Sox Gamers/Postmortems

Keep On Keeping On: Sox-Royals Gamer V

Now that I've discussed how well the Red Sox are doing and how they could catch the Yankees in the AL East, they'll probably lose tonight and every game hereafter (see what I did there?). 

Still, you might as well play the games and see what happens, starting with Tim Wakefield's third start since returning from his fragmented disk (sounds painful). Wake has been reduced by his balky back into a unique but very helpful role — the rest-giver. The Sox can align their rotation by giving their playoff starters extra days of rest through the end of the season by inserting Wakefield every other time through the rotation. Not shabby. And, so far, he's been winning the games, to boot.

He faces old friend Lenny DiNardo, who's making his fifth start since the beginning of last season. He's never pitched particularly well since leaving Boston, except the only other time he's started against them, when he shut out the Sox for six innings back in June 2007.

Let's not have any of that. Four games with the Royals are on tap, and that means the Sox have a prime opportunity to draw just a little closer to the Yankees and make the upcoming series in New York a little more interesting.

Comment away!

46 replies on “Keep On Keeping On: Sox-Royals Gamer V”

Wakefield’s effectiveness disappeared when the rain started. I doubt that’s a coincidence. And now Manny Delcarmen is sucking. I just don’t feel good about this game, even given the score and opponent.

Does Manny Delcarmen’s season remind anyone of Veras’ season last year? Outstanding in the first half, but a firestarter in the second half. At least he’s the last man in the bullpen for the Sox, whereas Veras was the setup man for the Yankees.

Not a fan of having MDC on a playoff roster.
And a tie game. Good grief. This reminds me of that awful game against Baltimore that ended up causing a bit of a spiral…

Can this please be the one game the Red Sox lose? I want to go to sleep when it’s still September 21st.

Not sure if this will end up being the worst loss of the season (or even a win), but it certainly up there for the worst effort of the season.
Can Wake retire please?

Yankees down 2-0 quick. Meanwhile, we have nine runs after six innings against the Royals and are LOSING.
This fucking game…

Four games back in the loss column? Hell yeah.
Also, I’m 95% sure Wake’s option gets picked up next year.

I am sure a bunch of people will claim that “this game was meaningless”. It wasn’t. It would have pulled the Sox within three of the Yankees. While still a nearly impossible task, overcoming the Yankees, those three games are available this weekend.
Home field means a great deal to the Sox. I am surprised that Tito left Wake in to walk seven guys, though clearly MDC and Bard failed miserably, so it isn’t on Tito, this loss. Still, a horrid effort all around, top to bottom. Not exactly what you want to see going into the last couple of weeks. A tight, low-scoring loss would have been a hell of a lot more tolerable than a massive starting and bullpen failure.

Very depressing game. I obviously blame all the talk of winning the division, which predictably angered the Baseball Gods.

Do you think homefield is a bigger deal to the sox or to the yanks SF? Though the soc have a significantly worse road record than the yanks int he regular season, the yanks have a putrid record on the road vs. likely ALCS opponents – especially the LAA, as they proved again last night. I would think no team in the AL would be more concerned about playing another team on the road than the Yanks should be vis-a-vis the Angels.
And I agree, last night was significant. I am not feelign altogether comfortable with the Yanks playing the way they are, but I am much more concerned right now with the Yanks staying ahead of the Angels for best record so as to avoid facing that team in the ALCS without homefield advantage. If the Sox had held on last night I think I would have started to get at least as nervous about their approach in the rear-view mirror.
Very curious to see how Greinke does against the Sox line-up tonight and vs. the Yanks hitters next week. Never seen the guy pitch…

I get your point about the Angels, but the Sox clearly need homefield more. They hit for +.100 OPS (.858 vs. .760) their pitching is at -.057 OPS (.720 vs. .777) at home.
The Yankees, by contrast, show the same pitching where ever they pitch while their offense is just a tad better at home (+.029 OPS).
Of course, there are also the home/road records as you note.
All that aside, if the Yankees start Chad Gaudin in the post-season, they deserve to lose. And to get to that ALCS potentiality, AJ Burnett needs to pitch to his contract. Too bad he seldom does.
We all know it comes down to pitching in the post-season. The Yankees barely have it. But at least they have the 8th inning covered.

Some notable ‘awful’ pitchers the Yankees have started in successful postseasons:
1996: Kenny Rogers, ALDS Game 4, ALCS Game 4, WS Game 4
1999: Any of Pettitte and Clemens’ starts (check it out, they were actually pretty awful that year)
2000: Denny Neagle, ALCS Game 1 AND 5, WS Game 4
2001: Orlando Hernandez, ALDS Game 4, ALCS Game 3, WS Game 4
I guess they ‘deserved to lose’ every single one of those series where they started a guy who sucked.
Can we please stop with this nonsense that the Yankees are doooooomed unless they have 4 Sandy Koufaxes in their playoff rotation? It’s embarrassing.
And yes, thank god they have a lock-down 8th-inning guy. The only time when a bullpen arm is significantly more important than a 4th starter.

I will say this again: The Red Sox are very, very good on the road in the postseason since 2003, despite nearly every year being no better than .500 away from home during the regular season.
Both seven-game series the Sox lost in that span (2003 and 2008) were because the Red Sox failed to win a three-game series at home despite splitting a four-game series on the road and “reclaiming” the home field advantage. The only other series the Sox have lost (2005) was a sweep because they were not very good, and worn out to boot.
Getting HFA would be nice, but I don’t see it in any way as something the Sox should push hard to obtain.

>>>I am sure a bunch of people will claim that “this game was meaningless”. It wasn’t. It would have pulled the Sox within three of the Yankees. While still a nearly impossible task, overcoming the Yankees, those three games are available this weekend.
I never had much hope that the Sox would catch the Yankees, even with the current Boston win streak/New York losing streak. Still it’s so frustrating to think that Boston could have cut the loss column difference to three last night, just by holding a six-run lead over… Kansas City.
I can’t really complain about the BoSox winning 10 of the last 12, but still — last night was in the bag and could have made a big difference in making the end of the season truly suspenseful.
It does seem like maybe the Yankees peaked too soon… Let’s hope the Boston, even assuming they don’t catch New York, can keep this momentum rolling into the postseason.

Chad Gaudin ain’t half the pitcher Denny Neagle was.
The Yanks have had two or three months, if not more, to get this right. Swapping Joba and Hughes made the most sense…in July Even stretching out Aceves made sense.
Now they have a one man staff and nothing behind it. They’ll win or lose with pitching. And they’ve done a pathetic job preparing what they had.

Getting HFA would be nice, but I don’t see it in any way as something the Sox should push hard to obtain.
Weren’t you wanting exactly this yesterday?
All good points otherwise. But history means little this year. It’s not like the players say “We did it in 2004!”.

Rob, I think it’s obvious that there’s a different between “wanting” something and thinking that a team should push hard to obtain it, at the expense of resting key players and setting up your rotation.

Exactly, Ath. I want the Sox to beat the Yankees to win the division because that would be awesome as a fan. I want the Sox to be the best team in the league because I like hearing announcers say the Red Sox are the league’s best team. I want the Sox to have HFA because I think it can’t hurt, and besides which, I love the playoff atmosphere at Fenway. It bleeds through the TV. The more games there the better.
But that does not mean I think any of those are necessary for the Sox making a deep run into the playoffs or even winning the World Series. Give me the choice between home field advantage and a rested, ready team, I’ll take the latter every time.
Btw, this mirrors a discussion we had down the stretch in 2007 when Francona all but said he was not going to fight for the division when it looked like the Sox were losing ground there but already had sown up a playoff spot. I was unhappy that the Sox might lose the division as a result (obviously they held on), but understood why that was the right thing to do.

By the way, the Red Sox will have HFA over the Angels if they have a better record than them even though the Sox are the WC, right? I’m pretty sure that’s the case but want to make sure.

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