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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Sunday, October 03, 2021

PLAYOFFS!

Unbelievable.  For the first time in their 121 year history the Sox will play a Wild Card game.  This will feature Nathan Eovaldi facing Gerrit Cole of the third place Yankees.  I can only wish Johnny Pesky could have lived to have seen a Wild Card game at Fenway.  Playing a Wild Card game is the dream of every young man.

OK, jokes aside I’m thinking of what MCoA wrote after the 2013 World Series.  This team, this ####### team. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t easy but man they came through.  Not enough can be said about Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo who had either the worst great game or best terrible game ever.  Strike out on ball four in a potential big inning, make a base running blunder, then get the biggest hit of the season.  Doogs you magnificent bastard.

For now, let’s party for a bit.  From the depths of 2019 and especially 2020 this flawed, frustrating, exhilarating team is playing baseball in October.  That my friends is what it is all about.  So we can enjoy this for now.It took awhile but here we are indeed.

And man a very nice salute to Jerry Remy by Dave O’Brien at the end of the game.  Get well Jerry.

Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 03, 2021 at 06:56 PM | 72 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: October 03, 2021 at 08:55 PM (#6043412)
For the first time in their 121 year history the Sox will play a Wild Card game with Nathan Eovaldi facing Gerrit Cole of the third place Yankees.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and make an early bold prediction: This will be the *only* time the Red Sox will ever play a Wild Card game with Nathan Eovaldi facing Gerrit Cole of the third place Yankees.

Boston hasn't been a wild card team in the prior 11 seasons. The Yankees are pros at being a runner-up, having had 5 wild cards in that time. The Yankees in fact were the inaugural AL wild card, finishing 2nd in the AL East in the 1995 season to Boston.

This is the Yankees' 9th overall wild card berth, and Boston's 7th. Of the 8 previous Yankees teams to enter the postseason as a wild card, none have won the pennant. Boston wild card teams have won the pennant once, in 2004, over the Yankees. Boston went on to win the World Series that year, as I recall.
   2. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 03, 2021 at 09:05 PM (#6043414)
Edited to deal with vi’s snark.

I’m so fired up they are in. Such a well deserved reward.
   3. villageidiom Posted: October 03, 2021 at 09:40 PM (#6043425)
Nah, I saw what you were doing there. I just went a different way with it.

I have watched a replay of Pivetta's final strike to Soto about a dozen times. Man, freezing a great hitter like him with a pitch like that is so much fun to watch. It won't be nearly as fun when Soto launches the next ten pitches from Pivetta to Saturn, but hoo boy that one pitch was fun. If you want to see my reaction, just call up a gif of Chief Brody's face after he blew up the shark.
   4. The Duke Posted: October 03, 2021 at 11:10 PM (#6043440)
This isn’t the playoffs. This is a one game play-in to determine who actually gets to play in playoffs. Better than not being in, but really a playoff game.
   5. Textbook Editor Posted: October 03, 2021 at 11:57 PM (#6043448)
It's going to be very interesting to see who is or isn't going to pitch Tuesday night, as using your entire non-Eovaldi starting rotation c.July to close out this game assumes there's a lot of people running on fumes in the bullpen. I'm guessing Houck is the first one out of the pen to back up Eovaldi, for maybe an inning or two, but after that I'm at a complete loss as to how they'd handle it. And if the situation on Tuesday is like today's game, I'm really not sure I know how Cora would handle getting in an early 4-0 hole where Houck is pitching in the 4th.

On the plus side, they potentially now have 2 off days before G1 of the ALDS and then another one on Saturday. That could really help them get things setup better for the ALDS, assuming they don't go into a 2-0 hole before G3.

Yesterday and today were fun. Can't wait to see Bucky ####### Dent highlights 10 times Tuesday night.
   6. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 04, 2021 at 08:41 AM (#6043465)
I have watched a replay of Pivetta's final strike to Soto about a dozen times. Man, freezing a great hitter like him with a pitch like that is so much fun to watch.


Pivetta called it "an 80" and he's right. I had flashbacks to Wainwright on Beltran. The Sox did a great job on Soto all weekend, 0 for 8 with 5 walks. Can't ask for more than that.

Yesterday and today were fun. Can't wait to see Bucky ####### Dent highlights 10 times Tuesday night.


I prefer to think of the most recent winner take all game between the two teams.
   7. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 04, 2021 at 08:58 AM (#6043469)
How crazy is it that four of the five members of the rotation to start the year appeared in the game yesterday...and none of them were the starter!

Also: Big props to Perez-Whitlock-ERod-Pivetta for four pretty much drama-free relief innings when they really needed to give the offense a chance to come back. Four innings, 13 batters faced, one walk.

   8. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 04, 2021 at 08:58 AM (#6043471)
I was just trying to come up with a roster for the WCG and...how the #### did this team make the playoffs? By my count they have 17 eligible position players on the 40 man roster (ignoring guys like Hudson Potts). Iglesias comes off the roster so here are the eligible players for tomorrow;

With MLB Experience; Duran, Lopez, Arauz, Wong, Cordero
Without MLB Experience; Potts, Rosario, Ronaldo Hernandez
DL: Munoz

Who do you take? I add Duran (pinch runner) and Wong so I have three catchers just in case. One game situation, no reason to get caught short there.

Pitchers: Eovaldi starts
Relievers: Whitlock, Ottavino, Barnes, Houck, Brasier, Rodriguez, Richards, Robles, Davis, Darwinzon

So Jose's first pass at a roster (assuming JDM is ready to go);

Lineup:

CF - Kiké
1B - Schwahbah
SS - Xander
3B - RAFAEL ############# DEVERS
DH - JDM
LF - Verdugo
RF - Renfroe
C - Vazquez
2B - Arroyo
Bench - Plawecki, Wong, Dalbec, Duran, Shaw, Lopez
Pitchers - Eovaldi, Whitlock, Ottavino, Barnes, Houck, Brasier, Rodriguez, Richards, Robles, Davis, Darwinzon

That's 26. 11 pitchers for one game is stupid but what other position players do I force back onto the roster? Arauz? Franchy? I guess Arauz as a defense option (which is why I took Lopez). Am I missing someone? I assume they will avoid Sale even though he only threw 60 pitches yesterday.

I say again; how the #### did this team make the playoffs?
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: October 04, 2021 at 09:02 AM (#6043472)
This isn’t the playoffs. This is a one game play-in to determine who actually gets to play in playoffs
You plebeian. Nothing before the 5th inning of the third game of the World Series is the playoffs.
   10. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 04, 2021 at 09:03 AM (#6043473)
If it's the 5th in game three that means there are only 13 more innings left in the game!
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 04, 2021 at 09:23 AM (#6043475)
Can't wait to see Bucky ####### Dent highlights 10 times Tuesday night.

Paired with a side order of Aaron F. Boone's career highlight.

Ruben Sierra rolling a grounder to 2B is what I'd like to see though.
   12. Lassus Posted: October 04, 2021 at 09:25 AM (#6043476)
I had flashbacks to Wainwright on Beltran.

Too soon.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: October 04, 2021 at 09:40 AM (#6043477)
Ruben Sierra rolling a grounder to 2B is what I'd like to see though.
There's also 2018 ALDS highlights.
   14. Textbook Editor Posted: October 04, 2021 at 09:44 AM (#6043478)
If JDM can't start because of the ankle I'm assuming Schwarber is DH, Dalbec at 1B. If JDM can't start you could arguably not roster him, but in my mind if he can at least do a Kirk Gibson and give you 1 AB you roster him and pick your spot to PH him and then PR for him.
   15. villageidiom Posted: October 04, 2021 at 10:23 AM (#6043484)
This isn’t the playoffs. This is a one game play-in to determine who actually gets to play in playoffs. Better than not being in, but really a playoff game.
Your last sentence contradicts your first. That aside, I don't understand why is it so fashionable these days for people to make arguments that are nothing more than "This doesn't fit the definition, because if I change the definition it doesn't fit."
If JDM can't start because of the ankle I'm assuming Schwarber is DH, Dalbec at 1B. If JDM can't start you could arguably not roster him, but in my mind if he can at least do a Kirk Gibson and give you 1 AB you roster him and pick your spot to PH him and then PR for him.
Since Schwarber was acquired both he and Dalbec have been outhitting JDM plenty. Use the ankle as the excuse to sit him, then have him PH for... I assume whoever is catching, if we're carrying three.
what other position players do I force back onto the roster? Arauz? Franchy?
I think the answer is Arauz, but there's also Danny Santana and Yairo Munoz. I would loooove for Franchy to come up and FRANCHY SMASH but that's starting to feel like waiting for Jed Lowrie to be healthy. That aside, they already have the mayor of ding dong city there for that role.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: October 04, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6043486)
Garrett Whitlock finished with 73 innings in 46 relief outings. Are there any other seasons like that recently - long (relatively) outings coming in the late innings? I think the only other relievers with that high IP/G have been guys following "openers."
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 04, 2021 at 10:29 AM (#6043487)
This will also be the fifth time that the Red Sox and Yankees have met in a win-or-go-home game for both teams. If any other two teams have met in a similar game more than twice, I can't think of them.

Cole's Game Scores vs. the Red Sox this year: 33, 67, 49, 53. Overall 2-2, 4.91 ERA. September ERA against all teams: 5.13

Eovaldi's Game Scores vs. the Yankees this year: 57, 67, 65, 60, 50, 14. Overall 2-2, 3.71. September ERA against all teams: 3.94



   18. bunyon Posted: October 04, 2021 at 10:30 AM (#6043489)
It's interesting to me that we'd get this Red Sox/Yankee game even if we were back on the system with only one wild card.
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 04, 2021 at 10:44 AM (#6043490)
Right. It'd would've then been like the 2007 Rockies-Diamondbacks and the 2018 Brewers-Cubs, or a variant of 1978's Game 163, an extension of the regular season.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 04, 2021 at 11:00 AM (#6043494)
This isn’t the playoffs. This is a one game play-in to determine who actually gets to play in playoffs. Better than not being in, but really a playoff game.

Who cares? It's a game that you can win and keep advancing towards the World Series. Were yesterday's Yankee and Red Sox games less freaking dramatic because the don't have the "playoff label". I don't really care about "making the playoffs" per se. Losing in the ALDS isn't really any more of an achievement than losing the WC game.

To me, three things matter: winning the division, winning the pennant, and winning the World Series. Everything in between are just steps to advance to the WS.
   21. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 04, 2021 at 12:44 PM (#6043512)
If Boston were playing tomorrow in a non-DH game, then I'd probably replace a pitcher or two for a few extra pinch hitters. For this game, however, I think Jose's roster looks about right.
   22. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 04, 2021 at 01:08 PM (#6043515)
SBPT - Honestly I want to replace a pitcher with a hitter but there isn't one. Franchy is the only player on the 40 man roster with MLB experience who isn't on my roster (Yairo Munoz on the IL doesn't count). The players just aren't there.
   23. Textbook Editor Posted: October 04, 2021 at 01:36 PM (#6043520)
Honestly, if they're going to win the WS in addition to an awful lot of luck they're going to need a healthy next 4 weeks, because 1-2 injuries to position players (or COVID diagnoses) could create some pretty big black holes in the lineup.

Side Question for 2022: Bring Iglesias back if you can get him on a cheapish 1-2 year deal?
   24. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 04, 2021 at 01:43 PM (#6043524)
Side Question for 2022: Bring Iglesias back if you can get him on a cheapish 1-2 year deal?


One thought I had watching the celebration yesterday was that Iglesias was absolutely going to be our utility infielder next year.

Seriously guys, how the #### did this team make the playoffs? So happy today.
   25. villageidiom Posted: October 04, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6043526)
Side Question for 2022: Bring Iglesias back if you can get him on a cheapish 1-2 year deal?
I covet. I want a healthy Arroyo in that position, but hey, I wanted a healthy Pedroia, and I've already taken my quarterly shot at Jed Lowrie, and forget all that because Jose Iglesias is magic.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 04, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6043527)
Seriously guys, how the #### did this team make the playoffs? So happy today.

Same way the Yankees did; the Jays massively under-performed.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: October 04, 2021 at 01:55 PM (#6043532)
Iglesias and Shaw are washed up. They shouldn't be on next year's team - I have no nostalgia about them just because they came through the farm system.
   28. Textbook Editor Posted: October 04, 2021 at 02:10 PM (#6043535)
#27--Shaw I agree with--he can't reasonably play SS or 2B for prolonged periods of time. But Iglesias is a bit different (to me) in that I think he could at least be a glove-first guy at 3B, SS, 2B, and if cheaply gotten such players are usually handy to have around.

Someone clarify this for me because I'm stupid and don't quite follow how Cot's is laid out now... Renfroe is under team control next year?

They have some interesting off-season calls. Personally, I think I'd make getting Schwarber on-board a priority. If he can move around at DH/LF/1B I think there will be more than enough ABs to go around in 2022 without messing up Dalbec. And if you could get him on a 3-year deal for quasi-reasonable $ he's the bridge to the post-JD DH era.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: October 04, 2021 at 02:13 PM (#6043536)
#27--Shaw I agree with--he can't reasonably play SS or 2B for prolonged periods of time.
He can't hit either.
   30. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 04, 2021 at 02:17 PM (#6043539)
Jose Iglesias is a decent player as a utility guy. I don't want to go too far into this because when I start seriously looking at it I'll have stronger opinions (after the parade I guess). But as a utility infielder assuming Iglesias' defensive woes in Anaheim are an aberration he can play 2nd, short and 3rd and he's an 85-90 OPS+ guy. As a 5th infielder who gets 250 PA that's just fine. If they can do better they should, of course. But sometimes you take the guy you got, accept that he fits the clubhouse culture and works in your system.
   31. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 04, 2021 at 02:22 PM (#6043541)
I think I'd make getting Schwarber on-board a priority. If he can move around at DH/LF/1B I think there will be more than enough ABs to go around in 2022 without messing up Dalbec. And if you could get him on a 3-year deal for quasi-reasonable $ he's the bridge to the post-JD DH era.
If rumors of the universal DH starting in 2022 pan out, Schwarber should be in great demand, so I suppose it might depend on whether paying fair market value is “quasi-reasonable”, but I suspect a 3-year deal won’t be sufficient. Seems likely he’s more valuable to a team with an unencumbered DH slot.
   32. pikepredator Posted: October 04, 2021 at 02:50 PM (#6043553)
if he can at least do a Kirk Gibson


What a fun thought!! I don't want the game to be close . . . but if it is close I definitely want to know JDM is available to pinch-hit in a tight spot against Chapman.
   33. Textbook Editor Posted: October 04, 2021 at 04:00 PM (#6043562)
If rumors of the universal DH starting in 2022 pan out,


Ugh. Had not heard that. Yeah, should that happen you're almost certainly looking at 4/$80 as a floor for Schwarber, I would think. I dunno. He has--in theory--more positional versatility than DH (which is useful going forward), and given the Red Sox's payroll obligations (i.e., not all that much), I think one could splurge on a guy like Schwarber and just accept for 2022 he'll be playing all over the place and you'll have a DH share. But I don't know how crazy you get for him. 5/$100? That seems steep but if he can play 1B/LF in addition, that's more valuable than what JD brings and there'd just be the 1-year overlap...

If there's a universal DH, though, he's probably gone as someone will offer silly money for him, and I don't see Bloom doing that, even with a good bit of payroll flexibility.
   34. TomH Posted: October 04, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6043565)
can people get in their heads that the Bucky Dent HR is overrated? If he drew a walk, the Yankees still may win 5-4, or maybe it's 4-4 after 9.

the games' biggest conclusive moments were Yaz popping up in the 9th with 2 on, and Lou Pinella playing a hunch in RF that turned a 2-run roped double into a lineout.
   35. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 04, 2021 at 04:51 PM (#6043569)
Depends on what Dent does other than homer. If he makes an out the Sox got to the 8th with at least a 2-0 lead. Instead they were down 4-2 after 7. Statistically BBRef shows it as the most important play of the game with the Yaz pop up a distant second.
   36. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 04, 2021 at 04:56 PM (#6043573)
FWIW Dent's homer is the 4th highest championship probability added play in a regular season game in history. Bobby Thomson is far and away the leader there.
   37. Textbook Editor Posted: October 04, 2021 at 05:08 PM (#6043574)
Jose--I'd be curious to know what the other 2 are, though I'm guessing they're from the more recent Game 163s that have taken place.
   38. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 04, 2021 at 06:22 PM (#6043586)
can people get in their heads that the Bucky Dent HR is overrated? If he drew a walk, the Yankees still may win 5-4, or maybe it's 4-4 after 9.

the games' biggest conclusive moments were Yaz popping up in the 9th with 2 on, and Lou Pinella playing a hunch in RF that turned a 2-run roped double into a lineout.


The problem with that is that Dent's homer was the straw that stirred the drink. If Dent had been retired, the Red Sox almost certainly wouldn't have even had to bat in the 9th, which is when those other two plays took place.

P. S. That famous Piniella "hunch" play converted a possible single and two base error into just a single. It wasn't a lineout.
   39. sunday silence (again) Posted: October 04, 2021 at 07:14 PM (#6043596)

Lou Pinella playing a hunch in RF that turned a 2-run roped double into a lineout.


I thought for certain you were referring to this play (Braggs was def. insertion in the top of the 9th):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvd6IGZeup4
   40. TomH Posted: October 04, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6043621)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IowgfzVsXGA

6th inning, Pinella moves over toward the line pre-pitch and makes the catch

Yes, if Dent was retired, the Sox win. My point was, a walk or a single was perhaps as valuable as a home run, given how the rest of the game played. Of course AT THE MOMENT is was a huge play.
   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 04, 2021 at 10:01 PM (#6043624)
Here's the play TomH is talking about, without having to scroll through to the 6th inning to see it. It was a fine catch, and if it'd gone through it would've made it 4-0, but the sun wasn't nearly as directly in Piniella's face as it was in that 9th inning "hunch" play, and it was a play that any good outfielder would likely have made. It didn't even make the top 5 Win Probability plays on BB-Reference.
   42. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 04, 2021 at 11:40 PM (#6043636)
Jose--I'd be curious to know what the other 2 are, though I'm guessing they're from the more recent Game 163s that have taken place


Both are from game 165 in 1962.. Go ahead walk by Jim Davenport and an earlier homer by Tommy Davis. Fifth is Yaz’ two run single in game 162 in 1967 which makes it the highest rated play in a regularly scheduled game.

Funnily Thomson’s homer off Branca in game one of the series is number 33 on the list.
   43. TomH Posted: October 05, 2021 at 06:29 AM (#6043640)
Jolly, I agree, it was not a great physical play nor a top 5 WPA play... it was all pre-pitch positioning, which is the "hunch". Easy play if you start close to where the ball was hit than if you don't :)
   44. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 08:53 AM (#6043653)
Happy Wild Card Day peeps!!!

It's funny how relaxed I am. I was a wreck over the weekend but having made the playoffs I'm pretty sanguine about things. If we lose, meh, the Yankees are the better team so be it. If we win, WOOOO! I'm going to enjoy tonight. Admittedly about 8:08 tonight I reserve the right to turn back into a raving lunatic.
   45. Darren Posted: October 05, 2021 at 09:13 AM (#6043654)
It didn't even make the top 5 Win Probability plays on BB-Reference.


It didn't make it because it was an out, though. If it had been a two-run double it's probably a big swing.

   46. Darren Posted: October 05, 2021 at 09:26 AM (#6043656)
The WPA stuff always kind of bugs me because of how it ends up getting used. For example, in this game: Yaz hits .400/.400/1.000. He homers off the best pitcher is baseball then singles home a run off the best reliever in baseball. But his home happens too early in the game, when runs don't count, so his pop-up at the end makes him a choking dog. Also in this game, Gossage's 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R is far more valuable than Guidry's 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R.
   47. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 10:26 AM (#6043665)
Yaz had the third highest WPA for the game among position players (Dent and Remy). Beyond that I don't think I've ever heard anyone anywhere say Yaz choked or anything like it.

More generally WPA is just one of those fun things to me. I don't take it too seriously, it's just a fun thing to look at and see how a play grades out.
   48. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 05, 2021 at 10:49 AM (#6043668)
Funnily Thomson’s homer off Branca in game one of the series is number 33 on the list.

A trivia question that almost everyone gets wrong:
In the first nationally televised baseball game, Bobby Thomson hit a home run off Ralph Branca to lift the New York Giants to victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers. What was the final score of that game?

The trick is that people who remember the final score of the 3rd game think they're being tested on that. After that ending of game 3, games 1 and 2 seemed to slip down the memory hole.

----

Jolly, I agree, it was not a great physical play nor a top 5 WPA play... it was all pre-pitch positioning, which is the "hunch". Easy play if you start close to where the ball was hit than if you don't :)

Okay, then we're not really in that much disagreement. But whose "hunch" was that, Piniella's or one of the Yankees' coaches?

----

It's funny how relaxed I am. I was a wreck over the weekend but having made the playoffs I'm pretty sanguine about things. If we lose, meh, the Yankees are the better team so be it. If we win, WOOOO! I'm going to enjoy tonight. Admittedly about 8:08 tonight I reserve the right to turn back into a raving lunatic.

I'm as psyched as anyone, but AFAIC the Yankees are playing with house money. Unless everyone on their roster starts performing like they did during that winning streak and then again in that last Red Sox series, even if they beat the Red Sox tonight they've got almost no chance of making it past the Rays. I would've felt a lot better if tonight's winner had to face either the White Sox or the Astros, since the Yanks handled both of those teams rather easily in the regular season.

----

Yaz had the third highest WPA for the game among position players (Dent and Remy). Beyond that I don't think I've ever heard anyone anywhere say Yaz choked or anything like it.

When Yaz came to the plate I was about 90% sure he was going to win it with a hit. If anyone could be said to have "choked" in that game it was Gossage, not that he had the world's easiest assignment in having to finish up a game in Fenway, coming in with 8 outs still to get.
   49. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 10:54 AM (#6043669)
No JD Martinez tonight. 12 pitchers;

Pitchers; Eovaldi, Barnes, Brasier, Davis, Houck, Ottavino, Pivetta, Richards, Robles, Rodriguez, Taylor, Whitlock

Catchers: Vazquez, Plawecki, Wong

Infield: Arauz, Arroyo, Bogaerts, Dalbec, Devers, Shaw

Outfield: Hernandez, Verdugo, Renfroe, Duran, Schwahbah
   50. Nasty Nate Posted: October 05, 2021 at 10:58 AM (#6043670)
What's Duran been doing the last few weeks?
   51. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 11:02 AM (#6043672)
Not much with the bat since going back to Worcester. Gotta think he's there as a pinch runner and maybe defense.
   52. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 11:04 AM (#6043674)
On the injury scale where does Martinez' being out for a Wild Card game rank between "random thing" and "Vince Coleman getting run over by a tarp."
   53. pikepredator Posted: October 05, 2021 at 11:07 AM (#6043675)
My buddy Nick is going to be at the game, just a couple rows behind the Sox bullpen. We were talking before he left about how it's a no-lose situation. Just getting to go to a Sox-Yanks game is a bonus. Winning 92 games is a miracle.

And if they win that place will be BONKERS.
   54. Textbook Editor Posted: October 05, 2021 at 11:39 AM (#6043683)
#42--Thanks, Jose!
   55. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 05, 2021 at 11:42 AM (#6043684)
No JD Martinez tonight. 12 pitchers
Even in my fondest dreams I can’t quite see how the Red Sox would need 12 pitchers for 1 game, but perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
   56. Textbook Editor Posted: October 05, 2021 at 11:51 AM (#6043689)
On the injury scale where does Martinez' being out for a Wild Card game rank between "random thing" and "Vince Coleman getting run over by a tarp."


Coleman. I mean, who badly sprains their ankle running over 2nd base on the way to the OF? It's positively goofy.

I mean, if he can't even merit a spot for a possible 1 AB, PH appearance, it must be a pretty bad sprain and honestly makes me doubt he would make the ALDS roster. Which would be a pretty huge blow (though possibly allow/force the Red Sox to use the best possible defensive setup for the ALDS).

I suspect that Cora will have quick hooks all night, but I'm intrigued by who the extra innings long man would be--presumably Pivetta just based on when he pitched last, how many pitches he threw on Sunday, etc.--but playing "normal" extra innings rules means you have to at least have 1 guy who could (if forced) give you 4-5+ innings if need be, especially if your starter only goes 2 and you burn through 7-8 guys for the other innings.
   57. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 12:37 PM (#6043700)
55 - The problem for the Sox is they have two position players; Jack Lopez and Yairo Munoz, who are on the 40 man roster and have played Major League Baseball. They just don't have options. Personally I'd have taken Lopez, he can move a bit and is a pretty good glove but I'm skeptical that the key moment of this game will be dependent on the Sox having Josh Taylor or Jack Lopez available.

The other thing is the Sox have experience with super long post-season games and their designated "pitch forever" reliever is tonight's starter so they gotta be ready for that!
   58. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: October 05, 2021 at 12:44 PM (#6043702)
The 12 pitchers seems excessive when there's a 3-batter minimum, or does that not apply during the playoffs?
   59. Darren Posted: October 05, 2021 at 12:46 PM (#6043704)
Yaz had the third highest WPA for the game among position players (Dent and Remy).

I think you're looking only at his WPA+, which only includes his positive WPA at bats. His total WPA (which includes both his positive and negative WPA events), is -0.053. That ranks him right behind Bob Bailey, who struck out as a pinch hitter.

I guess looking at WPA to see what were the tense, exciting 'turning points.' Even then it really distorts the importance of those moments. Worse, these numbers get added up and credited to players (batters and pitchers only) as if they tell something about how much they helped their team win.
   60. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 01:32 PM (#6043717)
The 12 pitchers seems excessive when there's a 3-batter minimum, or does that not apply during the playoffs?


That is still in effect. I think it's just a matter of the Sox not having options. Like I said I'd have put Lopez in there but 11, 12 it doesn't matter. I guess if the game goes 20 innings you don't want to be the first team to run out of pitchers but like I said, if the 25th, 26th man become an issue what are you going to do. At that point you've reached a stage where you are in weird #### time.
   61. TomH Posted: October 05, 2021 at 03:20 PM (#6043742)
Jim Rice singled in Burleson. Guidry then intentionally walked Carlton Fisk to pitch to Fred Lynn with two on, two out.

"I knew Guidry didn't have his good stuff at that point," Yankee rightfielder on Piniella would say later. "I realized Lynn could pull him. So I moved over towards the line six or eight steps." Lynn smashed a line drive into the corner in right, but Piniella grabbed it just before it hit the low wall. Lynn later asked, "What was he doing out of position? How lucky can he be?"
   62. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 03:36 PM (#6043749)
Schwarber DH, Hernández CF, Devers 3B, Bogaerts SS, Verdugo LF, Renfroe RF, Plawecki C, Dalbec 1B, Arroyo 2B, Eovaldi P


Per Speier Schwahbah the first Red Sox DH leading off a playoff game since Beniquez in 1975.
   63. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 05, 2021 at 05:17 PM (#6043773)
Schwahbah the first Red Sox DH leading off a playoff game since Beniquez in 1975.
The Yankees are also going with their in-you-face-right-off-the-bat lineup:: Rizzo 1B, Judge RF, Stanton DH, Gallo LF, Torres 2B, Gardner CF, Urshela 3B, Higashioka, C, Velazquez SS. That probably means some bottom of the order guy decides the game, huh? Andrew Velazquez for 2021 Bucky Dent?
   64. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 07:41 PM (#6043801)
I’m curious to see how I feel when things get rolling. I’m incredibly chill right now all things considered. The Sox have so far exceeded my expectations that a loss tonight won’t be crushing and a win will just be such a delight. It would be nice to win though.
   65. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 07:53 PM (#6043807)
I'm with Jose in #64. It has been a great, unexpected season, and tonight (and beyond) feels like we're playing with house money, at this point.

It oddly feels a little bit like I did before the Pats'Bucs game this past Sunday night. I really wanted New England to win, although I am forever grateful to Brady. The Patriots are simply not as good as Tampa Bay, and coming within a missed field goal of beating them felt a little bit like playing with house money, as well.

One other reason I'm not sweating this one too much tonight: Even if we win, the pitching is so messed up right now that I can't even imagine who will be pitching key innings by the end of the Tampa series, if we survive tonight. The three Nationals games - all of them critical - were closed out by Robles, Robles, and Pivetta. Shoot, if we made it to the World Series, it wouldn't surprise me if Barnes is back to being a dominant closer by the end of the month...or if Darwinzon Hernandez was the closer by then...who isn't even on the roster tonight.

I guess what I'm saying is, have fun watching the game tonight, don't get too stressed out, and enjoy the 4+-hour marathon that will be...a Yankees/Red Sox playoff game.
   66. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 08:07 PM (#6043814)
I’ve finally figured out what this team reminds me of; 1990. That team like this one was a bit surprising (Dana Kiecker? Tom Bolton? Carlos Quintana?) and when they made the playoffs on the last day of the season that was enough for me. If they can do anything here that would be so remarkable.

SBPT - Chris Hatfield of Sox Prospects made the comparison of Barnes to Joe Kelly in 2018. As much as he’s struggled if the stuff rebounds he can be a force.
   67. coppermist72 Posted: October 05, 2021 at 09:01 PM (#6043824)
Carlos Quintana!!! I was just looking him up the other day as his career ended at the time in mysterious fashion. A bit of a tragedy and while not an All Star, felt he was an above average player.

Tonight's game is simulcast on ESPN and ESPN2. The deuce has the Statcast and no ARod so a win win, there. Arod is very annoying as he drifts off topic frequently.
   68. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 09:30 PM (#6043841)
Q got shot or something like that didn’t he?
   69. coppermist72 Posted: October 05, 2021 at 10:39 PM (#6043879)
Jose close enough though, Q got into a serious car accident with his wife while bringing his brother(s) to the hospital (who both were shot).
   70. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 05, 2021 at 11:27 PM (#6043901)
PARTY ####### TIME!!!
   71. John DiFool2 Posted: October 05, 2021 at 11:30 PM (#6043904)
Has Matt Barnes become the odd man out in the bullpen? Rarely sees any high-lev situations anymore.
   72. Textbook Editor Posted: October 05, 2021 at 11:43 PM (#6043908)
With the off days now there’s a real chance the Red Sox could set up the bullpen in a lot of interesting ways every game, even if a starter gives them only 12 outs.

A fun win. Nice to see Eovaldi get the win.

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