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   1. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: April 25, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3808416)
Knowing these guys, they’ll be serving up homers and walking the ballpark in mid-May,
I like the way you worked that preemptive reverse-jinx in there.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 25, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3808419)
Matsuzaka's new changeup is basically a gyroball, isn't it? I mean, setting aside the various abuses of physics that Will Carroll claimed the gyroball was capable of, we've got a pitch thrown without much extra forearm or wrist action that has a lot more movement than a typical change and a bit of a reverse break like a scroogie. That's not far removed from the descriptions of the gyroball that were floating around back in 2007.

EDIT: Or was the gyroball supposed to be thrown with some sort of bizarre pronation of the wrist? I can't be bothered to look it up. Anyway, I think the new changeup is cool.
   3. John DiFool2 Posted: April 25, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#3808534)
Man, Beckett is lights out for 4-5 starts, yet you still couldn't resist a dig at him in your last sentence. Dice-K does have a pattern of wild inconsistency within a season tho.
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 25, 2011 at 04:38 PM (#3808536)
Three starts.

And it's hardly like Beckett's got a pattern of consistency within a season.

EDIT: I am optimistic about Beckett. He's commanding his fastball and curveball, which he hasn't done for even a full start, let alone three in a row, since mid-2009. In 2008 and 2009 he had stuff like this pretty regularly, but was good instead of great overall, due to some amount of inconsistency, hits, and homers. Either good or great, though, is dandy for the Sox.
   5. villageidiom Posted: April 25, 2011 at 07:01 PM (#3808657)
Anything to make of the >100 pitch counts in the series? Lackey had the fewest pitches of any starter, at 108 (though with 8 IP). I wasn't that uncomfortable with it, given how each of them was generally cruising along. But I think this would be the kind of thing that would've made people livid in the past.
   6. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 25, 2011 at 07:31 PM (#3808680)
It's both a veteran and prime staff. Everyone is 26-32 and other than Buchholz they all have 200 inning seasons to their credit so I don't think there is a need to baby them too much. Plus, with the offday today everyone should have an extra day in between starts.

I think Beckett and maybe even Lester got pushed an extra inning but the short(er) start by Buchholz with the three key relievers going 20+ pitches on Wednesday necessitated that from Beckett then the extra inning game forced it from Lester.

Speaking of which, my one concern from the weekend is Francona's evident lack of faith in Wheeler/Albers/etc... I think it was telling that on Saturday he went to Bard with a 5 run lead in the ninth. I understand not going to Wake or even Okajima but Albers and Wheeler have to be able to pitch that inning. If you can't trust them in that spot, it's time to bring back Doubront or Bowden or someone else.
   7. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 25, 2011 at 07:33 PM (#3808684)
Anything to make of the >100 pitch counts in the series


Probably the result of any of the following:

1) Crap-ass bullpen that couldn't hold a lead for nearly 2 weeks
2) Riding the wave of success
3) Swing-happy Angels hitters
4) Better defense than first 12 games
   8. Dan Posted: April 25, 2011 at 07:35 PM (#3808688)
Speaking of which, my one concern from the weekend is Francona's evident lack of faith in Wheeler/Albers/etc... I think it was telling that on Saturday he went to Bard with a 5 run lead in the ninth. I understand not going to Wake or even Okajima but Albers and Wheeler have to be able to pitch that inning. If you can't trust them in that spot, it's time to bring back Doubront or Bowden or someone else.


This was my issue with the handling of the pitching over the series. I was surprised to see Matsuzaka to come out for the 8th, but not because I was against it, it just didn't seem to fit in with how Tito usually handles Daisuke. But using your best or second best reliever to pitch the 9th inning of a 5 run game is ridiculous. If you don't trust someone else to pitch that inning, then the rest of the bullpen needs to go in favor of people you can and/or will trust for similar situations.
   9. tfbg9 Posted: April 25, 2011 at 09:21 PM (#3808786)
But using your best or second best reliever to pitch the 9th inning of a 5 run game is ridiculous.


Or, perhaps he knows something we don't? Nah, he's just a f*cking idiot! :-)
   10. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 25, 2011 at 10:46 PM (#3808818)
Winning is always fun, and the immense hatred of BTF Angels fans for the Red Sox and their fans has instilled in me a real feeling of rivalry with the Angels, so taking four in their house was particularly sweet.

I almost felt sorry for the Angel's fan in the chatter who was lamenting that not a single Angels position player would crack the Sox lineup. Almost.
   11. The Marksist Posted: April 25, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#3808821)
MCoA: I think the gyro is supposed to move like a changeup but come in at a higher velocity (i.e. more drop than you expect at that speed) and little to no horizontal movement.
   12. Bad Fish Posted: April 26, 2011 at 01:40 AM (#3808903)
With regard to the higher pitch counts, I noticed late last year that they were giving the starters more rope. I wondered if the saber dudes in the front office developed some data to support pitch counts in the 110-120 range.
   13. Darren Posted: April 26, 2011 at 01:52 AM (#3808914)
I didn't think sending Beckett out for another inning but overall, it seemed like the other guys were cruising and the pen needed the rest.
   14. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 26, 2011 at 11:06 AM (#3809056)
No mention of that pathetic excuse for a catcher ?
   15. villageidiom Posted: April 26, 2011 at 11:56 AM (#3809066)
No mention of that pathetic excuse for a catcher ?
Kevin Cash isn't on the roster any more.
   16. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 26, 2011 at 01:10 PM (#3809084)
No mention of that pathetic excuse for a catcher ?


I don't think there is much to say about Saltalamacchia right now, he's been awful. The Sox have gone all in with him for now and pulling the plug would be unnecessarily reactionary. If you believed something to be true in March, 21 games should not change your mind.

I trust Theo enough to think he has at least been monitoring the catcher market since they decided to go this route. Even if he was more confident in Saltalamacchia he had to at least be aware of the possibility that Saltalamacchia would not cut it.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 26, 2011 at 02:15 PM (#3809121)
Salty's rest-of-season ZiPS projection is dropping, too. From 308/382 to 303/368 in just a few terrible weeks. He was below average coming into the season, and he may be heading toward entirely unacceptable. There has to be some sort of adjustment a kid with his talent can make that can keep him from striking out in 40% of his at-bats, and I figure Salty's got another 2-4 weeks to turn it around before the Sox make any moves. He needs to turn it around, though, or he'll be gone.

Are we really talking about how bad the catching situation is and how poorly(?) Francona is managing the bullpen in the off-day following an 8-1 run?
   18. villageidiom Posted: April 26, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#3809138)
Are we really talking about how bad the catching situation is and how poorly(?) Francona is managing the bullpen in the off-day following an 8-1 run?
Charlie Sheen is "winning", too, but nobody talks about his positives. (Other than STD tests, that is.)
   19. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 26, 2011 at 02:34 PM (#3809144)
Well mostly nobody is talking at all. I assume most of us are just basking in the glow of the most satisfactory 10-11 record ever ;)

That said, the SP has been tremendous, over this stretch, and some of the bats seem to be waking up. I'm also not nearly as down on Clay as some people seem to be. I think his stuff has been good. The Rangers somehow managed to hit 4 HR on 3 bad pitches in their little bandbox, and he got shelled by the Yankees once, BFD.
   20. Dan Posted: April 26, 2011 at 03:20 PM (#3809200)
Salty's rest-of-season ZiPS projection is dropping, too. From 308/382 to 303/368 in just a few terrible weeks. He was below average coming into the season, and he may be heading toward entirely unacceptable. There has to be some sort of adjustment a kid with his talent can make that can keep him from striking out in 40% of his at-bats, and I figure Salty's got another 2-4 weeks to turn it around before the Sox make any moves. He needs to turn it around, though, or he'll be gone.


It also doesn't help that the situation went from a platoon to Varitek catching Daisuke and Beckett. So instead of each catcher playing against the pitchers they have a shot at hitting, now they're both getting a fair number of ABs against LHP and RHP.
   21. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 26, 2011 at 03:30 PM (#3809215)
It also doesn't help that the situation went from a platoon to Varitek catching Daisuke and Beckett. So instead of each catcher playing against the pitchers they have a shot at hitting, now they're both getting a fair number of ABs against LHP and RHP.


If you believe that the designated catchers are making a meaningful difference to the performance of the pitchers that far outweighs the potential benefit of some improved offense.

I'm not necessarily buying it but if working with Varitek is going to make Daisuke a run better per start that's a huge benefit.
   22. Dan Posted: April 26, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#3809222)
Whether it helps the pitching or not, my point was that both of them were in position to beat ZiPS lines simply by virtue of their splits and being platooned, whereas now that isn't the case.
   23. Mattbert Posted: April 26, 2011 at 09:32 PM (#3809617)
At this point, I think we'd all be delighted if they could even claw their way back within hailing distance of their ZiPS lines, platoons be damned.

Trade for Napoli!
   24. Hugh Jorgan Posted: April 27, 2011 at 05:32 AM (#3810093)
I'm also not nearly as down on Clay as some people seem to be. I think his stuff has been good. The Rangers somehow managed to hit 4 HR on 3 bad pitches in their little bandbox, and he got shelled by the Yankees once, BFD.

And now you throw in his 6 inning 12 hit, WHIP > 2 performance against the Orioles and that doesn't look too good.
   25. Darren Posted: April 27, 2011 at 12:47 PM (#3810201)
It wasn't his numbers that bothered me in this one. This was the first time that I got to see a whole game with him pitching. He looked awful. His velocity was good but he threw numerous pitches to terrible locations. There were the 12 hits--most of which were hit very hard--plus 3 long sac flies. He was very lucky to last as long as he did. Francona must have felt it necessary to teach him a lesson by leaving him in long enough to load the bases in 7th. I hope the stuff he was throwing in this game is not what was impressing everyone.

Too bad the offense and the pitching both decided to disappear on the same day.
   26. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 27, 2011 at 01:01 PM (#3810209)
Trade for Napoli!


We'd have to give up Jon Lester for Napoli, don't you know that?

What struck me last night is that Buchholz looked like he was overcompensating. To correct for his early season control problems he looked like he was holding back a bit to avoid walks.
   27. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 27, 2011 at 01:02 PM (#3810210)
Yeah, that was easily the worst I've seen him pitch this year. OTOH, my prediction that we'll get swept by the Orioles is still on!
   28. Mattbert Posted: April 27, 2011 at 01:44 PM (#3810251)
We'd have to give up Jon Lester for Napoli, don't you know that?

What *would* the Red Sox have to give up for him at this point? The Market seems to see him as (a) a timeshare catcher, (b) a backup/platoon 1B/DH/C, and (c) a guy only worth holding onto long enough to trade for more relief pitching.
   29. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 27, 2011 at 01:55 PM (#3810266)
He's ripping the ball while playing part time and the Rangers aren't going to be especially inclined to move him. They dont' seem to have any substantial needs. I think depending on Hamilton's health/Borbon's performance they could be on the prowl for an outfielder so maybe Cameron entices them a bit with the Sox making up the money. I don't think the Rangers are at that point yet.

Looking at their roster I think Napoli is kind of their Scutaro. He is superfluous but that is not the same thing as useless. If all he is is depth the Rangers have the money, the roster and the contender status that makes that worth hanging onto him. If they suffer another long term injury somewhere maybe that changes.
   30. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 27, 2011 at 02:09 PM (#3810281)
Right, plus the Rangers are favourites in the ALW, so it's not likely they'll be wiling to trafe him for a player who might contribute 2 years from now. You'd have to give up ML ready talent to make it worth while for Texas.
   31. Dave Cyprian Posted: June 13, 2011 at 12:04 AM (#3851605)
Six hundred percent
almost always pretty good-
Best after bad start.
   32. Dave Cyprian Posted: June 14, 2011 at 01:34 PM (#3852785)
I wrote a haiku
about the winning Red Sox,
but no one said boo.
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: June 14, 2011 at 04:33 PM (#3852975)
bygone-esque schedule
Milwaukee coming to Fenway
squint - see Higuera
   34. Nasty Nate Posted: June 14, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#3852981)
I wrote a haiku
about the winning Red Sox,
but no one said boo.


usually, the
supporters avoid saying "boo"
about winning Sox
   35. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 14, 2011 at 05:38 PM (#3853031)
I wrote a haiku
about the winning Red Sox,
but no one said boo.


Nasty Nate is the
Therapudian who beat
me to it, dammit

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