Friday, June 30, 2006

Wow - 12 straight.

There is just not much to say except WOW!! Best home stand in like forever, longest winning streak since the boys of Morgan, a four game lead in the division and every facet of the game played at a top level. Its hard to even begin to describe this game.

Where does one start, with the pitching? The fabulous catch by Coco in the 8th? The 1, 2, 3 inning by Papelbot? The scratch run in the 7th? The Shot to Center by Ortiz? The ok you scored two on a shot by Beltran but we've got some hitters on our side also sixth?

Wow! This team might be the best defensive team ever for the Red Sox. Sixteen straight games with out an error which ties the Major League mark, the fewest errors after 78 games since they started tracking this stat in 1960. The starting rotation seems to say, ok, you went six with only 2 runs so I am going to go 7 and pass it on to the next guy who takes the ball, stares into that mitt and says, no, no, no, I am not going to be the reason this streak ends and throws another gem. Wow!

Three games in Florida (actually 7 since they go to TB for the fourth), against a very young Marlins team who is playing as well as the Mets were before they ran into the Buzz Saw otherwise known as the Sox. The Marlins are currently 7 games under 500 but have won 6 of their last 10. Willis starts tonight against Johnson for the Sox. I hope, that Johnson's sinker, sinks and the gloves set the mark tonight, but no matter what, I expect to see that never say die attitude continue to make it's presence felt.

Starting tomorrow I should be back to a daily posting, was working on an outside project, which I hope to post pics on later this weekend.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pedro Returns

Pedro v Beckett. Hope its a classic pitchers duel? Not a chance, I hope Beckett goes 8 with less than 2 hits and zip runs, and that Pedro is gone by the 5th. Yes, I think that Pedro is the best Pitcher the Sox have had since the Babe, but he is a Met, he has a place in my heart with the 2004 team, but I don't miss his Diva acts and his tantrums. Neither cheers or boos from this guy, he's just another opposing pitcher to me.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Almost afraid to post

Ortiz walks off with the winner again. I watched Gordon throw those two pitches that tied him up in knots and was thinking, one more in that area bub and it is gone, when sure enough, the third one was not quite as far inside and was quickly deposited in the black for another walk off.

Schilling has taken over the hard luck mantle, as he pitches his 3rd quality game only to have ND's. Schilling though is like Wakefield, the team win is what counts. Going for their 3rd straight sweep today.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

New high in winning streak.

3 games done on this homestand and the brooms were used. New high for a winning streak this year. Still, working my butt off on some other things. Hopefully, will be all done by Sunday so that our normal programming can return. Phils in town next, while the spankees play the Marlins. Probably need another sweep if we want to keep that 2 game lead.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Still Alive but oh so busy

Well, the team loses three games to the twinkies then sweep the Braves in hotlanta. Not exactly the way that you want to split your road trip, but we will definetly take it. No involved posts, but working on multiple things in my life. (yes I do have one). Just remember this, Bosox have the 5th best record in baseball and have played the 2nd most games on the road this year.

The boys are coming home to play nine, then go on the road for nine. This part of the schedule could be the make or break part of the season. All six teams that they are facing in the next 3 weeks are playing good solid ball. The spankees are playing a similiar schedule so don't look for any help from their opponents.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Quick updates

What can you say about sunday's games, Papi comes through in the first and then the team bombed in the second. That is baseball! Pauley should have a good idea what to work on down at the PawSox, so we will see how that goes.

Last nights game was a great game until Tavarez came in to relieve Timlin. Tito, Van Buren and Delcarmen are the guys you should be using in that type of game. I just don't know what you were thinking buddy.

Have lots of stuff to do, so will be hit and miss next couple of days. Go Sox.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Games 59 & 60

Update: Game 2 cancelled? At least one game is cancelled. A's ahead 5 - 2 in the bronx, bottom of the 8th.

As usual all statistics were found at the day by day database at Baseball Musings.

Games 59 and 60 are supposed to be today (right now game 59 is in a rain delay). Not for sure if they will be able to get both games in, but I certainly hope that it is an Ernie Banks type of day. First game is the pitching debut of Lester. Will be interesting to see how he does, young touted arms can be good or bad in their debuts. If Lester does get to pitch he will be attempting to become the first Sox pitcher to win his major league debut since Juan Pena on 5/8/1999.

Beckett is scheduled for game 60. He has been very, very good at Fenway this year. In four games he has gone 3 and 0, pitched 25 innings with a 2.16 ERA. His toughest outing was against Toronto on 5/3 (his only non quality start at home), in which he pitched 5 innings, gave up 5 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 3 walks, 2 K’s, and hit two batters. You take out that game and his ERA drops to 0.90 at home.

Lets hope they get both games in and that the Sox can sweep. preview for game 59 is here, game 60 can be found here.
MLB.Com press pass is here.

Idle thoughts on game 58

Couple of thoughts on game 58 before we delve into today’s double header.

Trot was the man last night, 4 for 4 and I was hoping for a triple so that he could complete the cycle. Papelbon finally blew a save but recovered to strike out the side in the ninth. You forget sometimes that the Rangers have some speed until you see those infield hits on hard ground balls. The best thing that can be said is that the team lost the lead, but you could sense that they were going to win, I almost felt like I was watching a Yankee team (yech), come back to win after Mariano blows a save. You are never out of it when Papelbon is on the hill.

Bad luck pitcher of the year is still Wakefield. 7 innings of wonderful pitching and again he does not get a win. If it was anyone but Wake I would begin to worry about his psyche. However, Wake has always been about the Team and as long as the Sox get the W, he feels like he has done his job. It would help of course if the team would actually do something called hitting when Timmy is on the mound. They had so many chances to really blow the game open last night only to let them slip away (1 for 12 with RISP).

Of course, the weirdest thing about last nights game was that after leaving all of those runners in scoring position, the first time that they got a man to 3rd with less than 2 outs they scored him on a SF. You go 1 for 12 in a game with RISP and the only time you get a guy to 3rd with less than 2 outs you score him? Love it, you just can’t tell with this team sometimes.

Friday, June 09, 2006

game 58 - Rangers game 5

As usual all statistics were found at the day by day database at Baseball Musings.

The Sox finally win one in the Bronx making everyone in Red Sox Nation sleep easier. Tonight it is Wakefield vs Padilla. Well I have some good news and some bad news. First the good news is this is the last time we face the Rangers this year, and this is the first of 4 games at Fenway. Now, the bad, the rain out means that Wake will go against the Rangers, a team that has his number.

In his career Wake is 7 and 11 against the rangers in 20 starts. His ERA as a starter is 6.31. At home he is 3 and 3 with a 7.46 ERA. These are not numbers that fill me with joy and happiness. Looking closely you only see 3 quality starts against the Rangers at home. He also has lost 2 straight to the Rangers including his start this year, and is 1 and 3 in his last 4 starts against this team.

Now for the good news, Padilla has made two starts against Boston, one as a Philly (a loss), and this year in Texas. You may remember that game, it was the one where Wakefield got pummeled. His ERA for both of those starts is 6.23. This year however he pitched 6 innings giving up only 1 run on 2 walks and 4 hits. On paper you would have to give the edge to the Rangers.

I think the Sox will win tonight for the simple reason that this is a game at home. They made a good comeback last night against the Yankees and I fully expect that to give them some momentum. Also, Wakefield (considering he has made 1 less start) has been pitching as well as Schilling, he just doesn’t have the wins to go with that pitching. Tonight, that changes. preview here Press Pass here.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Bases Loaded and Tek Sucks

Ok, am getting beat up by posters at Talksox. Here is the thing, you start the game off and if Tek is batting 6 there is a good chance that he will come up with the bases loaded. What will happen? Well I say that Tek will make an out 4 out of five times. Just look at the numbers.

This year the captain is 2 for 11, 1 home run, 7 rbi, 1 BB, 1 SF, 1 GDP, for a .182 ba. For his career he is 27 of 113, 2 hr's, 77 rbi, 9 bb, 7 SF, 8 GDP, for a .239 BA. These are not numbers that will instill confindence in me about his ability to produce in the clutch. This is why I hate seeing him bat 5 or 6 in the lineup.

Numbers can be found here and here.

Ideal Lineup

Ok, after just watching Varitek hit a dp ball back to the pitcher with the bases loaded, I am now in the official Varitek sucks with the bases loaded camp. In today's world you know that every team has seen teks numbers with the bases loaded which means that they can be real careful to the batter in front of Tek and give him nothing to hit. Tonight it was nixon that walked, then here came Tek and sure enough GIDP to end the inning. this is what I want for my batting order:

  1. Coco
  2. Loretta
  3. Ortiz
  4. Ramirez
  5. Nixon
  6. Youkilis
  7. Lowell
  8. Varitek
  9. Gonzalez

This way we have switch hitter, righty, lefty, righty, lefty, righty, righty, switch and righty in the order. Youkilis and Nixon can keep the inning going and Lowell can keep on hitting doulbes eliminating bases loaded set ups for Tek.

game 57 - Yankees game 10

As usual all statistics were found at the day by day database at Baseball Musings.

Only problem is I am not going to stat you to death today. Its simple, the Red Sox have a losing record on the road this trip, and tonight won't change that. What is needed though is win for pride's sake. 5 straight wins by the Yanks and a series sweep will not go over well on Yawkey way, especially with Texas coming in town for a 4 game series. preview here. Press Pass found here.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Struggles of Ortiz

Last night after watching Farnsworth strike out Ortiz on his fastball and looking at his Batting average I got to thinking about how David has done since Farnsworth struck him out on 5/24 with the bases loaded on that curve ball. The numbers were quite surprising.

As usual all statistics were found at the day by day database at Baseball Musings.


1st 30 games

Next 13

Last 13

Season Total

At Bats





















20 (4 int.)


12 (1 int)







As you can see, David in his first 30 games started off slow average wise, then seemed to be hitting his stride (at one point his average was over 300), and then came the Farnsworth bases loaded game. He has been dismal since that game with the only redeeming feature being his walks have went up. So, if you were wondering, he is indeed struggling, but I don’t think it’s so much the shift as it is to being in a funk after Farnsworth struck him out. Some times lately he looks lost at the plate, and I don’t see that big smile.

If it was me, I would just sit him down for a game or two and let him take some extra BP. Relax big fella, its time for you to get a breather.

Updated score by inning post.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

game 56 - Yankees game 9

Update: Papi goes deep and Manny was robbed. grrrr - 2 - 1 loss. Thats now 4 straight losses to the yanks. grrrr.

Also Updated LOL watch.

No stats today, no gnashing the teeth about last night's thrashing, its a glorious day and there are still 3 more games to play in NY this week. Papi, Manny, Lowell, Youk, Tek and Nixon all go deep tonight. Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it.

As usual you can find ESPN's preview here.
Press pass from is located here.

Besides I have a BD cake I need to eat.

Monday, June 05, 2006

1/3 of the season finished let us review

As usual all stats are from the day by day database at baseball musings and those that I keep on my own.

Tonight the Sox take on the Yankees but lets not get hasty and look at this coming 4 games yet, instead 1/3 of the season is done, so its time to recap our present situation and make our forecast for the next 1/3 of the season. I love baseball!

2005 vs 2006

First off let’s get the geek stats out of the way.

Presently, the Sox are ½ game ahead in the east division with a 33 and 21 record. Last year their record was 30 and 24 and they were 2 games back in the division.

Team batting average is presently .278 compared to last years .280. This produced 297 runs (67 home runs) this year compared to last years 294 runs (57 home runs).

So far this year the Sox have stolen 19 bases in 26 attempts. Last year they were 13 for 14 in this department.

The pitching has improved this year with a 4.60 ERA compared to last years 4.76 ERA. This improvement is due primarily to a better bullpen ERA as the starters are 25 and 18 with a 5.07 ERA. Last year the starters were 22 and 15 with a 4.78 ERA. The bullpen has improved tremendously with an 8 and 3 record, 21 saves in 23 chances, with an ERA of 3.60 (3rd best in the American League). Last year the team was 8 and 9, 12 in 16 with a 4.71 ERA.

Two other areas where the Sox improved are in the fielding statistics and batting average against. This year the gloves have a .990 fielding percentage (1st in the majors), while last year the gloves (thank you Renteira) were dismal with a .982 percentage. Batting average against this year is .257 compared to last years .274.

2006 Pitching

Last but definitely not least there is one other pitching statistic. This year the Sox have had 27 Quality Starts, which is exactly 50 percent of all starts. The team has won 23 of those games. Hard luck pitcher of the year is Wakefield who has seen a loss in 3 of his 8 quality starts.

Opposing pitchers have thrown 17 quality starts with the Sox winning 6 of those (all wins came in quality starts by the Sox) and the 3 of those lost were also quality starts by the Sox. In fact there have been 9 games where both the Sox starter and the opposing starter pitched gems. A 6 and 3 record in those games is quite good. Of course, Wakefield has taken the brunt of these losses (2 of them). The pitching has been good enough that over 50% of the time that an opposing pitcher throws a gem, the Sox starter has been able to keep the team in the game.

So what does this mean? Well if 50 % of the time a Sox starter is going to throw a gem and the team is going to win 85% of those we can expect to win 69 quality starts in the year 2006. Considering that we are winning over 1/3 of the games where a quality start is not thrown, this will add another 30 wins. Projected from this is 99 wins. This is a 4 game improvement over last year.

In 54 games the starters have thrown 321 1/3 innings which averages a little less than 6 innings per start. The main work horses have been Schilling, Wakefield, and Beckett who have started 35 of the 54 games with a 4.11 ERA which is almost 1 run a game less than the starter ERA. These three have also averaged slightly over 6 1/3 innings a game. They are also responsible for 23 of the 27 quality starts this year. This would bode well for a three man rotation in the playoffs.

The bullpen this year has been anchored by Papelbon. When you start off the year giving up only 1 run in 28 innings and saving 21 games you are on the way to having a Rivera type season. Timlin and Van Buren also have ERA’s under 2, with Foulke, Dinardo, Tavarez and Seanez also less than 5.00 ERA’s. The bullpen is also averaging .77 strikeouts per inning.

Fielding 2006

We should not be surprised about the fielding this year. We acquired a gold glove 3rd basemen, a gold glove caliber shortstop and second baseman and as a back up a gold glove 1st basemen. The infield has lived up to its name. The only question mark coming in was how Youkilis would handle the switch to first. Well, so far he has been outstanding, 3 errors in 400 chances for a .993 percentage. While this is not gold glove stats it is very solid in the middle of the field.

The outfield has played solidly also and the return of Crisp should add speed and coverage.

Batting 2006

The Sox are 6th in batting average in the majors, 5th in the American League. In OBP they are second behind the Yankees. 8th in the majors in slugging percentage, 7th in the American League and 4th in the majors in OPS behind, Toronto, Cleveland and Yankees.

Red Sox are averaging 5.5 runs a game which is 5th in the majors and 4th in the American League.

There are no Sox in the top ten of batting average, runs scored, hits, triples, or stolen bases at the present time (American League only).

Lowell is leading the league in doubles with 23. Ortiz is tied for 3rd in home runs with 16, is second in RBI’s with 50 and 8th in walks with 34. Manny is 4th in walks with 42 followed by Youkilis with 38 taking the 5th spot. Youkilis, Ramirez, and Nixon are 5 – 7 in OBP. Manny is the only Sox to break the top ten in slugging (10th) and OPS (6th).

So while the major top ten is scattered with Sox players there is no one who really jumps out and says that one person is having a big MVP type year. Lowell and Youkilis are leading the team with .320 and .313 batting averages.

My Thoughts

The first 54 games have shown us a team that is gritty with the glove and capable of getting big timely hits. No big surprises with the bats except for Ortiz’s and Variteks batting average, all other starters are hitting close to their career averages and those who aren’t are not letting their failures with the bat affect their fielding.

The team is over .500 in wins by all margins of 3 runs (+10 in 32 games) or less which bodes well for the dog days of August. As long as the team keeps it close they win the majority of the time.

Over half of their games have been against their division with only the Yankees and Toronto (7 losses to Toronto) giving them fits. It will be good for the team to start playing the other divisions in the next 1/3 of the season.

I see no reason why this team can not continue their present pace. I look for them to be no worse than 66 and 42 next 1/3 break in the season.

Hope you enjoyed!!!!

game 55 - Yankees game 8

As usual all stats are from the day by day database at baseball musings.

The start of a 4 game series with the Yankees. So far the sox are ahead in the season series 4 games to 3. The next time the boys will face the rivals will be a 5 game series in Boston in August. Tonight its Beckett vs Mussina. Mussina has been the ace of the Yankee staff. Beckett has been the number two man for the Sox after Schilling. Last time the teams faced each other in the Bronx Beckett won game 1 over Johnson, Mussina won game 2 beating Schilling and Wakefield took the rubber game. Papelbon has only saved one of the 4 wins so far against the Yankees.

Beckett's stats in the Yankee game in the Bronx (only time he has faced them this year) was 7 innings, 6 hits, 3 earned runs which is a 3.86 ERA. A quality start that gave him the win.

Mussina was almost as good with 6 1/3 innings, 7 hits, 3 earned runs which is a 4.26 ERA. One of the 17 quality starts thrown against the sox this year.

I expect two gritty teams to battle two quality starters. This game will probably come down to the clutch hit. preview can be found here. press pass found here.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Game 53 - Tigers game 2

As always all stats are from the day by day database found at Baseball Musings, a valuable tool for any die hard fan and prognosticator.

Wakefield faces Bonderman today, both pitchers have very similiar stats for the season with Bonderman ahead in wins and Wake having the better ERA.

Bonderman has started 3 games against the Sox at home the last two years. He has a 5.19 ERA with 2 wins and 1 loss in those starts. Only one of the starts would be classified as a quality start. In all 6 of his starts against the Sox, Bonderman is 2 and 4 with a 6.25 era and 2 quality starts.

Wakefield has started 18 games (6 quality starts) against the Tigers over the last 11 years. At Detroit Timmy is 4 and 3 with a 6.12 ERA over 42 2/3 innings. As a starter overall he has a 12 and 5 record with a 4.46 ERA. In his last two appearances at Comerica, Wake has gone 12 innings giving up 10 runs (including that 6 hr game on 8/8/2004). This is a 7.50 ERA for those two games but he is also 2 and 0 in those games. Out of the 8 games started in Detroit tim has had 2 quality starts. preview found here. press pass found here.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Game 52 - Tigers game 1


As always all stats are from the day by day database found at Baseball Musings, a valuable tool for any die hard fan and prognosticator.

Game 1 of a 3 game series starts tonight where two of the league leaders in wins face each other. Schilling pitched a very good game in his last outing against Tampa Bay and I think this will continue. Rogers on the other hand was lit up like a firecracker against Cleveland, going 4 1/3 innings and giving up 5 runs. The Indians are similar to the Sox, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him struggle again tonight.

In his career Rogers has started 11 games at home against the Red Sox (46 appearances). The gambler has a 4 and 1 record with a 4.86 ERA in these games. Only 3 could be classified as a quality start. He has started a total of 24 games, going 9 and 6 with a 5.30 ERA. Only two of his road starts would be classified as a quality start.

Overall, including his 22 relief appearances Rogers is 11 and 7 against the Sox with a 4.93 ERA. Lots of history here against this pitcher and I think that will count against him tonight.

Schilling on the other hand has never started a game in Detroit, but has made 4 appearances (2 starts with Ariz. - 2 relief appearances), 1 in Detroit last year which he lost. In both starts, the Schill was 1 and 1 with a 4.50 ERA and 1 quality start. His relief appearance are to say the least forgettable (maybe unforgettable would be correct). Total of 1 inning 6 hits, 5 earned runs, 0 balls and 2 K's for a whopping 45.00 ERA. Overall his total ERA is 7.20.

I think you will see Schilling be aggressive inside, forgo velocity for placement and produce a gem. preview is here.
Press release for tonight can be found here.