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No Business Sniffing a Pennant Race

I guess it's a tad generous to describe anything in baseball this year as a "pennant race," considering none of the eight teams currently in line to make the playoffs has worse than a 78 percent chance of getting the job done.

Nevertheless, if we take the Sox' and Yanks' nearly annual battle for the AL East crown seriously (and we as fans do, even if the teams themselves don't seem to), there's no divisional race as close as this one. Given that fact, it's clear the following two pitchers have no business taking the mound in a meaninful game the rest of the season:

  • Pitcher A: 61.1 IP, 81 H, 12 BB, 39 K, 5.72 ERA, .879 OPS allowed, 1.52 WHIP, Avg, game score: 41
  • Pitcher B: 54.1 IP, 70 H, 27 BB, 52 K, 7.79 ERA, .957 OPS allowed, 1.79 WHIP, Avg. game score: 39

These would be, of course, Tim Wakefield and A.J. Burnett since July 1. 

Here's how they stack up against their peers in the same timeframe:

  1. Jon Lester, 2.36
  2. Josh Beckett, 2.77
  3. CC Sabathia, 2.87
  4. Freddy Garcia, 2.89
  5. Ivan Nova, 3.40
  6. Erik Bedard, 3.46*
  7. Bartolo Colon, 4.33
  8. Phil Hughes, 4.70**
  9. Andrew Miller, 4.78
  10. John Leckey, 5.01***
  11. Tim Wakefield, 5.72
  12. A.J. Burnett, 7.79

*Since coming to the Red Sox July 31. **3.70 ERA until last start. ***4.11 ERA since July 9.

I think that speaks for itself.

44 replies on “No Business Sniffing a Pennant Race”

Why couldn’t Wakefield have conked out at 197 or 198? That dumb 199th win was the worst thing that could have happened. Now the Sox have to keep sending this very nice man who is unfortunately utterly washed up out to the mound on a regular basis, in a dumb quest to reach a silly numerical milestone.
I hate watching him pitch, I hate that he is an obligatory member of the rotation until further notice for no reason other than sentimentality.

I would wait until the end of the upcoming series with NY. If we have a 5 game lead at that point I don’t see how 4 more Wakefield starts would do any real damage, although I would pass on the Texas series. If things are close I am afraid, as much as I like Wakefield, I would agree he doesn’t see the ball the rest of the way. 199 games or not.

If the Sox when the division and everything stays the way it is the Yankees would get Texas correct? As good as Verlander has been I guess that’s a slight break? Nelson Cruz is hurt again, their (Texas)rotation has been iffy as of late…I guess it’s pick your poison but Verlander twice (potentially) would be scary to me as a Yankees fan.
As I said the other day (in IH’s post) and was proved yesterday, Nova is a our 2nd best pitcher right now. He’s not Lester or Beckett, but he keeps us in games long enough for the offense to punish the opposing pitcher and as it’s currently constituted that’s all you can ask for.
In addition I’d give Colon a rest or as the called it on the radio an “El Duque Vacation”…Let him try and get the juice (no pun intended) back in his arm for a playoff run.
As for Burnett, boy I hope he gets his t*ts lit in Boston. Maybe then and finally then Girardi will realize he must be out of the rotation. With our luck he will throw a one hitter.

I’ll be at the third base dugout on Wed and Thurs. You bet your ass I’m going to heckle the shit out of Burnett. “Throw a change, meathead!”. “Don’t be a bitch, Burnett!”. “Welcome to the bullpen, Blondie!”
John –
I wish you were right but there’s no way this bassackwards organization is giving Nova the 2 slot in the post-season. We can hope for the 3, but I expect the 4.

“As for Burnett, boy I hope he gets his t*ts lit in Boston.”
“Maybe then and finally then Girardi will realize he must be out of the rotation.”
Never going to happen. The money seemingly means everything, not winning. Which is disgusting and contrary to what the front office and management preach.

Hi k,
No I’m NOT Dennis Miller (am I that unfunny?). I hear he was funny before he became a Bushite apologist, but didn’t watch him in his glory days.
I dropped the Grand Guignol reference because their legendary and persistent preoccupation with mind-bending disaster made me think of them when reading some of your posts. I spent 2 weeks in France last month and happened to be thinking of Gallic metaphors.
As for baseball, funny that EVERYONE here wants AJ to be lit up definitively by the Sox.
It means, of course, that he will throw a 1 hitter – the Sox offense does that sort of thing all the time.
Same with Hughes, and probably CC as well.
My mood is like yours often enough, I just can’t manage to be as colorful about expressing it as you are.

I meant more for the obscure reference that I had to look up…not that you are unfunny.
Although, I never really found him funny and especially not after his cash grab by turning to the dark side.

This ump is clearly from Mass…postage stamp sized zone for Fab Five and GIGANTIC zone for their scrub.
6 excellent innings from Freddy.
3-1 after 6.

Sox should be able to take two of three given the pitching matchups. Hmmm, watch out for that reverse lock bug Hughes v. Beckett and Burnett v. Lester looks nice on paper. Sabathia v. Lackey, however…(I know that worked out last time, but jeez)

I’m just looking for one win this series. That’s pretty much all I ever do against the Yankees, but in this case, with the Sox carrying a 1.5-game lead, that’s really all they need to do. The rest of the schedule benefits them.

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