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4.21 Postgame Thoughts BOS 8 TEX 3


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#1 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 21 April 2008 - 08:26 PM

Might as well start one of these I guess. It was nice to win an easy one, especially with the lineup we trotted out there. A few relatively minor observations:

It will be interesting to see what the balance of CF playing time is like once Coco is healthy. Ellsbury has been getting on base at a ridiculous clip and his base stealing skills have turned into a serious weapon (6 SB in the last 5 games) that Francona seems increasingly more comfortable using. Gerald Laird was the second best catcher in all of MLB at throwing out runners last year, and Ellsbury just owned him. With a full time job, could Ellsbury steal 60-70 bases? It doesnít seem that farfetched right now.

Clay looked great. Do one of you guys have the breakdown on pitch type for him? Iíd be interested in knowing what percentages of pitches were fastballs (it seemed pretty low watching the game)

It probably doesnít matter much in the grand scheme of things, but it annoys me that Francona rested Manny despite him getting tossed out of the game on Sunday, under the principle that he had already made the decision to give Manny the day off and he doesnít go back on those decisions. It just seems like a dumb and arbitrary rule to set for yourself.

I think the decision to use MDC in the 9th rather than Timlin was probably just a veteran/respect thing, with Tito not wanting to give garbage innings to strikethrower, rather than reflective of the idea that Tito would rather have him potentially available for the next couple games. Letís hope so at least.

Joe Thurston really sucks.

#2 Cabin Mirror

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 09:44 PM

I was only able to catch a few sporadic at bats today, but I noticed that in the 3rd inning (i think) Buchholz's fastball hit 93-94 a few times. During his last start, it seemed like his FB was more like 90-91. What is his typical velocity? Was it just a gun thing, or does his FB vary that much game to game?

#3 Guest_Meemselle_*

Posted 21 April 2008 - 09:58 PM

Listened to the game on the drive up to ME today....love that 11.05 start!

Jacoby is just wack on the bases. Am I correct in believing that I heard that he has not been tagged stealing in the majors yet? Do we have the successor to Curt Flood/Rickey Henderson on our hands? Thinking about what a sea change it would be if the Sox were to turn into a stealing ball club....

#4 alannathan

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 09:59 PM

I was only able to catch a few sporadic at bats today, but I noticed that in the 3rd inning (i think) Buchholz's fastball hit 93-94 a few times. During his last start, it seemed like his FB was more like 90-91. What is his typical velocity? Was it just a gun thing, or does his FB vary that much game to game?

If you look at Jnai's new PITCHf/x tool (see http://38.99.108.6/p.....lb_bosmlb_1/) you will see Clay's fastball was generally in the range 92-96 mph today. Click on "spider" to see some interesting plots.

Edited by alannathan, 21 April 2008 - 10:08 PM.


#5 OilCanShotTupac


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Posted 21 April 2008 - 10:09 PM

The series can be summed thusly:

The Texas Rangers are a very bad baseball team.

Bullpen ERA for the series: 10.80.

But I'll take it. The Sox pounded the crap out of a weak sister and that's exactly what they're supposed to do.

#6 TheoShmeo


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Posted 21 April 2008 - 10:19 PM

I was a little surprised not to see Okajima get some work today after not pitching thus far in this series or in NY. I'm out of the country and may have missed news on Oki but is there anything out there on why he hasn't pitched recently?

#7 Kevin Youkulele


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Posted 21 April 2008 - 10:40 PM

I was a little surprised not to see Okajima get some work today after not pitching thus far in this series or in NY. I'm out of the country and may have missed news on Oki but is there anything out there on why he hasn't pitched recently?

Nothing that I've seen. He was warming at various points but just never actually made it in.

#8 rembrat


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Posted 21 April 2008 - 11:01 PM

I was a little surprised not to see Okajima get some work today after not pitching thus far in this series or in NY. I'm out of the country and may have missed news on Oki but is there anything out there on why he hasn't pitched recently?

I heard DO say something about a stiff neck that Okajima suffered somewhere in the Cleveland series but like KY said, he has been seen warming up in a couple games this past series but failed to enter a game.

#9 syoo8

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 02:15 AM

I was only able to catch a few sporadic at bats today, but I noticed that in the 3rd inning (i think) Buchholz's fastball hit 93-94 a few times. During his last start, it seemed like his FB was more like 90-91. What is his typical velocity? Was it just a gun thing, or does his FB vary that much game to game?


Here's what Buchholz's fastball velocity was today, according to gameday:

Inning 1: 93, 95, 94, 94, 93, 92
Inning 2: 95, 95, 95, 95, 93
Inning 3: 93, 93, 93, 93, 93, 92, 93, 92
Inning 4: 92, 93, 94, 92, 94, 95, 95, 96, 96, 95
Inning 5: 94, 93,9 94, 96, 95, 96, 95, 95
Inning 6: 93, 93, 92, 91, 94, 93, 96, 95, 94, 95

Accordingly, gameday gave Lopez the following fastball velocities:
Inning 7: 88, 87, 87, 92
Inning 8: 90, 89, 87, 89, 88, 86, 86, 89, 89

#10 esfr

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 07:47 AM

It probably doesnít matter much in the grand scheme of things, but it annoys me that Francona rested Manny despite him getting tossed out of the game on Sunday, under the principle that he had already made the decision to give Manny the day off and he doesnít go back on those decisions. It just seems like a dumb and arbitrary rule to set for yourself.


I've read quite a few comments like this one. My immediate reaction was the same. However, the reality is that Sunday wasn't an off day for Manny despite being tossed early in the game. In some ways, the actual game is the easiest part of job for the players on game day. The mental and physical preparation begins much earlier in the day (certainly for guy like Manny who is "gym" rat) and playing is the easy part. In that light Tito's decision isn't arbitrary. In other words a day off is only a day off if it's planned.

#11 JimBoSox9


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 08:33 AM

I've read quite a few comments like this one. My immediate reaction was the same. However, the reality is that Sunday wasn't an off day for Manny despite being tossed early in the game. In some ways, the actual game is the easiest part of job for the players on game day. The mental and physical preparation begins much earlier in the day (certainly for guy like Manny who is "gym" rat) and playing is the easy part. In that light Tito's decision isn't arbitrary. In other words a day off is only a day off if it's planned.



Stealing this from Dauber's game thread post:

Ramirez was tossed out of Sunday's game in the second inning, but Francona said that, while he thought about the situation, he decided not to alter his plan to give Manny today off from the starting lineup. He figured it wouldn't be proper to change the plan because Ramirez had been looking forward to the day off and "we have a pretty good thing going with Manny right now." So Ramirez will rest and Francona will be expecting Thurston to provide energy, which tends to be in short supply for an 11 a.m. game.


In addition to what esfr said, it sounds like the day off yesterday was Tito respecting Manny's wishes rather than making a decision for Manny. Like I said in the game thread, I would have the totally opposite reaction from Manny; I would never ever want to miss 2 games worth of PAs when I was so locked in-I'll sit when I'm slumping, thanks. But that's me, and he's him, and his approach seems to have garnered him some success over the years. In conclusion, this issue warrents a mere "eh".

#12 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 08:46 AM

Correct, MeemsEllsbury has never been caught stealing in the Major Leagues.

I'd rather give Manny an(other) day off vs. Texas than against the Angels. And he kills Tampa, so I want him in the lineup down there this weekend.

Gee, the Sox have done ok against this killer start of the season schedule, haven't they?

#13 Lollardfish

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:05 AM

Gee, the Sox have done ok against this killer start of the season schedule, haven't they?


That's what pleases me. When looking at this first month, I was hoping the Sox emerged on the 28th somewhere around .500. Brutal travel schedule, lots of questions in the rotation, and yet, here we are, starting strong. It's good to see, especially when one hopes the starting pitching and offensive production (Papi) improves.

#14 Kevin Youkulele


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:28 AM

That's what pleases me. When looking at this first month, I was hoping the Sox emerged on the 28th somewhere around .500. Brutal travel schedule, lots of questions in the rotation, and yet, here we are, starting strong. It's good to see, especially when one hopes the starting pitching and offensive production (Papi) improves.

The performance of the team may change in terms of details, but it's not going to get a lot better than it is right now overall. Papi isn't cold anymore (look at his recent game log, he's had a hit or two and runs and/or RBI in almost all of the last 9 games or so), and just about everyone else is getting on base too. A few guys have been playing out of their minds (Ellsbury, Lowrie, Pedroia). The key bullpen guys who get hi-lev situations have not been coughing up leads, and everyone else on the pitching staff has been at least keeping it close. Enjoy this while it lasts.

#15 Joshv02

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:33 AM

With another stretch of 16 games without an offday, and two night-day couplets, it may be interesting to see if Cash rests Tek on days when Clay starts as Clay went out of his way to mention how Cash and he were in sync and had pitched together often in AAA.

#16 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:48 AM

That's what pleases me. When looking at this first month, I was hoping the Sox emerged on the 28th somewhere around .500. Brutal travel schedule, lots of questions in the rotation, and yet, here we are, starting strong. It's good to see, especially when one hopes the starting pitching and offensive production (Papi) improves.


There are certain times when it's better to be lucky than good, and this April has been one of those times.

Factoring in a month's less time to rest up for spring training due to the playoffs, 2 weeks less time in spring training because of Japan, Curt's shoulder injury, and I was expecting a .500 record at best. If I had known that Tizzle would be hitting .113 with a .412 OPS on April 15th, I would have definitely been happy to sit at 9-12 right now.

Per FanGraphs, they've won 5 games already where they got to the plate in the 8th inning with a 50% chance or less of winning. So I think it's safe to say they've laid some golden eggs this season, including games pretty much won because of Moss and Lowrie. It's nuts, but that's what I love about baseball.

#17 twothousandone

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:52 AM

With another stretch of 16 games without an offday, and two night-day couplets, it may be interesting to see if Cash rests Tek on days when Clay starts as Clay went out of his way to mention how Cash and he were in sync and had pitched together often in AAA.


I don't think you can let your prized rookie pitch to a back-up catcher on an on-going basis. By nature, the back-up may not be around next year, and might not even last the year. Certainly, in the post-season, you won't want the back-up in the game. And for this club, with what they are paying Varitek, and why they are paying it (unless they are envisioning a 2009 with Cash and wothout Varitek), he's gotta' be behind the plate for the majority of Buchholz's starts.

It's great to know Cash has maybe one other point in his favor in addition to catching the knuckleball, but Varitek will start the games he's supposed to. Cash plays when Wakefield pitches, and day game after a night game, and of course double headers. If some of those fall on Buchholz starts, Cash plays.

Edited by twothousandone, 22 April 2008 - 09:53 AM.


#18 Cabin Mirror

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:15 PM

If you look at Jnai's new PITCHf/x tool (see http://38.99.108.6/p.....lb_bosmlb_1/) you will see Clay's fastball was generally in the range 92-96 mph today. Click on "spider" to see some interesting plots.



Thanks for the link, that's really cool.

So I went back to check Clay's 4/16 start against the Yankees, and he was indeed in the 90-91 range.


Is it just the gun difference between Yankee Stadium and Fenway?

What should we expect his FB to be clocked at from here on out?

#19 Kevin Youkulele


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:26 PM

What should we expect his FB to be clocked at from here on out?

Low to mid 90s? Note that the Fenway/NESN gun had Paps hitting 100 tonight which I've never seen before. So either:

A) John Farrell is god.
B) The Fenway gun is in need of tweaking.
C) Both of the above.

#20 amarshal2

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:29 PM

Low to mid 90s? Note that the Fenway/NESN gun had Paps hitting 100 tonight which I've never seen before. So either:

A) John Farrell is god.
B) The Fenway gun is in need of tweaking.
C) Both of the above.


The Fenway gun is different than the NESN gun.

Clay is indeed 90-94 occasionally hitting 95.

#21 amarshal2

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 08:21 AM

From Gammons for whatever it is worth:

Clay Buchholz admits he never gets from 90 to 95 mph until May, "and I'd better do something different next spring."

espn "insider"

Also this quote from Farrell:

Buchholz got his fastball down more consistently Monday [against Texas in pitching six shutout innings] and was up to about 94 [mph].


Edited by amarshal2, 23 April 2008 - 08:26 AM.