to trust the Red Sox training staff in much of anything, but I think that most players are playing with something torn - no one's ever 100%. The question is whether this torn thing should keep Papi from playing, and as RB points out, there's reason to think it shouldn't.

I expect Tito to be much more active with his bench in the second half, and to rest all his starters more - particularly Manny and Papi.
   33. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 13, 2007 at 01:38 PM (#2439821)
FYI: the XR formula I used was the simple one, and didn't include DPs.



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