What Month Is It?

Work has been crazy-busy this week, so imagine my surprise to look up from the pile of writing I have on my plate and find it's suddenly early April again.

I mean, really?

Screen shot 2011-06-23 at 8.37.08 AM

No, seriously.

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Yuck.

The Sox weren't putting much together against the Padres yesterday, but to lose a game by one run when your starter walks five straight batters with two outs and the league's most valuable player (tied for first in rWAR with Jose Bautista) lines into a 1-5-6 double play with two runners on and none out … well, that's just brutal, and far too reminiscent of the style of play/luck we saw in the opening weeks of the season.

Hopefully, a series against the Pirates will be just what the doctor ordered, though I can't say we're looking forward to a road trip in which one of Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz has to sit or play the outfield. 

 

16 comments… add one

  • The good news:
    -The Pirates are better on the road than they are at home.
    -John Lackey isn’t pitching.
    -Regardless of their record, they are still the Pirates.
    Seriously though, why would Tito entertain the thought of playing Gonzalez in the OF? The best player in the game this year and he wants to suddenly have him chase some balls down in the OF just to keep Ortiz in the lineup? I am sure Ortiz can use a few days off at his age. (Not being antagonistic) Heck Girardi gave Cano, A-Rod, Tex, etc…days off over the past few days and they did OK. I think it’s far more important to think big picture if you ask me.

    John - YF June 23, 2011, 10:38 am
  • I think you’re right, John. It’s tough when you simply cannot play the two best hitters on your team at the same time so you can risk injuries to your pitchers making them do something they are not supposed to do. The NL is a joke league with a joke rule requiring pitchers to bat.
    Rant over, Ortiz has looked more like he needs a break the last two games. In both games, he has had the largest WPA swing of the game, both times by grounding into double plays. Sheesh.

    Paul SF June 23, 2011, 10:51 am
  • I am sure Adrian is a great athlete, but the movement required for the OF vs the movements required for 1st base are completely different. If it’s October, I’d say absolutely if he thinks he can handle to OF then let’s do it, but in June? In Pittsburgh?

    John - YF June 23, 2011, 11:04 am
  • Adrian has played one game in the outfield his entire career. 6 years ago. I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s sticking at 1B.
    But could you imagine the defensive disaster that would be with Adrian in RF and Ortiz at 1B? Every batter would be looking to hit it to the right side.

    AndrewYF June 23, 2011, 11:12 am
  • But could you imagine the defensive disaster that would be with Adrian in RF and Ortiz at 1B? Every batter would be looking to hit it to the right side.
    There’s this, too. Ortiz is better at 1B than he’s frequently given credit for — well, I should say was because at his age, it’s really difficult to say. He’s acquitted himself well in the past (generally average numbers in very small samples and even a couple of larger ones in 2003-04, including memorably in that year’s World Series), but I’m not eager to see the Sox step down from being among the best in the league defensively at two positions to being no better than below average. Gonzalez is obviously a fine athlete, but he’s a deadly slow runner. The idea of him chasing down balls in the gap or in the corner frightens me to death. Both players would have to hit quite well to make up for that kind of dropoff, I think — probably better than we should reasonably expect. It probably makes more sense just to split their starts 60/40 in favor of Gonzalez and pinch hit the non-starter pretty much every game.

    Paul SF June 23, 2011, 11:23 am
  • If they play Gonzo in the outfield I will seriously reconsider my admiration for Francona.
    Someone on SoSH did a look at the net statistical gain for the Sox on offense and the offset for what would likely be historically bad outfield defense, and the net positive for the Sox was negligible. There is just no good reason to play him in the outfield. The Sox would likely gain more by giving Gonzo and Ortiz a few days off each as the dog days appear, and they will have them available to pinch hit.
    A smarter move would be DFAing Cameron and replacing him with a mannequin in a Sox jersey.

    SF June 23, 2011, 12:13 pm
  • Also, thank God for the Bruins. The Stanley Cup hangover has lasted a while so these shitty losses have only registered a little bit.
    The hangover is going to end at some point, hopefully the Sox start playing better. I fear the rotation at this point.

    SF June 23, 2011, 12:15 pm
  • I fear the rotation at this point.
    Not I. I fear the next Lackey start, but thus far the Sox have received admirable performances from Aceves, Wakefield and Miller. Sure, those could end at any time, but they haven’t shown signs of doing so, and the bar for a 4th/5th starter is pretty darn low. I fear what happens if Buchholz’s back doesn’t stop bothering him or Lester doesn’t figure out how to pitch, but I think both of those aren’t terribly likely.
    In the end, the Sox could easily have won Tuesday’s game with just slightly better luck in one or two plate appearances, even with Aceves’ second-inning meltdown, and then we’d just be shrugging off a loss in the rubber game of a series the Sox won.

    Paul SF June 23, 2011, 2:16 pm
  • but thus far the Sox have received admirable performances from Aceves, Wakefield and Miller. Sure, those could end at any time, but they haven’t shown signs of doing so
    Depatment of Self-Awareness. Isn’t one of those games above from Aceves? And Miller? He’s pitched ONE GAME. So it “hasn’t shown signs of ending”? It has barely started, the guy has no track record. Lackey has a track record of stinking. Buchholz has a back strain. Wake is 44. Honestly, the Sox’ rotation is the definition of thin ice right now. It could be fine. It could be a total, utter disaster (but for 1-2, and Lester has had an off-year). I am nervous about the rotation and how it plays out. If all goes well I don’t worry. But so far all has not gone well, and if any more goes worse there’s big trouble. At least there’s a wild card cushion!

    SF June 23, 2011, 2:42 pm
  • “…But so far all has not gone well, and if any more goes worse there’s big trouble. At least there’s a wild card cushion!…”
    says you sf…sheesh…as long as you guys keep scoring 2 touchdowns a game, you won’t lose many… ;)

    dc June 23, 2011, 3:56 pm
  • I’m thinking they need to start thinking about acquiring a starter by the trade deadline. Not sure who is available, but they may need one if they have to keep throwing Ace and Wake out there every five days. Ace’s last game could be a sign that he is better suited for the pen and as much as I want Wake to get to 193 wins, don’t think he can continue this success.
    Paul – sure you saw it, but Pete Abe has a good analysis of Drew’s Sox career in the Globe today. http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2011/06/searching_for_t.html. What you have been saying all along.

    BillsBurgSF June 23, 2011, 7:06 pm
  • dc – don’t think they can maintain the run production. The amazing thing is the Yanks are averaging +1.3 runs per game and the Sox are at 1.2 — even with the “two touchdowns per game”.

    BillsBurgSF June 23, 2011, 7:15 pm
  • That’s a +1.3 Yank run differential and the Sox are at a +1.2.

    BillsBurgSF June 23, 2011, 7:17 pm
  • i agree bill…i was really just having fun with sf…to expect the sox to continue to score runs at the rate they have recently is unreasonable…even gonzo is bound to cool off a bit at some point…and as for starting pitching, the cause of sf’s concern, it seems that the only sure thing about starting pitching is that it’s not a sure thing…with injuries and ineffectiveness, some teams are lucky to make it through a couple of months with their starting staff in place…it’s funny [not haha] that a big strength for the sox prior to the season is now described as “thin ice”…on the other hand, the ice seemed to get a little thicker for the yankees at first with the emergence of the now-injured colon and garcia, and some positive feelings about nova…then i heard the ice crack when colon got hurt and we had to bring in this gordon guy…oh well, with so much more of the season to play, i expect we’ll get a few more surprises along the way…

    dc June 24, 2011, 8:05 am
  • Saw an article where Tito might move AGon to RF and Papi to 1B. WHAT THE FUCK IS HE THINKING? AGon is the best hitter in baseball aside from Bautista, and you want to change up his routine?
    Fuck that noise.

    Atheose - SF June 24, 2011, 2:42 pm
  • I’m not sure AGon is the type of player that a move to another position to make sure that Papi can get his at bats will affect his routine (though I expect AGon to start game 1 and 3 and Papi to start game 2 of the Pirates series).

    BillsBurgSF June 24, 2011, 5:47 pm

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