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This is the best Red Sox team...ever.

Discussion in 'Red Sox Forum' started by Kenny F'ing Powers, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    Yeah, I don't see how anyone who has watched the Holt-JDM huggy dances in the dugout can accuse this team of lacking personality.
     
  2. BaseballJones

    BaseballJones goalpost mover SoSH Member

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    What strikes me about this team is how well-rounded it is, top to bottom.

    Excellent ownership and front office.
    Depth of resources.
    Quality manager and by all appearances, coaching staff.

    And for the on-field performance by the players...

    Hitting (MLB rank):
    - 1st in runs scored (600; next best is NYY and Hou at 564)
    - 1st in average (.269; next best is ChC at .267)
    - 3rd in on-base (.336; 1st is ChC at .345)
    - 1st in slugging (.457; next best is NYY at .454)
    - 1st in OPS (.794; next best is NYY at .784)
    - 1st in total bases (1802; next best is NYY at 1705)
    - 5th in HR (151; 1st is NYY at 175)
    - 2nd in OPS+ (110; 1st is Hou at 113)

    Baserunning (MLB rank):
    - 2nd in stolen bases (87; 1st is Mil at 88)
    - t1st in SB% (82.86%; tied with LAA)
    - 6th in bases taken (126; 1st is LAD at 140)

    Fielding (MLB rank):
    - 9th in defensive efficiency (.699; 1st is Oak at .710)
    - 5th in fielding % (.987; 1st is Ari at .990)
    - 3rd in total runs above average (+42; 1st is ChC at +49)

    Pitching (MLB rank):
    - 2nd in runs allowed per game (3.62; 1st is Hou at 3.23)
    - 2nd in ERA (3.43; 1st is Hou at 3.03)
    - 2nd in FIP (3.57; 1st is Hou at 3.16)
    - t1st in ERA+ (129; tied with Hou)
    - 3rd in WHIP (1.198; 1st is Hou at 1.071)
    - 3rd in k/9 (9.6; 1st is Hou at 10.6)
    - 4th in starters ERA (3.49; 1st is Hou at 3.02)
    - 4th in starters WHIP (1.18; 1st is Hou at 1.09)
    - 2nd in starters k/9 (9.59; 1st is Hou at 10.46)
    - 5th in relievers ERA (3.33; 1st is Hou at 3.07)
    - 5th in relievers WHIP (1.24; 1st is Hou at 1.04)
    - 6th in relievers k/9 (9.60; 1st is NYY at 11.54)
    - 4th in save % (76.60%; 1st is Oak at 78.57%)


    So what we have here is:
    - The very best offense in all of baseball, in almost every way imaginable.
    - A top-level base running team.
    - Excellent defensive team (not elite, but excellent).
    - And elite overall pitching staff, balanced between top 5 starting staff and top 5 bullpen.

    In other words, this team legitimately has everything you could want. It has megasuperduperstars (JDM, Mookie). It has outstanding complementary stars (Benintendi, Bogaerts). It has solid depth. It has a good bench. It has versatility. It can hit the long ball or run and manufacture runs. It has good L-R balance. It has solid veterans and quality young players. It has dominant starting studs and a nicely filled-out rotation. It has an elite closer and quality setup guys (like Barnes). It has guys who fill in the gaps.

    About the only thing it doesn't have is a dominant lefty out of the pen. But really, other than that, it has everything you could want a baseball team to have. It's just been amazing to watch. They just took a 100-win-pace team to the woodshed for four games, and they currently hold a 9.5 game lead over that team that's likely to win 100 games this year. Houston is on pace for 102, and Boston has an 8-game lead on them for best overall record. It's just unreal.
     
  3. SirPsychoSquints

    SirPsychoSquints Member SoSH Member

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    3,847
    Edit - my previous version under-estimated the team.

    The Red Sox have the best wOBA against by relievers vs. LHB - so that isn't even a weakness.

    (Only the 2nd best FIP and 6th best xFIP, though).
     
  4. uk_sox_fan

    uk_sox_fan Member SoSH Member

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    I'd take 2018 ... but they'd better not let 2004 win tonight...
     
  5. Ale Xander

    Ale Xander Member SoSH Member

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    TBH, I have missed those. Please post.

    In any case, I take back what I wrote, I was wrong.
     
  6. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    Weirdly, MLB doesn't seem to have posted any of them. I would think it's the kind of harmless silliness they'd be sure to feature.

    Basically, every time JDM hits a HR (or most of them, anyway), when he gets to the dugout he and Holt grab each other in a bear hug and do a little ooh-i'm-so-excited jump-dance like a couple of Wheel of Fortune contestants who just found out they're going to Hawaii.
     
  7. hoothehoo

    hoothehoo Member SoSH Member

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    I was curious so I just tried to find a video. I couldn't find one either, but I found the story behind it

    https://www.masslive.com/redsox/index.ssf/2018/05/brock_holts_dream_about_a_jd_m.html
     
  8. m0ckduck

    m0ckduck Member SoSH Member

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    822
    Just quoting this for enjoyment.

    I'd give an narrow edge to this year's team on the basis of better defense and (when controlling for health: ) better mid-rotation starters.

    One thing that makes the 2004 team hard to guage is that they needed Derek Lowe— originally left off the postseason rotation— to come back from the dead. It would be something like Steven Wright materializing in this year's postseason to win ALCS game 7 on two days rest and then throw 7 innings of shutout ball in the WS clincher to boot. With that Derek Lowe, yes, the Sox were nearly unbeatable. With the guy who was there the entire regular season (14-12 5.42 ERA), not so much.
     
    #108 m0ckduck, Aug 6, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  9. 24JoshuaPoint

    24JoshuaPoint Grand Theft Duvet SoSH Member

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    I've seen at least one and i made a mental note about it. It was after one of JDMs big HRs and JD did all the high fives down the dugout steps and did the walk and Holt was at the end of the line with his arms wide open, huge smile, and his hands doing the signal of 'come here you big fantastic man and give me a hug'. It was about as genuine and awesome as it gets.

    Edit - here is one little hug dance at the very end
    https://www.mlb.com/redsox/video/martinezs-2nd-homer-of-the-game/c-2304625583
    It appears Holt intentionally makes sure he is the final congratulatory person in line after a JDM HR after watching a few of these.

    Here is another one right at the end; they literally cut these right before the action sometimes:
    https://www.mlb.com/redsox/video/martinezs-3-run-smash/c-2253006283
     
    #109 24JoshuaPoint, Aug 6, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  10. Trotsky

    Trotsky Member SoSH Member

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    2,019
    This all true.... but as a general organization it has one serious flaw: crap far System. It isn’t an Achilles heal for this years ML team.... but taken as a complete organization.... it’ll start to hurt them soon
     
  11. BaseballJones

    BaseballJones goalpost mover SoSH Member

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    Yes, that's true. But I wasn't thinking about the entire organization - no clue what their A-ball situation is. I was just thinking about the major league club.
     
  12. Trotsky

    Trotsky Member SoSH Member

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    It could have had an affect on the ML team this season at the deadline but didn’t.... or hasn’t yet. It could (conceivably) have prevented the team from a missing BP arm.
    Hypothetical.
    Otherwise though.... yeah. ML team is kicking ass.
     
  13. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    31 teams have better systems than the Red Sox
    31 teams would trade places with the Red Sox
     
  14. Cuzittt

    Cuzittt Bouncing with Anger Dope

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    There was a question (perhaps in the game thread) regarding 100 win teams and 20-game winners. Which got me interested in the best teams of all time (vis-a-vis wins) and whether they had any 20 game winners.

    2001 Mariners - 116 wins - one 20 game winner (Jamie Moyer 20-6). Freddy Garcia won 18, Paul Abbott won 17, Aaron Sele won 15 and John Halama won 10.

    1906 Cubs - 116 wins - two 20 game winners (Mordecai Brown 26-6, Jack Pfeister 20-8). Ed Ruelbach won 19, Carl Lundgren won 17, Jack Taylor and Orval Overall each won 12.

    1998 NYY - 114 wins - one 20 game winner (David Cone 20-7). David Wells won 18, Andy Pettitte won 16, Hideki Irabu won 13, Orlando Hernandez won 12, and Ramiro Mendoza won 10 out of the pen.

    1954 Indians - 111 wins - two 20 game winners (Bob Lemon 23-7, Early Wynn 23-11). Mike Garcia won 19, Art Houtteman won 15, Bob Feller won 13.

    1909 Pirates/1927 Yankees - 110 wins - 20 game winners - Pirates (Vic Willis (22-11), Howie Camnitz (25-6) / Yankees (Waite Hoyt (22-7)

    1961 Yankees/1969 Orioles - 109 wins - 20 game winners - Yanks (Whitey Ford (25-4))/ O's (Mike Cuellar (23-11), Dave McNally (20-7)

    1970 Baltimore Orioles/1975 Cincinnati Reds/1986 New York Mets - 108 wins - 20 game winners - O's (Cuellar (24-8), McNally (24-9), Jim Palmer (20-10)/ Reds (NONE - High of 15 from Gary Nolan, Jack Billingham, and Don Gullett#)/Mets (NONE - High of 18 from Bob Ojeda)

    #Not a single one of the twelve (seriously, 12) pitchers who pitched for the 1975 Reds ended the season with a losing record.

    So...If Rick Porcello can not get to 20 wins but the Red Sox were to win 109 games, they would have the highest number of team wins without a 20-game winner.

    [I make no predictions for the rest of the season. Information provided simply because of my interest.]
     
  15. Adrian's Dome

    Adrian's Dome Member SoSH Member

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    4,282
    Best response I've ever heard. Nobody should give a shit about the minor league system when the major league team is having a historic run.

    If we were below .500 with a shit farm, then yeah, that'd be a problem.
     
  16. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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    What is interesting is the recent teams with these great records seem to get ~80 wins from their top 5 starters. The '01 M's got 80, and the '98 MFY got 79 (plus the 10 as you note from Mendoza).

    The top 4 starts on the Sox staff are on pace for 67 wins, but Edro and Sale are of course on the DL. Velazquez is on "pace" for 10 wins but that would be the equivalent of Mendoza in 1998. So really the Sox are having this historic season with only 4 reliable SP, which is very much out of the norm.
     
  17. Al Zarilla

    Al Zarilla Member SoSH Member

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    47,936
    Cool, but you found one where the Sox were trailing Baltimore! What were the odds? Maybe that was 1 of the 2 (Sox are 10 and 2) we lost.
     
  18. Philip Jeff Frye

    Philip Jeff Frye Member SoSH Member

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    Especially when a lot of this team is either a direct result of the farm system (ie Betts, Benintendi, Bogaerts) or acquired with assets from that farm system (Sale, Kimbrel).
     
  19. Max Power

    Max Power thai good. you like shirt? SoSH Member

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    3,368
    I guess it's possible a couple of Nippon Professional Baseball League teams have better farm systems, but I'd need to see some proof of it.
     
  20. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah, that and you can turn a farm system over really quick. If they decide to have a retooling/rebuilding year in 2020, there are a lot of guys you could move to restock the farm system.

    Plus it's probably not as barren as people would like to think. It's just lacking in top tier guys. It only takes 1 or 2 guys to take a step forward to put the Sox system in the middle of the pack. It also has interesting players who will never be highly rated on prospect lists like Tzu Wei Lin and Austin Rei, extreme power guys in Dalbec and Chavis, and to a lesser extent Ockimey and Campana. The pitching side has some interesting bullpen arms but I'm not too intrigued by their starters. I love me some Denyi Reyes but he's a guy who is going to have to prove himself at every level due to his stuff. Mata had an uptick in velocity and is still just 19 years old. Who knows with Groome and Houck hasn't impressed.

    You might have to blink a little and be somewhat optimistic, but there is some talent on the farm. It just lacks 2-3 top 100 prospects.
     
  21. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    32,869
    Only took an hour and a half. Well done!

    Now, for someone to point out that if you don't have bases, you can't call it Baseball!
     
  22. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    What if you play with Sodium Hydroxide?
     
  23. uk_sox_fan

    uk_sox_fan Member SoSH Member

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    I think they should seriously consider sending Benintendi and Devers back to Pawtucket and Portland respectively. We simply can't afford to have a sub-par farm system and they'd go a long way to restoring it. No-brainer really.
     
  24. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    I know it's sarcasm but Ben10 is 24 so if he were in AAA, he probably wouldn't be too highly rated.

    Not top 5, anyway.

    edit: This is assuming he never made the majors and spent all of 2016-18 s in AA/AAA.
     
  25. edoug

    edoug Member SoSH Member

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    Wouldn't that be lying.
     
  26. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    Heh, well played.
     
  27. Salem's Lot

    Salem's Lot Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog! SoSH Member

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    Well that’s why Zimmer benched Lee and forced them to trade Carbo. It’s by definition not base ball when players are on acid. The Gerbil might have made some shaky managerial decisions, but he was always concerned with team chemistry.
     
  28. edoug

    edoug Member SoSH Member

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    Like Gretzky behind the, you set it up nicely.
     
  29. Bowhemian

    Bowhemian Member SoSH Member

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    That’s a caustic answer.
     
  30. edoug

    edoug Member SoSH Member

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    Well played.
     
  31. singaporesoxfan

    singaporesoxfan Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Now that's a soda jerk
     
  32. Bosox1528

    Bosox1528 lurker

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    As for the 2018 vs 2004 Red Sox, I don't really think it's all that close.

    The lineups are close. Martinez and Betts have hit significantly better this year than anyone in 2004 (especially when you adjust for run environment), and Benintendi has hit better than any non Manny/Ortiz regular, with Bogaerts hitting about as well this year as Varitek did in 2004. The bottom of the 2004 lineup was definitely better, but with the addition of Kinsler, that gap should close significantly. Overall the 2004 team has an ever so slight edge in wRC+ of 114 to 112. Very small.

    As for pitching, the 2018 team is better. Of things that a pitcher can control, the 2018 team strikes out 40% more hitters, and has a similar walk and HR rate. While this is negated by league a little bit, the 2018 team still has a 5% better FIP-. While the 2004 team has some big names, Pedro wasn't 2000 Pedro in 2004. Chris Sale is significantly better than any 2004 pitcher. It's not really close. The 2018 team is also deeper rotation wise, and has a better bullpen. While Pedro is better than our #2, it's smaller than you think (Schilling was the 2004 ace, not Pedro).

    This would be close, but slightly in favor of the 2018 team if defense didn't exist. Which it does. The 2004 Sox were the 2nd worse defensive team in the league (behind only the 2004 Yankees), while the 2018 team is a solidly above average defense (will get even better with Kinsler). The 2004 defense was so bad that our top position player in WAR was Johnny Damon who was barely above 4 despite the awesome hitting. Because of this, 2018's ERA- is 11 points better than 2004's.

    The 2018 team is also better on all team wide metrics such as 3rd order W%, BaseRuns, SRS, etc.

    2007 may actually have somewhat of an argument, but I still think 2018 is better.
     
  33. Rovin Romine

    Rovin Romine Johnny Rico Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Well, there's also the 2013, '86, '75, '67, and '46 teams.
     
  34. ehaz

    ehaz Member SoSH Member

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    Crazy to see that the only teams with a better player than Mookie Betts (by OPS+, which is year and league adjusted) are ‘46 Ted Williams and ‘67 Yaz.

    And when you factor in baserunning, defense, and position, I think he beats out Yaz.

    Neither of those teams had a second guy with JD Martinez’ production. Tony C’s ‘67 production is comparable to Benintendi’s.
     
  35. pk1627

    pk1627 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I love Chris Sale, but I am not sure he’ll submit to locker room surgery to pitch an elimination game. Schill is hated by many here for his non-baseball activities but he gave everything to help the team win 2 titles.

    I love JD Martinez, but I don’t think anyone can carry a team in the playoffs like Papi did many times. (Honorable mention to Yaz).

    I think Cora is a good manager, but the best I’ve ever seen is playoff Tito.

    And who do we have off the bench now to steal a base when the entire free world knows you’re running?

    We’ve had some really great Sox teams. This is a fun thought exercise. The great thing is that 2018 has a shot to displace 2004. And jesus do I want to be there if/when they do.
     
  36. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    Tough to hold guys to standards for which they have had no opportunity to achieve. Martinez has yet to play a post-season game for the Sox, how do we know he can't carry the team like Papi? Ditto for Cora and his ability to match or exceed playoff Tito. As for speed off the bench...what need do they have for it when 5 or 6 of their starters can swipe a bag if needed?

    I know the 2004 team is legendary but let's see this year's squad in October before we declare 2004 the winner.
     
  37. JMDurron

    JMDurron Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    This, right here, points to what I think is this team's only real weakness. The IF defense if Kinsler isn't healthy (doesn't seem like a given that he'll be durable), with Nunez at 2B and Devers at 3B, is mediocre at best. The fact that the team's defensive efficiency is only 9th despite an incredibly (historically?) good defensive OF and studly starting rotation (when healthy) is telling. Moreland being a wizard at 1B (and Pearce not being a slouch, either) keeps the weakness at 2B and 3B from being more damaging, but the only cloud in the massive sky of silver this year is the IF defense.
     
  38. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    They might have a fast pinch runner to come off the bench in Blake Swihart but I don't know if he'd be stealing bases in the playoffs. The fact Betts can steal a base won't really matter much when Sandy Leon is the guy on 1st base.
     
  39. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

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    Aside from redshawks' points, what makes you say that about Sale?
     
  40. teddywingman

    teddywingman Looks like Zach Galifianakis SoSH Member

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    So yeah... if Mitch Moreland walks to lead off the 9th in game 4 of the ALCS, there's no Dave Roberts to pinch run. It's a terrible weakness.
     
  41. jaytftwofive

    jaytftwofive lurker

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    Can't we all enjoy it and not debate? And of course wait and see how they finish of course. Big Stein must be rolling in his grave, lol. Can you see if this happened when he was alive and had all his faculties? "Costanza get in here!! I'm sending a memo, heads are rolling, I'm benching some of you. This does not happen to the New York Yankees!!!!!!!!! Never!!!!"
     
  42. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member SoSH Member

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    1,995
    The standings might say otherwise, but if you watched the 2007 team, you basically know what its like to follow a 100 win team. Just erase the last inning from however many games Gagne blew in the last month from your memory.
     
  43. Max Power

    Max Power thai good. you like shirt? SoSH Member

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    Luckily that doesn't matter as much when the entire league is trying to hit fly balls.
     
  44. Ale Xander

    Ale Xander Member SoSH Member

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    Well there is Holt (no Roberts but decent speed), but it doesn't matter as Mitchy will be on 2B already anyway.
     
  45. jaytftwofive

    jaytftwofive lurker

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    We all loved 2013 because it came 2 years after the Sept. choke in 2011 and the Valentine disaster the next year. But we know that team was lightning in a bottle. Funny thing they probably easily win 100 games or more if Buchholz doesn't get injured and miss over two months. They won 97. I always felt bad for Buchholz. Wasn't ever the same. Did ok when he came back in reg. season and the post season but he never seemed to be the same. He was a top Cy Young candidate through late June.
     
  46. Rovin Romine

    Rovin Romine Johnny Rico Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    8,854
    Good point; teams include managers. So '86, despite looking competitive on paper, should probably be taken out of this conversation.
     
  47. Rovin Romine

    Rovin Romine Johnny Rico Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    In 2013, Clay was 12-1, 1.97 era, and the team went 14-2 in his starts. His post season was a mixed bag, but replace him with a .500 pitcher and maybe Tampa wins the division in 2013. He gets little enough glory around here, but he was a crucial part of 2013.
     
  48. Harry Hooper

    Harry Hooper Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    We know Sale does the cutting in the locker room and is not the patient.
     
  49. JMDurron

    JMDurron Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I still think that every inning that Gagne took off of Okajima's arm during the stretch run was critical, if only because Oki seemed to just barely have enough to get through the ALCS (in which there was zero margin for error), then through a tight WS Game 2 before crashing into a wall of what I took as fatigue during games 3 and 4. The fact that Gagne sucked, well, sucked, but it still served the larger purpose.

    Okajima's postseason game log - https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.fcgi?id=okajihi01&t=p&year=0&post=1

    So I guess I'd agree with erasing our memories of those games, just don't give Gagne's innings to anybody else that we needed later. :)

    This is an interesting point, and makes me wonder how damaging a Nomar at SS would be in today's environment, or how helpful an O-Cab at SS or a Mike Lowell at 3B would be today.
     
  50. pk1627

    pk1627 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I picked 4 amazing things that happened in the 2004 playoffs. Yes, of course none of these things have had a chance to happen this year. Appreciate the insight.

    The fact that it’s not October doesn’t invalidate my point (which btw you validated): 2004 is absolutely legendary. I’d be thrilled if 2018 surpassed it. Which is what I wrote. I think 2018 has a shot to top it.
     

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