Friday, October 05, 2007

Red Sox 07 ALDS Game 2

LAA@ Bos
K. Escobar0-0, 0.00D. Matsuzaka0-0, 0.00
Angels0-1Red Sox1-0
Friday, October, 5      Fenway Park  ✠ 8:30 PM ET
ESPN.Com Preview .
Yahoo's Preview .
ESPN.Com after the game Recap.
MLB.Com Press Pass
From MLB.Com Scouting Report
Baseball-Reference - Preview

Angels: Few starters in the game have a wider repertoire of pitches to draw on than the veteran Escobar, who throws 95 mph with a deadly split and changeup when he's on his game. Escobar was in the Cy Young Award derby before encountering a late-season slump, created at least in part by shoulder inflammation. The hope is that a layoff over the last few weeks enabled Escobar to regain life in his shoulder and that he goes to work in the postseason with the high level of confidence he carried into the season's final month. Escobar is admired by teammates and respected by opponents for his toughness, his competitive nature. He and John Escobar pushed each other to previously unvisited heights this season. They talked during the spring about combining for 40 wins and 400 innings, and they came remarkably close.

Red Sox: Matsuzaka's first Major League season had its share of ups and downs. The right-hander was at his best in June, when he posted a 1.59 ERA over five starts. Matsuzaka struggled for much of September, going 2-1 with a 7.62 ERA in five starts. However, his last start of the regular season was one of his best, as he went eight innings and allowed two runs while striking out eight in a 5-2 win over the Twins. Matsuzaka went seven innings or more 10 times before the All-Star break. After the break, he went that many innings just four times. Matsuzaka didn't pitch against the Angels this season. He will make this start following six days of rest. Matsuzaka is 8-4 with a 4.86 ERA at Fenway Park

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

Hitting History vs Escobar
D. Pedroia40000001.000
K. Youkilis61000002.167
D. Ortiz2651013310.192
M. Ramirez348301569.235
M. Lowell155100103.333
J.D. Drew51000012.200
J. Varitek227000484.318
C. Crisp145200131.357
J. Lugo74001322.571

While the .271 Batting Average looks ok, you have to look closer at the numbers. There are only four batters who have an average above .300. After those four the next highest on the team is Mirabelli who has a .250 average.

The question is where will the offense come from in this game. Surprisingly it most likely will come from the 7-9 hitters. Tek, !!!!ocoC and Slugo combined have a 0.372 / 0.509 / 0.488 Ba, OBP and Slugging %. That is much higher than the Ortiz, MBM and Lowell part of the order (closest is Slugging where the bottom three are .102 higher).

The good news is looking at Escobars splits this year he is not getting lefties out at the same rate as previously. In his career he has .250/.332/.404 (BAA/OBP/Slug) numbers against left handers, while this year he is .264/.332/.396 (slight dip in slugging). That means the Tek, !!!!ocoC, Drew and Papi part of this team should be able to do better than past history would indicate.

Another thing I noticed though, is he is better at getting righties out. While his career numbers are .250/.317/.373 fairly close to each other his success against right handed batters is better this year at .233/.292/.323. That is some very good numbers for a pitcher.

Historical Pitching Lines

Escobar 11670999451949914.641.446.36

This Years Pitching Lines
Neither pitcher has faced the other team this year.

These are not good career numbers for Escobar. In fact these numbers are better than his starting pitcher totals. As a starter he is 3 and 4 with a 4.76 ERA in 70 innings. His Starting WHIP is a 1.37 and his BB / 9 is a whopping 4.11.

Not good numbers at all, however the Sox have not faced him this year, so he could be a totally different pitcher. Of course the Sox have an advantae also, since Matsuzaka has never faced these players. Will be interesting to see what happens.

♊ - When all else fails, get a bigger hammer!


Peter N said...

But the hammer is in our (the SOX) hands. Nice post...nice numbers. GO SOX!

s1c said...

Yes the hammer is in their hands. Lets go Daisuke!!!