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Things We Like: Sox-Yanks Postmortem

So as not to detract from SF's wonderful picture show in the post immediately following, the rest of this will be after the jump.

Things to take away from, remember or otherwise relish from last night's Opening "Day" win:

  • The three new guys in the Sox' lineup: 5 for 9, two runs, three RBI, on base seven times in 12 plate appearances (.583 on-base percentage).
  • Kevin Youkilis would like to remind everyone that he is still an elite hitter. He was in 2008, when he was third in slugging and fourth in OPS. He was in 2009, when he was fifth in slugging and second in OPS. And time will ultimately tell, but there's no reason to believe he won't be an elite hitter in 2010.
  • So a lot of snarkiness about "run prevention" not being all it's cracked up to be, and it is fantastic that after all the overemphasis on the Sox' pitching-and-defense approach and whether they'd have the offense, that the first game would be all about the bats. Still one wonders if Mike Lowell gets to the ground ball Adrian Beltre fielded so easily to end the game. If the Sox have last year's defense, I'm not sure this game doesn't have a different outcome.
  • Josh Beckett may have a seemingly ugly 9.64 ERA, but it's all about context: The league average is 15.00 7.94, giving him a dandy 117 ERA+ somewhat respectable 90 ERA+. (I had to do the math myself before B-R updated this morning, and erred by counting the game as nine innings instead of 17 individual pitcher innings).
  • Good to see Scott Schoeneweis with a solid debut. After the year-plus he's been through, he deserves some good times this season.

Things to dislike:

  • The one worry spot, if you can have any after one game: Ramon Ramirez — who posted a 4.86 ERA in his final 17 appearances of 2009, had a terrible spring and was awful in his first appearance of 2010. It's too soon to worry about Ellsbury and Ortiz putting up 0-fers against a pitcher like Sabathia, and I'll need another couple starts sans curveball to start worrying about Beckett.
  • ESPN's SportsCenter Highlight of the Night features more time devoted to anchor bloviating and LeBron James' pregame prediction than to actual highlights of the game. #espnmoreofthesame
  • The teams may be happy for a day off after a shocking marathon baseball game between the Yankees and Red Sox, but I'm not; I doubt any of us are.

18 replies on “Things We Like: Sox-Yanks Postmortem”

Go Butler. If you’re a Yankee fan you need to root for the under-dog in all other endeavors in order to even our your karma krueg…otherwise you may come back in a future life as a Padres/Clippers/Raiders fan.
Re: the Sox review Paul, I figured SFs would also be happy to see how Bard did and a little concerned with Victor Martinez’s defense, though as you say, hard to make anything out of one game.
As for the Yanks: happy to see the bottom of the order (esp Granderson and Gardner) get off on a good foot. Not as thrilled to see the very-strong-on-paper bullpen implode.

I look at Martinez’s thing as a mental error, as opposed to a real defensive problem. But we all know the Sox are not strong defensively at catcher, and haven’t been since somewhere about 2007. So I guess it’s more of an accept-and-move-on phase. Martinez is still light years better than Varitek at both facets of the game, though that play didn’t do much to assure me that Martinez is a league-average defender, as his performance before last season seemed to indicate.
I was glad to see Bard do well, and Papelbon had a solid ninth, which was nice to see. Hard to judge anything by one game, but Ramirez’s struggles seemed more of a continuation of a larger trend than the other one-off pen performances, I guess.

IH, I am a Buffalo Sabres fan so I think my sports karma is MORE than balanced out my friend… :)
PROUD DUKE FAN SINCE 1989!!! (Laettner was from Buffalo as well…)
I too like the bottom of the order. Gardner, bonehead throwing error aside looked dangerous which bodes well for us. Liked Granderson’s game. Hip Hip was dangerous with the bat, equally dangerous defensively but that’s the trade-off I guess with his offense? Our pitching was f-cking atrocious but it always is early…CC got crushed by the O’s last year.
I don’t know how much you can take from one game. Sox winning at home was completely understandable, leads or no leads…

I think I counted three hits to Robinson Cano’s right where he didn’t dive and the ball went under/by his glove as he tried to field it running. Does he have to pay for his laundry? New meme: “Past a jogging Cano .. but his jersey looked perfect.”
How far in and towards center was Swisher on Youk’s triple? I think he was was standing just behind second to back up Robi.
Has Joe Morgan completely recovered from hibernation? Jon Miller: “Posada! Off Pesky’s Pole!…302 feet”. Joe: “How far is that, 280 feet?”. Jon: “It’s 302 feet.” Joe: “I like honey and cakes.”

another thing: i hope chunky rope and stone necklaces are only as durable a fashion as the one where I would tie a bandanna around my leg below the knee on denims into which I cut holes on purpose.
get off my lawn.

I’ve always said that I can’t take anyting, from either side, good or bad, in a Yankee v. Sox matchup – too many weird things happen to both teams.
Though, that being said: Ramon Ramirez is a train wreck.

What about Posada’s defense? BLECH! On the wild pitch he looked like he was anchored and the passed ball was even worse.
Martinez was nondescript, though the brainfart on the delayed steal was Little League stuff. Drew’s one-handed grab off the wall on Cano’s caroming shot towards the middle of the game was stellar, a fantastic play.

> What about Posada’s defense?
I didn’t see that he brought any to criticize.
> Drew’s one-handed grab off the wall
That was brilliant, indeed.
I also thought both teams’ players at the hot corner were smooth as silk.

I’m actually glad you brought up Drew’s play on Cano’s rope, SF. I jumped out of my seat, yelling at JD for robbing Robi of a double. That’s the doubliest single I’ve ever seen.

I noted Drew’s play in the gamethread, which is about as much love as i’m willing to send any Sox player’s way.
As for Posada’s D, he is our Varitek – with a bat. In other words, he’s the old one from whom we expect there to be a defensive dropoff.
And your remark re: Cano is very true AG – it often seems he is simply not the diving type, but it’s also really hard for me to judge the placement and speed of the ball – esp up the middle – and so I can never get much of a sense whether the windmill-like action of a second basement running to the right and stretching down as the ball seemingly goes right under his glvoe is in fact reflective of reality or whether that ball is already 6 feet past him and he is just following through on his run…

IH, I agree it may be tough to judge the relation of the ball to player and their vectors via a long shot on a camera, but I really would have liked to see him lay out to try to knock it down at least once. Maybe he would have had a chance at making a play, maybe not. Right now, he’s Mr. CleanShirt in my head.

Don’t forget him jogging out of the box on that should-have-been double as well…Robbie that is…
All around crap fest aside from scoring all those runs. Of course, we know we’ll score runs.
Awesome to see you back AG, “get off my lawn”, hilarious…

AG, if Cano had dived for those balls, he would have had even less of a chance of making the play. Diving only works if you’re behind the ball. Those near-up-the-middle balls that very, very few 2B-man would even come close to were not misplayed by Cano…he simply had the range to go near enough to them to make it look liked he miffed on them.

I have a feeling this is going to be a really fun season. Sox looked deeper, and stronger on opening night than they were at any point last year.
I think that whichever of these two teams stays healthier will win this division.

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