A Perfect 9: O’s-Sox Gamer III

Everyone talks about the Sox’ pitching, which has indeed been tremendous (21 quality starts in 33 games), but one aspect of the Sox that has not been discussed, but which has also played a role in their early-season success, is the production out of the No. 9 spot in their order.

Dustin Pedroia and Alex Cora have combined to provide baseball’s best offense from the bottom of the order — The Red Sox are the only team with a .300 batting average out of that spot (.300), a .400 on-base percentage (.411) or a .500 slugging percentage (.537). The Sox’ nine-hole OPS (.948) is 120 points better than second-place Texas’, and well above the AL average of .685.

Combine this with other impressive Sox rankings — third in OPS from the second spot, first from the three hole, fourth from the No. 6 spot, and fourth from No. 8 — and you have a lineup that is balanced from top to bottom, particularly as Ramirez continues to improve at cleanup and Drew and Lugo (hopefully) shake their slumps.

The Sox take their streaking lineup against three Oriole pitchers of little repute. Brian Burres makes his second start of the season tonight against Julian Tavarez, whose starts are like a box of chocolates. He’s shined against Roy Halladay and Johan Santana. I would not be surprised if he collapsed against Burres and the Orioles. In that case, it’ll be up to the Sox’ big bats to bail him out and provide a fifth straight win.

Lineups follow:


SS Julio Lugo
CF Coco Crisp
DH David Ortiz
LF Manny Ramirez
1B Kevin Youkilis
3B Mike Lowell
C Jason Varitek
RF Wily Mo Pena
2B Dustin Pedroia

SP: Julian Tavarez


2B Brian Roberts
RF Nick Markakis
SS Miguel Tejada
C Ramon Hernandez
1B Aubrey Huff
3B Melvin Mora
LF Jay Gibbons
DH Kevin Millar
CF Corey Patterson

SP: Brian Burres

Pena spells Drew, and Javier Lopez is up for Devern Hansack, who wasn’t getting enough innings to make it worthwhile for him to be in Boston.

122 comments… add one
  • Obviously some of us would like to see Cora start more regularly.
    Since he can play both short and 2nd base, one (somewhat unorthodox) option would be a three-way platoon, with Lugo, Cora and Pedroia each playing 2 out of three games:
    Game A: Lugo SS, Pedroia 2B
    Game B: Lugo SS, Cora 2B
    Game C: Cora SS, Pedroia 2B
    What do y’all think? I’m trying to remember any other teams going with the scheme… It might be the best way to shake out who ought to be the full-time starters between now and the All Star break, without anyone sitting for long periods.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 7:00 pm
  • (The nice part about the above schema is that it means each of the three platooners gets to play twop games in a row out of every three games, balancing the need for each to get in a rhythm with the value of all three playing regularly.)

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 7:01 pm
  • Lugo makes too much money to only play 108 games though, Hudson. Also, Cora’s proved in the past that he doesn’t do as well with more playing time (see 2006). I think Lugo and Pedroia are the better hitters out of that group, as well as the better fielders, and should play the most games. But it is awesome to have a great spot hitter like Cora available for various starts and pinch-hit appearances. He’s very valuable, as those numbers indicate.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 7:04 pm
  • Tavarez starts by retiring Brian Roberts to open the first.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 7:09 pm
  • I wouldn’t like to see Cora play more regularly. I’m happy with the 1-2 weekly starts he’s getting right now, and like Paul said, both Lugo and Pedroia are superior hitters.
    I’m very unhappy with the fact that I can’t watch Orioles games in Washington, and instead have to listen live. But this is the last time I’ll have to worry about that. :-)
    Sounds like Crisp made a nice catch for the first out of the inning.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:09 pm
  • Ugh, Markakis doubles. He’s on my fantasy team though, so there’s some consolation.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 7:10 pm
  • I agree, Paul. I see Cora giving Lugo the occasional day off, but if a platoon is to be had, it’s with Pedroia, if at all.
    I don’t read into the Cora being hot thing too much. They know Pedroia can hit (always has), and the know exactly what Cora is: a solid defensive player that has occasional spurts of brilliance at the plate.
    Nice sliding catch by Coco there.

    Brad May 11, 2007, 7:10 pm
  • I have Roberts, Markakis, and Tejada on my fantasy team. Awkward…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:11 pm
  • Speaking of which, I’ll get you the update this Sunday…I was just too busy last week to do so.
    Plus, what in the world do you know about your fantasy team – you haven’t changed it since day one!

    Brad May 11, 2007, 7:11 pm
  • I just realized – Baltimore’s offense isn’t half bad, 1-9.
    I would like to see the Sox’s pitching at least look human a couple times in the next few days against these guys.

    Andrew May 11, 2007, 7:12 pm
  • Tejada grounds out, two down with Markakis at third.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 7:12 pm
  • Hernandez scares me. He’s been hot since he came back off the DL.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:12 pm
  • have Roberts, Markakis, and Tejada on my fantasy team. Awkward
    Cardinal sin of fantasy…

    Brad May 11, 2007, 7:12 pm
  • lol, I was talking about the team I have at work. I had changed my fantasy team around, but then thre ESPN reset killed it, then I claimed all the good players that had been released by other people, and didn’t get a single one, so I got discouraged.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 7:13 pm
  • If they’re going to look human – tonight’s the night to be such. The odds aren’t good on any other night.

    Brad May 11, 2007, 7:13 pm
  • Well, you’ll likely get your wish tonight Andrew. It’s Julian effing Tavarez, after all…
    I wouldn’t be so sure about Schilling or Beckett coming to earth this series, though.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:14 pm
  • This is distinctly unsurprising.

    Devine May 11, 2007, 7:14 pm
  • Hernandez gives the O’s the early lead. Something tells me that’s not going to hold up though.
    Apparently Huff didn’t think so either. Yuck. This is what I was afraid of.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 7:14 pm
  • That’s crazy, Paul.
    You’re still in it so go on and move guys around. You have three guys in your starting lineup that are on the DL for God’s sake:)

    Brad May 11, 2007, 7:15 pm
  • Hmm. Julian Tavarez is sooo frustrating — almost the reincarnation of Matt Clement. Great starts followed by utter crap.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 7:16 pm
  • “Cardinal sin of fantasy…”
    What, having 3 players from the same team or playing them against Boston? I only wanted two of them, but Roberts is at least stealing a lot of bases.
    Sounds like they’re hitting everything hard…maybe I’m not so upset about not being able to watch.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:16 pm
  • better calm it down, orc. But, I don’t know how much I don’t love the idea of Tavarez getting knocked around for a few starts…

    Brad May 11, 2007, 7:17 pm
  • Oh, all right. Once I get out of the habit of doing something, it’s like it disappears from my mind. I’m not really suited for fantasy. Twice this year I’ve forgotten to start Beckett in my work heads-up league.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 7:18 pm
  • Please keep us updated on any petting activities!

    yankeemonkey May 11, 2007, 7:18 pm
  • lol, YM. Yes, someone with a TV, please do.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 7:20 pm
  • from the same team, d.

    Brad May 11, 2007, 7:20 pm
  • Still can’t say I’m a fan of the Lugo-Crisp top of the order. That’s a pathetic combined OBP to lead off a game/inning.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 7:22 pm
  • I think if Manny tried to pet Tavarez when he’s throwing this poorly, he might lose a couple fingers.
    So Burres is a young, fringe lefty, right? Sounds like just the kind of scrub who usually gives Boston fits…
    Meh. Having a lot of guys from the same team kills you in H2H leagues, but it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference in Roto. At least, not yet.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:22 pm
  • All right, dinner time and a trip to the Home Depot for the flooring for our new house. Hopefully will return before the game’s over…
    GO SOX!

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 7:23 pm
  • Nope, this is an incredibly stupid lineup and given Lowell’s power surge, there’s even less of an excuse for not batting Youk second and Lowell 5th.
    Well at least they’re making the kid work. Oh, wait…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:24 pm
  • Sweet AB from Papi…at least on Gameday.

    Devine May 11, 2007, 7:26 pm
  • Well, I take it back…Ortiz with a 9-pitch walk.
    C’mon Manny…Tavarez is your fricken friend, give him some help…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:27 pm
  • MANRAM keeping the ball rolling. Now, if it were Lowell I’d be happy.

    Brad May 11, 2007, 7:28 pm
  • Got the rally going…c’mon Lowell…

    Devine May 11, 2007, 7:30 pm
  • Youk’s been killing the ball lately, too. I don’t mind having him up in this situation. Especially since he’s hitting .357 W/RISP, and .300 W/RISP and 2 outs.
    Both those averages go up…and Ortiz is really fricken slow, so he’s (correctly) held at third. Youk hit it too hard. Gahhhh…c’mon Lowell!

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:30 pm
  • Eff. Still, the 33 pitches they made him throw will almost certainly come in handy later.

    Devine May 11, 2007, 7:33 pm
  • This ump has a VERY low strikezone- no way that was strike 3 to Lowell

    Ayuh - SF May 11, 2007, 7:33 pm
  • At least Boston’s winning the battle of the pitch counts…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:33 pm
  • tough call. i’m guessing tavarez gives up 5 tonight, we need those runs.

    minomni SF May 11, 2007, 7:35 pm
  • According to the radio guys, the called third strike was a genuinely awful pitch and nowhere near the strike zone. I’m not going to blame Lowell for this one…hopefully Tavarez gets calls like that, too.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:36 pm
  • Roy Halladay out 4-6 weeks with appendicitis and Troy Glaus left after his at bat in the 1st with an undiclosed injury.
    Poor Jays…..

    TJ May 11, 2007, 7:39 pm
  • ump has been calling low strikes d1, the last one clearly below the knees.

    minomni SF May 11, 2007, 7:39 pm
  • ‘sgonna be a long night.

    Devine May 11, 2007, 7:44 pm
  • Sounds like Pedroia made one hell of a play to end the inning. The O’s don’t seem to be having any trouble fouling off pitches until they find something they can hit; Tavarez isn’t having any trouble throwing strikes, which is usually his biggest problem…which would seem to indicate that he just doesn’t have his “best” stuff right now.
    Can’t get quality starts all the time. And this early against that sh*tty pitching staff, Boston has a chance.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:48 pm
  • Tek hits a double–good–Pena swings at the first pitch and grounds out to the pitcher–not good. Talk about an unproductive ab…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:50 pm
  • Nice double by Lugo- pulls the offspeed pitch off the wall.

    Ayuh - SF May 11, 2007, 7:52 pm
  • Sweet. Care to tie it, Crisp? Worst top of the order possible…incredible.

    Devine May 11, 2007, 7:53 pm
  • Papi, Papi, Papi, Papi…

    Devine May 11, 2007, 7:54 pm
  • Lugo doubles to score Tek, Crisp follows with another hard-hit single to left that gets to Gibbons too quickly for Lugo to score. Up to Papi now…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:54 pm
  • Ortiz walks. C’mon, Manny.

    Devine May 11, 2007, 7:58 pm
  • Wow- Papi works the walk, after being down 0-2. Bases loaded for Manny. Pick your compadre up, big guy.

    Ayuh - SF May 11, 2007, 7:58 pm
  • Sox have an %85 success rate stealing bases as a team. Which is absolutely fantastic; SB’s are overrated taken by themselves, but if you’re stealing at a better then %70-%75 clip, you’re helping the team score.
    Papi swings and misses at two breaking balls to start the at-bat, then takes four straight balls to load the bases.
    Be real nice for Manny to take a step towards the grand-slam record right about now…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 7:58 pm
  • Way to go, Manny. Walks in the tying run.

    Devine May 11, 2007, 8:01 pm
  • Wow. Burres walks in the tying run. That’s one way to do it…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 8:01 pm
  • Manny walks in the run, but Youk kills my fantasy team by leaving the bases loaded.

    Andrew May 11, 2007, 8:04 pm
  • 59 pitches. Headed toward another encounter with a crap bullpen. Let’s hope Tavarez can keep it close.

    Devine May 11, 2007, 8:04 pm
  • I just flipped to TBS, and saw the Pirates/Braves. The Pirates have the most god-awful alternate home unis I’ve seen in a while.

    Ayuh - SF May 11, 2007, 8:06 pm
  • Apparently Youk hit the ball hard, but into the CF triangle for the last out.
    Maybe Tavarez has figured things out. Three grounders this inning, Mora’s was hit hard enough to get through the infield. And a popup to end it. A nice quick 12 pitch inning…the first of the game for either pitcher.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 8:11 pm
  • Dammit! Maybe it IS time for Instant Replay in Baseball….
    At least it was the FIRST pitch that Wily Mo killed us on…

    Dionysus May 11, 2007, 8:18 pm
  • Wasn’t. It WAS NOT the first pitcxh is what I meant to say.
    Boy needs to learn how to take pitches.

    Dionysus May 11, 2007, 8:19 pm
  • “Roy Halladay out 4-6 weeks with appendicitis and Troy Glaus left after his at bat in the 1st with an undiclosed injury.
    Poor Jays…..”
    I backtracked over this thread (i’m watchign the game on MASN – I live close enough to Baltimore to get it) and noticed this.
    May I just say.. wow. Neither the Red Sox (re: last year) or the Yankees (re: this year) can complain about bad luck injuries ever again. That’s nuts. I feel bad for ’em.

    Dionysus May 11, 2007, 8:29 pm
  • 19 pitch 4th inning, but it was clean. Could be good for 5 or 6 if he throws well.
    Key inning here…Burres is at 68 pitches through 3, and Boston could knock put themselves in a great position for the rest of the series if they knock him around a bit now.
    I’d feel worse for Toronto if I ever considered them a legitimate contender. But I didn’t…
    Apparently Corey Patterson makes a nice play on a Pedroia liner. Can’t see it, though I don’t like the 1-pitch out…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 8:30 pm
  • This guy does not want to pitch to Ortiz.
    So far, he’s looking pretty smart.

    Andrew May 11, 2007, 8:37 pm
  • I missed it, d1. But Youk’s play earlier was nifty as was Pedroia’s diving stop.
    3 walks for Papi and Manny lines right to the 2nd basemen.
    Phooey. We need to score SOON before Tavarez makes any more mistakes.

    Dionysus May 11, 2007, 8:38 pm
  • And Boston’s back to its old sh*t. 13 LOB through the first 4 innings. Burres has more or less proven himself a terrible fricken pitcher, but nothing’s falling and he’s an inning away from a “decent” start. Ugh.
    Manny’s hit a linedrive (of some kind) after Ortiz’s walk…not sure how smart it was pitching to him, Burres just got lucky.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 8:39 pm
  • Markakis is a good hitter. Tavarez, too, has been aided by good defense/luck thus far. But he’s not going to get out of this one cleanly.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 8:41 pm
  • As badly as Tavarez has pitched, Boston should still have a lead at this point. Burres has, in most ways, been far worse.
    …did Pena really just drop a f*cking pop fly? Are you f*cking kidding me?
    Pathetic game all the way around so far…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 8:51 pm
  • WMP showing he’s a defensive liability out there. God, that was awful.

    Ayuh - SF May 11, 2007, 8:51 pm
  • I just read “Wily Mo Pena” error on Gameday. Those are always fun/excruciating (YF/SF). Was it really bad?

    Andrew May 11, 2007, 8:52 pm
  • Horrible play by WMP. Has a soft liner clank off his glove. The batter before, he got turned around on a fly ball and it dropped behindh him. A tough play, but makeable.

    Anonymous May 11, 2007, 8:54 pm
  • I don’t get how someone can say that “Pedroia has always hit.” The guy has a .226 career average in the majors in less than 200 at-bats. He may have “always” hit in the minors, but what does that prove?
    Cora has a career .246 average — better than Pedroia’s — but is on fire this year. To not try to get him more ABs is weird, especially since he also has a great glove.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 8:55 pm
  • Oh good…Burres sits Youk down with zero difficulty. Maybe they’ll let him off quickly enough that he can go the six and pick up the quality start.
    Radio guys singing Burres’ praises a bit…he’s a piece of sh*t with nothing resembling an out pitch, who’s walked 5 in 4.1 innings rather then throw them anything in the zone. Exactly the type of pitcher Boston should have knocked out of the game before the fourth inning. Instead, he’s in line for the win if he can finish off the bottom of the order. I hate this.
    Hudson…you answered your own question. He’s hit the ball at every level through the minor leagues. Are you REALLY arguing that the >200 major league ab’s is a better indicator of his ability? And why, given how well he’s been playing lately…?

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 8:59 pm
  • I think the difference, Hudson, is that Pedroia is a projectable hitter, while Cora is what he is – a borderline starting major leaguer on a bad team, who is having a hot streak that won’t last too long.
    Getting Pedroia more at bats is crucial to his development as a major leaguer. Otherwise you might as well send him back down to the minors, because him sitting on the bench only hurts his development.

    Andrew May 11, 2007, 9:00 pm
  • Markakis robs Varitek of extra bases. THAT is how this f*cking game has gone so far. God dammit.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:00 pm
  • Oh good, Pena’s up. I bet he grounds out weakly to second.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:01 pm
  • “>200 ”
    Should have been <200...heh.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:03 pm
  • Or strikes out after being ahead 3-0.

    Andrew May 11, 2007, 9:03 pm
  • How to pitch to W. Modesto Pena: Just throw strikes.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:04 pm
  • >>>He’s hit the ball at every level through the minor leagues.<<< The history of baseball is littered with players who have hit well in the minors but never make it in the majors. The jury is still out on Pedroia, obviously; the point remains that to sit a guy hitting over .400 (who also happens to have a great glove) as much as Cora is sitting is a real shame. The three-way platoon still seems to me to be a great idea through the remainder of the 1st half, then settle down with whichever guys prove themselves.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:07 pm
  • Yeah, or that. That’s even more pathetic, especially given that strike two was a letter high 89 mph fastball he swung through. Isn’t that pretty much the definition of a hittable pitch? God damn…I get the distinct impression that Pena plays better when he gets consistant ab’s, but his defense is so bad and his inconsistant starts so abysmal it’s hard to ever justify giving him anything but the spot start. Like a never-ending cycle of suckitude.
    If Boston’s pen can keep them in it, this game’s not exactly over. O’s pen, despite all the money they spent, is 23rd in the bigs in ERA.
    Great start…a gb single through the infield. Fantastic.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:07 pm
  • Whoa, I completely forgot Javier Lopez was on this team. Heh, I guess the Sox were hardly ever down 5-2 in the sixth this season with their starter going 5 innings.

    Andrew May 11, 2007, 9:08 pm
  • Meanwhile, I completely forgot that there is a pitcher on our roster named “Javier Lopez.”

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:08 pm
  • Hudson, if you start Cora consistantly, he’ll be back at his normal .250 in about two weeks. I guarantee it. He’s hot right now in limited action; the other way to look at it is, why would you mess with a good thing?
    And Lugo’s not going to get any better sitting every third day. Neither is Pedroia. In fact, odds are Lugo gets f*cked up even worse, and Pedroia gets his development stunted.
    And you guys didn’t forget…he just came back up from AAA today. Heh, remember, he got demoted for Timlin, and Hansack came with Mike went on the DL. Earlier today they optioned him back to Pawtucket and called back Lopez.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:10 pm
  • “Hansack came with Mike went on the DL.”
    WHEN Mike went on the DL.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:11 pm
  • Well…Lugo gets on. Given a hit on a slow chopper to third base and a low throw Huff can’t handle. Whatever, though, it was a nice 7 pitch ab.
    Coco, of course, flies out on two pitches. Because he totally belongs in the 2-hole, and putting him there isn’t a f*cking asinine idea. No, not at all…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:16 pm
  • And the lefty in to face Ortiz. I can’t actually remember the last time that worked.

    Andrew May 11, 2007, 9:18 pm
  • And now I have a memory, although it worked indirectly.

    Andrew May 11, 2007, 9:19 pm
  • Wow. A 3-run f*cking game and Lugo gets himself picked off with Ortiz at the plate and Manny on deck. That makes one f*cking hell of a lot of sense.
    So, to recap…16 LOB, terrible defense, terrible baserunning, and 5 runs in 5 innings from the SP. Yeah this has been an ugly return home…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:22 pm
  • >>>”Hudson, if you start Cora consistantly, he’ll be back at his normal .250 in about two weeks. I guarantee it. He’s hot right now in limited action; the other way to look at it is, why would you mess with a good thing?”<<< Statistically speaking, d1, yours is an empty argument. If you are certain that Cora will quickly revert to his career numbers in regular play you should also expect him to do so in occasional play. By what theory (besides pure superstition) can you credibly argue that he can keep up a .400+ average by only throwing him out there occasionally? I don't think he -- or anyone, besides the reincarnation of Ted Williams -- could keep up his current pace in either regular or occasional outings. But it *is* entirely possible and within the realm of possibility that Cora is having a "career year." A three-way rotation in the middle of the infield would allow the Sox to find out. And in any case, Cora's career numbers are about the same as what Lugo and Pedroia are currently contributing.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:26 pm
  • The Sox do seem to be lying down and playing dead tonight. But I have a little hope yet for some late-inning dramatics.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:27 pm
  • From centerfield, Snyder looks uncannily like Arroyo to me.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:29 pm
  • “By what theory (besides pure superstition) can you credibly argue that he can keep up a .400+ average by only throwing him out there occasionally?”
    …I can’t. And you can’t argue that he’ll be anything CLOSE to that with regular action. He got regular play when Gonzalez went down last year, and that didn’t exactly turn out well, now did it? You don’t turn 32 and suddenly up your power by .500 points and your BABIP by 200. It doesn’t happen. His BABIP is at .441 right now; that is ENTIRELY unsustainable for the best batters in the game. Nevermind Alex Cora.
    “And in any case, Cora’s career numbers are about the same as what Lugo and Pedroia are currently contributing.”
    Right. And because of that, and the slim, almost nonexistant possibility that he’s suddenly turned into a Jeter-caliber offensive middle-infielder, we should take time away from our SS with career numbers well above Cora’s and a rookie who, whether you realize it or not, is a statistically above-average major-leaguer right at this moment and has nowhere to go but up.
    I like Cora. As a bench player. That is all. If he’s still hitting like this in August, we can have this conversation again.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:35 pm
  • Oh, and I agree completely about the Snyder/Arroyo comparison. Heh, same lanky frame and mullet-esque haircut.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:36 pm
  • Youks with a double high off the upper lefthand corner of the monster… 2nd and 3rd, one down, Mike Lowell at the plate. I’m staying hopeful here.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:40 pm
  • Yooooooukk!! Apparently that was real close to being out of here!
    Please score at LEAST one f*cking run…
    Lowell’s been Boston’s best hitter w/RISP this year…hopefully he can keep it up…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:41 pm
  • Crap. Lowell walks. Had a feeling they’d pitch him carefully and try to get Tek to hit into the DP.
    No respect for Varitek…make them pay…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:44 pm
  • >>>a rookie who, whether you realize it or not, is a statistically above-average major-leaguer right at this moment and has nowhere to go but up.<<< Which statistic(s) are you relying on for the first statement, and what is the basis for the second? In any case, I could counter-argue that Cora is "at the moment" way above average for a bench player and therefore has earned more playing time. Everyone (notably Francona) praises the way Cora plays the game, and I'd like him to get a chance to ride this streak and see if it leads to a breakout year.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:44 pm
  • (P.S.: While we’ve been debating this, the Sox have loaded the bases for Tek… One out.)

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:45 pm
  • Run walked in… 5-3 O’s…
    Submariner Bradford coming in to face Whiffy Mo. Maybe he’ll get under one.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:48 pm
  • is drew available to PH?

    minomni SF May 11, 2007, 9:48 pm
  • OK, Drew’s now batting for The Wily One.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:49 pm
  • I’d settle for a sac fly, but a bases-clearing double would be especially nice.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:50 pm
  • Basis for the second? His projections and minor league track record. The first? His 105 OPS+ on the 2007 season. Look, Pedroia’s avg is low, but his OBP on the season coming into today is .368. Which is fantastic. He doesn’t strike out, he walks a ton, and he’s been hitting the ball a lot harder then his average would indicate; a %19.7 LD% is quite good, and as his BABIP drifts back towards the “average” .300 mark, his batting average keeps rising. Pedroia doesn’t need to bat .300 to be an above-average 2nd baseman; he needs to hit in the .270’s or .280’s and maintain the same walk-rate.
    Players don’t “break out” at 32 very often…the odds of Cora breaking out have to be worse then the odds of a top MIF prospect like Pedroia doing it.
    And the Sox have now scored 2 of their 3 runs on bases-loaded walks. And this is a very interesting decision bringing in Bradford, who I believe has frequent trouble finding the strike zone…
    Unbelievable. Did Drew hit that ball as hard as the radio guy made it sound like? In other words…did Boston just get unbelievably f*cking unlucky AGAIN???

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:51 pm
  • Great play by Tejada there. Wow.

    Ayuh - SF May 11, 2007, 9:51 pm
  • Oof, nice grab by Tejada, nearly a sick DP.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:52 pm
  • What, is Danys Baez hurt? The Sox are fortunate that they left Parrish in there after 3 consecutive men got on base. The Orioles really don’t have a clue.

    Andrew May 11, 2007, 9:53 pm
  • Cora to pinch hit, O’s bring in a lefty. C’mon, Alex, prove me (a little bit) right!

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:53 pm
  • tejada with the leaping ability snagged it and overhanded it on the way down, looked to have doubled up lowell at 2nd, but called safe. 2 outs now.

    minomni SF May 11, 2007, 9:53 pm
  • Pedroia bats .333 with a .417 OBP from the 7th inning on, this is stupid to put Cora in.

    TJ May 11, 2007, 9:54 pm
  • Considering that Lowell came THIS close to being doubled off, I’d say it was the Sox who got lucky. Tejada climbed the ladder to snare a line drive, then flipped the ball to second base ON HIS WAY DOWN.

    Ayuh - SF May 11, 2007, 9:54 pm
  • Cora flies out. Arrrgh.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:55 pm
  • cora flies out. top of the order for the 8th i guess.

    minomni SF May 11, 2007, 9:55 pm
  • Agree with PHing Cora instead of making Pedroia face the tough righty-specialist.
    Of course, Cora’s a .150-something career hitter with the bases loaded, and Walker just made him look stupid on the first pitch. They leave the bases loaded. Again. Because of Miguel Tejada.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 9:55 pm
  • Actually, Hudson, he did just help your point. The point being that Cora should be starting while he’s hot…the counterpoint being that he’s only hot because he’s gotten so infrequent at bats.
    Now does Boston bring in their better relievers since they have a big shot with the top of the order coming up, or do they stick with Snyder?

    Andrew May 11, 2007, 9:56 pm
  • >>>Pedroia bats .333 with a .417 OBP from the 7th inning on, this is stupid to put Cora in.<<< If you're going to rely on tiny sample sizes like the above, Cora has a .467 OBP this year... So that at bat had about a 50% chance of success. Just didn't pan out.

    Hudson May 11, 2007, 9:59 pm
  • Ugh, Mora’s on fire. There was no reason to pull Snyder after his 1-2-3 7th. Hopefully with Millar at the plate Snyder can get out of this…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 10:00 pm
  • One bad pitch and Mora didn’t miss it. Game over…as poorly as Tavarez pitched, this game could and/or should have been won. F*cking pathetic job by the offense.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 10:04 pm
  • And Manny pops up to end the game…basically. 13 runners stranded. Talk about a letdown after a nice road series…

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 10:17 pm
  • yuk. What a disapointment!

    rootbeerfloat May 11, 2007, 10:27 pm
  • And another line-drive snagged by Tejada. This game sucks.
    Lowell decides he’s tired of playing and pops out on the first pitch.
    Varitek ends the offensive suckfest by striking out.
    On the plus side, with a few exceptions, it seems like most of the time the Boston lineup gets shut down like this they still manage a f*ckload of baserunners…18 men reached base tonight in 43 plate appearances, an OBP of .419.

    desturbd1 May 11, 2007, 10:31 pm
  • look at it this way…you’ll have no worse than a 6 game lead by morning

    dc May 11, 2007, 10:35 pm
  • Hey, happens. The Yanks have had their share of losses where a small army was left on base…that game against Seattle last week comes to mind.

    yankeemonkey May 11, 2007, 10:38 pm

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