From this point forward, there is a direct relationship between the number of Derek Jeter fist pumps makes in the next week and a half and the happiness of SF (to choose just one Sox fan at random). It turns out the schedule-makers were geniuses this season.
14 replies on “Awkward”
Always like a Nick-post. Thanks for that. I always knew SF was a closet-Jeter fan…
On a related note, yes I know that anything can happen in the post-season and so no, in my more rational moments I don’t really feel this way, but having watched a few Phillies games this month I have to say that all the consternation about whether/how the Sox and/or Yanks make it to the post-season and who they each might play in the ALDS seems like a competition over who gets to the slaughterhouse fastest. That team looks ridiculous and I will be shocked if they don’t win it all.
But sure, for the next week, let’s all just unite around our shared love and admiration for Derek Jeter.
If only Joba was still pitching…
Agreed IH, anything can happen in a short series but I will be amazed if the Phillies don’t win the World Series.
A two game lead in the WC has never felt so small. Weiland and Lackey pitch against the Orioles in a doubleheader today, also. It’s going to be a long Monday.
Any one of the Phillies’ top 4 starters would be a legit ace on the majority of major league rosters. Four of their starters have sub-3.00 ERAs on the season, each of them having racked up more Ks than they have given up hits on the season. Three of them have sub 1.050 WHIPs.
These are their starter-stats, I kid you not:
Halladay: 30G; 18-5; 2.34 ERA; 8CG; 1.038 WHIP; 7.03 K/BB; 8.6 K/9
Lee: 30G; 16-7; 2.38 ERA; 6CG; 1.015 WHIP; 5.31 K/BB; 9.1 K/9
Hamels: 29G; 14-8; 2.71 ERA; 3CG; 0.980 WHIP; 4.32 K/BB; 8.0 K/9
Worley: 22G; 11-2; 2.85 ERA; 1CG; 1.195 WHIP; 2.70 K/BB; 7.9 K/9
Oswalt:21G; 8-9; 3.66 ERA; 0CG; 1.380 WHIP; 2.83 K/BB; 6.1 K/9
Oswalt is what counts as a “struggling starter” in Philadelphia these days (fans in Boston and New York feel free to laugh – fans everywhere for that matter).
Now Philly’s offense has been merely middle-of-the-pack in the NL (Hunter Pence is the only guy on the team – regular or bench – hitting north of .290) and they’ve scored only the 7th most runs in the NL. And they get to play in the relative comfort of the NL East. But still – that pitching is a joke.
But doesn’t the fact that they pitch in AAAA mean something? Not to take away the fact that their staff is sick, just that they don’t face AL lineups very often.
Well if you want to look at their ERAs in interleague play this year:
Halladay: 2.08 ERA, 26 IP
Lee: 2.22 ERA, 24 IP
Hamels: 1.96 ERA, 18 IP
Worley: 1.00 ERA, 18 IP
Oswalt: 3.38 ERA, 13 IP
I don’t feel like looking up which AL teams they played, but that’s still ridiculously impressive.
Rangers, Sox, A’s and Mariners…
This is who they played in interleague ball and how many runs they gave up in those games (including their pen):
vs. Blue Jays: 2-1 (gave up 13 R in 3 games)
vs. the A’s: 2-1 (gave up 5 runs in 3 games)
vs. Rangers: 2-1 (gave up 4 runs in 3 games)
vs. Red Sox: 2-1 (gave up 1 run total in the first 2 games and then gave up 5 in the game they lost, but this was after Hamels, who was pitching a scoreless game, had to leave in the 4th after getting hit by an A-Gon linedrive)
So they won all 4 series vs. AL opponents and in the 6 games they played against AL teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended today, they gave up 5 runs in 5 games and their pen gave up 5 in the last game after their starter pitched 4 scoreless innings.
Also, it’s not like we don’t know what Halladay and Lee can do vs. AL line-ups. These guys are more than legit.
Oops – thanks krueg – they are also 1-2 vs. the Mariners, against whom they gave up 7 in those 3 games.
Agree complete on Philly. When Cliff Lee decided where to play in 2011, he decided the season. The good news is they’re getting old and expensive. And Hamels will be a free agent after next year.
Crazy that three of those five names were all available, in one form or another, in the last two years. Oswalt would be the #2 on this Yankee team and they could have had him for Joba. Lee makes me wonder if they should have just offered him $30M/year. And Hallday was available for Hughes and Montero. That’s the tough one. Hughes sucks, but Montero would have hurt to watch hitting ahead of Bautista.
I completely disagree with the “lottery ticket” idea, I have never bought that idea, ever. While there are occasions where the conventional wisdom’d “best team” doesn’t win, they win more often than not. It isn’t a lottery ticket, getting to the playoffs. You have to be good to get there, and you have to be even better to win there. The teams with depth, relative health, etc., already have four of the six numbers in the bag on their “lottery ticket”. The other teams just have to get lucky, and they don’t all that often.
If the Red Sox make the playoffs in current form it will be because their mid-season form gave them enough leeway to swoon in September not because they are a good team now (they aren’t). If they make the playoffs in current form they will not win a damn thing, because despite the idea that it they playoffs are a lottery ticket, when that lottery ticket has numbers chosen by Tim Wakefield, Andrew Miller, and John Lackey, well that is a lottery ticket I don’t want a piece of.
The fact is that the best teams have the best chances to win. While they don’t always win, this isn’t just picking numbers out of thin air. Talent is important. Health is important.
The Sox better get healthy (or healthier) if they make the playoffs, otherwise their ticket is a blank piece of paper.
Of course there’s always the chance that Lackey pitches a good game for a change. Today would be a great occasion for him to do that and on a good day he could also be a reasonable starter in the postseason.
I still have not given up hoping for the return of Clay Buchholz. I like the idea Pete Abraham mentioned a few days ago. He wrote that if the Red Sox feel confident that he can give them a few innings they should actually start him. That’s the role he’s accustomed, so having him start for four, maybe five innings seems to make much more sense than bringing him out of the bullpen into a situation where the starter probably has fucked up already.
With Beckett, Lester (somewhat improved from his current slide) and maybe Buchholz at, say 80%, they might be able to win a few in the postseason.
Not four against the Phillies though in all likelihood. But the World Series is a month away. A lot can happen in a month.
Am I making an irrational case for the highly improbable here?
Wow, SF, I just had to wipe your spittle off my screen. That’s some invective.
The plain fact is the Sox have a great lineup and great, frontline starting pitching, with a fantastic pen. Talking about the back of the rotation is a non sequitur wrt the Playoffs. If they make it (and lord knows I’m rooting for an epic fail!), they are a scary good playoff team.
SF, were you reacting to something here? I’m a little confused what you’re talking about. I would agree re: the health of the Sox starting rotation if they are to go anywhere in October. They need Beckett and Lester to remain healthy and for Lester to pitch better than he has lately. And i assume they need either Bedard or Buccholz (or both) to get healthy and pitch well. I have given up on thinking the Sox are better off withlackey than the Yanks are with AJ. They are both screwed with these guys.
But what’s the lottery thing about??
First couple of comments mention the playoffs as a lottery, making it as a lottery ticket. I was reacting to that. I don’t like that construct, never have. That’s all – nothing personal of course.