Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Sox Therapy > Discussion
Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Shrug

There hasn’t been much to add in a new thread lately.  The discussion is rolling as the Sox have tried their best to give us plenty to gripe about.  To say the last week of baseball hasn’t been ideal is hard to argue.  The Sox got swept in a frustrating series in the Bronx and have split so far with Texas.  I think SBPT has laid out a lot of good reasons to reel in our emotions about the recent play by the Sox that is not the nature of fandom.  I’ve been as frustrated as anyone even while nodding aggressively with much of what he has had to say.

That said when I laid out a path to 92 in that thread this week has not gone that far off the rails.  I suggested the Sox would go 1-2 in New York (0-3) then 2-1 against Texas and a win on Monday would get them there.  It’s unfair to say Monday is a must win but it is what it is.  A win tomorrow gets them moving forward.  But they need to play better.

For me the big issue is Saturday’s game.  That was a real kick in the teeth.  Losing is fine, they aren’t going to win out (though how cool would that be, I’d even take 35-2).  The way they lost though with five errors, bad starting pitching, that’s the blueprint that had most observers pinning this team around .500 when the season started.  The series in New York was actually about as encouraging as getting swept can be.  The pitching was good (generally) and has been for a few weeks now and they got people on base they just couldn’t get them across.  If they can get 3 quality starts out of every turn through the rotation they should be expected to win more than they lose.  But time is short.

So for now the message for the 2021 Red Sox is simple, play better if you want to make the playoffs.  The future continues to look good though.  The acquisition of Kyle Schwarber took some time to get going but he’s been very good since arriving and at the same time Bobby Dalbec has been hot hitting .276/.373/.5876 over the last four weeks.  The most encouraging aspect of that has been his 20:6 K:BB rate which isn’t great but it’s not bad either.  For all the hubbub of the Sox not getting Anthony Rizzo the production at first base has been good since the deadline.

A few random notes:

- The Sox got a lot of heat for their draft strategy in 2020.  So far Bloom has rolled a 7 on that one with Nick Yorke and Blaze Jordan tearing the cover off the baseball.  Add in Marcelo Mayer and a few others and the Sox system suddenly looks very good.

- Just your friendly reminder that 125 games into the season, the Boston Red Sox are STILL in a playoff spot.  They are tied with Oakland for the second Wild Card.  How much do you think ESPN or MLBN would LOVE to have a Sox-Yankees winner take all game to air?

- If you have a subscription to The Athletic I highly recommend the article about Tanner Houck they wrote this weekend.  It’s a fascinating look at the way the Sox are using the roster rules to keep someone who has been fundamentally in the rotation for several weeks on a minor league roster (and importantly to Houck making minor league money) for 26 out of 43 days.

Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: August 22, 2021 at 07:07 PM | 158 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2
   101. pikepredator Posted: September 03, 2021 at 09:12 AM (#6038091)
Quoted for the flip:

I liked that Cora stuck with Richards for 3 innings last night. Rodriguez having a great start was key, but then using the most rested reliever, who is also capable of throwing multiple innings - and then using him that way - is just what I wanted to see.


Agreed, 100%. Bringing back the long reliever in a relatively close game (as opposed to mop-up/blow-out duty) is a strategy I'm exited to see come back into play.
   102. John DiFool2 Posted: September 04, 2021 at 09:25 AM (#6038252)
I had been jonesing for Schwarber to join this team because I have thought for awhile that he had a nonzero chance of pulling a Papi and turning into an elite hitter. The one thing that gets me right now is all the walks.
   103. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 04, 2021 at 11:46 AM (#6038267)
A friendly update, as of the morning of September 4th, of stats since the evening of July 30th, the trade deadline. Even the most obnoxious Twitter voices have stopped complaining about Rizzo/Schwarber, "FiRe BlOoM!" crap:

Schwarber: 79 PAs, .344/.468/.609, 5 2B, 4 HRs, 15 BBs (!)
Rizzo: 93 PAs, .253/.344/.456, 4 2Bs, 4 HRs, 8 BBs

BTW, a few other playes since the deadline:
Joey Gallo (actually been in NY longer than the deadline, but you know what I mean...): 138 PAs, .134/.297/.321, 6 2Bs, 5 HRs, 26/54 BB/K (!)

Dalbec: 88 PAs, 4 2Bs,1 3b, 8 HRs, 26 RBI, 9/23 BB/K, .325/.409/.714

During those 28 games since the deadline where Dalbec has played (22 of them starts), the team is only 11-17, soit is not like he's been a savior. My main point to people about Dalbec during this hot streak is that it is evidence that *nobody* was going to be the savior at the deadline. The problems were/are wider and deeper than any one acquisition. Somehow, the team is keeping it together with tape and string, and Schwarber and Dalbec have been a big part of keeping the wheels from falling off. What a fun, interesting season for Red Sox fans!
   104. Darren Posted: September 04, 2021 at 07:37 PM (#6038328)
Well, how about that!
   105. villageidiom Posted: September 04, 2021 at 09:04 PM (#6038340)
Today when Ottavino gave up the lead it still felt to me like a Boston win was inevitable.
   106. pikepredator Posted: September 05, 2021 at 10:28 AM (#6038361)
It's September and the Sox are still in this thing!!

Who saw that coming? Even back in May and June when it was all "let's enjoy this while it lasts" . . . unlikely hitting heroes! Chris Sale killing it! Eovaldi and Rodriguez pitching well!

Fun fun fun.
   107. Darren Posted: September 05, 2021 at 05:43 PM (#6038391)
2 out of 3 against the Guardians still stays on the 92 pace!
   108. Darren Posted: September 05, 2021 at 05:47 PM (#6038393)
I read somewhere that the Sox had held back Seabold because of concerns about Covid, but then he pitched yesterday and they had to go with Kutter today. Probably not a huge difference, but a little surprising.
   109. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 05, 2021 at 07:24 PM (#6038414)
Both guys were held back for the same reason. According to Chris Hatfield at SoxProspects they want to make sure Seabold gets his innings in so they rolled him out yesterday once they were set for that start.
   110. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 05, 2021 at 07:26 PM (#6038415)
I was listening on the radio today but it sounded like Crawford had good stuff but may have been a bit too hopped up and his pitches straightened out. He got a bunch of swings and misses but when he caught the plate it got hit hard. That doesn’t seem unreasonable for a first MLB a start.
   111. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 05, 2021 at 07:27 PM (#6038416)
1-2 @NY 0-3
2-1 vs. Tex 2-1
2-1 vs. Minn 2-1
2-1 @Cleve 2-1
1-3 @TB 2-2
2-1 vs. Cleve 2-1
2-1 vs. TB
1-2 @CWS
1-2 @Sea
2-1 vs. Balt.
1-1 vs. NYM
2-1 vs. NYY
2-1 @ Balt.
2-1 @ Wash.
   112. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 06, 2021 at 08:36 AM (#6038464)
Houck had an excellent 5-inning start over the weekend, and I was going back-and-forth with somebody during the game about how Cora isn't giving his starters enough of a chance to "stretch it out" and go deeper in the game, and that this is why the bullpen is largely cooked.

I was contending that the inability of the starters to go consistently deeper into games is why the bullpen is cooked, but that there are two problems with his theory:
1) Several members of the bullpen aren't just cooked...they also aren't that good. In some cases, it is less that the reliever is gassed, and more that they eventually get exposed as what they are - a bullpen arm.
2) The problem with the starters isn't that Cora isn't letting them go deeper into games...it is that they have shown they cannot go deeper into games. When you are looking at starters' performance the third time around a lineup, it will be (by definition) a smaller sample size, because the first and second time around will happen almost every start, so there is a SSS thing here. However, Houck has demonstrated that he is getting figured out the third time around. Here are the times since he joined the rotation this summer where he has faced batters for a third time:

August 29: Gives up zero hits through two times around the order, but walked a few, hit a guy, so he gets through 4.2 before facing a guy a third time. Then, this happens:
- Lineout to deep right
- Deep fly ball to RF corner
- Home run
- HBP
- HBP
Taken out after 5.1 innings

August 24: Struggles to get through 4.2 innings; faces lineup a third time after 3.2 IP. Then, this happens:
- Deep fly ball to right
- HBP
- Wild pitch
- Strikeout
- Popout to third
Taken out after 4.2 innings

August 12: Cruises through five innings, giving up one run, but only going three batters above the minimum through five. Then he walks out for the sixth, which is the top of the lineup for a 3rd time, and this happens:
- Single
- HR
- 2B
Taken out after 5+ innings, and a 1-1 game after 5 is now a 3-1 Rays lead with a runner in scoring position and nobody out after 5+.

His OPS against as a starter this season:
1st time around: .602
2nd: .571
3rd: 1.458

So here's the thing about Houck - the Red Sox appear to either have an excellent multi-inning reliever, who could be used going forward the way Whitlock is being used this year (and that I think is how bullpens are going to be increasingly used), or they may have a valuable young starter who is one additional developed pitch away from being very, very good.

   113. villageidiom Posted: September 06, 2021 at 10:32 AM (#6038466)
The problem with the starters isn't that Cora isn't letting them go deeper into games...it is that they have shown they cannot go deeper into games.
For a time, it was really both. They had Houck who appears incapable of going that deep, and before him Perez who appeared to have lost the capability. And when Sale was early in his return it might have been inadvisable to let him go deep. But from the all-star break until COVID hit them hard it seemed Cora was pulling everyone earlier than he needed to, which is unsustainable given they have a subset of starters who give him no options.

Some of it, too, was in how he managed the bullpen. Yes, if he brings in a reliever with 2 out and they get the first batter he's not required to bring the same pitcher out for the first 2 batters of the next inning. But, like, he could, and especially when everyone in the pen is tired maybe he should. So instead of getting through the game with 3 relievers he'd use 4; and the more relievers he uses the more likely he's going to run into the guy who simply doesn't have it that night, which begets more relievers being used, etc. The frustrating thing to me was that Cora was incredibly slow to adapt to this. Really, only when the bullpen was rocked with COVID did he start to put more care into how the bullpen was being used.

In 2018 Cora never really had to worry about it because their winning was so constant. I don't recall if pitching staff mismanagement was part of his 2019 experience, other than that they tried using the first month of the season as kind of an extended spring training to make up for the prior season's delayed end, and it completely blew up on them. In that sense, abusing the relievers to protect the starters is not a new thing for him.
   114. Darren Posted: September 10, 2021 at 01:35 PM (#6039031)
And now Sale has Covid. That's not good.
   115. villageidiom Posted: September 10, 2021 at 03:05 PM (#6039049)
On behalf of Jose...

1-2 @NY 0-3
2-1 vs. Tex 2-1
2-1 vs. Minn 2-1
2-1 @Cleve 2-1
1-3 @TB 2-2
2-1 vs. Cleve 2-1
2-1 vs. TB 1-2
1-2 @CWS
1-2 @Sea
2-1 vs. Balt.
1-1 vs. NYM
2-1 vs. NYY
2-1 @ Balt.
2-1 @ Wash.

They're one down on their path to 92, after the Tampa series. By our other season-long projection method, if they go .500 the rest of the way they end with 90 wins. Finally, here's the one we should view to keep perspective: they only need 2 more wins (in their final 20 games) to clinch a winning season.

The big thing they have to do from now on is simply to avoid falling apart in any given game. By that I mean they need to avoid those 4-error, stupid baserunning, keep-bringing-in-relievers-until-you-find-the-one-who-sucks-tonight, GIDP, let-the-opposing-starter-go-8-innings-on-90-pitches games. That would be nice.
   116. pikepredator Posted: September 10, 2021 at 04:44 PM (#6039075)
Still up a game in the Wild Card Race!! Goonies Never Say Die!!
   117. John DiFool2 Posted: September 12, 2021 at 10:26 AM (#6039306)
The thing which is highly obvious, as in hugely frustrating, about this team is the number of blown leads, often LARGE blown leads. Yeah they often will manage to win anyway, but now pretty much every time I see a large lead before the middle innings come along I am reflexively expecting it to be completely gone by the late innings. If someone can quantify that and compare it to past RS seasons it would be appreciated.
   118. The Mighty Quintana Posted: September 12, 2021 at 11:35 AM (#6039312)
I thought Verdugo could be Fred Lynn, but now I'm thinking he's post-1988 Mike Greenwell. And that's all right with me...
   119. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 12, 2021 at 02:54 PM (#6039327)
The thing which is highly obvious, as in hugely frustrating, about this team is the number of blown leads, often LARGE blown leads. Yeah they often will manage to win anyway, but now pretty much every time I see a large lead before the middle innings come along I am reflexively expecting it to be completely gone by the late innings. If someone can quantify that and compare it to past RS seasons it would be appreciated.


I can't quantify it but I think it's a combination of;

1. a weak rotation
2. a rotation that doesn't go deep
3. meaning you are more likely to find the reliever that doesn't have it
4. weak defense

So they just are really susceptible to the big inning even with the lead. They remind me a lot of the early 80s teams where they could look very good for awhile but there are flaws that get exposed, especially against better teams. A big difference between the first and second half seems to be that they are still pounding the bad teams but they are really struggling against good teams which is a group they were able to beat in the first half.

I thought Verdugo could be Fred Lynn, but now I'm thinking he's post-1988 Mike Greenwell. And that's all right with me...


This is a solid comp and absolutely true. Especially if he's Gator offensively but much better defensively which he seems to be.
   120. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 12, 2021 at 09:45 PM (#6039362)
On behalf of Jose:

1-2 @NY 0-3
2-1 vs. Tex 2-1
2-1 vs. Minn 2-1
2-1 @Cleve 2-1
1-3 @TB 2-2
2-1 vs. Cleve 2-1
2-1 vs. TB 1-2
1-2 @CWS 1-2
1-2 @Sea
2-1 vs. Balt.
1-1 vs. NYM
2-1 vs. NYY
2-1 @ Balt.
2-1 @ Wash.

Still one back of the pace needed above to get to 92 wins, and now percentage points behind Toronto for the 1sr wild card, and half a game ahead of NY for the second wild card. Toronto is really, really good, and I think the road out ofthe Wicld Card game will go through Canada. In fact, I think Toronto is the last team I'd want to face in the AL playoffs, the way things are lining up.

That said I'm still pretty optimistic about the Red Sox making the playoffs, and winning about 90 games.
   121. bfan Posted: September 13, 2021 at 06:53 AM (#6039391)
2-1 @ Balt.
2-1 @ Wash.


If the Red Sox need the wins at this point, they will go at least 5-1 here, so there is your pick up of 1 game.
   122. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 13, 2021 at 11:51 AM (#6039427)
Also, through the games of Sunday, September 12th, statistics of 1B and trade line acquisitions, etc.:

Dalbec (since July 30th): 120 PAs, .308/.383/.710, 6 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 11 HRs, 34 RBI, 11/33 BB/K

Schwarber (since trade to BOS): 114 PAs, .283/.421/.478, 6 2Bs, 4 HRs, 8 RBIs, 21/28 BB/K

Rizzo (since trade): 130 PAs, .250/.338/.446, 4 2Bs, 6 HRs, 17 RBIs, 12/20 BB/K

I'll say this:
1) The way things are settling in with all three of their stats, it would not surprise me if all three were relatively similar for the time period by the end of the season, though Dalbec's HR advantage almost guarantees he ends up with the best slugging-related numbers.
2) So much of the argument for or against the Red Sox trying to "GeT RiZzO!" was the cost of acquiring him, relative to the marginal gain of having him vs the alternative. There was an immense idfference in the price tag for getting Schwarber vs Rizzo, and Schwarber has been an objectively better hitter than Rizzo in this period. There's no argument left to make other than that.
3) However, I have to say as a Red Sox fan: the defensive pretzels the team has put itself in, between trying to get certain bats in the lineup together, plus COVID, have been really ugly, and have probably cost the team a game or two over the last few weeks.

One of the quiet strengths of the 2021 Red Sox was their outfield defense - the Verdugo/Kike/Renfroe alignment was a little above average offensively (taken together), but their collective defense was really outstanding. It created a top-10 WAR outfield with a "whole is better than the sum of the parts" configuration that was also really inexpensive, and maintained flexibility for 2022 and beyond. COVID messed things up, but I presume that Cora was trying to get Schwarber and Dalbec in the lineup together, and the way to do it was by putting Schwarber in left field. He's fine there, but then it was putting Kike at 2B, where he is not very good, Verdugo in CF, where he is...not very good, and kept Dalbec at 1B, where he defensively pretty bad, as well. You add to that a below-average SS in Bogaerts, and an improving-but-not-excellent 3B in Devers, and it put below-average defense in arguably every position but RF and (I guess) C. It is terrible defense, and the pitching is not good enough to give a few extra outs a game to opponents.

One of the best things you can say about Dalbec and Schwarber, besides their hitting the last month, is that neither if them got COVID. I think Arroyo being hurt, and then getting COVID, has been one of the most disruptive parts of the team's second half - he provided solid defense, an above-average 2B bat, and allowed Hernandez to just play CF every day.

Going into 2022, there is increasing speculation that Bogaerts may have to get moved off of SS if they are going to try to keep him beyond 2022. One challenge the team is going to have to address going forward is that their two best young position players may not be at their current positions (3B and SS) very long. If they eventually become the team's 2B and 1B or something, that is a massive redistribution of the where the talent is. The team's best prospect is a slugging 1B; their second-best prospect is a SS who is several years away; their third-best prospect is a 2B (Yorke) who is absolutely flying through the system now at age 2020. By the end of 2022, the team will have to figure out where Bogaerts and Devers fit in positionally with the team's next legit championship-quality run.
   123. Textbook Editor Posted: September 14, 2021 at 12:50 AM (#6039569)
Not with a bang, but a whimper.

[stares out window and waits for spring]
   124. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 14, 2021 at 09:24 AM (#6039587)
Dalbec (2021) -8 Rdrs/yr @ 1B

Schwarber (since trade to BOS) -34 Rdrs/yr @ 1B

Rizzo (since trade) -9 Rdrs/yr @ 1B

Re: Xander - he's not terrible at SS. May not be the IDEAL position for him, but as a certain Yankee showed it's certainly still possible to provide a good amount of excess value even if the defense it bad. Devers is the one that worries me, his body type does not instill a lot of confidence that he's going to get any better or maintain what he's got without a lot of work.
   125. Darren Posted: September 14, 2021 at 09:58 AM (#6039592)
Even with Schwarber, there was still enough playing time available for Rizzo. Also, I'm not sure how sound it is to say that since Dalbec has heated up since the deadline, it was the right move not to get Rizzo. By that same reasoning, we could note that Devers has hit .240 .329 .420 since the deadline. So does that mean it would have been the right move to put Dalbec at 3rd and Shaw (.273 .333 .636!) at first full time?
   126. Darren Posted: September 14, 2021 at 12:26 PM (#6039610)
Schwarber and Rizzo are both at 0.6 war since the deadline, so do with that what you will.
   127. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 14, 2021 at 01:36 PM (#6039632)
In the Schwarber vs Rizzo vs Dalbec vs whatever "debate", I feel like Yankees and Red Sox fans on Twitter are now convening where a lot of BBTF has been for a long time: neither the Yankees nor Red Sox are really World Series championship material in 2021, and the Red Sox figured that out sooner than the Yankees did. But now they are (probably) fighting for the honor of traveling to Canada for a wild card game. Their remaining schedules:

Yankees (18)
9 H, 9 A

3 @ TOR
3 @ BOS
3 @ BAL

3 vs CLE
3 vs TEX
3 vs TB (last three of the season, games may or may not have significance to Tampa)

6 tough road games
3 potentially tough home games
3 easy road games
6 easy home games


Red Sox (16)
8 H, 8 A

2 @ SEA
3 @ BAL
3 @ WAS

2 vs Mets
3 vs NYY
3 vs BAL

2 tough road games
3 tough home games

6 easy road games
3 easy home games

I don't know what to call playing the Mets these days (2 games)
Two additional days off relative to NY in the final two weeks.

Unless Boston sweeps NYY at home, I think I'd rather have the Yankees remaining schedule than Boston's. I'll still say the same thing, though: If you told me in March that with [fill in the blank for small number of remaining games] games left, we'd be tied for the wild card, I'd be ecstatic. Then, add to that the new list of BA's Top 100 prospects putting Casas at 15, Mayer in the top 25 or so (I forget), and now Nick Yorke in the Top 100 with a bullet, Groome is looking like a prospect again, Bello...to be in this position with the big club while doing that with the system less than a year after the dreadful 2020 season? Pretty awesome.
   128. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 14, 2021 at 03:10 PM (#6039640)
If you told me in March that with [fill in the blank for small number of remaining games] games left, we'd be tied for the wild card, I'd be ecstatic.
Well, how do you feel being .001 behind? How fine are the calibrations here?

My guess is that the Yankees will have to win their road series against Boston & Toronto to make the playoffs, but they have been rather inconsistent this season, so winning the difficult games may not guarantee similar results against the weaker teams.
   129. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 14, 2021 at 03:55 PM (#6039647)
See I think the schedule ever so slightly favors the Red Sox. The Sox have a bunch of easy games and their twi tough series (on paper)are at home. On top of that the Sox have a bunch of off days between now and the end of the season.
   130. villageidiom Posted: September 14, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6039653)
If you told me in March that with [fill in the blank for small number of remaining games] games left, we'd be tied for the wild card, I'd be ecstatic.
I told everyone on March 6 that Boston would likely not be eliminated from a playoff spot before the last week of the season. The point is people would be more ecstatic if they'd just listen to me the first time.
   131. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2021 at 04:38 PM (#6039657)
I told everyone on March 6 that Boston would likely not be eliminated from a playoff spot before the last week of the season. The point is people would be more ecstatic if they'd just listen to me the first time.
Technically that prediction has not come true yet!
   132. villageidiom Posted: September 14, 2021 at 05:04 PM (#6039665)
Technically that prediction has not come true yet!
If it were not to come true it would only be the second-worst jinx on a Boston team in September, in BBTF history.
   133. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 15, 2021 at 07:19 AM (#6039763)
It's over, it's always been over.
   134. villageidiom Posted: September 15, 2021 at 08:42 AM (#6039772)
Someone knows his BBTF history. :-)

Boston banks a win against Seattle. If they lose today they meet Jose's expectation; if they win they exceed it. That has me feeling great! Now let me check to see who's pitching today.

(checks the matchups)

Hmm.

(researches possibility of a rain-shortened game that counts, but only lasts 4 innings, taking place in a retractable-roof stadium)

Huh. OK, welp, maybe this is the game where Houck can last long enough to earn his first major-league win.
   135. Darren Posted: September 15, 2021 at 10:26 AM (#6039786)
Cora recently said that Sale is on track to pitch Friday, which is great, unless you happen to have tickets for Saturday.

   136. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 15, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6039798)
maybe this is the game where Houck can last long enough to earn his first major-league win.


Other than the three he had last year.

That was a big win last night. Still not pretty (ugh Hunter) but a win is a win is a win.
   137. pikepredator Posted: September 15, 2021 at 12:37 PM (#6039806)
Last night felt like a representative "The whole season in one game" type of game . . . Hopefully the season ends the way last night's game did. It was ugly and fun and they got the job done.

WC race has legs, that's for sure.
   138. villageidiom Posted: September 15, 2021 at 12:50 PM (#6039808)
Other than the three he had last year.
2020 didn't happen.
   139. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 15, 2021 at 02:25 PM (#6039826)
If the Red Sox end up winning two of three in Seattle, I will be thrilled. Those were the three toughest games left on the schedule in theory, and if the team can come home for the final stretch at least tied for one of the two playoff spots, that'd be great.

I love this team, but talk about trying to hold on to the finish line: The high point of the season was probably after July 5th, when they beat Angels and Ottavino talked #### to Ohtani. They were 64-42, up 4.5 in the division, and killing it on the road. (They once actually got 23 games above .500, after July 26th's win, but the lead had already shrunk to 1.5 by then).

Up until July 5th, they were 54-32, up 4.5 on Tampa.
Since July 6th, they are 28-33, and are now 9 back of Tampa.

Up until July 5th, Tampa was 49-36; since then, they are 41-19!

Up until July 5th, the Yankees were 42-41; since then, they are 39-23.

Up until July 5th, Toronto was 43-39; since then, they are 38-25.

This may be looking at the season through Red Sox-colored glasses, but it is pretty crazy to me that over the last 60+ games, Boston has been pretty lousy (.459 ball), and the other three teams have been exceptionally good: Toronto (.603) has played the worst of the other three in the last 60 games, and they are above .600 ball! NY is .629, and Tampa is .683...and Boston is still tied for a wild card. This season is like rooting for a horse that you know is a lot slower than several other horses in the race, but everything started about as well as it could have, and the other horses were a little slow out of the gate, and 60% through the race, your horse is like 8 lengths ahead...but then you see the other faster horses get their #### together, and are making up ground almost every stride, and you wonder...did my horse bank enough of a lead to hold off the better horses, and at least "show" (finish third)?
   140. villageidiom Posted: September 15, 2021 at 03:33 PM (#6039834)
In your above schedule comparison, you focused on 2 of the 3 teams that are now tied. So, from the same point in time:

Blue Jays (18)
11 H, 7 A

3 @ TB
4 @ MIN

2 vs TB
3 vs MIN
3 vs NYY
3 vs BAL

3 tough road games
5 tough home games

4 easy road games
6 easy home games

Now, they lost one of the tough home games already (yesterday vs. TB), but I think of the 3 teams I'd still want Toronto's schedule more. So if we're to judge based on the schedule alone it would seem more likely that the WC game - if it involves these 3 teams - will be the Yankees traveling to Toronto. Boston might be able to keep pace if they take advantage of the off-days and use a 4-man rotation where possible:

9/15 Houck
9/16
9/17 Sale
9/18 Pivetta (5 days rest)
9/19 Rodriguez
9/20
9/21 Eovaldi
9/22 Sale
9/23
9/24 Pivetta
9/25 Rodriguez
9/26 Eovaldi
9/27
9/28 Sale
9/29 Pivetta
9/30 Rodriguez
10/1 Eovaldi
10/2 Houck
10/3 Sale if they must win, anyone else if they've clinched

This approach trades one Houck start for a season-ending Sale start, if needed. And if they clinch by then and don't need Sale to start the final game it gives a chance for a rested Sale to pitch the WC game. As of now, Houck is lined up for it.
   141. villageidiom Posted: September 15, 2021 at 05:17 PM (#6039854)
I'm starting to like the idea of swapping out a Houck start for a Sale start a lot more. I'm saying this during/after the 3rd inning against the Mariners today:

K
single (line drive)
single + Renfroe throwing error = run
4-pitch walk
wild pitch on ball 6
lineout
double
K

I hope he can settle down.
   142. villageidiom Posted: September 15, 2021 at 05:26 PM (#6039858)
He settled down, striking out the side against the 5-6-7 hitters. 63 pitches through 4. Man, if this kid can keep it together he's gonna be fantastic. I just get so pessimistic that he'll keep it together.
   143. villageidiom Posted: September 15, 2021 at 10:58 PM (#6039919)
Well that was a pleasant result. 2 out of 3 on the road against a good team.

Clearly, whether Houck can't face the third time through the order I don't know, but he clearly won't be allowed to.
   144. villageidiom Posted: September 16, 2021 at 07:43 AM (#6039941)
Projecting an accelerated rotation, and evaluating the remaining schedule for the Jays, Yankees, and Red Sox, is the kind of analysis you can expect from thinking fans in their spare time for free. Or you can pay for it at The Athletic. Oh, hi, Chad Jennings!
   145. pikepredator Posted: September 16, 2021 at 10:32 AM (#6039953)
another late game outburst!! The season that keeps on giving.

VI How much to subscribe to your newsletter? Can I use VillIdio17 to get 17% off?

Also, just so I can contribute a tiny bit of content besides my rah-rah happy attitude . . . although admittedly I'm just standing on the shoulders of the greats who have come before me . . .

1-2 @NY 0-3
2-1 vs. Tex 2-1
2-1 vs. Minn 2-1
2-1 @Cleve 2-1
1-3 @TB 2-2
2-1 vs. Cleve 2-1
2-1 vs. TB 1-2
1-2 @CWS 1-2
1-2 @Sea 2-1!! Regaining a game! The road to 92 is back on track!!
2-1 vs. Balt.
1-1 vs. NYM
2-1 vs. NYY
2-1 @ Balt.
2-1 @ Wash.
   146. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 16, 2021 at 12:42 PM (#6039974)
The number of days off in the final two weeks is pretty crazy - I don't recall a schedule that ends quite like this:
- Finish a series on the West Coast, then get a day off to fly back to Boston (OK, this is pretty typical).
- Three-game weekend home series, then...day off...then two game home series, then...day off...then three game home series, then...another day off, then...short flight to Baltimore for a three game series, followed by another three games series at Washington...which is 38 miles from Camden Yards.

Will the team even move their hotel location between BAL and WAS?

This is about as easy a travel schedule over a two week period, with a ton of days off, as you could imagine. This would seem to particularly bode well for the bullpen, which is fried.
   147. Jay Seaver Posted: September 16, 2021 at 01:24 PM (#6039984)
Did other teams start with this kind of September schedule? When I initially saw it, I figured it was leaving room for make-up games (be it for weather or Covid) and the Sox have just been lucky not to need many.
   148. villageidiom Posted: September 16, 2021 at 01:24 PM (#6039985)
VI How much to subscribe to your newsletter? Can I use VillIdio17 to get 17% off?
You are the newsletter. (waves hand) We all are.
   149. Nasty Nate Posted: September 16, 2021 at 01:41 PM (#6039988)
Your newsletter’s in Joe’s house right next to yours. And in the Kennedy house, and Mrs. Macklin’s house, and a hundred others.
   150. dave h Posted: September 16, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6039990)
I am just 3 days from my first trip to Fenway in a few years..and another 3 days from my second. (I couldn't resist the 4 tickets, hot dogs, and drinks for $99 - when was the last time a ticket to Fenway was effectively that cheap?) I haven't checked the rotation but I assume Wakefield is pitching both games.
   151. Textbook Editor Posted: September 16, 2021 at 02:31 PM (#6039997)
I haven't checked the rotation but I assume Wakefield is pitching both games.


I laughed.
   152. Darren Posted: September 16, 2021 at 03:41 PM (#6040000)
With the off days, it makes sense to go with Sale:

9/17
9/22
9/28
10/3 (if needed)

Full rest and even an extra day in the middle. The interesting question will be whether they use him on the last day if they are already guaranteed a tie for a spot.
   153. Textbook Editor Posted: September 16, 2021 at 05:23 PM (#6040013)
The interesting question will be whether they use him on the last day if they are already guaranteed a tie for a spot.


My suspicion is that one way or another this will go from 3 to 2 teams by the last weekend and it'll all be moot. But if it was me and that was the last-day situation... I'd try to have Pivetta or EdRod available for the last day (on a short leash), with Houck available to start a clean inning and you'd hold back Sale, Whitlock, and Eovaldi for the play-in game/WC game.

But that's a good problem to have, I guess. Again, to me this is all gravy. The Red Sox winning the WS this year would be one of the more improbable post-2004 baseball events of my lifetime (maybe akin to the Cardinals winning in 2011?).
   154. villageidiom Posted: September 17, 2021 at 09:24 AM (#6040057)
It is kind of amazing to think Boston (or New York, or Toronto) could very well end up with 92 wins and finish 4th in a 5-team division.
   155. Nasty Nate Posted: September 17, 2021 at 09:49 AM (#6040060)
I am just 3 days from my first trip to Fenway in a few years..and another 3 days from my second. (I couldn't resist the 4 tickets, hot dogs, and drinks for $99 - when was the last time a ticket to Fenway was effectively that cheap?) I haven't checked the rotation but I assume Wakefield is pitching both games.
Excellent, have fun. That's a good deal.
   156. pikepredator Posted: September 18, 2021 at 03:11 PM (#6040286)
The Sox have righted the ship quickly today! It would be nice if Houck can chew up a few innings here.
   157. Darren Posted: September 20, 2021 at 02:00 PM (#6040535)
Sox have the lead and they know that one of the Yankees or Jays will lose at least 2 games in their upcoming head-to-head series. That's huge.

Any word yet on whether they will try to use Sale on Wednesday or save him for the Yanks?
   158. villageidiom Posted: September 22, 2021 at 07:22 AM (#6040858)
MLB.com lists Sale as today's starter.
Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Shrug
(158 - 7:22am, Sep 22)
Last: villageidiom

It's A Sprint, Not A Marathon
(25 - 7:20am, Sep 22)
Last: villageidiom

Counterpoint: Also Not OK
(121 - 3:05pm, Sep 07)
Last: Darren

Things to Feel Good About
(94 - 3:31pm, Sep 05)
Last: Darren

A Game Out Of First
(23 - 7:32pm, Aug 08)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

Dance With Who Brung Ya'
(28 - 11:16pm, Aug 03)
Last: Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer

Gathering Crowds
(39 - 1:53pm, Jul 30)
Last: villageidiom

Time To Start Thinking About This Stuff
(35 - 2:00pm, Jul 29)
Last: villageidiom

Feeling a Draft
(36 - 12:49pm, Jul 23)
Last: Darren

And Breathe
(116 - 2:03pm, Jul 10)
Last: Bad Fish

Finally Lining Up the Minors
(56 - 1:26pm, Jul 02)
Last: Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer

Getting There
(17 - 10:51pm, Jun 15)
Last: villageidiom

Questions Being Answered
(40 - 10:40pm, Jun 04)
Last: Bad Fish

The Return
(3 - 3:23pm, May 27)
Last: Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer

Tap the Brakes
(28 - 1:05pm, May 27)
Last: Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.5166 seconds
40 querie(s) executed