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Discussion in 'Red Sox Forum' started by Kenny F'ing Powers, Aug 3, 2018.
Was there any more delicious irony than the sight of Kelly on the mound mowing down the Dodgers in order whilst Sale, Kimbrel and Eovaldi were crowding around the two bullpen rubbers for a chance to pitch the 9th? We had Barnes and Brasier besides and Price had just pitched into the 8th! Just think how the consensus opinion was that the Sox' glaring weaknesses were an unreliable pen, the post-season pitching of Price, the fitness of Sale, the black hole in the bottom half of the lineup - were all completely blown out of the water almost simultaneously! Steve Pearce MVP (with Price undoubtedly runner-up unless it's Eovaldi!) just says it all.
As the late great Ned Martin used to say, 'Mercy!'
Thread title might have 2 extra words, 108 wins and a complete shellacking of the 3 other best teams in baseball puts them closer to the best teams period of all time than to any other red sox team.
119 total wins is the 3rd most of any team ever behind the 98 yankees with 125 wins and the 2001 mariners with 120.
Over on 538 their (contiguous) Elo finished on 1607.07 which places them 11th since 1901 and 3rd since WWII (and in my lifetime), trailing only the 1970 O's (1612.93) and the 1998 Yankees (1610.08). Sox franchise previous highs (all-time) were 1593.52 in 2007 and 1592.76 in 2004. Looks like by that methodology anyways it's no contest that 2018 is the best Red Sox team evah.
There have been 19 clubs since 1901 that have finished the season above 1600 Elo, 15 of which did it before WW2 ended.
NYY (6): 1927, 1932, 1937, 1939, 1998 and 2009
CHC (4): 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1909
PIT (3): 1901, 1902 and 1909
PHA (2): 1910 and 1911
NYG (1): 1905
StL (1): 1942
BAL (1): 1970
BOS (1): 2018
The Top 5 Elos are:
1939 NYY 1625.9
1902 PIT 1623.6
1906 CHC 1622.5
1927 NYY 1619.3
1942 STL 1617.9
The Top 5 Elos since WW2 are:
1970 BAL 1612.9
1998 NYY 1610.1
2018 BOS 1607.1
1909 NYY 1600.8
1975 CIN 1598.1
The Sox winning percentage was .786 in the playoffs.
The Red Sox played six games this postseason against four pitchers who won Cy Young awards:
Sabathia: 1 CYA, 5 top-5 finishes
Keuchel: 1 CYA, 1 top-5 finish
Verlander: 1 CYA, 6 top-5 finishes
Kershaw: 3 CYA, 7 top-5 finishes
TOTAL: 6 CYA, 19 top-5 finishes
They went 4-1 in those games:
won 4-3 vs Sabathia (3.0 ip, 5 h, 3 r, 3 er, 2 bb, 1 k)
lost 7-2 vs Verlander (6.0 ip, 2 h, 2 r, 2 er, 4 bb, 6 k)
won 8-2 vs Keuchel (5.0 ip, 4 h, 2 r, 2 er, 2 bb, 0 k)
won 4-1 vs Verlander (6.0 ip, 7 h, 4 r, 4 er, 2 bb, 4 k)
won 8-4 vs Kershaw (4.0 ip, 7 h, 5 r, 5 er, 3 bb, 5 k)
won 5-1 vs Kershaw (7.0 ip, 7 h, 4 r, 4 er, 0 bb, 5 k)
TOTAL: 5-1 vs these four, 31.0 ip, 32 h, 20 r, 20 er, 13 bb, 21 k, 5.81 era, 1.45 whip, 6.10 k/9
In none of these game were Sox' hitters dominated. Yes Verlander beat them 7-2 but that's a good, not *dominant* pitching line. The last three games: 17.0 ip, 21 h, 13 r, 13 er, 5 bb, 14 k, 6.88 era, 2.00 whip, 7.4 k/9 by Verlander and Kershaw against the Sox' lineup.
So among all their other incredibly impressive achievements, there's this. Just taking star pitchers (and we're not even counting Cole, Severino, and Ryu) out to the woodshed. Incredibly impressive.
0.875 on the road!
Jim Rice was asked post-game if this was the best Sox team ever. He said "No", and then mumbled something about the great teams that Yaz was on (which of course included the inestimable James Rice). He's always been a dick. Yes, the 1975 team was great, it was really great, but they lost the WS. This team went through 3 very worthy competitors in the playoffs like a hot knife through butter, and could have kept going except there was nobody left to beat.
In the LCS era (since 1969) the 2018 are the Champion with the toughest average opponent Elo (by end-of-season Elo - which obviously understates the average of the opponent entering the series since the WS Champ defeated them but I don't have time to dissect the data further).
1. '18 Bos (NYY 1562.7, Hou 1588.8, LAD 1568.2 -- avg: 1573.2)
2. '88 LAD (NYM 1568.9, Oak 1565.6 -- avg: 1567.2)
3. '17 Hou (Bos 1551.4, NYY 1572.6, LAD 1574.8 -- avg: 1566.3)
4. '77 NYY (KCR 1566.0, LAD 1566.2 -- avg: 1566.1)
5. '74 Oak (Bal 1546.1, LAD 1568.6 -- avg: 1557.4)
6. '11 StL (Phi 1569.5, Mil 1527.2, Tex 1573.1 -- avg: 1556.6)
Amongst the toughest playoff paths involving 3 opponents (i.e. including WS runner-ups in all years since '95 but not counting WC) they're 3rd.
1. '98 SDP (Hou 1568.7, Atl 1584.0, NYY 1610.1 -- avg: 1587.6)
2. '01 NYY (Oak 1595.7, Sea 1583.1, Ari 1566.8 -- avg: 1581.9)
3. '18 Bos (NYY 1562.7, Hou 1588.8, LAD 1568.2 -- avg: 1573.2)
4. '02 SFG (Atl 1554.8, StL 1568.6, Ana 1587.6 -- avg: 1570.3)
5. '99 Atl (Hou 1551.6, NYM 1562.9, NYY 1596.0 -- avg: 1570.2)
6. '17 Hou (Bos 1551.4, NYY 1572.6, LAD 1574.8 -- avg: 1566.3)
Sorry, but in my book that's not 'being a dick'. He may be wrong (and I believe he is) but remembering with pride the past glory of being part of a team with immense talent and spirit is not being a dick in my opinion.
That alone is not being a dick. I just remember him as being one from his playing days.
I guess I took offense at his unwillingness to consider the possibility that this team might be as good as his '75 team. He might have said something more equivocal so a to admit a little joy into the moment, but it was an unqualified, immediate "No".
Help me understand why the '98 SDP and '01 NYY don't show up in the first table.
Amusingly, this team played more road games (8) than home games (6) in the playoffs, despite having home field advantage throughout, thanks to the 2-3-2 format in the ALCS and World Series. They just took care of business when away and were never forced back to defend Fenway.
They didn’t win the World Series.
Yeah, that's why I did two tables. The first only included WS Champions but did include all champions since '69 whether they played 2 opponents or 3. The second was limited to only those that had to play 3 series, but included runners-up as well as champions.
Thanks for doing that. Didn't see the '75 Sox there. (That WS still stands out as the best ever, but this team is better because it is so complete.)
Eovaldi was the playoff MVP period.
I'd say his game 3 start in NY was the single most important game in the postseason. MFY thought they were going back for a coronation. Sox had a depleted bullpen and "momentum" was with NY-NY. Then Evo ripped out their throats gave Sox pen a day off and the rest is history.
The MFY, Stros, and Dodgers had a lower winning % vs. the Sox this postseason than the Orioles had all year. That is dominance.
Best ever, an absolute certainty. “Greatest”, I can’t in good faith take that away from the ‘04 team. Yet.
One really awesome thing about this year, that I didn’t feel in ‘07 or ‘13, was the sense of a generational connection between the Pedro-Ortiz teams and this one. Both of those guys were there, as distinguished alums, basking in it. It’s the first time the entire team has turned over and won again since that “era” (measured in its longest sense by the presence of Ortiz) and the new guys are there hugging Papi and Pedro on the field. So cool.
A few more seasons anything like this and they will probably be the all-everything Sox team, any way you look at it.
edit: didn’t mean to give short shrift to Pedey. Of course he helps extend the era. But he was well out of sight and almost out of mind this post-season (at least for me). He was there, but he was kind of a Force ghost, a Red Sox Obi-Wan.
Can we at least conclude that this is the best MLB team of the 21st century?
119 wins and Brock Holt cannonballing into a tub of beer and ice?
Luckily I had the balls to start the thread. Probably wouldnt have won the World Series if I hadnt.
The '75 Sox didn't qualify for either of the tables because they didn't win it (1st table) and didn't play 3 opponents (2nd table). If I remove both restrictions they are 5th amongst all teams since 1969 for toughest playoff path behind the '98 Padres, '01 Yankees, '93 Phillies (Atl 1588.1, Tor 1564.5 -- avg: 1576.3) and the '18 Red Sox. The '75 Sox faced: Oak 1548.2 and Cin 1598.1 -- avg: 1573.1.
Incidentally, they (the '75 Sox) were the 2nd best team by Elo of the Rice era, finishing at 1551.3 behind the '77 Sox (my 1st season as an 'aware' fan) who posted a 1558.2 but ahead of the '78 Sox with 1549.8. The '77 Sox had the highest finishing Elo since 1951 until they were surpassed by the 2004 Sox (1592.8), the 2007 Sox (1593.5) and the 2013 Sox (1586.0).
True as far as the postseason goes. Overall the Sox were 24-16 (.600) against the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers including 12-7 (.632) at home and 12-9 (.571) away.
Also, I'd just like to say how happy I am to be on this site for this ridiculous run of years.
I started two threads - The Nations Tears thread after the Seahawks SB and this thread well before the playoffs started - when I never thought I'd be lucky enough to start one. The run of Boston sports is memorable, historic, iconic...whatever you want to call it. I'm hoping the run is far from over, but - God forbid - if it is, what a fucking delicious cherry on top of our overflowing sundae.
As sports fans, we become so numb to the games and often times focus on the anxiety and stress. Winning is a tired sigh of relief. Especially when you are blessed to witness so much success. Not with this team. This team was just pure fun to watch from start to finish. One of the most memorable full season rides of any sports team I can remember.
Now, how many days until pitchers and catchers report?
This team ground other excellent teams into fine powder, and it was a damn pleasure to watch.
The 2004 Team was the perfect baseball team to break through the 86 years of crap and heartache.
The 2018 Team was pretty close to just being a perfect baseball team from start to finish.
Being born in '72, and watching Sox my entire life, I always wondered what each of these would feel like, especially after living through the NYY teams of the late '90s.
Each has felt better than I could have imagined. Different feelings for each, but pretty strong for both.
The 2004 and 2018 seasons rank 1 and 2 as the best that I've felt as a Sox fan.
Their next highest winning percentages by month were April and July at .760 - talk about saving the best for last.
The friggin' Yankees held them back!
One thing that I loved during interviews last night was when Cora was on the postgame MLB.tv set with Pedro. It was pointed out to Cora that he has won the World Series on the same day in October in '07 (player), '17 (bench coach) and '18 (manager), and Cora's response was something to the effect of "let's do it again same time next year". I say a million times yes to this. I want to make NYY fans feel as hopeless that I did during the late '90s.
Not sure if it was picked up anywhere else but I'm almost positive Cora and JD were talking on the field after and JD started saying back to back and Cora started reciting it as well. It was more of a flyover at the time no mics directly near by but I'm almost positive that is what they were saying. I've got it recorded so will have to give it another viewing.
This team was amazing and probably could have won 113 regular season games if not for (1) Sale being hurt and (2) taking their foot off the gas (which, of course, may have contributed to their playoff success).
They were this good with their best pitcher being clearly very compromised for like two plus months.
I give. I was skeptical of the "best" title by the end of the season because of what I saw as an especially weak league and by the pedestrian record against the other good teams. But what they did in this postseason, and how they did it, have completely won me over. They were 13-13 against the Yankees and Astros during the regular season, but when it came to games against those two teams where every game was treated as a must-win, they went 7-2. They are the best Red Sox team that I have ever seen, and I think most likely in the history of the franchise.
I will weigh in due to my screen name. Hell yes!!!
Updated AL East Standings
Team W L GB
Boston 119 57 —
New York 102 65 14.5
Depends how you look at it. By the numbers it’s this team. Overall roster on paper probably the 04 or 07 Sox. 04 does deserve a boost if you believe that the pressures of trying to break “the curse” affected the team. The 2013 team was just right place, right time. Lightning in a bottle.
Personally I have them rated this way
It’s very difficult for any team to match up with that 04 roster. 18 team could do it pretty well. But that offense 1-9 could work you. Relentless.
I posted this elsewhere and it is kind of ridiculous of course, but we're already buying into adding the post season wins to the regular season, so why not? If you include the pre-season, the 2018 Red Sox won more baseball games than any team has ever won in a single year. Last night takes them to 141, beating the 1998 yankees' 140.
Best team of my lifetime, at the very least. They've now won 4/5 WS they have made and I was too young to understand what was really going on for the first one despite watching some of it.
16-3 record the last 4 WS they've been in. 16-3! That is ridiculous. 19-7 for my lifetime.
The big flaw with this is that postseason games actually count.
They counted pre-season wins. There were 22 of them!
(It's not meant to be taken too seriously )
I cut cable a few years ago, so hadn't been watching all that many games since (unless they were on national TV, or I was out somewhere). This summer I had a feeling we had something special going on, so I bit the bullet and jumped in with Youtube TV so I could watch. Best decision ever.
What a team. What a summer, what a fall.
Fair enough. I think it's a new trend because people add playoff wins to regular season wins in the NFL. Ya know, 18-1.
Being born in '73, I have to say I feel exactly the same way. Nothing will compare to winning in 2004, but I think I actually love this team more.
I wish I had a spare kid lying around so I could name him Nathan.
I agree, that's the first time I'd seen it as well. I actually like it, though. Those last 11 wins are the toughest, so I'm ok with it. I added the preseason games in originally to poke a little bit of fun at combining the games, and also because it's kind of neat.
I thought Dave Roberts' response to the "Who's better?" question was insightful. He made your points, and added that he liked the 04 rotation, but conceded that this Sox team is much better defensively and on the bases.
The 2018 Sox could and did beat teams in every possible way. For me, that's what made them particularly enjoyable to watch.
The Yankees entered the playoffs with team OPS of 0.781, 2nd best in the majors. The Sox pitching staff held them to a 0.616 OPS in 4 games, while the Yankees pitching team ERA was 6.94.
The Astros entered the playoffs with a major league leading ERA of 3.11, and a 22.1 bWAR from all positions. Astros ERA for the ALCS was 5.52.
The Dodgers had the highest non-pitching bWAR of 14.5, 3rd best OPS of 0.774, 2nd fewest runs allowed (after Houston). Dodgers OPS for the Series was 0.550. Sox team ERA of 2.55 was over 2 runs less than the Dodgers of 4.85.
Domination all around.
Why don't you rename your current kid?
Love this. As a father of 17, 16 and 14 year old boys, I'm one of these parents.
Clearly the third-best team of the era, not just by ELO but just by raw record:
1998 NYY 114-48 + 11-2 = 126-50 (.716)
1970 BAL 108-54 + 7-1 = 115-55 (.6764)
2018 BOS 108-54 + 11-3 = 119-57 (.6761)
(edit: technically the 1961 Yankees ended up at .6766 -- so let's say third-best of the divisional era)
Looking at the Sox offensive line compared to their opponents and the only major difference between the 2 is the extra 22 hits, half of which went for extra bases.
There was talk of the Redsox trading walks instead of giving up extra base hits. I'm not really sure that was a thing unless other teams were doing it too, though. The Sox ISO was .155, their opponents .133. The Sox had 59bb/120bb in 560 PA (doesn't include HBP), their opponents 57bb/130k in 546 (doesn't include HBP). In the regular season, the Sox ISO was .185 and opponents .153.
I think we were just playing good, patient lineups and good pitching. Our lineup and pitching was just better.