Sox Gamers/Postmortems

Breaking Out

Yesterday's destruction of the Cleveland Indians is clearly the high-water mark of the Boston Red Sox' 2011 season thus far. In decisively winning their 10th of 12 games, the Sox are now a major-league-best 25-12 since starting the season 2-10. They and Cleveland are the only AL teams with a winning percentage above .600 in that span, another sign of the bizarre parity we're seeing in baseball this year.

In pulling themselves back into the race — they are the best second-place team in all of baseball right now — the Sox have also pulled themselves back to their accustomed position at or near the top of the leaderboards. Yesterday's pummeling single-handedly pushed up the Sox' team OPS 15 points, and as a result, the Sox are now second in the AL to the Yankees in team OPS and third to New York and Cleveland in runs. They are second in hits to the Angels, second in doubles to the Royals (what?), and tied for second in home runs to New York. They are also tied with the Yankees for first in walks, and just seven total bases behind the Yankees for the league lead.

The pitching, on the other hand, still has a way to go. Although second in K/9, the Sox are at or below the league average in every other category. That might be misleading, thanks to how amazingly bad John Lackey (8.01 ERA), Dan Wheeler (9.24), Bobby Jenks (9.35) and Dennys Reyes (16.20) were in their combined 62.1 innings pitched (60 earned runs, 8.66 ERA). If they had allowed a still-terrible 5.05 ERA instead, the Sox' team ERA would plummet from 4.08 to 3.78.

At any rate, the Sox, now 10-5 in the sunlight, move to Detroit for a four-game series that includes two afternoon games, beginning with today's opener. The 2-10 start is nothing more than a bad dream. At 27-22, the Sox are ahead of the pace set by playoff clubs from 1916, 1967, 1988 and 1990, matching the pace of the 2005 Sox and one game behind the clubs from 1975, 1995 and 2009.

Feel free to use this thread to comment on this afternoon's action.

82 replies on “Breaking Out”

Here comes Leyland. Sox doing some damage to ERAs around the league right now. Pythagoras is going to show the Sox as underachievers pretty soon if this keeps up.

Carl w/ a 2-run triple. 7-0. Just missed a homer.
Carl is 6 for his last 6. At this rate he’ll be batting .300 before the road trip ends.
By the way, my 3-year-old daughter LOVES Carl Crawford. Inexplicable. I told her yesterday that Carl had four hits she was VERY excited. Charlotte is a fucking riot.

Reddick looking confused by the lefty. He whiffs and Crawford still at third. I know they are up seven, but you have to plate a guy at third with nobody out, no matter the lead. Every run matters with guys like Aceves and Wake on the mound.

Wow, my ESPN app totally dropped the ball on score alerts. I returned from lunch expecting a 1-0 game, and it was 5-0. Got in just in time to see Crawford’s triple though.

I don’t think Aceves is -that- bad a pitcher that you should worry about scoring too much.
That said, I think the Red Sox should play more day games.

Reddick’s problem the last time he came up was his inability to take a pitch, ever. He certainly hasn’t shown much improvement in the tiny two-PA sample. Swung at the first pitch for an RBI single the first time up, then takes one borderline pitch for a strike and flails weakly at two balls for a three-pitch strikeout in a make-contact-no-matter-what situation. Hopefully, he’s just got some nerves going on, but he looked horrible in that strikeout.

Aceves is, track-record wise, a pretty decent pitcher. I just don’t know his stamina as a starter and whether he can keep going for 6 innings. I don’t mean to imply he’s a Sox-era Jon Smoltz or anything!

I’m pleasantly surprised with Sutton so far. Though his double was certainly aided by the fact that Boesch is perhaps the slowest outfielder I have ever seen.

Its viewers choice day here in the UK with ESPN America, we had choice of the Sox or the Philies, guess who the public choose, so I am not a happy camper having to watch the Philies

And if Lackey stinks up the joint a couple starts in a row, I’d have no problem jamming Wake back in there.
PS That effing sucks, Polf!

Can’t wait to tell Charlotte that Carl had two triples, 3 RBIs today.

Carl is 8 for his last 9.


Boy, they refuse to drive Crawford in from third with nobody out. Nuts.
Also (though it’s only two spot starts), agree IBM…though I don’t know when/if Matsuzaka’s coming back.

Maybe the Sox are hellbent on restoring the league’s overall offense all by themselves?
The Sox are the first team since the Rangers in August 2008 to score 14+ runs in consecutive games. The Red Sox last did it in 1998, and this is only the eighth time in club history.

By the way, the Orioles in the bottom of the 11th had the bases loaded with no outs and could not score. Getting runners home from third is a bitch.
And finally, rain delay.

Top post up, a tad on the snarky side (28 runs in two days will do that to you), but more seriously how did Cashman decide to let Aceves go considering their pitching situation? What’s the rationale there?
It’s the dreaded small sample this year, but Aceves had been a solid pitcher and his injury was from a bike accident, not from too many innings. Surely they could have afforded to re-sign him after non-tendering him, right!?

They could. But they offered him a minor league contract. Boston (and I think the Mets may have also) offered him a major league contract.

SF, Nick Cafardo addressed that when he was in the Sox radion booth today. He said Cash told him the NYY got sick of Ace’s goofiness, that he had become rather unreliable.
And you know, there’s the rub.
As a GM, you know that dumping a guy like that might send the lesson he needs to learn. And you’re afraid that he actually learns the lesson and it comes back to haunt you to taking a tough stance.

Eh, that’s semi-BS to me. They couldn’t straighten his attitude out? Seriously, he was too “goofy”? He was so goofy he pitched reasonably well. So what was the risk to sign him, whose roster spot was he taking? Certainly there was no financial risk. And what was the downside, that he would keep pitching like he had? He was good while he was in NY.

Cafardo’s got it right (although people still forget that Aceves has an unfixed slipped disc in his back…the collarbone was just icing on the injury cake).
Sometimes teams like to send a message to their players to get serious, and the Yankees felt that Aceves, who wasn’t recovering from his injuries as quickly as they thought he should have, wasn’t being serious enough in his rehab.
So their policy (or should I say process?) didn’t pan out in this instance. Hasn’t really hurt them one bit, given their surprisingly solid pitching, but it did help their rivals, and so that hurts too. But who would have guessed that the ‘pitching-rich’ Red Sox would be relying on a middle reliever with a chronic back injury?

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