Alex Cora-- what do we have here? Perhaps the best manager in baseball.

thestardawg

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They got set down on 12 pitches over 2 innings by guys wearing numbers in the 80s for the worst team in baseball.

They had 3 hits and 2 errors last night.
In the middle of a playoff race. In a game they needed to win.

Nothing could more clearly show the lack of focus and effort but that. That’s the lamest goddamn thing I’ve ever seen.
So as usual you're moving the goalposts again. After being told quite correctly how stupid your hot take was that CHris Sale jjust needed to concentrate more so he wouldn't walk the 9 hitter, now you move on to other gripes.

You're aware baseball players aren't robots?
 

YTF

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The offense is in a funk. Someone for the love of fucking god, BUNT!!! I feel that Kiké, Verdugo, X and/or Arroyo/Iglesias should have the type of coordination to place down a good bunt. Steal a base. Generate something!
I've never been a bunt-steal-small ball guy... but I'm past changing my mind on that. Successful teams can adapt to new challenges and the way teams are structured right now... a team that can have a few slap hitting, bunting, stolen base speedy guys mixed in with the 3-true-outcome types is the way to go. Top to bottom, no. But when the offense is struggling playing that type of baseball can generate some energy and disrupt the defense and opponents pitching.
I don't disagree with any of this, but given some of the fundamentally bad baseball that we've witnessed from this team and the fact the the bunt seems to be a lost art I wonder who on this roster can lay down a decent bunt. I mean how often do we see MLBers square off and push UP at a pitch while attempting to get a ball DOWN ?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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So as usual you're moving the goalposts again. After being told quite correctly how stupid your hot take was that CHris Sale jjust needed to concentrate more so he wouldn't walk the 9 hitter, now you move on to other gripes.

You're aware baseball players aren't robots?
They failed in multiple areas last night. Flailing away mindlessly after their so-called ace blew the lead by walking the number 9 hitter are merely two examples of that.

Chris Sale should not be waking the number 9 hitter. Period.

Of course they’re not robots, which makes their seeming lack of energy and care last night even more puzzling.

Cora’s quotes after the game all but said they didn’t put in a good effort last night.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I don’t know that I want them to bunt per se, but this team routinely approaches at bats as if the only way to score runs is home runs. They hit two last night, and scored a grand total of two runs. Work the count, take a walk, move runners over, steal a base. Alter the approach based on the situation.
 

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I don't disagree with any of this, but given some of the fundamentally bad baseball that we've witnessed from this team and the fact the the bunt seems to be a lost art I wonder who on this roster can lay down a decent bunt. I mean how often do we see MLBers square off and push UP at a pitch while attempting to get a ball DOWN ?
Verdugo had a really nice bunt for a base hit the other day. If he has that ability, I like that type of opportunistic play.
 

jose melendez

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The more I think about it the more I think the fundamental problems are that a) they’re not good enough to make a real run and b) they know they’re not good enough to make a real run.

You know how most of this board is in the space of “it hardly matters, these guys aren’t winning the series or even coming close?” The players know that too and their playing like it. The Jays and even the mfy seem to feel like they at least have a shot if they get in the tourney. I don’t feel that from the Sox.

Most of the meh is explained by them being bad defenders, bad relievers and limited starters, but the awareness of that, I suspect, contributes to the mediocre hitting.

also, yanking starters before the 3rd time through may be good strategy when you have bullpen arms, but we don’t. Whitlock is the only guy I trust. After him it’s maybe Ottavino. That’s rough.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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The more I think about it the more I think the fundamental problems are that a) they’re not good enough to make a real run and b) they know they’re not good enough to make a real run.

You know how most of this board is in the space of “it hardly matters, these guys aren’t winning the series or even coming close?” The players know that too and their playing like it. The Jays and even the mfy seem to feel like they at least have a shot if they get in the tourney. I don’t feel that from the Sox.

Most of the meh is explained by them being bad defenders, bad relievers and limited starters, but the awareness of that, I suspect, contributes to the mediocre hitting.

also, yanking starters before the 3rd time through may be good strategy when you have bullpen arms, but we don’t. Whitlock is the only guy I trust. After him it’s maybe Ottavino. That’s rough.
This is exceptionally well put and I completely agree.

Bloom assembled this ill-fitting awkward band of misfit toys, so he’s got a huge job ahead in completely re-engineering the team. Given that he’s the one that put it together, it remains to be seen if he can fix this mess.
 

BroncosSox

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Cora has issues with who he's going to in the pen right now no doubt. I would love to see him say stick with Eddy for another inning on Sunday, for example, to lessen the strain.

I'm the biggest AC fan here due to him not just managing my sox to a world series but him being a UMiami alum. But there have to be serious questions asked about why the players act like they never take infield and don't have the guts to try and make a catch near the first base camera well (Dalbec in back to back days). When it's so rampant through the team, it falls on the manager.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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As irrational as it is I’d like to see Cora pull a nutty more often. He should have gone off on Joe West and never moved.

He strikes me as so hands off which is great when you have a 108 win team, not great when you have a team stepping on its collective dick every single night.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I think the covid stuff is a good example of how the team hasn’t come together as one cohesive unit and why they seem to be so inconsistent. Ottavino mentioned how he was pissed about it and not even hanging out with other players. It’s a long season; at this point in the year you really need to be one and to be pulling for each other and it seems as though this team may just be a bunch of different groups of guys who aren’t on the same page. Some of that on Cora, but a lot is on the group of guys on the field.

Granted, it may just be a result of playing poorly, but the team doesn’t look like they are having fun like they were earlier in the year with all the comebacks and the laundry carts and all that.

I guess that’s baseball, sometimes teams come together and sometimes they don’t. Earlier in the year, it seemed like everyone felt good things were gonna happen in games, and now it’s the opposite.
 

jose melendez

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This is exceptionally well put and I completely agree.

Bloom assembled this ill-fitting awkward band of misfit toys, so he’s got a huge job ahead in completely re-engineering the team. Given that he’s the one that put it together, it remains to be seen if he can fix this mess.
I’m less worried because I don’t think his construction was based on a plan to compete this year. I think the fact that the team is competing surprised the hell out of him.

To me the concerns past this year are 1) starting pitching- sale needs to be good, not this five inning shit, and I think pivetta can be part of the longer plan. Erod is gone, eovaldi is short time. I guess Houck will start too. 2). The defense is too bad. We can only have one of jd or schwarber, Devers probably needs to learn to play first. So where the hell does that leave Dalbec? X to third?

I put responsibility for the teams problems now mostly on the players/ Chaim for assembling them. I think Cora has been up and down, but I think we probably have a top 20% outcome for this group.

as a general rule if the manager gets that high in the range I’m pretty happy.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I think the covid stuff is a good example of how the team hasn’t come together as one cohesive unit and why they seem to be so inconsistent. Ottavino mentioned how he was pissed about it and not even hanging out with other players. It’s a long season; at this point in the year you really need to be one and to be pulling for each other and it seems as though this team may just be a bunch of different groups of guys who aren’t on the same page. Some of that on Cora, but a lot is on the group of guys on the field.

Granted, it may just be a result of playing poorly, but the team doesn’t look like they are having fun like they were earlier in the year with all the comebacks and the laundry carts and all that.

I guess that’s baseball, sometimes teams come together and sometimes they don’t. Earlier in the year, it seemed like everyone felt good things were gonna happen in games, and now it’s the opposite.
Just curious where you saw this. I don't not believe it, but this is the first I've heard about any players saying something like this. Where did you read that?
 

canderson

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This is exceptionally well put and I completely agree.

Bloom assembled this ill-fitting awkward band of misfit toys, so he’s got a huge job ahead in completely re-engineering the team. Given that he’s the one that put it together, it remains to be seen if he can fix this mess.
Alternatively, it's a bit impressive Bloom assembled an ill-fitting awkward band of misfit toys that likely wins 90 (or more, God-willing) games. Before the season, most everyone expected them to struggle all year - they showed glimpses of being good.

But @jose melendez touches another topic re: they know they're not good enough to win. That's damning on the coaches. A coach's entire job is to get athletes to compete above than their raw talent. If they're not doing it, they deserve to be fired.
 

Harry Hooper

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McAdam on last night's game:

After Renfroe's homer to lead off the sixth, the last dozen Boston hitters of the game were retired by the Orioles' bullpen. They didn't come close to a hit until J.D Martinez squared up a ball with two outs in the ninth, only to have left fielder Ryan McKenna fully extend his glove hand and haul it in right in front of the left field wall for the game's final out.

But it was worse than that. In the eighth inning, the Red Sox had barely returned to the dugout when it was time to go back in the field, managing to make three outs on four pitches.

"Offensively, we didn't do much,'' said Cora. "There were a lot of empty at-bats. We didn't put pressure on them. We're an offensive team and we're a lot better than what we showed today. A lot of quick outs. There were only a few at-bats that we grinded out and we got into deep counts. But like I said, there were a lot of quick outs and we need to be better offensively.''
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Alternatively, it's a bit impressive Bloom assembled an ill-fitting awkward band of misfit toys that likely wins 90 (or more, God-willing) games. Before the season, most everyone expected them to struggle all year - they showed glimpses of being good.

But @jose melendez touches another topic re: they know they're not good enough to win. That's damning on the coaches. A coach's entire job is to get athletes to compete above than their raw talent. If they're not doing it, they deserve to be fired.
The parallels to the 2013 team early in the year, regarding the "misfit toys" still holds up except for the player leadership situation. That '13 team had Pedroia and Ortiz. Their '21 parallels are X and JDM? David Ross vs Vazquez?
Granted I'll take Cora over The Chin anytime though...
 

amRadio

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Not sure how anyone can continue to compare this team with 2013. That team tied for the lead in wins across MLB and was good in the bullpen, on defense and in the rotation. This team has none of that. I never really saw 2013 as a "misfit toys" type of group. I didn't want Victorino, but he was a good outfielder still. The only "every day player" they really got lucky with on that roster was Nava. I think a lot of Boston fans seem to have a negative opinion of players like Lackey, Victorino, Napoli and Gomes as if they were bad players and it contributes to a bit of a warped perception of that team.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Not sure how anyone can continue to compare this team with 2013. That team tied for the lead in wins across MLB and was good in the bullpen, on defense and in the rotation. This team has none of that. I never really saw 2013 as a "misfit toys" type of group. I didn't want Victorino, but he was a good outfielder still. The only "every day player" they really got lucky with on that roster was Nava. I think a lot of Boston fans seem to have a negative opinion of players like Lackey, Victorino, Napoli and Gomes as if they were bad players and it contributes to a bit of a warped perception of that team.
Is anyone really still comparing this team to 2013? No question the 2013 new guys (Victorino, Napoli, Koji, Gomes, etc) were of a slightly higher caliber (just look at their contracts) than the 2021 newcomers, but the expectations were similar: veterans who would hopefully provide competent and entertaining play to bridge the franchise to the "next great Red Sox team". So when they got off to similarly scrappy good starts (particularly in contrast to the horror shows of the previous seasons), I don't think the 2013 comparisons were that out of line in the first half. But anyone paying close enough attention knew it wasn't sustainable (granted, there was a contingent here in 2013 who didn't think that was sustainable either). That even with the prospect of Sale returning and Houck being a second half shot in the arm, the starting pitching wasn't going to hold up. That the defense wasn't that good and there was no easy solution on the trade market (or on the farm). No one should still be comparing this team to 2013.
 

JOBU

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They failed in multiple areas last night. Flailing away mindlessly after their so-called ace blew the lead by walking the number 9 hitter are merely two examples of that.

Chris Sale should not be waking the number 9 hitter. Period.

Of course they’re not robots, which makes their seeming lack of energy and care last night even more puzzling.

Cora’s quotes after the game all but said they didn’t put in a good effort last night.
Youre right. An ace like Chris Sale should not be walking the number 9 hitter, which he did earlier in the game. But he didn’t blow the game by walking the 9 hitter. He blew it by giving up a soft infield single to short followed by a home run. That occurred in the 6th inning. The number 9 hitter walked in the 3rd (sale)and 7th inning (houck).
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Was anyone really saying at the midpoint, when the Sox were among the best teams in baseball, that this team wasn’t good enough to contend? I don’t really recall that being the consensus at all. There was a lot of excitement about getting Sale and Houck back, and then Schwarber, but the idea that this team was never good enough seems to be something we said in April and August but not really in between. Even now, I don’t really get it. This team is capable of contending - they’ve done it all year, and capable of winning if it makes it to the playoffs.
 

E5 Yaz

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This is exceptionally well put and I completely agree.
True ... although I thought DDB said it better last night in the game thread

They looked like a team that knows they aren’t going to win a championship. They probably were pushing themselves to believe until recently. I think that reality set in for the players this weekend. As awful as the Orioles are, they are still major league players. After six long months, once that doubt creeps in, I imagine it is pretty hard to keep any edge. They miss their kids, whatever. I’m sure they wouldn’t admit it or even are aware of it, but they looked like a team that is just thinking “what’s the use “ and going through the motions. Maybe not all of them but enough. Having a chance to shiv the Yankees but then get clubbed in the ALDS is way less important to them than us, I imagine.

They are not dumb. There is no lightening in a bottle that is going to make this team win a WC game and three series against the elite. I bet they see it just like we do. They looked like a team that had the wind taken out of their sails this weekend and has played a season that is too long to allow them to muster up the belief again.
 

dynomite

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Was anyone really saying at the midpoint, when the Sox were among the best teams in baseball, that this team wasn’t good enough to contend? I don’t really recall that being the consensus at all. There was a lot of excitement about getting Sale and Houck back, and then Schwarber, but the idea that this team was never good enough seems to be something we said in April and August but not really in between. Even now, I don’t really get it. This team is capable of contending - they’ve done it all year, and capable of winning if it makes it to the playoffs.
I agree. I think while it keeps being mentioned in passing it’s worth reflecting upon the fact that Red Sox won their season long series against the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Mariners. I understand the Sox aren’t playing as well now as they did before, but that’s good evidence that they are “capable” of winning, and hand waiving that away as “that was then, this is now” doesn’t feel like a satisfying answer given that on paper we’ve replaced a lot of dead weight with more productive players.

If this is your definition of MLB every day players the Yankees must have like 2.
Responding late to agree with you. it’s just strange. Xander and Devers are not just “everyday” players. They’re All Stars, two of the best players in MLB -- in fact, they're both ~5 WAR players, top 21 in the league Using them as a baseline does not seem reasonable. The idea that Kiké Hernandez — who has played Gold Glove defense in CF, has a solid OPS+ of 108 at the plate, and has been a 4 WAR player in 2021 — isn’t an “everyday player” I think is a misunderstanding of who actually plays on MLB teams.

And since you brought up the Yankees, they only have 3 position players with a WAR of 2 or more this season (Judge, Stanton, Lemahieu) while the Sox have 5 (Xander, Devers, JD, Hernandez, Verdugo).

I’m less worried because I don’t think his construction was based on a plan to compete this year. I think the fact that the team is competing surprised the hell out of him.
I’m totally with you on a lot of what you say here, I’m just not sure about this line. Our lineup was potentially too strong to assume they had “no chance” to compete, and Chaim invested a little in the pitching in ways that indicated he thought they might contend (Perez, Richards, Ottavino).

I would guess Chaim thought they had a chance to grab a Wild Card spot and wanted to give them until July to see 1) how the team performed, 2) how Sale recovered, and 3) whether there would be trade deadline fits that could help the team win in the playoffs, all while restocking the farm system and seeing what they had in young assets like Houck, Dalbec, Whitlock, Duran, etc.

This season is something like a best case scenario from that point of view.
 

amRadio

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Is anyone really still comparing this team to 2013?
I should have quoted it, but I was referring specifically to this line in the post above my own:

The parallels to the 2013 team early in the year, regarding the "misfit toys" still holds up except for the player leadership situation


No question the 2013 new guys (Victorino, Napoli, Koji, Gomes, etc) were of a slightly higher caliber (just look at their contracts) than the 2021 newcomers, but the expectations were similar: veterans who would hopefully provide competent and entertaining play to bridge the franchise to the "next great Red Sox team". So when they got off to similarly scrappy good starts (particularly in contrast to the horror shows of the previous seasons), I don't think the 2013 comparisons were that out of line in the first half. But anyone paying close enough attention knew it wasn't sustainable (granted, there was a contingent here in 2013 who didn't think that was sustainable either). That even with the prospect of Sale returning and Houck being a second half shot in the arm, the starting pitching wasn't going to hold up. That the defense wasn't that good and there was no easy solution on the trade market (or on the farm). No one should still be comparing this team to 2013.
Agreed on all counts. I can see where some people adjusted expectations this year and thought "Hey! Maybe!" but things in '13 looked more promising early and through out.


Apologies for the veer off.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I should have quoted it, but I was referring specifically to this line in the post above my own:







Agreed on all counts. I can see where some people adjusted expectations this year and thought "Hey! Maybe!" but things in '13 looked more promising early and through out.


Apologies for the veer off.
My reference to the comparisons to 2013 was based on early season views on the player personnel. Veterans that weren't brought in to be part of a "core"... bridge year. I think that was clarified by others.
 

Sox Puppet

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I don’t know that I want them to bunt per se, but this team routinely approaches at bats as if the only way to score runs is home runs. They hit two last night, and scored a grand total of two runs. Work the count, take a walk, move runners over, steal a base. Alter the approach based on the situation.
I agree entirely with this take. I really miss the days of a batting philosophy that involved getting deep in counts, wearing out starters, etc. I know the calculus of that has changed lately, with starters going fewer innings in general and bullpens now being full of 95 mph flamethrowers, but still.

Raffy, for all of his counting stats and all-stardom (which I'm not minimizing), often seems like he just wants the AB to be over as fast as possible. On multiple occasions there'll be an opposing pitcher that's wild and clearly struggling to get the ball over the plate, then Devers comes up and swings at the first pitch anyway. Another example is Verdugo, who just keeps pounding ground balls into the 2B shift with no change in approach. Both players have had good seasons at the plate, but it feels like they could've been even better.
 

BaseballJones

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I agree entirely with this take. I really miss the days of a batting philosophy that involved getting deep in counts, wearing out starters, etc. I know the calculus of that has changed lately, with starters going fewer innings in general and bullpens now being full of 95 mph flamethrowers, but still.

Raffy, for all of his counting stats and all-stardom (which I'm not minimizing), often seems like he just wants the AB to be over as fast as possible. On multiple occasions there'll be an opposing pitcher that's wild and clearly struggling to get the ball over the plate, then Devers comes up and swings at the first pitch anyway. Another example is Verdugo, who just keeps pounding ground balls into the 2B shift with no change in approach. Both players have had good seasons at the plate, but it feels like they could've been even better.
I generally agree with this. But take Devers and the scenario you describe. A guy who's struggling to find the strike zone, and Devers steps up. 0-0, 1-0, or 2-0, why in the world is Devers swinging?

Well...probably because he's thinking that this pitcher is going to groove one.

And Devers' 2021 numbers in 0-0 and 1-0 counts support this approach:

0-0: .329/.338/.579/.918
1-0: .362/.354/.851/1.205

So swinging early sure seems to make sense for Devers.
 

Strike4

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I’m less worried because I don’t think his construction was based on a plan to compete this year. I think the fact that the team is competing surprised the hell out of him.
I think in some ways it makes things harder to assess. Are certain players going to continue to be impressive, or do you stick to the old plan?
 

Humphrey

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Youre right. An ace like Chris Sale should not be walking the number 9 hitter, which he did earlier in the game. But he didn’t blow the game by walking the 9 hitter. He blew it by giving up a soft infield single to short followed by a home run. That occurred in the 6th inning. The number 9 hitter walked in the 3rd (sale)and 7th inning (houck).
What pissed me off about last night was after he gave up a homer, he gave up a single and was gone. I don't see why w/85 pitches they don't trust him to get 2 more outs. And, quite frankly, 5 more outs would be more desirable. You gotta get 7 innings out of your starters with the bullpen so shaky.
 

Sox Puppet

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I generally agree with this. But take Devers and the scenario you describe. A guy who's struggling to find the strike zone, and Devers steps up. 0-0, 1-0, or 2-0, why in the world is Devers swinging?

Well...probably because he's thinking that this pitcher is going to groove one.

And Devers' 2021 numbers in 0-0 and 1-0 counts support this approach:

0-0: .329/.338/.579/.918
1-0: .362/.354/.851/1.205

So swinging early sure seems to make sense for Devers.
Dang it, this is why stats always trump anecdotal evidence. :)

I suppose there's some confirmation bias on my part, since the many times I've seen this approach *not* work are maddening and burned into my memory.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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What pissed me off about last night was after he gave up a homer, he gave up a single and was gone. I don't see why w/85 pitches they don't trust him to get 2 more outs. And, quite frankly, 5 more outs would be more desirable. You gotta get 7 innings out of your starters with the bullpen so shaky.
That argument might work with Sale if he was still his pre-TJS horse self, but he's not. And aren't we at playoff-mode time in which you make quick hooks of guys who are having trouble in the hopes of avoiding a big(ger) inning?

Also, expecting seven innings out of any starter is fantasy land in today's game. There are fewer than ten total pitchers who have gone at least seven innings 10 or more times this season (Wheeler, Wainwright, Bueller, Alcantara, Scherzer, Bassitt, Miley, Greinke). Red Sox starters have only gone seven innings 13 times all year (Eovaldi 7, Rodriguez 2, Richards 2, Pivetta 1, Perez 1).
 

BaseballJones

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Dang it, this is why stats always trump anecdotal evidence. :)

I suppose there's some confirmation bias on my part, since the many times I've seen this approach *not* work are maddening and burned into my memory.
Well for any player, in almost any situation, any approach will not work more than it will work. That's the nature of baseball though, right? Pitchers win most of the time.
 

Max Power

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It feels like the team often takes a very hittable first pitch and then chases the second one out of the zone to find themselves behind 0-2. Did a quick check and the Red Sox are indeed the worst among AL playoff contenders in percentage of plate appearances that go 0-2.

AL AVG
21.1%

BOS
22.7%

MFY
20.2%

TBR
21.1%

TOR
19.7%

CHI
21.7%

HOU
19.5%
 
Dec 28, 2015
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I generally agree with this. But take Devers and the scenario you describe. A guy who's struggling to find the strike zone, and Devers steps up. 0-0, 1-0, or 2-0, why in the world is Devers swinging?

Well...probably because he's thinking that this pitcher is going to groove one.

And Devers' 2021 numbers in 0-0 and 1-0 counts support this approach:

0-0: .329/.338/.579/.918
1-0: .362/.354/.851/1.205

So swinging early sure seems to make sense for Devers.
Great Post. Where did you find this information?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Perhaps most interesting….when Devers swings at the first pitch in an AB, he’s hitting 273/311/504. When he takes the first pitch, he’s hitting 277/378/547.
 

brandonchristensen

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Nothing drives me more mad than seeing our starters come out early right now. Every time the pen blows it and it's like...yeah...obviously. They've been overworked like crazy this year and some of our best are not available, or pitching like shit.

Why put the ball in their hands when the starter has a little struggle? Pitchers have down innings sometimes, taking our starters out after 5 is such a joke and it happens constantly. If they're at 100 pitches after 5 that's one thing (that felt like the pre-2021 EdRo special, or the DiceK special) - but they've been fairly efficient. Coming out with 80ish pitches thrown is absurd.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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That argument might work with Sale if he was still his pre-TJS horse self, but he's not. And aren't we at playoff-mode time in which you make quick hooks of guys who are having trouble in the hopes of avoiding a big(ger) inning?

Also, expecting seven innings out of any starter is fantasy land in today's game. There are fewer than ten total pitchers who have gone at least seven innings 10 or more times this season (Wheeler, Wainwright, Bueller, Alcantara, Scherzer, Bassitt, Miley, Greinke). Red Sox starters have only gone seven innings 13 times all year (Eovaldi 7, Rodriguez 2, Richards 2, Pivetta 1, Perez 1).
How much of that is the pitchers versus the brain trust?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Nothing drives me more mad than seeing our starters come out early right now. Every time the pen blows it and it's like...yeah...obviously. They've been overworked like crazy this year and some of our best are not available, or pitching like shit.

Why put the ball in their hands when the starter has a little struggle? Pitchers have down innings sometimes, taking our starters out after 5 is such a joke and it happens constantly. If they're at 100 pitches after 5 that's one thing (that felt like the pre-2021 EdRo special, or the DiceK special) - but they've been fairly efficient. Coming out with 80ish pitches thrown is absurd.
Thing is, it isn't just a Red Sox problem. Across MLB this year, pitchers have gone at least 6 innings in just 37.2% of games (1755 of 4714). Compare that to even just 10 years ago when pitchers went at least six innings in 65.8% of games (3198 of 4858). The Red Sox are at 28% this year (44 of 157), so below the average but not dramatically so.
 

brandonchristensen

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Thing is, it isn't just a Red Sox problem. Across MLB this year, pitchers have gone at least 6 innings in just 37.2% of games (1755 of 4714). Compare that to even just 10 years ago when pitchers went at least six innings in 65.8% of games (3198 of 4858). The Red Sox are at 28% this year (44 of 157), so below the average but not dramatically so.
Sure, it's a change in the way the game is played. BUT - how many of these other teams have pens that you can set your watch to them blowing the game? At a certain point, it feels like you need to try and stretch the starter a little further, especially if their pitch count is in the 80's. Try SOMETHING, because what they're doing is not working.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Sure, it's a change in the way the game is played. BUT - how many of these other teams have pens that you can set your watch to them blowing the game? At a certain point, it feels like you need to try and stretch the starter a little further, especially if their pitch count is in the 80's. Try SOMETHING, because what they're doing is not working.
I'm going to guess more than you think. The Red Sox have the fourth fewest relief losses in baseball. Suggesting that the team is losing more games because the starters blew it than because the bullpen did. I know the response to this will be "but not lately" but there's also only five games left in the season. Might be asking a lot for guys to change their workload at this stage, particularly after a season in which everyone has been protecting against over-use following the abbreviated season last year.
 

geoduck no quahog

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BTW, who called for that changeup?

From an old article:

"It simplifies it for me," Sale said about the somewhat unorthodox approach of trusting your catcher completely with the game-calling aspect of competition.
There needs to be some culpability for the catcher in how terrible the Red Sox staff has been. I acknowledge that not every pitcher refuses to call his own game, like Sale - but it's the catcher's responsiblity to assess what the hitters are doing and what's working or not. I can't find comparative ERA's between Vazquez and Plawecki (don't know where to look), but I'd love to know what Vazquez brings to the team compared to other ML catchers. My eye test seems to be that he's played pretty poorly the past couple of months - on both sides of the ball and on the basepaths.

I love Cora, but I think his coaching staff needs a deep review over the winter considering how many and how often some very basic faults are displayed. I also question his love for Christian.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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BTW, who called for that changeup?

From an old article:



There needs to be some culpability for the catcher in how terrible the Red Sox staff has been. I acknowledge that not every pitcher refuses to call his own game, like Sale - but it's the catcher's responsiblity to assess what the hitters are doing and what's working or not. I can't find comparative ERA's between Vazquez and Plawecki (don't know where to look), but I'd love to know what Vazquez brings to the team compared to other ML catchers. My eye test seems to be that he's played pretty poorly the past couple of months - on both sides of the ball and on the basepaths.

I love Cora, but I think his coaching staff needs a deep review over the winter considering how many and how often some very basic faults are displayed. I also question his love for Christian.
Staff ERA by catcher

Vazquez 4.23 ERA (1020.1 innings)
Plawecki 4.50 ERA (323.2 innings)
Wong 4.35 ERA (31 innings)
 

scottyno

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Sure, it's a change in the way the game is played. BUT - how many of these other teams have pens that you can set your watch to them blowing the game? At a certain point, it feels like you need to try and stretch the starter a little further, especially if their pitch count is in the 80's. Try SOMETHING, because what they're doing is not working.
The Sox have had one of the best pens in baseball this year, so almost all of them
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Sox pen has a 3.98 era; behind TB (3.27), NY (3.59), Seattle (3.89) and the White Sox (3.97). They rank 5th in FIP and WAR.

They do however have the second highest BB rate (4.2, better than only Detroit) and the worst BABIP. K rate is second highest, to the White Sox.

586 relief innings ranks 9th.

83% of their pen WAR has come from
Whitlock, Barnes, and Taylor, though- none of whom are usable now. By comparison, the Yankees top three guys account for 71% of their reliever WAR.

So the Sox have had a good pen- but their best guy can’t pitch that often (and is hurt) and their second best guy hasn’t been good for a while (Barnes), and their third best guy is hurt (Taylor).
 

Rovin Romine

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LoweTek

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Both corner infielders are defensive liabilities. Devers and Dalbec have made some key errors or "non-error in the book" misplays all season, but especially of late. Think of the Judge AB the other day. The game may have swung on Dalbec's hesitancy near the wall. IIRC, there was another, similar misplay the day before.

Devers seems to be forever looking for the "big play" hightlight and far too often blows the routine play. Mrs. LT says he looks at the big screen in CF after any play he makes, good or bad, offense or defense. She despises him. It says something when a casual observer feels so strongly.

I get WAR and overall contribution. But to my eyes failed defense at key game moments has been the downfall of this team, especially of late. Error or non-error misplays at key moments, almost predictable bullpen cough-ups, poorly timed poor at-bats, the Covid BS, these are the little things contributing to keeping this team from a much better full season outcome.

Let's not get started on baserunning.

And I am not an Ottavino fan. I call him "Octane Ottavino." When he comes in you flip a coin to determine whether he's going to harmlessly end the threat or pour gas on the fire and cost the lead or game.

The solace I have as it winds up is this team wasn't supposed to do crap this season and they managed to give some genuine hope as they overachieved along the way. They may yet get in to the WC but there are simply not enough horses to get through several better teams and get to the Promised Land.

Regardless of what happens from here, I appreciate the surprise run and have no regrets hanging on until the end.
 

GB5

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Aug 26, 2013
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I think we may be underestimating their collective psyche after the Yanks nuked them this past weekend. They were hot coming in, feeling good and knew this was a big season both in the playoffs chase and as a measuring stick. They have heard the talk that they can’t play with the big boys and only beat up on the little sisters of the poor. So what happens, they get blown out Friday night and then have two emotional gut busting losses on Saturday and Sunday. Last nights game looked like a team whose mind was elsewhere. Stunned, shocked and maybe realistic may have crept in after Sunday. Woukdnt surprise me if they are low energy/focus again tonight.