Wednesday, April 11, 2007

MLB 07 - Game 9

UPDATE: 5:25 p.m. 4/12/2007 - Game Cancelled make up in May (3 ?) Not sure who will be the starting pitcher tomorrow, or when Tavares will pitch. More later.

Thursday, April 12 Fenway Park 4:05 PM ET

Jarrod Washburn, LHP (0-0, 3.00) Mariners (3-2) @ Tim Wakefield, RHP (0-1, 1.50) Red Sox (4-4)

Boston 1 game behind Toronto tied with NYY and 1 game ahead of Devil Rays. Series tied at 1 game apiece.

ESPN.Com preview should be here.
Yahoo's preview should be here.
The recap after the game will be here.

From MLB.Com Scouting Report:

Red Sox: The knuckleballer continued an unfortunate theme from last season on Friday when he was unable to get run support in his first start. Wakefield suffered a 2-0 loss to Robinson Tejeda and the Rangers. He hopes to have better luck in his home debut against Seattle, a team Wakefield is 3-8 lifetime against with a 4.37 ERA. This will be appearance No. 228 for Wakefield at Fenway Park, where he is 67-60 with a 4.33 ERA.

Mariners: The veteran Washburn, who led the staff last season in quality starts with 16, is one-for-one in 2007 but settled for a no-decision as Seattle squandered a three-run lead. He held the Athletics to two runs over six innings in his first start of the season. Washburn has a 3-3 record and 4.66 ERA in his career against the Red Sox, going 0-1 in two starts against them last season.

As usual all statistics were found at the day by day database at Baseball Musings and this year at Baseball Reference.

Expected Batters vs opposing starter

J. Lugo155100021.333
K. Youkilis73100220.429
D. Ortiz144300343.286
M Ramirez196011491.316
W.M. Pena
M Lowell90000001.000
D Mirabelli31000000.333
C Crisp1810501412.556
D Pedroia


MLB.Com says that Wily Mo Pena will be starting today instead of J.D. Drew. Drew has an 0 - 5 history against Lackey, so probably not a bad day to rest Drew.

Historical Pitching lines

Wakefield13381111 1/3115541552784.37

Once again Wakefield gets a tough match up. He faces a team where he has only 4 quality starts out of 13. The good news is his ERA against the Mariners is 1.70 runs better than Lackey's numbers against the Sox. Bad news is you have the #4 starter for the Sox going against the #2 starter for the Mariners.

For those of you who think Varitek should be in the game (discounting the Wake situation), you should take a look at Tek's numbers against Lackey. A .227 BA just doesn't cut it. In fact of the bench players only Cora has any success against Lackey, with his 2 for 3 outing.

What I think?
After 8 games this team has been shut out twice. That is not good, not good at all. What is even worse is the Average run per game if you throw out the two shut outs and the two offensive explosions.

This team is only averaging 3 runs per game (1, 4, 4, and 3). If we expect this team to have an ERA in the 1's then we can live with that average, but it will produce a tremendous strain on our starting pitching. While pitching and defense wins championships, you have to get to the playoffs for that to pay off. A good offense helps you get to the playoffs (see spankees - NY).

The time has come to do what is only natural - PUT COCO IN THE #2 spot of the order. Don't give me this crap about Youkilis is more patient etc. Coco in 523 At Bats (not a small number) has a .312 BA, .357 OBA, and is slugging .480.

Just think about those numbers for a little while. Will post more on this later.

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