Archive for April, 2010

Red Sox Always Playing from Behind

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

From the category of “for what it’s worth,” the Boston Red Sox seem to always be playing from behind.

Through the first 15 games, here is the number of runs scored by inning:

That means on average, the Boston Red Sox are going to have a 2-1 disadvantage after the first three innings.  The rest of the games, they seem to score runs on par with their opponents.

The final three games of the Tampa Bay series, in which the Sox were swept in four games, is pretty evident of this.  In these three games, the first three innings of each game (in terms of runs) were 4-0-0, 0-2-2, and 1-0-5 (with 2 more in the fourth on Patriot’s Day).  The Sox score zero.  4+4+6 > 0+0+0.  I do have a math degree, but I don’t think it’s necessary in this case.

Then in the first two games of the Texas series thus far, the Rangers go five runs in the first four innings the first night, and four runs in the first two innings last night.  Yet again, the pitching and defense has put them into the hole where they have to come back from multiple runs.  Thankfully a few lucky breaks (Hamilton overrunning a fly-out, or getting a home-field call on the throw to home) and some clutch hitting from minor leaguers has finally given Boston a few Ws.

It would be nice to see a starting pitcher go seven-plus innings without giving up a run once.  There has still yet to be a sub-three-run game played.

On another note, I think we can just give anyone who gets on base, just let him walk to third, because they’re going to steal the bases anyway.  Tuesday night’s game was disgusting: nine stolen bases.  And it isn’t even the nine that were the worst to take.  It was that two of them were by Vladimir Guerrero.  The man can’t even walk anymore, and he had two.  And those two matched the steals total he had in 2009… All of 2009.

Celtics to Play Game Two without Garnett

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The NBA has decided that the Boston Celtics will play the second game of the opening series against the Miami Heat without Kevin Garnett.

I guess the old strategy of having a lesser player try to provoke your opponents best player has worked for Miami.

Quentin Richardson will just have to pay $25K for his actions within the fight (like being the root cause), but at least he will be able to play for Miami, who is looking to even the series in Boston on Tuesday.

There doesn’t seem to be much mention of the fact that KG was grabbed by four people from the Miami side just before the elbow was thrown.

Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls also had a comment about the situation, calling Garnett a dirty player.  I don’t know man, I’ve seen Noah play a few times, and I wouldn’t exactly describe his style as clean.

I guess one positive aspect of KG having to sit out a game is that he’ll be able to at least rest his legs and shoulder for a few more days.  But with Glen Davis and Rasheed Wallace having to fill in those minutes for Kevin and their knack for giving away cheap fouls, this might be a long night for the Cs.  If the defense can limit Dwyane Wade again, they might have a shot of stealing Game 2 heading to Miami.

Regardless, what seemed like a pretty physical game already will definitely be escalated in the games to come.  Get your icepacks ready.

The Newly Defensive-Minded Red Sox

Monday, April 19th, 2010

It is just twelve games into season, and it is very common for teams to start off slowly.  Last year the Red Sox began great and the New York Yankees were struggling with their reformed team, and that seemed to not be the case by the time the playoffs rolled around.

Just twelve games into the season, and a lot of those have been against teams who are supposed to be very good; projected 2010 playoff teams.  Opening against the world champion New York Yankees, out to Kansas City (okay, they should be an easy one), be the first opponents in the new stadium for Minnesota, and then back to Fenway for Tampa Bay.  They took two against the Royals, only one from each the Twins and the Yankees, and have thus far put up a bagel against the Rays in the first three of a four-game series.  Giving the Boston Red Sox a 4-8 record thus far in 2010.

Bruce Jenner - Then and Now; Just as different as the new Boston Red Sox lineup.

There are a lot of new faces to get used to.  Of what was supposed to be the starting line up, there are three new faces: Adrian Beltre at third, Marco Scutaro at the revolving door that is shortstop, and Mike Cameron in centerfield.  If you include Victor Martinez acquired at last season’s trading deadline, and Jeremy Hermida filling in for Jacoby Ellsbury (who was injured last Sunday), more than half the line-up are more of the unfamiliar names compared to the days of olde (like 2008).  It’s as if you remember Bruce Jenner’s face when he was an Olympic Decathlete and then turned on the TV today.

The theory of the direction that general manager Theo Epstein is using is very logical: a run that the defense prevents the opponent from scoring is equal to the run that your offense needs to score.  Why bother trying to pound out five runs, when all you need is three if your defense gives up two.

Twelve games this year; and the runs scored by the Red Sox: 9, 4, 1, 3, 8, 8, 2, 6, 0, 1, 5, 1. That’s 48 runs scored for 4 a game.  Not including the 19 runs scored against Kansas City, that’s 29 runs in nine games for just over 3 runs a game.

Not scoring as many runs on offense: check.

In twelve games this year, the pitching and defense have given up runs: 7, 6, 3, 4, 3, 6, 5, 3, 8, 3, 6, 7.  That’s 61 runs for 5-plus runs a game.  A team that is built around great pitching and defense has never given up less than 3 runs a game.

On top of that, there have been nine errors, seven occurring in the last four games.

And to add to the troubles, whenever there are baserunners, chances are they are going to advance. There have been 21 stolen bases (9 by Tampa Bay already).  That’s 21 stolen bases on 22 attempts.  There have also been a few judgement errors made by the catchers as well: such as the double steal by the Yankees, and the relay throw to the Marinez who threw it back to second against the Twins which allowed a runner from third to score.

Anyone can look like Willie Mays Hayes when running on the 2010 Red Sox catchers.

With twelve games down, there are only 150 left to solve all of these issues.  I think there’s still time.  I’m sure the pitching will finally start to calm down (at least the starting rotation).  And the errors will probably not be as frequent (or as atrocious).  The stolen bases are going to be a problem.  The catching is going to make everyone look like Willie Mays Hayes (the second half of the movie, not when he slides 10 feet short).

After the Monday matinee for the final game against the Rays, there twelve games against the Rangers, Baltimore (twice), and Toronto.  That seems like a nice stretch of games to at least climb back above .500.