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Enough Already: Rangers-Sox Gamer I

Time to win a game, ok?

Chat here.

53 replies on “Enough Already: Rangers-Sox Gamer I”

Sorry, Drew moved to first. V-Mart singles to center, Drew around from 2d to score. Tie Game.
More importantly, a RBI with RISP.
Papi is up.

Papi strikes out….shocker.
The 2nd strike called on him (looking) was damn near in the same spot that two pitches prior was called a ball.

I need my mlbtv. Haven’t pulled the trigger, it’s darn hard to participate in a gamer without reasonable visuals or audio. Soon…

I can say this: REPLACE WAKEFIELD WITH DICE-K.
I so wish they would get him out of the rotation. I hate his presence, even as I appreciate his career.

Elvis Andrus turns a walk into a triple. With Wakefield in the mound and V-Mart behind the plate, I think even Posada could have a chance at stealing a base.

Holy shit. 5 steals that inning. One of them a double steal, with Guererro stealing third. 6 steals total already, and it’s only through the THIRD INNING.
My fantasy team, which sorely needed stolen bases, thanks the Red Sox today.
This can’t continue. I bet you the Sox have a new starting catcher by the end of the month, with V-Mart the primary DH and Ortiz benched or released. It doesn’t seem like Victor can handle everyday duties. I bet Martinez’s hitting improves when he doesn’t have to focus on catching.

Say what you want about the SBs (and they kind of suck), but Wake has given up 7 hits and allowed 5 walks in six innings. That stinks. And that is where it starts.
If the Sox’ rotation is this shitty for another month then it will remain irrelevant who is catching. The pressure of baserunners or the portent of steals is far less important than keeping guys off the frigging basepaths. Another month of this and the Sox will be 12 games out. Pathetic season so far. Just pathetic.

Agree…however there appeared through gamecast a couple of hits that dropped right behind 1st base that it appeared should have been caught. Again…gamecast vision doesn’t show the reality of it.
beyond the baserunnners, the inability to really string any hits together and two current blackholes early in the season (Drew and Papi) have made the pitching woes appear even worse.

We’er as surprised as you are, Andrew.
Also, Varitek has 3 homers in 4 games. That’s the second most on the team, despite having the 2nd fewest plate appearances on the team.

“The pressure of baserunners or the portent of steals is far less important than keeping guys off the frigging basepaths.”
But that’s an impossible feat – even the best pitchers allow on average one baserunner an inning – and exactly that demand may in fact be part of the problem with the pitchers. The Sox pitching is in fact getting crushed when no one is on base to the tune of .269/.350/.473 or a full 100 points higher in OPS than when men are on. By contrast, compare that to 2008 when Varitek and Cash were about league average in CS – .239/.307/.377. It’s like they’re afraid of walking guys so they’re throwing meatballs. The worst part is the pitching has actually been a bit lucky with a .280 BABIP. This problem isn’t simply going away.
This wouldn’t be the first time Theo et al neglected psychology for raw stats. But it might be the most damaging. Stolen bases by themselves on paper might not be all that bad. But the mere threat of how they wreak havoc on pitchers might just be a huge problem. Intuitively we all get that sense watching the game.
Worse, if it wasn’t clear already, the Sox will be run on at will all year long. Pitchers are faced with never allowing baserunners. Sure, it was against Wakefield, but frickin’ Vlad stole two bases last night. Actually, that may be the reason that costs Wake his MLB job once Dice-K is ready. They simply can’t do anything about runners on base. The worst part is the Indians knew Martinez was done as a catcher two seasons ago. But then Ortiz was a platoon hitter two seasons ago too.

It’s like they’re afraid of walking guys so they’re throwing meatballs. The worst part is the pitching has actually been a bit lucky with a .280 BABIP. This problem isn’t simply going away.
Three of the Sox starters are underperforming. Do you really think that Lester/Lackey/Wakfield will maintain their current ERA’s of 8.44/5.63/6.38, respectfully?

To you point, Ath, Lester was awful early last season, and barring injury Beckett and Lackey will probably be fine. The baserunners suck, but the steals are trickle-down from awful pitching. The Sox have the potential to go on some very nice positive streaks, but they need their pitchers to do better. I hardly think Josh Beckett is pitching poorly because he isn’t sure that Victor can throw out a potential baserunner. He’s worked with terrible catchers before, he will do so continually, and he has not failed as a pitcher.
This is an all-around fail by the team, and the steals are one factor. But pitching, hitting, and bad/stupid fielding are three bigger issues, and if at least two of those clear up I think we’ll see a different team. If not then, well, the season is not going to be much fun. So it goes. We’re spoiled anyhow.

I’m afraid Kid ’66 is finished. He’s probably good enough to still pitch but the catching kills him. Kevin Cash at least made it somewhat difficult on runners. Now Wake has to be perfect and a knuckleball doesn’t lend itself to perfection. Given the state of the Sox pen, Wake is a fine bullpen arm. But you can’t bring him in with runners on base. So he’s a mop up guy once Dice-K returns.
I do think the Sox pitching will recover. But V-Mart isn’t helping at all and it isn’t just the running games since Varitek is just as bad there. In 2009, Sox pitchers:
to Varitek: .256/.324/.406 = .730
to VMartnz: .278/.351/.455 = .806
One solution might be to give Varitek the starting job again and make VMart the DH.
I’m on record saying I think the Sox will still win 90 games. And I do. But that will largely be the pitching finding something close to its true form.
By the way, I finally caught Gammo on NESN last night. Glad to see his inner fandom is finally unleashed. He was grinning ear-to-ear and looked like this guy:
http://www.numberninethegallery.com/artists/200512171811_christopher_lloyd.jpg

“The baserunners suck, but the steals are trickle-down from awful pitching.”
Not really. Tim Lincecum – the best pitcher in the game IMHO – puts one runner an inning on base. With the Sox’ current catching, that means he’d face one runner almost every inning in scoring position. I don’t see how pitchers can’t be rattled by that. The 2010 Sox catchers are not just bad. They’re historically bad.
“I hardly think Josh Beckett is pitching poorly because he isn’t sure that Victor can throw out a potential baserunner. He’s worked with terrible catchers before, he will do so continually, and he has not failed as a pitcher.”
Surely you don’t think it’s that black and white. Posada has never been a great catcher and his pitchers do just fine even as they do worse with him. Catcher is a top-3 defensive position for a damn good reason. They touch the ball more than any other position player – as much as the pitcher but also fielding a base. I simply can’t believe that every single analyst who lauded the Sox for their defense missed this obvious, and critical, flaw. There’s no amount of understating that. The worst part is the Sox have no backup plan and anyone they acquire – like Mike Napoli – is all-hit too. Good defensive catchers who hit enough are at a premium for a very important reason.
“three bigger issues”
Francona and upper management needs to be somewhere in there. Ortiz should have been platooned in 2008. The outfield DL dance has been awful. Bill Hall in CF. Lowell not getting enough at-bats. The list goes on. Ellsbury in LF. Add to that the catching situation and this is not a well-constructed team.

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