April 12, 2011

Groovin'

Terry Francona:
Everything went to the middle of the plate. ... seven balls hit right on the barrel. We love when guys throw strikes, but there were balls that were middle-middle to the first seven hitters. Tonight, he was right down the middle.
Tito was blunt, and correct.
Francona: "[Y]ou're excited for the game, and in the second inning you're in survival mode so you don't ruin the bullpen."

The Rays never had scored 16 runs against the Red Sox. They beat Boston 15-9 on July 24, 2003, and 14-5 on both May 9, 2009 and September 7, 2010.

Tampa Bay scored a whopping 44% (16 of 36) of their total runs last night. ... After scoring 20 times in their first nine games, they nearly doubled that total last night. ... Six of the Rays' 18 doubles were hit last night. ... Nearly one-third of their extra-base hits this year (9 of 29) were in last night's game. ... Tampa Bay raised its team batting by 38 points (.163 to .201) and team slugging percentage by 63 points (.284 to .347).
The Globe's Peter Abraham says it's time to trade Matsuzaka, though it would be a strict salary dump and
would not be easy. The Red Sox would have to eat a bunch of money [Dice is due roughly $20 million] and they probably wouldn't get much back for him, maybe just a couple of mid-level prospects.

But it has to be done.

Matsuzaka is 13-14 with a 5.34 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP over the last three seasons. That includes going 0-4 with a 7.54 ERA in his last seven starts. ...

[Trading him] would cost them a lot of money, but at this point putting him in a game is counterproductive to winning.
Steve Buckley adds: "[I]t's quite possible that no Red Sox player in recent memory was booed as badly as Matsuzaka was last night.

I would not be annoyed if Matsuzaka was no longer on the team, but there is no way Theo Epstein -- who understands a sunk cost -- will trade him now. Making such a drastic decision a mere 11 days into a six-month season would be done purely out of panic, a reaction based not on logic but to appease the yowling portion of the fan base who wants the GM to do something. That is the exact opposite of Epstein's successful way of doing business.

Matsuzaka had a below league-average 93 ERA+ last year, but among American League fifth starters, that would have ranked as 2nd best (Jake Peavy of the White Sox was at 94). He'll get a few more starts -- and if the dismal outings continue, he may develop an "injury".

15 comments:

Bill said...

Sunk costs should have no impact on your decision making, only future costs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_costs

The reason he won't be traded is that they'd have to eat so much of the contract that it wouldn't be worth it.

allan said...

I'm surprised they owe him only $20 million, but his salary for this year and next is $10 per.

9casey said...

ESPN had a stat today that said Josh Beckett was one of 3 pitchers, for the Red Sox against the Yankees, since 1920 to give up less 3 hits and have 10 K's.

I wish they told me the other 2..

Allan can you use your Bref expertise to find that answer......Thanks

allan said...

ESPN had a stat today that said Josh Beckett was one of 3 pitchers, for the Red Sox against the Yankees, since 1920 to give up less 3 hits and have 10 K's.

I wish they told me the other 2..


Well, Pedro's 1-hit, 17-K game in 1999 has to be one of them.

Be right back ...

laura k said...

I agree with your take on what Theo is likely to do or not do. He's never let howling fans run the team before, and he won't know.

None of us want to see Dice pitch another inning for the Sox, but there's no immediate solution on hand, except a well-rested bullpen and mop-up man.

[I]t's quite possible that no Red Sox player in recent memory was booed as badly as Matsuzaka was last night.

I doubt it, unless "recent memory" is very short.

allan said...

Ray Culp, September 21, 1968: 9-1-0-1-11

Pedro Martinez, September 9, 1999: 9-1-1-0-17

ESPN says fewer than 3 and more than 10, but I searched 3 or fewer and 10 or more, so these also came up:

Jim Lonborg, August 29, 1967: 9-3-1-0-11
Jim Lonborg, September 7, 1967: 9-3-1-2-10
Tim Wakefield, September 11, 2005: 8-3-1-1-12 (Lost 1-0)

***

Beckett is the only one to not pitch a complete game.

FenFan said...

He'll get a few more starts -- and if the dismal outings continue, he may develop an "injury".

What's Jeff Gillooly up to these days??

Food for thought: If the Sox were 8-1 entering last night instead of 1-8, does anyone think there might have been a different fan response?

I wonder if it's time to have Dice-K and Wake switch roles?

Patrick said...

If Matsuzaka does what he did in the first game against the Spiders, 5IP 3ER, he's valuable at the end of the rotation.

I'm not giving up on him yet.

Pokerwolf said...

This is all about the team having a losing record and getting clobbered by a team that's been struggling on offense. It's nothing more than that, honestly. We're giving Lackey shit for the same reason. People were questioning Beckett and his abilities until his last game too. Ditto for Lester and Buchholz.

Let's see how Dice-K does in his next couple of starts and then we can have a better idea about what he's going to do this year.

s1c said...

Was at the game last night and he did get booed, but would not say was the worst I've heard. Worst loss I've ever been to - replaces the 1984 home opener vs the Tigers
Only thing memorable about that game for me was that it was colder than h*** and tigers went like 35-5 to start the season.

As for last night - When you give up 6 runs at 25 pitches you are getting hammered.

toosoxy said...

it definitely has to be done. sucks. he's contrite. he has a good attitude. i'm sure he's a great guy. he just can't pitch.

tito's not always great at cutting the cord.

Dr S said...

Bring back Pedro!

laura k said...

We're giving Lackey shit for the same reason. People were questioning Beckett and his abilities until his last game too. Ditto for Lester and Buchholz.

We're giving Lackey shit because he sucks. And we had every reason to question Beckett's ability - and we still might have good reason. It was an amazing performance, but still only one game.

I don't know what anyone's problem with Lester or Buchholz is. But I don't think it's at all premature to wonder about Matsuzaka! This wasn't exactly his first crappy outing.

allan said...

I don't know what anyone's problem with Lester or Buchholz is.

Historically?

Outside of his no-hitter and 2010, people have not been all that keen on Buchholz. Lots of talk about his poor emotional make-up.

Lester was, of course, the original Houdini, doing the exact same things in his first two seasons that Dice is ripped for now (putting tons of guys on base, having 100 pitches by the 5th inning).

allan said...

tito's not always great at cutting the cord.

it's likely not his decision.