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9/7 - Josh Beckett, Returning Ace


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#551 ivanvamp


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Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:03 PM

QUOTE (Smiling Joe Hesketh @ Sep 7 2009, 04:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think this series sums up much of our frustrations about the team as a whole however. For whatever reason they haven't been able to click as a whole team since April or so. Paps finally gets untracked but Oki goes into the shitter. The Sox finally take a series from TB but then lose 3 out of 4 to a horseshit White Sox team. Lester looks like an ace but Beckett goes into the tank. Ellsbury and VMart are hitting but Pedroia isn't at all. And so forth. It seems that this club cannot get all their talent to produce at the same time, and it's preventing them from running off a good winning streak and getting a comfortable lead in the WC. And it's immensely frustrating.


I don't disagree that it's frustrating. But they're on pace for 93.5 wins (93.474, to be exact). That number of wins is what *good* teams achieve, not ones that "stink". No doubt they've been inconsistent, and that drives everyone here up a wall.

Here's the thing. Even with all that inconsistency and frustration and one guy on, one guy off routine, this team has a lot of talent. Lester is a horse. Beckett's last 11 innings have been very, very good, and we may be seeing him be what we want him to be. If the Sox had put up an 8 spot today and won 8-3, we'd all be singing Beckett's praises for 7 strong innings with a few cheap hits leading to the 3 runs. The bullpen - especially Wagner, Bard, and Papelbon - is absolutely nasty. Buchholz has been very good (last 6 games: 3.55 era, .631 ops against, 1.24 whip). If Buchholz continues like this, Lester is Lester, and Beckett rounds back into form, as it appears he's doing, and the Sox put in their "A" lineup, don't you think they have a pretty reasonable shot in the playoffs?

CF Ellsbury
2b Pedroia
C Martinez
1b Youkilis
LF Bay
DH Ortiz
3b Lowell
RF Drew
SS Gonzalez

With a good Beckett, Lester, and Buchholz anchoring the staff, and Wagner/Bard/Papelbon going the last 3.....I'll go to war with that team any time. Plus, we get Playoff Tito, who, as we know, is as good as it gets.

#552 NomarRS05

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:04 PM

QUOTE (ivanvamp @ Sep 7 2009, 04:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They obviously don't stink. Geez. 10-5 in their last 15. 13-7 in their last 20. If you want to go all the way back to the ASB, they're 25-24 since then. Not great, obviously, but not "stinks" either. They currently have the 3rd best record in the AL and 5th best mark in the majors. Other stats:

- #3 in MLB in runs scored (719)
- #2 in MLB in ops (.800)
- #4 in MLB in homers (176)
- #15 in MLB in era (4.33) - so not great, but again, not awful
- #4 bullpen era in MLB (3.64)

So we whine and complain (naturally...that's what fans do) when they lose, but this is a good team. Is it the best in baseball? No, I don't think so. Getting to the playoffs looks like it will be quite a lot of work, and once there (if they get there), it will take a very, very good effort to go all the way. But that hardly means they "stink".


Most posters here are intelligent enough not to think of the team in such binary terms as "stinks/is totally awesome!". I think most would agree that the Sox are still a good bet to make the playoffs, but don't really stack up well against the Yankees or even the Angels right now. Their model for success depends on Beckett returning to ace form, and while he looked better today, he still wasn't the same guy we saw in August or July. Okajima's struggles are also a major concern.

Obviously anything can happen in the playoffs, but unless those two become dominant again, I'd say the odds of this team beating either Anaheim or NYY are less than 50%.

#553 bob burda

  • 591 posts

Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:13 PM

QUOTE (Reggie's Racquet @ Sep 7 2009, 05:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you want to see what a real ace and CY Young candidate looks like check out what Wainright did to the Brewers today.
One hit complete game shutout 1-0. That's an ace.

Meanwhile Penny is pitching well again, no hits through three and up 6-0

Meh...in the American Association.....er...I mean the National League.

#554 Al Zarilla


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Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:16 PM

QUOTE (Reggie's Racquet @ Sep 7 2009, 02:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Meanwhile Penny is pitching well again, no hits through three and up 6-0

I'm watching and Penny's hitting 98 - 99, at least on the stadium gun, change in the high 80s and curve balls falling off the table. Padres or not (and Beckett faced a White Sox team without Konerko and Thome gone, don't forget), Penny looks really great.


#555 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:22 PM

QUOTE (The Smart Dope @ Sep 7 2009, 04:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Positive side: The next series is against the Orioles, in Fenway, for a two game set. How hard could that be? It's the O's. Although, they've beaten up on Texas pretty handily, including a nice little 7-0 win today.


Then it's the Rays at home; I think the Sox finish up the Wild Card business right then and there.


For whatever flaws they have, the Sox are still one of the best home teams in baseball. This morning they were tied for the most wins at home in all the major leagues at 45. Their 45-21 record at Fenway is good for second in all of baseball behind the Yankees who are only .5 games better at this point.

With 15 out of 25 remaining games at home, I think the Sox are absolutely in the driver's seat regarding the wild card.

#556 SemperFidelisSox


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Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:29 PM

Carlos Pena done for the year.

Injuries to Tampa and Texas will help the Red Sox win this wild card by default.

#557 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:29 PM

QUOTE (BucketOBalls @ Sep 7 2009, 04:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Even then, the road offense has to score enough to win one(twice). Which is a big....maybe. Considering the better pitching/defense they would be facing, I'm not optimistic.


Not really such a long shot. While yes, the home offense is much better (.853 OPS), the road offense is still at .754 (or was this morning) which is certainly respectable. They're absolutely capable of scoring enough runs to win on the road with Lester or Beckett both having good days. And if Buchholz has a good day, the same statement applies to him too. He's just not as likely to have that kind of start at this point in his career.

#558 Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat


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Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:34 PM

Well, the first inning was fun.

The rest of the day pretty much sucked.

I knew I should have gone yesterday instead.

#559 TFisNEXT


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Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:47 PM

QUOTE (NomarRS05 @ Sep 7 2009, 05:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Most posters here are intelligent enough not to think of the team in such binary terms as "stinks/is totally awesome!". I think most would agree that the Sox are still a good bet to make the playoffs, but don't really stack up well against the Yankees or even the Angels right now. Their model for success depends on Beckett returning to ace form, and while he looked better today, he still wasn't the same guy we saw in August or July. Okajima's struggles are also a major concern.

Obviously anything can happen in the playoffs, but unless those two become dominant again, I'd say the odds of this team beating either Anaheim or NYY are less than 50%.



Ehh...the Sox were 1 game away from the World Series last year (and disposed of Anaheim in 4 games) with a shitty/unhealthy Beckett.

I think they can win it all...but I agree that we want a better Beckett than last year's version, but I don't think it completely dooms this team if he isn't 2007 playoff Beckett. Pedroia is a concern right now, but I'm sure he will snap out of it. He usually does when we start wondering what is wrong with him.

The biggest X-factor aside from Beckett's health is probably what version of Papi we get going into the post season. If we get the summer version (minus the early August slump), then the offense is that much more dangerous. If we get the spring version, then we are probably toast unless Beckett is 2007 form and Lester is unhittable too.



#560 aksoxfan

  • 2184 posts

Posted 07 September 2009 - 06:07 PM

QUOTE (SoxScout @ Sep 7 2009, 12:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Jason Varitek flied out to center.
Jason Varitek grounded out to second.
Jason Varitek grounded out to shortstop.
Jason Varitek hit a sacrifice fly to right.
Jason Varitek grounded out to first.
Jason Varitek was intentionally walked.
Jason Varitek flied out to right.
Jason Varitek grounded out to second.
Jason Varitek struck out looking.
Jason Varitek struck out looking.
Jason Varitek struck out swinging.
Jason Varitek struck out swinging.
Jason Varitek walked.
Jason Varitek flied out to center.
Jason Varitek flied out to right.
Jason Varitek flied out to center.
Jason Varitek struck out looking.
Jason Varitek struck out swinging.

If I'm Tito, I give Kottaras a 3 week shot. How could he do much worse than that?

#561 bosox101

  • 15 posts

Posted 07 September 2009 - 06:17 PM

QUOTE
If you want to see what a real ace and CY Young candidate looks like check out what Wainright did to the Brewers today.
One hit complete game shutout 1-0. That's an ace.

Meanwhile Penny is pitching well again, no hits through three and up 6-0


I think you mean Carpenter as he pitched today?

#562 Sprowl


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Posted 07 September 2009 - 07:43 PM

QUOTE (Reggie's Racquet @ Sep 7 2009, 01:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Losing three of four to this team, a team that has effectively raised the white flag, in the midst of a wild card race is inexcusable. These guys may back into the postseason but they aren't going anywhere unless they get their heads out of their asses.

Have you made the acquaintance of JulE6? You could be a match made in hell.

QUOTE (BucketOBalls @ Sep 7 2009, 01:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Something in between possible? They don't suck. But they arn't good enough to beat any team they meet in the post-season either(I'm assuming they won't meet Detroit).

I would take the Red Sox over the Angels at this point. All the flaws the Angels have always shown against the Sox are still there, waiting to emerge.

QUOTE (ivanvamp @ Sep 7 2009, 01:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They obviously don't stink. Geez. 10-5 in their last 15. 13-7 in their last 20. If you want to go all the way back to the ASB, they're 25-24 since then. Not great, obviously, but not "stinks" either. They currently have the 3rd best record in the AL and 5th best mark in the majors. Other stats:

- #3 in MLB in runs scored (719)
- #2 in MLB in ops (.800)
- #4 in MLB in homers (176)
- #15 in MLB in era (4.33) - so not great, but again, not awful
- #4 bullpen era in MLB (3.64)

So we whine and complain (naturally...that's what fans do) when they lose, but this is a good team. Is it the best in baseball? No, I don't think so. Getting to the playoffs looks like it will be quite a lot of work, and once there (if they get there), it will take a very, very good effort to go all the way. But that hardly means they "stink".

I agree, and I like the supporting data. The White Sox may not be in line for a playoff spot, but they are a power-hitting, good-pitching team playing at home. Losing 3 out of 4 to this team is a disappointment, but it's hardly unforeseeable or disgraceful. Not-quite-playoff teams are not obliged to roll over for the Red Sox.

QUOTE (Snodgrass'Muff @ Sep 7 2009, 02:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For whatever flaws they have, the Sox are still one of the best home teams in baseball. This morning they were tied for the most wins at home in all the major leagues at 45. Their 45-21 record at Fenway is good for second in all of baseball behind the Yankees who are only .5 games better at this point.

With 15 out of 25 remaining games at home, I think the Sox are absolutely in the driver's seat regarding the wild card.

With a 9-game homestand coming up, we'll see whether they can put it to good use very soon. I think they will.

#563 Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat


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Posted 07 September 2009 - 07:50 PM

This place really feels different since the Chutney Ferret became a Mod.

#564 Al Zarilla


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Posted 07 September 2009 - 08:31 PM

QUOTE (j44thor @ Sep 7 2009, 01:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Perhaps the worst part of today's game was that Beckett showed just enough improvement to keep him paired with Tek for his next start. Sox would have been better served for him to get hit hard again today thus giving them an excuse to ween him off the "captain".

This team isn't going to win any playoff games with Tek-Gonzo batting 8-9.

That's like saying someone would prefer to not improve his ability to walk so he could change medical insurance companies. You would really rather have seen Beckett get shelled again? Do you really think the catcher has anything to do with the pitcher getting hit hard, rather than it being location and stuff, or lack of same?


#565 Back Bay

  • 1490 posts

Posted 07 September 2009 - 10:41 PM

QUOTE (SoxScout @ Sep 7 2009, 04:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Jason Varitek flied out to center.
Jason Varitek grounded out to second.
Jason Varitek grounded out to shortstop.
Jason Varitek hit a sacrifice fly to right.
Jason Varitek grounded out to first.
Jason Varitek was intentionally walked.
Jason Varitek flied out to right.
Jason Varitek grounded out to second.
Jason Varitek struck out looking.
Jason Varitek struck out looking.
Jason Varitek struck out swinging.
Jason Varitek struck out swinging.
Jason Varitek walked.
Jason Varitek flied out to center.
Jason Varitek flied out to right.
Jason Varitek flied out to center.
Jason Varitek struck out looking.
Jason Varitek struck out swinging.


is that poetry?