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   1. Xander Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:50 AM (#2592778)
The only beef I had was with Beckett going 7 IP for no discernible reason. I’d have pulled him after the long bottom of the fifth or at least after the 6th.
Like it or not, and Terry Francona can say whatever he wants, Beckett was left in for legacy purposes.
   2. Darren Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:51 AM (#2592779)
What do you mean, Temple?

Speaking of which, did everyone enjoy the gratuitous Buckner video in the middle of the game?
   3. Answer Guy Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:54 AM (#2592782)
Speaking of which, did everyone enjoy the gratuitous Buckner video in the middle of the game?


Not really. But it mostly served to remind me that there was no montage of Red Sox playoff failures this time.
   4. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:56 AM (#2592783)
1st the 3 based-loaded walks in a row, then the 1-2-3 inning from Gagne. The Rockies should be ashamed of themselves.
   5. Xander Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:58 AM (#2592785)
What do you mean, Temple?
I mean that if you look back at Beckett's post-season performance 20 years from now, and there's a 5 inning outing on there for whatever reason, it's going to look a lot less impressive.

Francona could have easily gone with Snyder for 2, Timlin for 1, and MDC or Gagne for 1 there. All those guys need work. I think he left Beckett in because of the much bigger picture.
   6. Dan Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:58 AM (#2592786)
Well, it was quite obviously not the most compelling game in postseason history, but what I found weird was Varitek's postgame interview, where he was kinda hesitant to comment on how Beckett was, finally settling on "he was...good....he was good" with an odd nod of his head. It was just very weird to me, I don't know what else to say. But the offense cruised; Lugo even hit. Drew hit. Beckett was postseason Beckett.
   7. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:59 AM (#2592787)
I hope I didn't miss the montage of Colorado playoff failtures. I'm imagining the footage as 10% Kevin Ritz, 10% Dan Issel, and 80% John Elway.
   8. Xander Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:02 AM (#2592789)
but what I found weird was Varitek's postgame interview, where he was kinda hesitant to comment on how Beckett was, finally settling on "he was...good....he was good" with an odd nod of his head. It was just very weird to me, I don't know what else to say.
He's always Beckett's biggest critic. After one of the other starts for Beckett this postseason, Tek was asked about it and basically said, "It was decent, he made some mistakes, but it was decent."
   9. Hugh Jorgan Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:02 AM (#2592790)
Beckett was left in to save the pen for a closer game. Beckett will not pitch again until game 5, normal rest, still under a 100 pitches. He's been doing this all year, why change, its working and his arm is accustomed to it.
Overall reaction...Welcome to the big leagues Colorado. It'll be interesting to see how the Rockies come out in game 2. If we get an early lead, I reckon they'll fold again and we'll take the series in 5 games.
   10. Answer Guy Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:02 AM (#2592791)
When you win 2 Super Bowls, like Elway did, the other stuff tends to get forgotten about.

A Red Sox World Series title this year might do something similar for these Red Sox.
   11. Dan Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:04 AM (#2592792)
One last thing I noticed from Beckett's press conference questions, when they asked him if he went back and looked at footage of his start in June vs the Rockies. And he said no, he didn't want to go back and look at that game. It seemed to give me the impression that Beckett really doesn't have any kind of plan for hitters, that he's 100% reliant on Varitek.
   12. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:10 AM (#2592795)
I hope I didn't miss the montage of Colorado playoff failtures. I'm imagining the footage as 10% Kevin Ritz, 10% Dan Issel, and 80% John Elway.

You could almost have added the Rocket Ishmail punt return for a touchdown...

When you win 2 Super Bowls, like Elway did, the other stuff tends to get forgotten about.

guh. And that's wrong. Do you realize there are people here who think he was the greatest NFL QB? He threw like Steve Garvey in some of those Super Bowls.
   13. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:10 AM (#2592796)
I hope I didn't miss the montage of Colorado playoff failtures. I'm imagining the footage as 10% Kevin Ritz, 10% Dan Issel, and 80% John Elway.


I think you'd have to include some footage of Craig Morton getting snowed under by Harvey Martin and Randy White.
   14. Answer Guy Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:16 AM (#2592799)
If nothing else, a Red Sox win over the Rockies would be some payback for all the times that the Patriots lost to the Broncos. I can't think of the last time the Pats, even during this phase, beat freakin' Denver, even in Foxboro.
   15. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:26 AM (#2592804)
He HAD to use F!@#ING Timlin. He HAD to. He could not have used Snyder in a 12 run game. Nope.

Edit: Ithink Varitek has a new strategy for standup fastball. He does a standup fastball, which predictably does not work. But then he squats down and calls ANOTHER high fastball, and batters end up swinging at the second non-standup fastball.
   16. Answer Guy Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:29 AM (#2592806)
I was puzzled by the failure to use either Snyder or Tavarez.
   17. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:34 AM (#2592811)
My impression of the Beckett interview was that he just didn't want to dwell on his failures.
   18. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:57 AM (#2592814)
Yeah, I was fine with Beckett going 7. It's clear he's not pitching Game 4, so there's not much of a reason to take him out.

I was puzzled by the failure to use either Snyder or Tavarez.

Well, Tavarez isn't on the roster...
   19. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:59 AM (#2592815)
Is there no friend to rid me of this troublesome pitcher?
   20. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: October 25, 2007 at 07:07 AM (#2592830)
Timlin had not pitched in ages, I was OK with it.

We have to be happy with the start though...

Sox are 4-0 since the girls have been born, BTW.
   21. Norcan Posted: October 25, 2007 at 07:31 AM (#2592833)
Overall reaction...Welcome to the big leagues Colorado.


Come on, the Rockies did come in to Fenway earlier and beat them handily in two games. The difference in the leagues isn't that large. The AL had 137 wins to the NL's 115 this year, which happens to be the same record the NL had over the AL in 2003. Was anyone saying the AL was just a kiddie league next to the NL that year.

Anyway, after tonight's performance, Beckett's season ERA including playoffs is tantalizing close to dropping under 3.00. Right now, in 230.2 innings, his ERA is 3.01. The innings are getting up there, not that it's historically high or he isn't old enough to shoulder that workload.
   22. Russ Posted: October 25, 2007 at 11:01 AM (#2592848)
Who was the last postseason pitcher to be as dominant as Beckett (non-Rivera division)? Smoltz's postseason record is pretty good... but his postseason ERA is almost a full run higher than Beckett's right now. Beckett is creeping up into the top 10 in CAREER postseason strikeouts (Orel is 10th with 97, Beckett has 84).

Beckett's performance so far in his career postseasons feels unprecedented in my memories about baseball (goes back to 1982 or 83 or so).
   23. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 25, 2007 at 11:21 AM (#2592852)
Who was the last postseason pitcher to be as dominant as Beckett (non-Rivera division)?
Christy Mathewson?
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 25, 2007 at 11:35 AM (#2592856)
Who was the last postseason pitcher to be as dominant as Beckett (non-Rivera division)?
He's pitching tonight.

10-2, 2.25 ERA, 112 K in 128 IP.

The greatest postseason pitcher ever is Bob Gibson. 9 starts, 81 IP, 7-2, 1.89 ERA, 92 K in 81 IP. Just 55 hits allowed.

(Well, it could be Mathewson, too.)
   25. ekogan Posted: October 25, 2007 at 11:37 AM (#2592857)
All the breaks the Rockies were getting in the previous 22 games - yesterday they had to give them all back. I think they are going to revert to midseason form.
   26. MattLee Posted: October 25, 2007 at 12:35 PM (#2592870)
Like it or not, and Terry Francona can say whatever he wants, Beckett was left in for legacy purposes.


i dont think thats why francona did it for that purpose at all. whether you all like it or not i believe francona left him in cause he wanted to stay in and was still under 100 pitches before leaving the game. with that said, he can still come in for relief for game 4 and still pitch game 5. this saves the bullpen added unneeded work for when they really might need them. why take beckett out after 5 and waste the bullpen for 4 ip when beckett threw so few pitches? a tired bullpen serves no purpose while beckett should be able to pitch the same regardless if he left in the 5th or 7th. those long breaks between innings for beckett was another reason francona im sure decided to allow beckett to stay. i wouldnt waste a bullpen either for the world series, stupid when beckett ended under 100 pitches regardless.
   27. SandyRiver Posted: October 25, 2007 at 12:38 PM (#2592872)
The greatest postseason pitcher ever is Bob Gibson. 9 starts, 81 IP, 7-2, 1.89 ERA, 92 K in 81 IP. Just 55 hits allowed.

How about Mr. Koufax. Only a 4-3 record, but only 3 ER in those 3 losses and 6 in 57 innings overall (0.95 ERA), with 61 K, 11 BB, 36 hits allowed. A shorter body of work, but just as dominant, if not moreso.
   28. Josh Posted: October 25, 2007 at 12:39 PM (#2592873)
I think arm chair managing is a very difficult thing to do, fwiw. Tito got two bullpen arms some tune up work in game situation. There may be a time when both of those pitchers will be needed to get out of a real jam. If tomorrow is a laugher in the wrong direction for Tito, Snyder can be used then to keep miles off Schil's arm.

Meanwhile, Timlin last pitched in G3 of the ALCS - more than a week ago, and Gag-me needs apps to get ready for real use. Pap and Oki don't need any work after G7, and Decarlmen warmed up, but hadn't been used since G4 of the ALCS, a week ago, so that makes sense. Lopez was used in ALCS G6, so he could use some work but it isn't necessary.

On the other hand, Beckett hadn't had a real difficult inning yet (he never threw more than 16 pitches in an inning), and his first AB longer than 6 pitches since the 1st inning (the Kaz saw 7 pitches his first AB) was his last batter, and then he still only needed 7 pitches. Finally, Beckett's last inning had him face the 7-8-9 hitters.

I can't second guess Tito's use of his pen at all last night.
   29. Josh Posted: October 25, 2007 at 12:42 PM (#2592874)
All they needed was for Beckett to slip on the wet field and all of a sudden they’re in big trouble.
No offense, Darren, but this is fantastic. After his next start, I expect someone to write "Francona was a bonehead again. All they needed was for Beckett to be hit by lightening and all of a sudden they're in big trouble. Beckett should be cloaked in a rubber hose with glued on soft feathered dead geese."
   30. Josh Posted: October 25, 2007 at 12:43 PM (#2592875)
A shorter body of work, but just as dominant, if not moreso.
An apt line for any discussion of Koufax.
   31. Curse of the Graffanino (dfan) Posted: October 25, 2007 at 12:44 PM (#2592877)
10-2, 2.25 ERA, 112 K in 128 IP.

and 10-1, 1.87 if you take out the 3 IP 6 ER performance in game 1 of the 2004 ALCS. I know you can't just go around removing the worst performance, but he did play that game seriously injured. Either way, that's a pretty impressive record.
   32. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 25, 2007 at 01:07 PM (#2592882)
Mathewson was kind of a joke answer, since--barring a big time change in baseball--no one is ever going to throw 3 shutouts in 6 days in the World Series again. That's probably the greatest accomplishment in a short period of time. Although Koufax's '65 is definitely in contention.

As a Yankee fan, I'm required by law to bring up Rivera's 8-1, 34 saves, 0.77 ERA, 117.1 IP body of work. I don't know how you compare that to starters though.
   33. TomH Posted: October 25, 2007 at 01:10 PM (#2592883)
Alfie Soriano in the 03 ALCS, or Tony Clark in the 04 ALCS?

Tony Perez was 0-for-four games in the 75 WS, and wound up slugging .500 with 7 RBI. Things can change quickly.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 25, 2007 at 01:11 PM (#2592885)
I prefer Gibson's '67 to Koufax's '65. Gibson completed every game he pitched, and he won each time. 3-0, 27 IP, 3 R allowed. Now that is a big-game pitcher.

(It helps that I was very much not alive, as he killed the Red Sox that series.)
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 25, 2007 at 01:18 PM (#2592895)
Hawpe looked bad, but Beckett looked really good.

Curt Schilling's high 80s fastball seems like just the thing to perk Hawpe up. The Red Sox went 2-3 against the Indians in non-Beckett games, and I expect we'll see similar difficulties over the next few nights.
   36. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: October 25, 2007 at 01:53 PM (#2592939)
No offense, Darren, but this is fantastic. After his next start, I expect someone to write "Francona was a bonehead again. All they needed was for Beckett to be hit by lightening and all of a sudden they're in big trouble. Beckett should be cloaked in a rubber hose with glued on soft feathered dead geese."


Darren is administering to Beckett in the hyperbaric chamber that he keeps him in between games.
   37. chris p Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:00 PM (#2592952)
All they needed was for Beckett to slip on the wet field and all of a sudden they’re in big trouble. Tito did the same thing with Schilling in 04 and got away with it, so I’m not surprised he didn’t learn his lesson.

remember in 04, schilling was pitching with a bad ankle for the whole 2nd half.
   38. Boots Day Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:24 PM (#2592986)
If hawpe continues to look this bad, the rockies are t-o-a-s-t.

The fact that the Rockies sixth-place hitter had a terrible game against maybe the best pitcher in baseball doesn't seem all that indicative of anything to me.

Obviously, there were very few bright spots for the Rockies, but it was nice to see Tulowitzki get his bat going again. That seems a lot more significant than Hawpe's struggles. The eight-day layoff clearly hurt the pitching staff, but it looks like the rest did Tulo some good.
   39. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:27 PM (#2592995)
I expect we'll see similar difficulties over the next few nights.

So Jimenez and Fogg and Cook will give the Red Sox trouble?
   40. Jeff K. Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:39 PM (#2593009)
Re #26:

People are posting in color now? This is a very bad sign.
   41. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:39 PM (#2593010)
I haven't looked at the chatter, but what were the reactions to the strike zone and Beckett's reliance on his fastballs early?


The fact that the Rockies sixth-place hitter [Hawpe] had a terrible game against maybe the best pitcher in baseball doesn't seem all that indicative of anything to me.

Hawpe, especially on the road, should not be hitting sixth. Matui should be moved down so that Holliday, Helton, Atkins, and Hawpe can get more AB's. Plus, Hawpe is a better hitter than Atkins.
   42. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:40 PM (#2593011)
So Jimenez and Fogg and Cook will give the Red Sox trouble?


The Red Sox managed to make Byrd and Westbrook look good, Schilling is old, Matsuzaka hasn't looked overpowering, and Coors Field is crazy, so I'm not calling this a series yet.
   43. Josh Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:46 PM (#2593022)
Beckett's reliance on his fastballs early?
I've no data to back this up, but my perception is that Beckett doesn't use the CB very much until the 3rd inning, and the change until the 4th. Was the first double by Atkins off the change or the curve? McCarver said "slider," which made me think it must be the change, but I wasn't in the room and didn't "rewind" the dvr.
   44. Nasty Nate Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:49 PM (#2593029)
Funny (the curse of Curtis Leskanic)
   45. Jon T. Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:51 PM (#2593030)
The Rockies are the perfect team for Schilling to face, their best asset is their patience and Schilling pounds the zone.
   46. SoSH U at work Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:53 PM (#2593032)
Funny (the curse of Curtis Leskanic)


This part made me laugh:

Many Red Sox fans believe the Curse of Curtis Leskanic was already broken this June when two diehard Red Sox fans traveled to Leskanic's childhood home in Homestead, PA and burned it to the ground, while others think the curse was lifted in August when the Red Sox won three games in a row. Still others believe that the ghost of Leskanic was expelled from Boston in April, when Jimmy Buffett played to a sold-out crowd at Fenway Park; Leskanic was known for not being that into Jimmy Buffett.
   47. Curse of the Graffanino (dfan) Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:56 PM (#2593036)
As a Yankee fan, I'm required by law to bring up Rivera's 8-1, 34 saves, 0.77 ERA, 117.1 IP body of work.

Wow, 117 IP. I thought that was a typo at first. That's one and a half seasons' worth of clutch pitching (his seasons have averaged in the 70s). OK, that's pretty awesome.
   48. Toby Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:10 PM (#2593055)
here in DC, I am used to the Redskins and the NFL in general taking up most of the sports radio airtime, even during the NFL offseason, but the last couple of days it seems like only 5 minutes of my drive time gets spent on baseball and, of that, half goes to the World Series and the other half goes to the Yankees and their owner/manager/A-Rod situations.

So please forgive me for getting sidetracked this morning from thinking about the World Series and instead wondering whether the Yankees will end up with A-Rod or Lowell at 3b and what the Sox will do about it. Then it hit me: assuming we don't get Lowell back (though I think we will get him back), move Youks to 3b (not exactly a major stroke of insight by me), and move Drew to 1b. Or does Ellsbury not have enough arm for right?

Now back to wondering how Schill will do tonight ...
   49. villageidiom Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:48 PM (#2593100)
What Josh said in 28, and 29.

The only thing I'd add is that Beckett seemed to have some sporadic location issues. There were quite a few times I saw Tek set upside only to see Beckett bring heat inside. That doesn't show up in the numbers so much, but other than the first inning I was worried Beckett wasn't being Beckett. (Well, until Boston scored a bajillion runs...) He started the third with a 3-0 count; in the 5th he walked their #9 hitter after getting ahead 0-2 (really, if your DH is batting 9th, that's not a good sign), then followed that with a 2-0 start to Taveras. He ended with a good strike/ball ratio, but he had times where he had control problems. Fortunately the Rockies' hitters tended to bail him out in a lot of those cases.

Regardless, it didn't surprise me that Tek was exceptionally guarded in postgame comments. No point in annoying the competition by saying Beckett's inconsistency was masked by the Rockies' ineptitude, or saying to the media what only Beckett needed to hear.
   50. villageidiom Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:49 PM (#2593105)
Sox are 4-0 since the girls have been born, BTW.
I look forward to Boston's 1730-0 record in the next decade. ;-)
   51. Dave Cyprian Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:55 PM (#2593113)
wow... all I can remember is at one point the phrase "Let's Panic: Leskanic" had a lot of meaning to me.


As far as the game, I thought both the two on-field interviews were the most surprising part of the whole broadcast. What the heck was going on.

Youkilis looked downright confused, he was totally distracted and then just started stringing cliches together with even less conviction then we expect from our professional athletes. That interview looked to be about the most uncomfortable place he had been all year - strange for a man hitting about .500 lately.

Then Varitek followed it up... He was asked about Beckett and he literally looked like he was about to curse out Beckett and his performance, but something held him back, such as appearing like a jackass vis a vie the Rockies so he just stammered out the most unconvincing, "he was .... good" I've ever heard him say.

I dunno what was going on but it sure didn't seem to affect the offense.
   52. Toby Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:56 PM (#2593117)
I agree with vi (and Tek), I didn't think Beckett was particularly sharp, even though the stats said otherwise. The strike zone seemed a little weird (no high strike, but a wide zone). The Rockies were stinging the ball pretty well when they made contact but hit them at people. In short, I think Beckett threw more than his usual number of mistakes, but got away with them.
   53. plim Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:58 PM (#2593119)
The strike zone seemed a little weird (no high strike, but a wide zone).


au contraire...there were several outside corner strikes (vs righties) that beckett didn't get. i don't think the zone was wide at all. in fact, i think the zone was very tight in all 4 directions.
   54. Boots Day Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:01 PM (#2593125)
Matui should be moved down so that Holliday, Helton, Atkins, and Hawpe can get more AB's.

When Taveras was out, Tulowitzki batted second with Matsui leading off. That seemed to work really well. I'd love to see Tulo back at the top of the lineup. Or really, Helton should be batting second.

Plus, Hawpe is a better hitter than Atkins.

Hurdle tries to keep them alternating between righty and lefty as much as possible.
   55. villageidiom Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:03 PM (#2593129)
Before I get too many people agreeing with me, let me clear up something. When I said

There were quite a few times I saw Tek set upside only to see Beckett bring heat inside.
...my vantage point was nine rows in front of this guy. It was enough to see where Tek set up, and where he was reaching to get the ball when it came in. But given the circumstances it's worth full disclosure.
   56. The Essex Snead Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:14 PM (#2593146)
in the 5th he walked their #9 hitter after getting ahead 0-2 (really, if your DH is batting 9th, that's not a good sign)

Given that most NL teams usually (I hope) field their best hitting line-up, and most managers are more likely to maintain batting-order status quo, a DH hitting 9th ain't so shocking. Based on my expert analysis (cough), here are who'd I guess would be the 2007 DH for each NL team (injuries notwithstanding):

ARI: Tony Clark / Conor Jackson (or Micah Owings ha ha)
ATL: Matt Diaz / Yunel Escobar
CHI: Matt Murton / Daryle Ward
CIN: Adam Dunn / Griffey! (meaning a healthy Freel would be in the OF?)
COL: Ryan Spilborghs
FLA: Cody Ross! (.335 / .411 / .653 in 173 ABs!)
HOU: Ty Wigginton (ew)
LAD: Tony Abreu (or whichever veteran you don't want in the field)
MIL: Ryan Braun :) (or Kevin Mench?)
NYM: Moises Alou (& play Lastings every damn day)
PHI: Jayson Werth? (assuming Dobbs would play 3B)
PIT: Ryan Doumit / pre-Tracy Jose Castillo
SDG: MILTON BRADLEY (which would hopefully keep him from tripping and breaking his spleen)
SFO: gee, I wonder...
STL: Ryan Ludwick / Chris Duncan
WAS: the Christian Guzman clone that had a 124 OPS+ for 46 games this year

I count 5 teams (Reds, Mets, Brewers w/ Braun, Giants, San Diego) that would have their DH bat in the middle of their order. Everyone else would have their DH probably in the lower 3rd of the batting order & still be useful. That's a step up on teams like the Twins, who give their DH ABs to chumps like Jason Tyner & Jeff Cirillo.
   57. Mike Webber Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:21 PM (#2593153)
With 64 postseason RBI, Ramirez moved ahead of David Justice for second all-time behind Bernie Williams (80).


I'd say its no better than 50/50 he catches him in game 5 at Coors.
   58. Josh Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:34 PM (#2593169)
I agree with vi (and Tek), I didn't think Beckett was particularly sharp,
I think he was sharp - but I certainly agree this was his worst or second to worst start of the post season. His S% was lower, his first S% was lower, he threw fewer changes (and I assume the first double was his first change, but, again, didn't see it), but he finished off hitters b/c his FB had great movement and life (and he varied his placement so well). He wasn't close to the level of dominance he was the first or third start (that first start was near perfection, though - along the lines of Felix's start in Fenway this year).

All of which is somewhat scary, actually.
   59. villageidiom Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2593174)
Given that most NL teams usually (I hope) field their best hitting line-up, and most managers are more likely to maintain batting-order status quo, a DH hitting 9th ain't so shocking.

As I'd expect. But if so, I'd assume they've got some defensively superior players on the bench... in which case you play one of them in some position and DH the good hitter who normally plays there. Either the players on the Rockies' bench are both offensively and defensively inferior to their regulars at every position, or they felt the offensive upgrade with Spilborghs was greater than the defensive upgrade from anyone else. But the offensive upgrade wasn't large enough to get him out of the 9-hole. They might as well not have a bench.

The way I think about it is the opposite of what you did. Instead of guessing who would be the DH on a NL team, I think how things would be changed for AL teams were they not to have their current DH on their roster. For example, if Boston didn't have Ortiz, they'd probably DH Manny and put Ellsbury/Crisp in LF/CF, with spots 5-9 shifting up and Coco batting 9th (or some other alignment in 7-9). If you go through the AL teams, I think very few of them would fill the DH spot off the bench if their current DH disappeared.
   60. Dave Cyprian Posted: October 25, 2007 at 04:52 PM (#2593186)
vi, I guess I don't know the firs thing about Spilborghs but do you think its possible Hurdle dropped him in the 9 hole just because his team had been hot, clicking, and he was 'worried about messing it up.'?
   61. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:09 PM (#2593209)
Matui should be moved down so that Holliday, Helton, Atkins, and Hawpe can get more AB's.

When Taveras was out, Tulowitzki batted second with Matsui leading off. That seemed to work really well. I'd love to see Tulo back at the top of the lineup. Or really, Helton should be batting second.

Plus, Hawpe is a better hitter than Atkins.

Hurdle tries to keep them alternating between righty and lefty as much as possible.


There's your answer. Taveras, Helton, Holliday, Hawpe, Atkins, Tulowitski, Matsui, Torrealba. Except for Atkins - Tulo you alternate hitters and you get more AB's for your best hitters.
   62. Boots Day Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:31 PM (#2593231)
Either the players on the Rockies' bench are both offensively and defensively inferior to their regulars at every position,

That's hardly unusual, isn't it? If the bench guys are superior to the regulars offensively and defensively, they shouldn't be on the bench.

or they felt the offensive upgrade with Spilborghs was greater than the defensive upgrade from anyone else.

The other choice would have been to put Jamey Carroll at third and DH Atkins. I don't think you get much of an advantage there.

But the offensive upgrade wasn't large enough to get him out of the 9-hole.

Spilborghs is clearly a better hitter than Torrealba in the 8 slot, or Matsui in the 2 slot, for that matter. But I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference.
   63. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 25, 2007 at 05:33 PM (#2593239)
So Jimenez and Fogg and Cook will give the Red Sox trouble?



The Red Sox managed to make Byrd and Westbrook look good, Schilling is old, Matsuzaka hasn't looked overpowering, and Coors Field is crazy, so I'm not calling this a series yet.



Me neither. Red Sox in 4 or 5.
   64. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 25, 2007 at 06:44 PM (#2593351)
Gag-me needs apps to get ready for real use.

No, no he doesn't. There's no need for him to see any "real" use in this series. NO GAGNE.

Oh, and that "walk" from 0-2 in the 5th, Beckett actually threw 4 strikes but the last two didn't get called, so I wouldn't blame him for that one.
   65. Answer Guy Posted: October 25, 2007 at 07:02 PM (#2593374)
As impressive a victory as this was, it's one game, and it was more about holding serve than anything else. The Rockies still become the slight favorites in my mind if they win tonight.
   66. villageidiom Posted: October 25, 2007 at 08:22 PM (#2593476)
do you think its possible Hurdle dropped him in the 9 hole just because his team had been hot, clicking, and he was 'worried about messing it up.'?

Yeah, and I think it's possible I don't put enough stock in the importance of it.

If the bench guys are superior to the regulars offensively and defensively, they shouldn't be on the bench.

They can be superior in one of the two aspects. Crisp rightly rode the bench last night, even though he's better defensively than anyone they started in the OF. If Ortiz suddenly entered the witness protection program, they surely would've put Manny at DH and put Crisp in the OF as his replacement, instead of leaving Manny in LF and batting the best hitter on the bench 9th as the DH.

I was trying to suggest that for that not to happen with the Rockies last night, it might follow that each of the starting 8 are better defensively than anyone on the bench, AND each of the starting 8 are better offensively than anyone on the bench - in which the best option was to take the best hitter on the bench and put him 9th, as the DH. But if that's the case, that's a pretty sad bench.

FWIW, this is what Colorado did in interleague play:

6/8 Baltimore: DH was Taveras, batting first. Spilborghs played CF, batted 8th.
6/9 Baltimore: DH was Holliday, batting 3rd. Spilborghs in LF, batting 8th.
6/10 Baltimore: DH was Baker, batting 7th.
6/12 Boston: DH was Spilborghs, batting 7th.
6/13 Boston: DH was Spilborghs, batting 7th.
6/14 Boston: DH was Taveras, batting first. Spilborghs played CF, batted 7th.
6/22 Toronto: DH was Taveras, batting first. Spilborghs played CF, batted 7th.
6/23 Toronto: DH was Helton, batting 4th. Baker played 1B, batting 8th.
6/24 Toronto: DH was Baker, batting 8th.

So it's not like Hurdle clearly thinks his best bench hitter is weaker than the rest. Almost, but not quite.
   67. Dan Posted: October 25, 2007 at 09:30 PM (#2593601)
After seeing Hurdle let the pitcher bat, then remove him in the next half-inning before pitching to anyone several times in the first two playoff rounds, I'm not sure it's correct to attribute much of anything to him thinking clearly.
   68. Boots Day Posted: October 25, 2007 at 09:50 PM (#2593617)
I was trying to suggest that for that not to happen with the Rockies last night, it might follow that each of the starting 8 are better defensively than anyone on the bench, AND each of the starting 8 are better offensively than anyone on the bench - in which the best option was to take the best hitter on the bench and put him 9th, as the DH. But if that's the case, that's a pretty sad bench.

I don't follow your argument. For one thing, the Rockies are an excellent defensive team, so there aren't a lot of weak gloves in the starting eight. The weakest is Atkins -- but you can't just put Spilborghs at third base and DH Atkins. And Spilborghs is a better hitter than Torrealba or Matsui, but that doesn't mean you can slap him in the lineup at catcher or second base.

What you could do is put Carroll at third and DH Atkins, but then you would be betting that the defensive difference between Carroll and Atkins is larger than the offensive difference between Spilborghs and Carroll. Unless the defensive advantage is just massive -- like it would be between Crisp and Manny -- I think you have to put your best bench hitter at DH.

By the way, Taveras DH'd in those games to rest his hammies, not because Hurdle thought Spilborghs was better in center.
   69. Dan Posted: October 25, 2007 at 10:12 PM (#2593625)
I'm pretty certain that Spilborghs is a far better defensive outfielder than either Hawpe or Holliday. He'd be a defensive upgrade over Hawpe (a converted 1B) especially.
   70. Curse of the Graffanino (dfan) Posted: October 25, 2007 at 10:24 PM (#2593634)
Either the players on the Rockies' bench are both offensively and defensively inferior to their regulars at every position,

That's hardly unusual, isn't it? If the bench guys are superior to the regulars offensively and defensively, they shouldn't be on the bench.


The opposite of "both offensively and defensively inferior" is "superior offensively OR defensively", not AND. For example, if the Red Sox were an NL team and didn't have Ortiz, they could move Manny to DH and put Ellsbury in LF.
   71. Darren Posted: October 25, 2007 at 10:56 PM (#2593656)
So those people who disagree with me, you think it was a good idea to send Beckett back out after an incredibly long 5th inning? And the fact that he got absolutely pounded in the 6th didn't change your mind? And you think the upside of him pitching with a 12-run lead outweighs the downside that he might get hurt on a soggy field?

Why take him out after 7 innings then? They were still clinging to that 12-run lead and since he's invincible, you know that he's not going to get hurt or fatigued. Heck, why not have him start every game of the series?
   72. Boots Day Posted: October 25, 2007 at 11:13 PM (#2593668)
The opposite of "both offensively and defensively inferior" is "superior offensively OR defensively", not AND. For example, if the Red Sox were an NL team and didn't have Ortiz, they could move Manny to DH and put Ellsbury in LF.

Carroll is superior to Atkins defensively. Spilborghs is superior to Torrealba offensively. How does that get us any closer to answering the question of who should be the Rockies' DH?

The only reason the question is easier for the Red Sox is that they have one obvious defensive liability out there, and their best bench hitter just happens to be able to play the same position as him. The Rockies, on the other hand, have good defensive players at the traditionally DH-ish positions of 1B and LF, which makes the question more complicated, but should not be seen as any sort of problem.
   73. Mister High Standards Posted: October 25, 2007 at 11:17 PM (#2593674)
So those people who disagree with me, you think it was a good idea to send Beckett back out after an incredibly long 5th inning? And the fact that he got absolutely pounded in the 6th didn't change your mind?


You have an interesting definition of being pounded. I guess relative to well, what he had done he got pounded. He faced 4 batters, and didn't fall behind a single hitter.

You take him out after the 7th, because at that point he actually approached his pitch count. Heck I wouldnt mind if he pitched the 8th he was only at 93 pitches.

Once again, Tito managed nearly perfectly. I know, you it must irk that Tito is doing such a great job since you've been calling him an idiot for years now.
   74. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: October 25, 2007 at 11:25 PM (#2593678)
Carroll is superior to Atkins defensively. Spilborghs is superior to Torrealba offensively. How does that get us any closer to answering the question of who should be the Rockies' DH?


He wasn't arguing who should be the DH. He just found it curious that the DH would be batting ninth, which suggests that each of the eight regulars is a better hitter than the best bat off the bench.
   75. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 25, 2007 at 11:44 PM (#2593693)
Darren has apparently lost his mind.
   76. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 25, 2007 at 11:47 PM (#2593696)
I interpreted "pounded" as sarcasm, though maybe the balls were hit really hard; I wasn't watching at that point.
   77. Boots Day Posted: October 25, 2007 at 11:48 PM (#2593698)
The balls were hit pretty hard. Holliday's double play was probably the hardest-hit ball of the inning.
   78. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 25, 2007 at 11:58 PM (#2593706)
Francis got pounded. Beckett gave up 1 run through 7. I hope he gets pounded like that for the rest of his career with the Red Sox.
   79. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 26, 2007 at 12:01 AM (#2593711)
Why didn't the Rockies just DH Matt Holliday and put Spillboroughs in LF?
   80. Hugh Jorgan Posted: October 26, 2007 at 12:07 AM (#2593718)
#75, I agree.
93 pitches is perfect for Beckett, 5 day rest leading to the next start. Well if it ain't broke... I know its not very sabermetrical, but its routine. And when something is working ideally like Beckett is right now, you don't want to break routine.
As far as Tito is concerned, hey the guy wins, the players like him and they respond to him. I've been watching mlb for nearly 35 years and I've yet to see a manager who doesn't make mistakes or things I interpret as strange moves. But you know what, while we all blog away like the armchair geniuses we pretend to be, this guy is winning and well we are sitting on our arses pretending to be smarter.
Personally, as a fan, I'm happy to see the team being so successful.
   81. Darren Posted: October 26, 2007 at 04:31 AM (#2594628)
You have an interesting definition of being pounded.

"Single, Double Play, Single, Fly Out" is getting absolutely pounded?


If you watched the game, I think you know exactly what I meant by getting "pounded."

Leaving Beckett in there is all downside and no upside.

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