October 17, 2007

On The Brink

22 comments:

Red Sox Stats Guy said...

Same exact headline as I had this morning!

Stephen said...

Can someone please explain to me why the line-up has not been changed. I understand cliches as much as anyone, but this ideology of dancing with the ones that brought you has got to stop. For anyone who makes the observation that there is no guarantee that Ellsbury can perform better than Crisp, I say, Ellsbury simply cannot perform worse unless he starts dropping fly balls (unlikely). There is no downside to replacing Coco's 0-4 for Ellsbury, nor is there a downside to replacing Drew's meaningless 1-4 with Kielty. Furthermore, these guys are not like Bellhorn in 04. Both are obviously overmatched and cannot even work counts anymore. Bellhorn at least had flashes of hitting during the season -- with power.

ish said...

The problem with putting Ellsbury in there tonight is that C.C. is pitching. Coco has a better chance hitting from the right side.

I've been disappointed with the lack of Ellsbury, though. That kid gave the entire team a spark down the stretch, and now he just sit there, patiently on the bench.

Kyle said...

Couldn't agree more!

After seeing Kielty's stats vs. Byrd (something like 6 HR's) I totally expected him to be in the lineup last night. Nope.

I still believe Coco performs better in the 1 or 2 hole rather than in the 7-8-9 hole. I'm not giving up on him.

There just is no excuse for LUGO and if he is still around next year (which is highly likely) I don't know what to do.

This whole series hinges on Game 2, which the Sox had no excuse for losing.

tim said...

Can someone please explain to me why the line-up has not been changed.

I sure can't. Good post.

thatdietcokegirl said...

line-up sucked last night. it wasn't a wake issue (tho belli doesn't help matters). lbj should have played and he should have lead-off.
lame.

nixon33 said...

win tomorrow.

mugro said...

I agree with you Stephen, and I am struggling to find a reason for Francona's blind loyalty to J.D. Drew.

As fans, I know that we don't always know the reasons behind the decisions that are made, and we tend to react much more emotionally to each and every pitch than the team and players do (for a good reason!), but at this point, don't you just want to go up to Terry and slap him in the face and say "Dammit, Terry, DO SOMETHING!"

The fact that three of four starters have not gotten out of the fifth inning is frustrating, but I am not sure what the manager could really do about it. The bad luck and errors that the Sox suffered last night suck too, but there isn't much you can do about that either. But, you can try to spark the offense by playing Ellsbury and Kielty. Otherwise, what the hell did you put them on the roster for?

Redsock, I sure would like your take on this.

Zenslinger said...

The fact that three of four starters have not gotten out of the fifth inning is frustrating, but I am not sure what the manager could really do about it.

Shaking up the lineup won't help!

L-girl said...

Nixon33 has it right.

redsock said...

If you knew before the game began that Coco or Drew (or even Ortiz) would go 0-for-5, and Ellsbury and Kieley would each go 3-for-5, then sure, bench the former and play the latter.

But you never know. That's baseball. Drew could be 0-for-500, then go 5-for-5 with a few dongs.

And yeah, the starters have crapped the cot, but what can you do? Nothing. They haven't turned in three straight outings like that all year. Really bad time for a first time.

Playoff Tito is a very good manager -- I should remember that Season Tito knows the same things, but sees that he's in a 162-game series, not a 5- or 7-gamer.

Anyway, the only guy he might have had too long a leash with was Wake. Should be have been pulled after the HR, single and HBP? MDC got up only after Shopvac was hit. Wake was at only 59 pitches at that point.

So Wake gets the force with Sizemore. 1st and 3rd, one out. Sox trail only 1-0, DP in order. Which he very nearly got, but Assdribble's chopper hit off his glove and died behind the mound. (Also, Yook bobbled a foul that would have ended that AB before the chopper.) Pull him there? Was MDC ready? Hafner had K twice already and Wake got him again. Two outs. After he gave up the single to V-Mart, MDC came in.

Perefctly reasonable management.

And Peralta hit the 3-run dnog that put the Sox in a deep hole.

Lester slammed the door tight, but after the triple dong action, nothing happened. Toss out the dongs and Boston got TWO guys to second base all night -- Manny in the 2nd and Peewee in the 3rd. That's it.

I don't really get the Coco and Drew hate. No one outside of Manny and Tizzle is doing anything. Why not cry out to bench Pedroia and Varitek? Surely, Mirabelli can mimic Tek's 0-for-whatever.

Cleveland won 96 games -- same as us. They are not pushovers. If they win this series, it will not be a shock. Though for them to do it in 5, if they do, would be a bit of a surprise.

And yet, us winning 3 is not a pipe dream. It ain't 4 in a row!!!

The bats make a cameo, Beckett does his thing, Curt gets his shit together, then we ride the Dice rollercoaster on Sunday.

Boom -- we're in!

redsock said...

Manny joins the discussion:

"We've got a great team over here and the other side is playing great. They're pitching the way they should and they're coming through with big hits. What can you do? You just think about Thursday and you just try to come and play hard and have fun. It's not over yet."

redsock said...

And from SoSH, it's Frisbetarian:

"I'm not partial to rah rah threads, and am certainly not that type of fan myself, but the tiresome griping in the posts of some of our members makes me feel the need to post something out of character.

"The Red Sox are in an offensive slump - it happens in baseball. That does not make this a terribly flawed baseball team, as some of you seem to think (today anyway, funny how that changes so often). This is the team that had the best record in all of baseball. They scored more runs than all but 3 teams in baseball, and averaged almost 6 runs per game over their last 75. They allowed fewer runs than any other team in baseball. It is not a fluke that they are playing for the right to go to the World Series; they deserve to be here. This is a very good team that has been fun to watch. Baseball is a frustrating game, if you can't deal with that maybe you should try another sport.

"Maybe they lose tomorrow, but baseball is a funny game and if Beckett wins that game, and they come home, well... ya never know. If they lose, I'll be pissed. But more than that, I'll be disappointed that baseball is over. I really love this game.

Personally, I'd pitch Wakefield in game 7 and have Matsuzaka ready in case he gets in trouble.

Remain calm, all is well."

thatdietcokegirl said...

i still think we are the better team. yep, nixon33 has it right.

i heard that beckett might be tight or something? thats the reason they didn't pitch him last night?

thatdietcokegirl said...

good post. ty redsock.

Zenslinger said...

Frisbetarian has it right. Let me put it in my terms:

We are NOT Yankee fans. We do not own a WS appearance or win by birthright. Cleveland's a good team. We've had a great (and fun) year.

I know we can win three in a row, and if we pull it off, it will be quite a thrill. But if we don't, I for one am not going to curl up in the corner with a 12 pack, fling myself into a crying jag, then wet myself.

TDCG, a columnist, I think on SI.com, mentioned that Francona could not have done anything else with his rotation. One reason was Beckett has pitched so many innings this year (easily a personal record if I remember correctly). Also that he had a very slight stiffness in his lower back after Game 1. Nothing big, not an injury per se, but -- enough so that you wouldn't even try that Game 1, 4, 7 thing. Not sure what the writer's source was, since as he mentions himself, the team gave no indication that he had any kind of discomfort, but, there you have it.

Jere said...

"I don't really get the Coco and Drew hate. No one outside of Manny and Tizzle is doing anything. Why not cry out to bench Pedroia and Varitek? Surely, Mirabelli can mimic Tek's 0-for-whatever."

I'll field this one:)

So, I don't get down on Coco much at all, but I do on Drew and Lugo, and, well, Gagne, though I don't know if anyone has his back at this point. But here's my answer to why I feel those guys are relentlessly ripped, because I'm guilty of it, and I know a lot of other people are.

Please note that I'm going to use the "relationship" metaphor. Totally overused and stupid, but it's what came right to my mind. To change it up, I'll use "male partner" instead of the default, macho sports guy, "girlfriend" term.

So, if my homosexual, hot male partner has been with me for two decades, and he cheats on me once, I'm gonna be pissed. But if he says it's a one-time mistake, apologizes, says he wants to go to counseling and that he wants to do whatever it takes to save the relationship, there's a much better chance I take him and his sexy dong back than IF it happened after a month of dating.

Yeah, I'm looking at Varitek and I'm not exactly seeing "I'll do anything for you" in those swings. But at least I know he has in the past, for many years. The same swings from Drew don't come with the same history to allow me to defend him at all. Sure, we've heard glowing reviews of his past gay marriages, but we've never personally been satisfied by his manly touch.

Now, I can be yelled at for this because I am a smart person and if you give me some stats, I may see that you're right. (But it's not gonna make me less pissed at the guy.) But most fans just look at a guy in front of them, and if they never see him get the job done FOR THEM, they're just not gonna be able to defend the guy. This is where the Coco situation gets fuzzy, because he is in his second year. At the very least, people are "used to him." To me, he reached the point of "I've seen what you can do, so you're off the hook barring any multi-month long slumps. And Coco didn't win a World Series for us, so that disproves the theory of only liking guys because of that. We're Sox fans, it's not about the winning, as we know, but we wanna see something from a guy. People who share this whole crazy theory with me don't love the team any less, they just see it differently, I guess.

So if Drew's still our right fielder in two years, by default he should've racked up enough good things where I can defend him. Honestly, I sure hope someone else is out there, though.

Jere said...

Also, people seem to have the "if we lose" attitude down, but saying it before we actually lose, to me, sounds like you think we're gonna lose. (Edes has also done a column about this.) So let's all not talk about this unless it happens, eh? We've got Beckett, then we get to go to Fenway and the pressure will be on the Spideys.

Amy said...

Surely, Mirabelli can mimic Tek's 0-for-whatever.

Yes, but can he call the game for pitchers other than Wake? I know you question his calling of pitches with DiceK, but I think most people believe, in particular the pitchers, that he is key to helping them pitch effectively.

Plus he did drive in the only RBIs on Monday night.

Now you KNEW I would defend him, didn't you?

L-girl said...

Jere is talking about credit. Money in the bank. Varitek has, Trot had, a lot of credit built up with the fans. Drew has none.

In fact, Drew had a negative balance before he ever put on a Red Sox uniform, because of the image already created for him, whether deserved or undeserved.

I have no words to describe how sick of Drew-plaining I am. It's beyond my power of description.

I asked Allan to call a moratorium on Drewplaining, but he didn't want to, because he wants to be free for as much Tek-plaining as possible.

L-girl said...

PS Varitek has very little credit with me. I am a newer Sox fan. I just look at what he does and say, not much.

Allen said...

I personally think that Belli probably doesn't get the credit he deserves as a catcher.

I think, given a situation where they could somehow both catch the same pitchers in the same situation somehow, I think Belli might throw out (just to pick a number) 35% of basestealers to Tek's 23%. Heck, Belli was at 22% this season while doing the extreme bulk of his catching for a guy whose fastball is in the 70s and who doesn't get the ball to the plate terribly quickly.

I think they're both equivalent in terms of blocking pitches, with Belli potentially having the advantage with all his particular experience.

And certainly, I think Tek might be a bit better calling a game, but I've never felt that Mirabelli was a slouch in that department when catching for non-Wakefield types.