Swept Into the Break: Sox-Tigers Gamer V

Despite a gaudy record, the Sox have already fallen behind early (1-0 on a "clear" homer by Gary Sheffield) for what seems like the 456th time this season.  Watch the futility (we’re not too high on the club at the moment, no matter their record) and comment here.

118 comments… add one
  • Yay, another line drive right at a player. Tek lines out to Granderson with Lowell at first. It’s gonna be one of those days, eh?
    I’m going and taking a nap for a little while, I can’t take this crap again.

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:24 pm
  • Wiffy K’s again. How shocking.
    No Youk, No Manny. Yard work time.

    Rob July 8, 2007, 1:26 pm
  • Yick.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 1:27 pm
  • cheer up guys. It won’t be that bad.

    dorothy July 8, 2007, 1:29 pm
  • Honestly, WHAT IS THE PLAN FOR PENA? Why is he on the GODDAMNED team?!
    He’s a f*cking paperweight.

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:33 pm
  • He is not a papaerweight. Maybe not the best but he was put there for a reason.

    dorothy July 8, 2007, 1:35 pm
  • The plan should be to trade Pena to the Bruins so they have a legitmate enforcer on the team.

    Rob July 8, 2007, 1:36 pm
  • Pena better be in a trade package at the break. Either Buehrle or Lidge, preferably Buehrle…

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:38 pm
  • well maybe it is and we don’t know about it yet.

    dorothy July 8, 2007, 1:38 pm
  • Pena can be in a friggin FedEx package to nowhere, as far as I am concerned, forget Buehrle or Lidge.

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:40 pm
  • Sorry. Break=deadline.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:41 pm
  • It’s not that I think he alone would command either of those. I think the Sox would be doing themselves a favor just including him in whatever deal they may/will make, call up Murphy or Moss or Ellsbury — ANY of whom will do a better job in the second half — and go from there.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:42 pm
  • Seriously, why can’t they just deal Pena for a sack of resin bags? Bring up Ellsbury, let him play every day on a rotation from left to right field, spelling Manny, Coco, and Drew? Pena is beyond useless, he’s needles in my eyes when I watch the game, on offense and defense. As soon as he ambles to the plate I want to hurl something at the tv; not even Julio Lugo inspires that kind of ire in me at this point.

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:45 pm
  • Also not terribly imprssed with the idea to call up Jeff Bailey. I’m not convinced he would do a better job than Hinskie, even in a platoon situation.
    What’s nice, though, is having such a large division lead, which essentially gives Francona the ability to sit Youkilis for what amounts to a week straight with the break and not have to worry too much about the effect on the team’s playoff chances.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:45 pm
  • Lugo steals, goes to third on the throwing error. Get him in, Coco.

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:46 pm
  • Yeah, Lugo crossed into pity a long time ago. You can tell he’s trying and it hurts him to suck so much. Pena — I dunno. It seems almost willfull his inability to tell a ball from a strike.
    It’s all the Yankees’ fault anyway. That’s one consolation.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:46 pm
  • Coco walks. Get him in, Droid.

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • Lugo at least has some uses when he gets on base, as well. Pena, not so much.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • I have an idea. Let’s get some hits with runners in scoring position!

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:48 pm
  • … or let Robertson walk the bases loaded for Ortiz. I’ll take that, too.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:48 pm
  • My guess is Pena is almost unteachable. He’s not getting regular playing time, and that can’t help, but there’s been no proof in his previous incarnations that he’s developable player. I know Arroyo’s having a worse year, but Theo gets a big fat finger on that deal, now that we’ve seen more than a season of Wily Mo. The biggest thing for me is that there doesn’t seem to have been any plan for Wily Mo – when they traded for him, he was “the future”, but the Sox aren’t a team that can afford to play a guy like Pena and wait two or three years, 1000 at-bats, for him to learn the game, if he can even learn the game at all.
    Get rid of him, ASAP, bring up Jacoby and play him three of every four or five days, that’s what I say.

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:50 pm
  • Wow. Robertson has lost all concept of the strike zone.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:50 pm
  • Can’t IBB Papi this time. That worked for them last night, over and over.

    Rob July 8, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • Robertson hits Papi to tie the game. Wow.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • or just plunk him.

    Rob July 8, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • Ortiz HBP, 1-1. Barely glanced him. Maybe they are just planning on walking everyone or hitting everyone to get to Wily Mo, limit the damage?

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • Grand slam time for Lowell.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • Lowell looking awful…

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:52 pm
  • and shallowly flies to left, luckily Crisp is FAST. 2-1 Sox.

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:52 pm
  • My two favorite developments of this first half: Daisuke Matsuzaka in the first year of what looks like probable ace-ness (regardless of whether he coughs it up today) and the last 45 days of Coco Crisp. If the Sox deal Crisp I will be quite upset, no matter who he brings in return. I have loved watching him play, he’s the guy I thought they acquired, finally.

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:54 pm
  • Or sac fly. I’ll take it. Now the IBB to Varitek to get to Drew. Call me crazy, but I’d rather be facing Varitek here…

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:54 pm
  • Please Drew, we did not make them pay last night. We need to do so here.

    Rob July 8, 2007, 1:54 pm
  • Yay, we have a lead. Not yay: three stranded with a chance to break something open.

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:55 pm
  • 2 pitch AB by Drew. Way to work the count champ.

    Rob July 8, 2007, 1:55 pm
  • But it works out. Suck. Needed more from Drew than just two pitches.
    Crisp finally looks like the player from the first two weeks of April 2006. I saw him Opening Day in Texas. He made a great play in center and gave em hell on the basepaths. He electrified the Sox fans in the crowd… Glad to see that Crisp returning.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:56 pm
  • Bases loaded, 1 out. At a minimum, you’d like to score two runs. I’d have liked to see more than the minimum from a team 20 games over .500.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:57 pm
  • Ellsbury seems to bring that same electricity. Having him and Crisp in the same lineup, together with Lugo seeming to get things back together, I’d guess that would be more speed than a Sox team has ever had.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 1:58 pm
  • I’d have liked to see more than the minimum from a team 20 games over .500.
    But zero over .500 for a month and a half, Paul. They’ve played well in spurts, but nothing consistent, and it’s been the bats who have been consistently unreliable. This shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point. My fear, repeated here too many times, is that we’re seeing our team: not as good with the stick as everyone thought.

    SF July 8, 2007, 1:59 pm
  • Has anyone asked why Ellsbury can’t be up on the big team, rotating around the outfield? Why can’t Theo give us a decent explanation of why Wily Mo is still around, or are we just to assume that he refuses to admit an error, and won’t sell low?
    And there goes the lead. Bad Dice today, it looks like.

    SF July 8, 2007, 2:00 pm
  • The Sox are going to need 5 or 6 today, I think.

    SF July 8, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • Mostly because Ortiz and Ramirez haven’t been consistent with the bat, though. Not sure how you plan for the two most consistent weapons in your lineup for the last four years to suddenly not be consistent. I still hold on to the expectation that both will hit their strides this month.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • Matsuzaka is homer happy today. No desire to watch us lose another winnable game. I need to take a cold shower anyway (just got done mowing the lawn). See ya.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • Daisuke pitching scared to Sheffield.

    SF July 8, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • Jeezus, Wily Mo completely misjudges a liner off Sheffield, goes over his head for a double.
    Seriously, just cut him, he’s horrible. DFA the guy.
    Off to do something relaxing, which means anything but watch this (current) abortion of a game.

    SF July 8, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • quick poll of sox fans: Who do you want as your game 1 starter in the post-season? Is Beckett the unanimous choice this season?

    Nick-YF July 8, 2007, 2:04 pm
  • Post-season? Who’s making the post-season?

    SF July 8, 2007, 2:04 pm
  • SF, you making a reference to Confederacy of Dunces there?

    Nick-YF July 8, 2007, 2:04 pm
  • (Beckett)

    SF July 8, 2007, 2:05 pm
  • Nope, Nick, no reference – curious to know what you thought was the ref?
    (I’ve only read the first 1/4 of CoD, never finished it, sad to say. It’s on the “list”.)

    SF July 8, 2007, 2:06 pm
  • yeah, I have to say I think Daisuke will become the eventual ace and a perennial CY Young guy the more he gets used to the league. I’m impressed with his stuff.

    Nick-YF July 8, 2007, 2:06 pm
  • Beckett

    Rob July 8, 2007, 2:07 pm
  • “which means anything but watch this (current) abortion of a game.”
    Ignatius Reilly calls the television programming he watches an abortion. It’s a funny moment in a funny book. “Why am I watching this abortion?”

    Nick-YF July 8, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • And there’s the ball game. Matsuzaka returns to his old ways and allows two homers and four runs in an inning. Still only one out. Yuc-K.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 2:09 pm
  • this is what I get for putting a Sock on my fantasy team. Thanks, Daisuke!

    Nick-YF July 8, 2007, 2:10 pm
  • I expected to go 1-2 in this series. Ah well–suck, suck, suck. Homer makes it 5-2 Tigers.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • Me too, Devine. What makes it frustrating is that the Sox should have been able to win today, and the way it turned out, should have won yesterday too. They could have gone 2-1 and instead will go 0-3. That’s how the last six weeks have been, and until Papi and Manny get it together, that’s how the rest of the season will likely go, too.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • for some strange reason it seems that the sox always fall apart right before or right after the all-star break

    sel July 8, 2007, 2:28 pm
  • at least v-tek came through with the out

    sel July 8, 2007, 2:34 pm
  • A couple of good clubs aren’t looking very good. The Halos’ pitching looks horrid, the Mets can’t seem to get out of their own way and the Sox are…unspeakably ugly.

    DW-sf July 8, 2007, 2:39 pm
  • the sox have not been performing as their payroll dictates they should be…they can’t get their bats going when pitching is good…they are having a hard time working together

    sel July 8, 2007, 2:42 pm
  • SF: Ellsbury isn’t even showing gap power in Pawtucket, and while his future certainly isn’t as a power hitter, I think the Sox would like to see him hit doubles and triples a little more often down there. His OBP is (or was) higher than his SLG. And realistically, do you want the current Coco out of the lineup for anything other than an injury or a VERY occasional rest at this point? Bringing Ellsbury up to, essentially, PR and play D for Manny would be foolish and possibly damaging to his development.
    If he starts tearing through AAA pitching like he did through AA pitching, then he might end up the 4th OF down the stretch. If he continues like this, I kind of hope/think that Brandon Moss will get a chance up here if he’s not traded. Some power off the bench.

    QuoSF July 8, 2007, 2:58 pm
  • Bringing Ellsbury up to, essentially, PR and play D for Manny would be foolish and possibly damaging to his development.
    Agreed: I propose something unconventional – he basically is there for rotating rest for the other three guys, he only plays 60% of the time, as opposed to once every five or six days.
    I just want Wily Mo gone, and any way that can happen is fine by me – I can’t take him anymore.

    SF July 8, 2007, 3:10 pm
  • Bailey (!!) and Lugo (!!!) homer back to back to start the Sox 7th. 6-4 Tigers.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 3:16 pm
  • I want WMP gone too, but I’d rather Jacoby play everyday in Pawtucket. He hasn’t entirely mastered the pitching down there, and while he was great in his short stay in Boston, the Sox weren’t going against the greatest pitching staffs.
    And again, I make the point, do you want THIS Coco to rest any more often than, like, once every 2-3 weeks, if that? Put Lowell behind Papi every 3 days and take the bat out of David’s hands in those games?
    I’m not saying your plan won’t work, I’m saying that I doubt that’s how the Sox would utilize him if he came up with all 3 OFs healthy, and that’s why he might not be back til September.

    QuoSF July 8, 2007, 3:19 pm
  • Pedroia reaches on an error. Ortiz up with 1 out, 1 on.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 3:21 pm
  • Ortiz walks.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 3:25 pm
  • Lowell flies out. Varitek, 2 out…
    …no go. Half-inning over.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 3:30 pm
  • Ellsbury is up for sure next year as a starter which means either Coco or Manny will be gone, if not both. If they feel Moss is ready they could bring em both up and finally trade manny and trade coco and keep Pena as a 4th OF or trade Pena too and go with Hinske as ur 4th OF or even go with Murphy as the 4th OF. They certainly have plenty of OF options. But Ellsbury starts in CF for sure.

    TJ July 8, 2007, 3:36 pm
  • Timlin tears through two innings in 18 pitches. Shuts up the haters for a while anyway.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 3:37 pm
  • Drew walks (what else?), so the tying run will come up at least once.
    Oh, it’s Pena…well, count on nothing at all happening here (except maybe a DP).

    Devine July 8, 2007, 3:42 pm
  • Whiffy Mo K-ena lives up to his namesake.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 3:43 pm
  • Manny pinch-hits for Jeff Bailey…why wasn’t he pinch-hitting for Pena?

    Devine July 8, 2007, 3:44 pm
  • Another 3K day for Pena.

    Rob July 8, 2007, 3:44 pm
  • Drew moves to 3rd on a wild pickoff attempt.
    Manny Ks. My stomach hurts.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 3:49 pm
  • Because Pena will stay in the field. Look for Hinske to come in and play first.
    Manny PHs for a guy who hit a homer today, not the guy who had struck out twice before his last AB.

    Rob July 8, 2007, 3:49 pm
  • Lugo shockingly today is 3-3 with two RBIs.

    Rob July 8, 2007, 3:51 pm
  • Lugo doubles! 3/3 with a walk, a homer, and 2 RBI. Crisp up with a man in scoring position, 2 out.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 3:52 pm
  • Come on, Crisp. Get a hit today.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 3:53 pm
  • Manny K’d on a curveball mid-shin, that almost hit the dirt. Not a great call by the ump.

    SF July 8, 2007, 3:54 pm
  • Lugo now with 5 RBIs less than Manny and 11 behind Papi.

    Rob July 8, 2007, 3:55 pm
  • Lugo now with 5 RBIs less than Manny and 11 behind Papi.
    This is a shocking sentence.

    SF July 8, 2007, 3:56 pm
  • that called third strike to manny has me kicking puppies. the ball was in the dirt. i’m pissed.

    sf rod July 8, 2007, 3:56 pm
  • Boooooooo. Hope the score stays the same this next half-inning.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • It does shock me SF given that today Lugo has raised his BA to .197!!
    Again, did Papa Jack commit a moral sin? mags does not have the bats where they need to be.

    Rob July 8, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • Even the Tigers’ radio announcer said it was a terrible call by the ump. You can’t help that stuff, though. Lowell’s 1 pitch AB last time we had runners in scoring position is something that p*sses me off. Who who the @#%* swings at the 1st pitch with a chance to score and 1 out?!

    DW-sf July 8, 2007, 4:01 pm
  • Manny and Papi need to hire him as personal hitting instructors lol

    TJ July 8, 2007, 4:01 pm
  • mags does not have the bats where they need to be.
    I am hesitant to pin this all on Mags – do we know he hasn’t helped Youk, or Pedroia, or Coco get out of his funk? SoSH had a thread on the changes in Coco’s stance that coincided with his resurgence, how do we know that he’s not beholden to Mags for those changes? Ortiz is hitting for average, but not as much power, and he’s had leg injuries for a while right now, pretty direct possibilities there. Ramirez is a year older, and maybe he’s lost a few MPH of bat speed, enough to cause a downgrade. And what can Mags do with Wily Mo (besides bashing him in the head with a tire iron?)?
    I don’t think this is on the hitting coach: too many guys are actually excelling to blanket him with their problems; you can’t just ignore the successes in order to pin blame on him.

    SF July 8, 2007, 4:02 pm
  • Walk, immediately followed by caught stealing.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 4:03 pm
  • Speaking of Tigers’ announcers (as Tek catches his second baserunner today!?!?), their TV guys are awful.
    Donde esta Ernie Harwell?

    QuoSF July 8, 2007, 4:04 pm
  • If Lopez can hold them here, how about a little late-inning drama? I can think of two games, the early season Coco-tripled-against-the-Yanks and the Baltimore miracle, where the Sox performed some drama. Mostly, when the Sox have trailed, they lose. Would be nice to miraculously win a game right before the break.
    I am not holding my breath, though.

    SF July 8, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • Still 6-5 after 8. Come on, God damn you!

    Devine July 8, 2007, 4:07 pm
  • I do not blame Mags for all of the hitting woes. I have seen that some of the players that are hitting better than in years past.
    But all things aside, Papi and Manny both are down. WMP, Lugo and Drew for s astretch have or are suffering. There is definately something wrong with the training aspect to hitting. If it is all being video trained as someone (TJ?) dais yesterday then we need to re-evaluate that approach. The money we have spent on some of these hitters should be producing more and I agree that it is not necessarily just the hitting coach’s fault.
    Maybe they should be forced to drop and do pushups (A La Willie Mays Hayes) for first pitch popups or groundouts?

    Rob July 8, 2007, 4:10 pm
  • Please please please. It’s Todd Jones, the gay-basher who’s not that great at pitching.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 4:10 pm
  • Pedroia gets on. Come on!

    Devine July 8, 2007, 4:10 pm
  • Ortiz Ks.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 4:14 pm
  • 2 down.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 4:15 pm
  • Tying run at 3rd on Varitek’s single.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 4:16 pm
  • Man how I wish Julio Lugo was up right now…

    SF July 8, 2007, 4:17 pm
  • Swept

    Rob July 8, 2007, 4:17 pm
  • Drew pops up the 0-2. A pathetic display of utterly unclutch hitting…pretty much this past month plus.

    Devine July 8, 2007, 4:18 pm
  • I am officially sick of being told “we’re 10 nine up in the loss column, stop worrying, it’s just the ebb and flow of the season”. It’s NOT. This team has flaws, pretty serious ones. People should be able to confront that fact without defaulting to the division lead as an out.

    SF July 8, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • The problem is, SF: What are the flaws? Certainly not the bullpen or the starters. Even Kason Gabbard has been great, and Tavarez may be one of the fifth starters in baseball. Hitting? Sure, but you’ve got more than half the lineup hot or very hot (Pedroia, Youk, Lowell, Crisp, Drew) and nearly half the lineup at .300 or better (Pedroia, Youk, Lowell, Ortiz). Seven hitters’ OPS+ is 100 or better. That’s better than it was last season or even 2005, when the Sox were in it until the end.
    THAT’S what’s so frustrating. All the numbers are there, and they’re not putting it into practice. On paper, this team should be performing much, much better. Is it luck? Is it some magical unclutch bug? Is it just the lack of power from Ortiz and Ramirez? I honestly don’t know.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 4:44 pm
  • Consider Buehrle out of the running now, extension with the ChiSox signed.

    Rob July 8, 2007, 4:59 pm
  • Sox now 12-11 in one-run games, if I caught them all.
    To some degree, is this just market correction? I mean, yes, our bullpen is awesome, but aren’t one-run games supposed to somewhat even out? If we do end up the AL East champion, and haven’t done it on the back of an unsustainable record in one-run games, I’d actually feel better than if we’d won all 23 of those and lost several laughers to make up for it.
    That probably didn’t make sense. Neither does the Tigers continuing to use Todd Jones as their closer, and yet, that worked today too. And that boggles my mind as well. Two probable playoff contenders could also have two extremely awful closers (Jones and Borowski, Indians).

    QuoSF July 8, 2007, 5:20 pm
  • I remember earlier this season the Sox had an extremely impressive/unsustainable record in 1-run games, so it could just be luck evening itself out. If that’s the case, I’d be happy with another swing in the other direction because this sucks.

    Paul SF July 8, 2007, 5:24 pm
  • To see what’s wrong, just look at Drew’s AB to end the game with a runner in scoring position against the aforementioned awful Jones, who struck out Ortiz on a 90 mph fastball. Pitch 1 was low, definitely out of the strike zone. Drew swings and misses. Pitch 2 is belt high inside half of the plate, Drew doesn’t move. 0-2. Pitch 3 again out of the strike zone, Drew throws the bat at the ball and pops up to end the game. Terrible, horrible at bat in a critical situation. How many of these ABs have we seen in these situations?

    Tom sf July 8, 2007, 5:35 pm
  • discomforting, nine game leads or not. Without a reasonably healthy Schilling, this team puts WAY too much pressure on just two starters, one of whom is still learning the game in the States.
    Sorry, I am not giddily optiimistic right now. I am happy with a nine game loss column lead, but I refuse to let it get in the way of a reasonable and critical assessment of the team; they aren’t just victims of bad luck on BABIP or regressing to the mean in one-run games. They are losing for a reason: sustained periods of BAD BASEBALL.

    SF July 8, 2007, 5:45 pm
  • With Schilling and Lester in the wings, I don’t see pitching as the primary concern. The horrible situational hitting has been their biggest problem. On the other hand, how much of the offensive woes are due to the quality of the opposition? If you look at the schedules, the Sox have played a tough schedule for the past 5 or 6 weeks. Of course, playing .500 baseball against the better teams does not encourage optimism for the playoffs.

    Tom sf July 8, 2007, 6:04 pm
  • your right they were having a few tuff games but we still came out on top. And who do you think would be the best offensive player that we have to offer?

    dorothy July 8, 2007, 8:32 pm
  • But Lester isn’t going to be back anytime soon due to the fact that he really isn’t ready. His command is iffy–at best–and he walks too many. So…what is Plan “B”? Hansack looked horrid when he was here and Pauley is another soft-tosser. We have rather pressing problems with our starting rotation and those problems can’t seem to be solved in-house. The starting 9 who swing the bats are….well…I dunno. We desperately need more power but I haven’t a clue as to where that’s going to come from. The Papi-Manny situation is worrisome considering how long it has gone on. Looking for a solution from the bench just doesn’t seem like good baseball (assuming that Wiffy Mo is some other guy hitting .250).

    DW-sf July 8, 2007, 9:11 pm
  • then if we can’t fix the problem in house then who would you recommed if you could?

    dorothy July 8, 2007, 9:24 pm
  • Daisuke really sucked today. Had a nice little run in June and his first outing in July, and thus he started to look like the pitcher he was in Japan, started being an ace again, but today he had a deer in the headlights quality about him that was very bothersome. No energy. Horrible pacing. Aiming. Big disappointment. I hope Francona is making him take care of the grounds at Fenway over the All-Star break. Definitely needs a little repetitive manual labor to focus his wandering mind. ( ; @ } ).
    I’m sure many of the arguments for Ellsbury staying down in 3A are right, and they make great baseball sense. On the other hand, what the Baseball gods demand of us mortals seldom makes perfect sense. Much less when it concerns that rare being called a star. My bones ( which may or may not be under the influence of the baseball gods) and a very small sample say the kid brings energy and intangibles to the club that are worth more than what the rest of the bench has provided so far (and note I like Hinske and Cora a lot, Pena–not so much) and that if he is going to be a star then all the arguments about triple A are moot. He’s ready, by definition, for the big stage. It’s the nature of the animal. Make speed an added theme. (It’ll be easier to stomache Lugo if it so becomes.) Hope the power returns to the middle of the line-up and shore-up the starting rotation. Anyway, in the what do I know category of prognostication, my vote is for Ellsbury coming up again early. Very early. Yesterday would’ve been nice.

    kyoto July 8, 2007, 11:30 pm
  • “. At this point, they’ve played more mediocre baseball than good baseball, and are effectively resting on their laurels.”
    …what? They’ve played two brilliant, .700+ months, and they’ve been at exactly .500 since June 1st. So a little less then 2/3 of the season has been fantastic to this point, and a little over 1/3 has been mediocre…
    I don’t know what everyone else has said and I’m not combing through 120 comments to catch all the way up. Someone mentioned the quality of Boston’s schedule…very good point. It’s getting a whole hell of a lot easier from here on out.
    The second half looks incredibly easy; aside from a four game series at Cleveland, July should be a fun month. 10 games against CHW, KC, and TB, four against the always-pesky Jays, and the first of a 3-game series vs Baltimore.
    August’s not too bad, either. 9 total games against Seattle and LA, but another 16 against Baltimore, CHW, and Tampa (And 3 against NY, I suppose that warrants a mention).
    So here’s the thing: against AL teams with a .500-or-better record, Boston is currently 14-14. Sounds bad, right? But guess what Detroit’s record is? 17-17. The Angels? 14-15. Cleveland is a somewhat-frightening 20-13…but lets be clear, they’ve got at least as much to worry about as anyone else; that bullpen is atrocious and the starting pitching after CC and the surprising Carmona isn’t exactly world-class either.
    My point: Boston was never a .700 team, and they were never miles above the other elite teams of the American League. I don’t really know how to look into this, but I’d be curious about what the best teams in the league have done against each other over the last few seasons. I would imagine that most of them hovered within a few games above .500 against the league’s other winning teams.
    Sure, most of Boston’s losses to these clubs have come in the last month and a half…but so what? The schedule is getting easier from here out and the team should presumably be getting a bit healthier; just having a healthy Youkilis back in the lineup should be huge. And I’d also point out that as bad as June was–and in terms of runs scored, it was pretty awful–the overall offense…still pretty solid. A .769 team OPS in June isn’t great, but it’s within 30 points of Cleveland and Boston’s season numbers–Detroit’s at an astounding .823–so it’s not that bad, either. Just zero clutch hitting, all month long…
    If Schilling can’t come back as something reasonably close to what he was in April, then we’re likely in a bit of trouble, and I certainly wouldn’t mind a cheap trade for an innings-eater, though I have no idea who that might be. (I feel like a White Sox starter might end up changing stripes…which scares the crap out of me, because I really don’t like anyone but Buehrle and I know Williams wants Ellsbury. Just a feeling…) But yeah…still not time to panic. If they only play .500 ball through the rest of July I’ll get a little scared…but I really don’t think they will.

    desturbd1 July 9, 2007, 2:18 am
  • d1: I have statistic fatigue. I am tired of all the citations of the Red Sox’ lack of luck, or how they’ve done compared to other teams (that’s somewhat irrelevant, frankly), or why their BABIP indicates a change in fortune coming, etc. etc. I have seen most every game this year, including those of the last 45 days, and I am going to go all old-school here: I don’t love what I see. I don’t like the way Manny is hitting, and I don’t think it’s bad luck. Papi, until two days ago, looked like he was hitting a little hurt, and has certainly been running that way. That’s worrisome. Youkilis being hurt doesn’t help, and he skidded last year in the second half so there’e legitimate concern that he’s nota 162 game player at the heights he hit in the first half.
    I don’t dislike the team (well, except for the piece of luggage that some people call “Wily Mo”) — I am glowing in Coco’s resurgence, I think that Drew is a fine player and will do ok, I have loved watching Dice-K pitch and think Delcarmen looks to be for real. I think it is extremely close to being built for a title. But I don’t think it IS built for a title, not yet. I worry about the staff, mostly — without a dependable third starter (forget Wakefield, he’s just too erratic to be called “dependable”, in my book) the trickle-down effect will be damaging on the bullpen and on the offense. That is my primary concern; not that the Sox can’t win short series’ with Beckett and Matsuzaka as #1/#2, but that the lack of a solid #3 will end up compromising the team from the rotation to the bullpen.

    SF July 9, 2007, 6:59 am
  • SF: I hear ya and I’m completely in agreement with you but…d1’s last post talked me off of the ledge…for now. :-)

    DW-sf July 9, 2007, 10:02 am
  • your so right SF the lack of a dependable #3 will be the death of us

    dorothy July 9, 2007, 1:09 pm
  • Don’t get me wrong…I’d love a solid innings-eating number 3 to show up right about now. But I think it’s at least possible that this will be Curt’s role in a few weeks, and if not, that Theo will do something to fill the void. And you’re definitely right about Manny…I’m worried about him as well. Youk, not so much, if only because last year’s decline came as he played through leg, shoulder, and (I think) back injuries. He’s been resting his barking quad, and I think will come back fine.
    And don’t underestimate how easy the schedule is getting, particularly compared to the first half. Hehe. ONE QUARTER of Boston’s games come against Tampa. Just fantastic.

    desturbd1 July 9, 2007, 2:41 pm
  • well thanks for setting me straight. And your right I shouldn’t underestimate the team.

    dorothy July 9, 2007, 3:07 pm

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