We're halfway through the season

Al Zarilla

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I read the Summer of '49 in the fall and I think this season has a chance to play out even better than that. Both teams will make the playoffs, but the specter of the one-game play-in game which can be a total crapshoot (unless NY plays Minnesota, then it's an automatic win for NY) makes this feel like a do-or-die race for the division title.

It's gonna be one hell of a ride these next 2+ months.
At least the end of season series is in Boston this time. In ‘49 it was a two game set in Yankee Stadium, Red Sox one game up going in and therefore needing to win just one. Sox had their two best pitchers by far going in Mel Parnell and Ellis Kinder. They lost both of course. 1949 kind of got lost in Sox heartbreaker seasons, but it was especially tough because they won 11 straight to catch and pass the Yankees in September. Couldn’t do a little bit more at the end. I should get that Summer of ‘49 book.
 

BaseballJones

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At least the end of season series is in Boston this time. In ‘49 it was a two game set in Yankee Stadium, Red Sox one game up going in and therefore needing to win just one. Sox had their two best pitchers by far going in Mel Parnell and Ellis Kinder. They lost both of course. 1949 kind of got lost in Sox heartbreaker seasons, but it was especially tough because they won 11 straight to catch and pass the Yankees in September. Couldn’t do a little bit more at the end. I should get that Summer of ‘49 book.
The book is great - well worth the time.

The 49 season was kind of like the 78 season in that in both, the Red Sox stormed back in the last two weeks to get to within one game, only to lose it on that last game (78 of course was the playoff game). In 78, after their 3-2 loss to the Yankees, they sat at 87-61, 3.5 games out, with just 14 games to play. They proceeded to go 12-2 over that stretch, including their last 8 in a row, to get to the playoff game. Sure they lost a huge lead from July through mid-September, but man did they ever bounce back and rally.
 

Clears Cleaver

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if the Sox finish first with the best record in the league and Yankees get the wild card but have second or third best record in league, who plays who in the divisional round, assuming the Yankees win the WC game? Meaning does team with best record automatically play the WC team or are the seedings based on regular season record? If its based on records, winning the division is likely not only about avoiding the WC game but also avoiding Houston in the first round
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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if the Sox finish first with the best record in the league and Yankees get the wild card but have second or third best record in league, who plays who in the divisional round, assuming the Yankees win the WC game? Meaning does team with best record automatically play the WC team or are the seedings based on regular season record? If its based on records, winning the division is likely not only about avoiding the WC game but also avoiding Houston in the first round
Best record plays wildcard, always. Division winners are seeded by record, but the wildcard team is automatically the #4 seed.
 

chawson

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if the Sox finish first with the best record in the league and Yankees get the wild card but have second or third best record in league, who plays who in the divisional round, assuming the Yankees win the WC game? Meaning does team with best record automatically play the WC team or are the seedings based on regular season record? If its based on records, winning the division is likely not only about avoiding the WC game but also avoiding Houston in the first round
Far as I can tell, the Sox would play the Yankees. This happened in 2012, when the Orioles won the Wild Card game against Texas and lost to NY in the ALDS.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2012-standings.shtml
 

Clears Cleaver

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So, um, we root for Houston the rest of the way?

It’s really a stupid rule. Not that playing Cleveland and Kluber in a short series is easy, but rather them than the Yankees I think
 

JimD

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So, um, we root for Houston the rest of the way?
Assuming the Sox, MFY's and 'Stros finish in the top 3, I think I'd say yes. I'd rather let Houston and NY battle it out and one get eliminated even if it means potentially giving up home field advantage in the ALCS.

It’s really a stupid rule. Not that playing Cleveland and Kluber in a short series is easy, but rather them than the Yankees I think
It is a stupid rule - Rob Manfred has clearly indicated that he has no plans to change the wild-card play-in game even if the second-best team in one of the leagues is at risk of being one-and-out, but hopefully MLB would be amenable to reseeding the teams once the play-in game is done and the playoff series start.
 

uk_sox_fan

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I'd rather they play both to be completely honest. I know that reduces the odds of a championship but it would make for two fantastic series and, given home field advantage for both, two that they'd have at least even odds of winning. Win 108 games in the regular season and the division by 5 games, beat the Yankees in 4 and then the Astros in 7 and the Cubs in 7 and call it a year!
 

jon abbey

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It is a stupid rule - Rob Manfred has clearly indicated that he has no plans to change the wild-card play-in game even if the second-best team in one of the leagues is at risk of being one-and-out, but hopefully MLB would be amenable to reseeding the teams once the play-in game is done and the playoff series start.
In 2015, the three best teams in baseball were all in the NL Central, two of them played in the wild card (Cubs over Pirates) and the winner played the Cards, guaranteeing from the start that only one of the best three teams in baseball that year would be among the final four teams remaining. If they didn't change their idiotic system then, they're not going to change it now.
 

snowmanny

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My problem is having the wild card rule and the long season. The justification for the 162 game season was that it gives a true and fair test of who is the best team. But if you play 162 games and then reward a 92 win team over a 102 win team what’s the point? I’d vote for 140-ish games and the playoffs starting mid-September.

I know the actual reason for the 162 game season is money, which is the actual reason for most things.
 

BaseballJones

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My problem is having the wild card rule and the long season. The justification for the 162 game season was that it gives a true and fair test of who is the best team. But if you play 162 games and then reward a 92 win team over a 102 win team what’s the point? I’d vote for 140-ish games and the playoffs starting mid-September.

I know the actual reason for the 162 game season is money, which is the actual reason for most things.
The unbalanced schedule makes what you're suggesting impractical and unfair. That is, if you win 93 games in the AL East, while the winner of the AL Central ends up with 95 wins, I'd say that the 93 wins in the AL East is indicative of you having a better team. Now divisions don't really matter if the schedule is balanced. But they went to an unbalanced schedule to get more Sox-Yanks, and other division rivalry matchups like that, more often. And they want the division to mean something significant. Every now and then you get a situation sort of like this year, where a second place team in a better division wins more games than the division winner in a worse division. Sucks, but oh well. If we want to say divisions shouldn't matter, they should scrap them entirely, and go with a two-league setup with balanced schedules (as much as possible...interleague play is gonna mess with it a little). But then prepare yourself for as many Sox-A's games as Sox-Yanks, and are you good with that? (might help the Sox' record, but won't be as much fun) Then take the top 6 teams from each league, give the first two byes, and have the bottom four of that group play against each other, the winners going against the top two teams that got the byes. Something like that.
 

snowmanny

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How is a 140 game schedule impractical and unfair. I happen to think the divisions are sort of meaningless fabrications. I am excited by pennants and World Series titles and playoff success. Winning the division is like winning the SEC East or something: it’s better than not winning but pretty meaningless except it gives you a shot at something bigger. I don’t care if the Red Sox won the division versus winning the wild card game: they are equal outcomes. I also don’t care if the Red Sox play the Tigers more and the Rays less.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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How is a 140 game schedule impractical and unfair. I happen to think the divisions are sort of meaningless fabrications. I am excited by pennants and World Series titles and playoff success. Winning the division is like winning the SEC East or something: it’s better than not winning but pretty meaningless except it gives you a shot at something bigger. I don’t care if the Red Sox won the division versus winning the wild card game: they are equal outcomes. I also don’t care if the Red Sox play the Tigers more and the Rays less.
No I'm sorry. I wasn't talking about a 140-game schedule. My bad. I wasn't clear. What I meant was that just giving playoff spots to the teams with the best record isn't fair if it's an unbalanced schedule. 162, 154, 140 games....that doesn't matter.

I mean, to use your example of the SEC.... should a 10-2 SEC football school get left out while an 11-1 American Athletic Conference team gets in? That SEC school plays Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Florida, etc., while the AAC team plays UConn and East Carolina, etc.
 

snowmanny

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And maybe I was unclear too. I get it- It’s like the NFL. My point wasn’t so much about how unfair it is for one of NYY/BOS to be relegated to the wild card, my argument is that if you are going with lots of division winners and a couple of wild card teams making the playoffs, you really don’t need 162 games. The reason being is that now (as opposed to 1967 or 1977) you aren’t using the regular season to determine the best or very best teams. You are just trying to identify a bunch of good teams that get to keep playing. Maybe this is more of a “fixing baseball” thread issue and maybe I’m reacting to an odd season where we already know which five AL teams are going to be playing in October and waiting ten more weeks seems unnecessary.
 

Cesar Crespo

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. Maybe this is more of a “fixing baseball” thread issue and maybe I’m reacting to an odd season where we already know which five AL teams are going to be playing in October and waiting ten more weeks seems unnecessary.
Why are people so sure Seattle is going to finish ahead of Oakland? Oakland is only 3 back and Seattle has allowed more runs than they've scored. They aren't a good team.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Why are people so sure Seattle is going to finish ahead of Oakland? Oakland is only 3 back and Seattle has allowed more runs than they've scored. They aren't a good team.
Yeah - BP says 54% chance for Seattle, 37% chance for Oakland (with small to minuscule chances for TB, LAA, MIN, TOR)
Fangraphs says 66% chance for Seattle, 29% chance for Oakland (with minuscule chances for LAA, TB, MIN, TOR)
 

BuellMiller

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The book is great - well worth the time.

The 49 season was kind of like the 78 season in that in both, the Red Sox stormed back in the last two weeks to get to within one game, only to lose it on that last game (78 of course was the playoff game). In 78, after their 3-2 loss to the Yankees, they sat at 87-61, 3.5 games out, with just 14 games to play. They proceeded to go 12-2 over that stretch, including their last 8 in a row, to get to the playoff game. Sure they lost a huge lead from July through mid-September, but man did they ever bounce back and rally.
Agreed on the book (I also read it with The Teammates: A Portrait of Friendship also by Halberstam, which was also really good, discussing Williams, Doerr, Pesky, and Dom DiMaggio.)
 

TheoShmeo

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As we all see the projected win totals and consider the Sox relatively harder schedule than second place team, I wonder if they can maintain on their present pace mostly because of the possible solutions, or lack thereof, at Starters 4 and 5.

One could point to to Pomeranz's last start and Johnson's results and conclude that they will be fine. Still, Pom has had a total of one good outing in AAA, and was pretty dismal before he got hurt this year in Boston (or was he pitching hurt all along?). My point is that I see us as not nearly at the point of being able to pencil Pomeranz into any role with confidence about how it will go. On a board where "SSS" is often a response, Drew's good outing was exactly that -- a small sample.

One could also point to Johnson's relative success and become sanguine with him at 5. Yet he has an injury history and has not been able to get past 4 plus innings. Not that Cora should have pushed him to do more. Whether BJ can eventually keep them in games though 6-7 innings remains to be seen.

Wright might come back but it's never a good sign when a pitcher with a knee injury is experiencing soreness in that knee. Pedroia is not a pitcher but he nods his head vigorously at that.

Beeks has looked way overmatched. I guess there's always Hector. Anybody else in the system who might fill the gap?

The Sox are rumored to be focused on the pen in the trading market, and it's understandable given Joe Kelly's recent suckitude. I could see him getting it together but I also have no idea why a pitcher who performed so well early on could turn to manure in June and July. My point is that if they address the pen, I assume that the limited chits they have will prevent them from doing much regarding the rotation. And if they indeed let it ride there, I would view that as the biggest obstacle to staying on the clip they've been on until now. I hope I'm wrong and all is indeed well.
 

uk_sox_fan

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We don't have the medical information that the Sox are privy to on Pomeranz, but if a) there is good reason to believe that he is now fully healthy and b) there is good evidence that he wasn't healthy in most of his starts earlier this year then the SSS argument would go out the window. The most relevant sample would be his 2017 season when he was last fully healthy.
 

DominicJD

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The unbalanced schedule makes what you're suggesting impractical and unfair. That is, if you win 93 games in the AL East, while the winner of the AL Central ends up with 95 wins, I'd say that the 93 wins in the AL East is indicative of you having a better team. Now divisions don't really matter if the schedule is balanced. But they went to an unbalanced schedule to get more Sox-Yanks, and other division rivalry matchups like that, more often. And they want the division to mean something significant. Every now and then you get a situation sort of like this year, where a second place team in a better division wins more games than the division winner in a worse division. Sucks, but oh well. If we want to say divisions shouldn't matter, they should scrap them entirely, and go with a two-league setup with balanced schedules (as much as possible...interleague play is gonna mess with it a little). But then prepare yourself for as many Sox-A's games as Sox-Yanks, and are you good with that? (might help the Sox' record, but won't be as much fun) Then take the top 6 teams from each league, give the first two byes, and have the bottom four of that group play against each other, the winners going against the top two teams that got the byes. Something like that.
Personally, I hate the unbalanced schedule & inter-league play anyway, so I'd be in favor. I'm tired of playing half our games against only 4 teams and having basically a 50% chance of turning on the TV and only seeing Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays or Rays. I'd even be fine with 2 divisions and top 2 from each make it. But as it is, I don't enjoy the season as much as I used to when I had a better chance of seeing a wider set of teams and players on any given night. And I always liked the "mystery" of the NL teams / player being "different" enough so that the All-Star game and the World Series were more unique in their own way.
 

phenweigh

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upload_2018-7-23_8-21-2.png

Seven games better than the second place year of 2011, which offers a cautionary tale of how a season can turn badly. On the other hand, fourteen games better than 2004 which is an excellent example of a season ending well. Using those two seasons to project the rest of this season results in expecting the Sox to win at least 97 games and at most 112. If the 2011 season seems too optimistic for some, the infamous 2012 season can used to project 89 wins.

Visualizing:

upload_2018-7-23_8-32-28.png
 

ponch73

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The 2011 season is a fascinating and unsettling comp.

That team started out the season by going 2-10 (after losing its first 6 games in a row) and closed out the season (as has been well documented) by going 7-20. In between, it went 81-42, which is .659 ball.

At this exact point in the season, the 2011 squad was up 2 games in the division standings. Over the subsequent 61 games, the Sox got 22 quality starts (36%):
  • 12 starts from Lester, 7 of which were quality starts
  • 12 starts from Lackey, 3 of which were quality starts
  • 11 starts from Beckett, 6 of which were quality starts
  • 10 starts from Wakefield, 3 of which were quality starts
  • 8 starts from Bedard, 2 of which were quality starts
  • 5 starts from A. Miller, 1 of which was a quality start
  • 3 starts from Weiland, 0 of which was a quality start
The bullpen, aside from Papelbon, was shaky (I'm defining clean below as no runs allowed and no inherited runners scoring):
  • Morales made 23 appearances, 17 of which were clean
  • Bard made 22 appearances, 14 of which were clean (he had a particularly brutal September)
  • Albers made 22 appearances, 10 of which were clean
  • Papelbon made 20 appearances, 17 of which were clean
  • Wheeler made 17 appearances, 11 of which were clean
  • Aceves made 13 appearances, 8 of which were clean
  • Atchison made 8 appearances, 6 of which were clean
  • Doubront made 8 appearances, 5 of which were clean
  • Bowden made 8 appearances, 3 of which were clean
  • A. Miller made 5 appearances, 2 of which were clean
  • Williams made 4 appearances, 2 of which were clean
  • T. Miller made 3 appearances, 3 of which were clean
  • Tazawa made 3 appearances, 1 of which was clean
Meanwhile, on offense, the 2011 Sox got the following run production in the final 61 games:
  • 6 or more runs scored in 20 games (went 18-2 in those games)
  • 5 runs scored in 6 games (went 1-5 in those games)
  • 4 runs scored in 11 games (went 5-6 in those games)
  • 3 runs scored in 9 games (went 3-6 in those games)
  • 2 runs scored in 8 games (went 0-8 in those games)
  • 1 run scored in 3 games (went 0-3 in those games)
  • 0 runs scored in 4 games (went 0-4 in those games)
So, if things were to really fall apart from here on out in 2018, you'd expect to see the following unfortunate parallels:

2011 Lackey = 2018 Porcello
2011 Wakefield = 2018 Pomeranz
2011 Bedard = 2018 B. Johnson
2011 A. Miller = 2011 Velazquez
2011 Bard = 2018 Barnes
2011 Albers = 2018 Hembree
2011 Wheeler = 2018 Workman
2011 Bowden = 2018 Kelly
2011 Weiland = 2018 Beeks
 
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TFisNEXT

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It's hard to imagine Porcello being as bad as 2011 Lackey. I also think it would take some big injuries for the offense to shit the bed like 2011 did down the stretch.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I know the comparisons are only coming up due to the "record-through-X-games" stuff, but weren't World Series titles supposed to erase the sense of portending doom stuff like worrying about or even prognosticating collapses like 2011? 2004 and 2007 wiped out the failures of 46, 48, 49, 67, 75, 78, 86, and 03, and 2013 should have taken care of the ghosts of 2011. Do we really need a debate of who on the 2018 roster equates to the 2011 roster?
 

santadevil

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This is a very good baseball team that will be judged on its own performance

I'm not expecting the 112 wins, or whatever we are on pace for, but this is a great regular season that we should all be enjoying, rather than waiting for the other (the first?) shoe to drop
 

ponch73

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I know the comparisons are only coming up due to the "record-through-X-games" stuff, but weren't World Series titles supposed to erase the sense of portending doom stuff like worrying about or even prognosticating collapses like 2011? 2004 and 2007 wiped out the failures of 46, 48, 49, 67, 75, 78, 86, and 03, and 2013 should have taken care of the ghosts of 2011. Do we really need a debate of who on the 2018 roster equates to the 2011 roster?
I wouldn't take everything you read on this board quite so seriously. I meant for the post to be read ironically, more as a post-mortem of one of the least-likeable Red Sox squads in the past decade. And while I'm never opposed to the power of a reverse jinx, the ludicrous roster parallels were definitely written in tongue-in-cheek fashion (believe it or not, but Brian Johnson -- the #7 starter on the depth chart -- and Erik Bedard -- a trade deadline pickup -- were not serious comps for one another).

Also, here's the counterpoint to post #279 above.

1. The 2011 team, during its heydey, performed at a .659 winning clip -- that happens to be lower than the rate at which the 2018 team has performed thus far.

2. The 2011 roster appeared to be plagued by complacent (Beckett, Gonzalez), malcontent (Lackey, Crawford) or past-their prime veterans (Wakefield, Drew). Not sure if there are any such veterans left on the 2018 squad after Hanley was let go unceremoniously a few months back. Furthermore, the 2018 team has several guys like J.D., Moreland (and even Price) who seem to care a lot about their teammates. Do you recall seeing any joyous team photos of the 2011 squad prior to a road trip? I don't.

3. The managerial and front office performance in 2018 seems to be light years ahead of the 2011 coaching staff. Frankly, neither Tito, Theo nor Lucchino wrapped himself in glory in 2011. I think we can all agree that Cora as a rookie skipper has been nothing short of spectacular. And DD has been strong as well (e.g., JDM, Moreland, Pearce).

4. The 2018 team has been boosted by phenomenal performance from young stars (Mookie, Benintendi, Bogaerts) and surprise outperformance from unexpected sources like Velazquez, Brian Johnson, Brasier, Poyner, Pearce, etc. Not sure we could say the same of 2011.

5. To end up like the 2011 squad, this year's team will have to go 20-41 (.328 pace) over the next 61 games. It's probably pretty fair to take the over on that.

6. The 2011 team didn't have a Chris Sale or a Craig Kimbrel, who I think outclass Josh Beckett and Jonathon Papelbon, respectively, in terms of talent and pure stuff.

7. Every season is different. Aside from ownership, a handful of at bats from Pedroia, the lyric little bandbox, and the laundry, there is virtually no overlap between 2011 and 2018.
 
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patoaflac

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71-31: as in 46, 7 games better than in 78.
Severino? He is desintegrating by the minute.
MFY’s don’t have the pitching nor the hitters, see those averages. Of all 29 teams, Houston could be the only problem.
Oh I forgot as MFY fans say: this isn’t supposed to be our year, wait till 19. Yeah, I’m still waiting for 76 and 77.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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71-31: as in 46, 7 games better than in 78.
Severino? He is desintegrating by the minute.
MFY’s don’t have the pitching nor the hitters, see those averages. Of all 29 teams, Houston could be the only problem.
Oh I forgot as MFY fans say: this isn’t supposed to be our year, wait till 19. Yeah, I’m still waiting for 76 and 77.
This is pretty silly. I like the shit-talking.... but the Yankees are more than likely, even with not doing a damn thing in the trade market, going to be neck and neck with the Sox up until the last day of the playoffs. We face them far too much at the end of the season with a losing record in head to head matchups.... so hopefully we'll have enough cushion there to not stress. But would losing the head to head record against them and then meeting them in the playoffs for a 5 or 7 game series inspire this much overoptimistic stuff? I doubt it. They still scare me despite their slow play, and you know they're going to fix what ails them. They can and they will. We know what ails the Sox and really can't fix it. As presently constructed, I think the Sox are a better team based on just the starting pitching. I'd give offense, defense a tie. Bullpen a slight edge to the Yankees. Rotation to the Sox. But we're down to 3 good pitchers (or 2 if you're not bullish on Price....)
 

donutogre

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Yeah, NY isn't going anywhere, but I am glad the Sox have largely taken care of business while the Yankees have had a stretch where they've looked merely mortal. I'm sure they'll get on another good run as we did after a bit, but still. Having the lead up to 6 games feels good.
 

dynomite

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Yeah, NY isn't going anywhere, but I am glad the Sox have largely taken care of business while the Yankees have had a stretch where they've looked merely mortal. I'm sure they'll get on another good run as we did after a bit, but still. Having the lead up to 6 games feels good.
It does, and I don’t think “taken care of business” even really captures what they’re doing. They're 15-2 since that series in New York at the end of June where they left in a tie for the AL East. I don’t care who you play — winning 88% of your games against anyone is remarkable.

It will be a long time before we see the Sox win 75 games by the end of July again. I’m trying to enjoy this team while I can, before we even find out how they finish.
 

uk_sox_fan

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This is pretty silly. I like the shit-talking.... but the Yankees are more than likely, even with not doing a damn thing in the trade market, going to be neck and neck with the Sox up until the last day of the playoffs. We face them far too much at the end of the season with a losing record in head to head matchups.... so hopefully we'll have enough cushion there to not stress. But would losing the head to head record against them and then meeting them in the playoffs for a 5 or 7 game series inspire this much overoptimistic stuff? I doubt it. They still scare me despite their slow play, and you know they're going to fix what ails them. They can and they will. We know what ails the Sox and really can't fix it. As presently constructed, I think the Sox are a better team based on just the starting pitching. I'd give offense, defense a tie. Bullpen a slight edge to the Yankees. Rotation to the Sox. But we're down to 3 good pitchers (or 2 if you're not bullish on Price....)
I agree with your post almost completely but I keep seeing references to the Yankees winning in HTH matchups. While this is technically true it’s akin to saying Isner is winning a tennis match when its on-serve 5-4 in the 1st set. We beat them 2-1 at Fenway. They beat us 2-1 at the toilet. They beat us 2-1 at the toilet again and now 7 of the last 10 are at Fenway. Don’t say someone is beating the other until someone breaks serve!
 

Al Zarilla

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Even I don't understand this, but it sounds awesome.

Tell us more?
He wants to enjoy this year’s team now, without worrying about the post season? Probably can put a ‘yet’ at the end there, dynomite’s call. So many of us are ‘yes, but’ fans, like, early in the season it was ‘yes, but they haven’t played any good teams yet.’ Now it’s ‘yes but how will the postseason go?’
 

NoXInNixon

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The baseball postseason is a crapshoot. The Red Sox could be the best team in baseball going into October and still lose the Divisional Series while whatever crappy National League team that wins the play-in game could win the World Series. This season has been great to watch, and I will not let it be diminished no matter how it ends.

As long as they don't lose to the MFY.
 

Saints Rest

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I agree with your post almost completely but I keep seeing references to the Yankees winning in HTH matchups. While this is technically true it’s akin to saying Isner is winning a tennis match when its on-serve 5-4 in the 1st set. We beat them 2-1 at Fenway. They beat us 2-1 at the toilet. They beat us 2-1 at the toilet again and now 7 of the last 10 are at Fenway. Don’t say someone is beating the other until someone breaks serve!
I heard some numb nut host on a NYC Sports Radio show this morning say that even though they are 5 games back, the Yanks had the division in hand because they play the Sox 1 more times H2H. It seems to me a pretty silly basket to put your eggs in -- to assume you can beat another team 8 out of 10 times simply because you won 6 out of 9.
 

Adrian's Dome

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I heard some numb nut host on a NYC Sports Radio show this morning say that even though they are 5 games back, the Yanks had the division in hand because they play the Sox 1 more times H2H. It seems to me a pretty silly basket to put your eggs in -- to assume you can beat another team 8 out of 10 times simply because you won 6 out of 9.
Especially given two of those games were David Price-fueled punt-a-thons.

If anything, they're fairly even H2H, meaning the team ahead going into the matchup has the advantage for the division.
 

Rasputin

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Oct 4, 2001
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Not here
I heard some numb nut host on a NYC Sports Radio show this morning say that even though they are 5 games back, the Yanks had the division in hand because they play the Sox 1 more times H2H. It seems to me a pretty silly basket to put your eggs in -- to assume you can beat another team 8 out of 10 times simply because you won 6 out of 9.
Please forgive the ableist language, but what a fucking dumbass. Four of those games are coming up pretty soon at Fenway Park and if we win tonight, we're six games ahead. If we maintain that through the six games before the Yanks come to town, and split those four games, we're looking at a six game lead with 48 games remaining for us, 52 for them, and only six games remaining head to head, three of which are the last series of the season.

If you buy into the notion that you can reasonably expect to gain about a game a week at most, a six game lead at the end of that series at Fenway is about when the Yankees should be worried about having enough time to catch up and start banking on head to head games to make up the difference.

And it becomes increasingly clear that the Red Sox really have one goal left for the regular season--be four games ahead entering play on September 28.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Oct 20, 2015
34,400
And it’s not even 6 out of 9 so far, it’s 5. With the Yanks having an extra series at home in those 9.
 

uk_sox_fan

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Nov 11, 2006
1,273
London, England
Or to take my tennis analogy one step further, the Sox have broken serve twice (out of 6 games) at Yankee Stadium whilst the Yankees have done so just once (out of 3 games) at Fenway. We're up a break.
 

pk1627

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May 24, 2003
2,598
Boston
Even I don't understand this, but it sounds awesome.

Tell us more?
I totally get it. The Sox have never had a 100 win season in my life. It looks good this year, and I want to enjoy it. We are seeing something really special.

It’s really great that the Y’s and others are right up there. Great seasons have great competition. I think back to the Celtics 1984 with that great Laker team in an amazing 7 game series.

I’ll worry about October in October. Oh, how I love October baseball.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
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Jul 15, 2005
72,573
Or to take my tennis analogy one step further, the Sox have broken serve twice (out of 6 games) at Yankee Stadium whilst the Yankees have done so just once (out of 3 games) at Fenway. We're up a break.
Nah, the first time was more accurate, just consider a 2-1 series win the equivalent of holding serve. NY is up 2-1 but Boston gets to 'serve' two of the three remaining regular season 'games' (series).

Also this analogy needs to also include a second simultaneous match for each team where BOS is destroying their inferior opposition and NY is exchanging service holds, I believe they are 11-11 against TAM/BAL now to BOS's 19-6.