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An epic week of starting pitching


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#1 mabrowndog


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:06 PM

In their last 4 games, Red Sox starters have held their opponents (who happen to have the top two records in the majors) to 1 earned run on 13 hits over 28 innings.

Buchholz, Lester, Matsuzaka and Wakefield have allowed just 4 earned runs on 24 hits in their last 45 innings. And all of those innings came against teams with the three best records in baseball.

Four of their outings have been at least 8 innings, including a complete game from Lester. Three of the starters held hitters scoreless (Lester, Wakefield, Daisuke).

It's hard not to get excited about what we're seeing. Lackey's 5-run outing in Philly is the only outlier in the past 7 games. If he turns it around and Beckett gets his act together, there's going to be a lot of giddiness on this board.

Edited by mabrowndog, 25 May 2010 - 09:32 PM.


#2 Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:12 PM

Two one-hitters in the past four games. The Sox have probably done it before, but I can't say I remember it.

#3 Pumpsie


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:22 PM

If I've said it once, I've said it a dozen times on this board recently that we'll go as far as our starting pitching will take us. It's ALL about the starting pitching. That's where Theo put the money and that's where we have to get sterling results. Before the season, the pundits said that we had the best starting pitching in baseball. IF our starters pitch pretty close to that estimation, we'll be fine and make the playoffs. If they don't, then we're in scramble mode. All the talk about trading this player or that, or upgrading this position or that, is pretty academic. Yeah, we could use one more reliable reliever, I agree. But this season is all about the starters. It's sink or swim.

With all this in mind, I hope that the Sox don't let Beckett back into the rotation unless he's 100%. The team is rolling without him, and we don't need a couple of Beckett blow-ups to derail the momentum. I hope Wake gets a couple of more starts out of this, at least. And I'll tell you what...if Buck, Lester, Wake and Dice-K keep pitching like this, and Lackey remains consistently sub-mediocre, then when Becket is 100%, put Lackey on the DL for awhile and let him take a rest and figure out how to do better. We've got 6 starters. Let's use that advantage.

#4 URI


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:23 PM

Lester didn't throw a complete game there, doggylocks.

The obvious problems are Beckett and Lackey. They should be thrown into the Charles River, or barring that, traded.

#5 smastroyin


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:25 PM

QUOTE (URI @ May 25 2010, 10:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lester didn't throw a complete game there, doggylocks.


Sure he did, but Dice-K did not.

Lackey had a pretty decent run of starts until his last two. I'm hopeful that he is close. If he starts pitching better, we need a pool on which radio analyst brings up "Beckett to bullpen, trade Paps" first.

#6 mabrowndog


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:26 PM

QUOTE (URI @ May 25 2010, 10:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lester didn't throw a complete game there, doggylocks.

Not tonight, but he most certainly did in beating Liriano and the Twins Thursday as part of the 45-inning stretch with his three amigos.

Edited by mabrowndog, 25 May 2010 - 09:27 PM.


#7 mabrowndog


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:28 PM

QUOTE (smastroyin @ May 25 2010, 10:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sure he did, but Dice-K did not.

And that's where I messed up. Forgot about Bard closing it out.

OK, so how about this: Four of their six outings were at least 8 innings. I actually like that better.

Edited by mabrowndog, 25 May 2010 - 09:30 PM.


#8 URI


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:29 PM

QUOTE (mabrowndog @ May 25 2010, 10:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not tonight, but he most certainly did in beating Liriano and the Twins Thursday as part of the 45-inning stretch with his three amigos.


In my effort to snark you, I wrote Lester and not Daisuke. What's the lesson here?

I don't care as long as I call you doggylocks.

#9 URI


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:29 PM

QUOTE (mabrowndog @ May 25 2010, 10:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And that's where I messed up. Forgot about Bard's final inning.


Ramirez. Doggylocks!

#10 SMU_Sox


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:30 PM

Dice-K only threw 8 innings. Bard finished the game.
Wake was 8 as well. Ramon Ramirez allowed 3 runs but finished out the 9th.
Buchholz and Lester were 6.

It's been a great stretch.

Edit: you guys type fast. Sorry about that! URI beat me to it. Twice.

Edited by johnlimberakis, 25 May 2010 - 09:31 PM.


#11 URI


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:30 PM

QUOTE (URI @ May 25 2010, 10:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ramirez. Doggylocks!


All in the game, baby.

#12 Pumpsie


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 11:18 PM

Also, one other thing. I gotta say I'm pretty impressed by how Tek has caught the last few games. He just receives the ball better than VMart and gets more of those corner strikes as a result. Tito has to get Tek more starts from here on out.

#13 Rasputin


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 11:52 PM

QUOTE (Pumpsie @ May 26 2010, 12:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also, one other thing. I gotta say I'm pretty impressed by how Tek has caught the last few games. He just receives the ball better than VMart and gets more of those corner strikes as a result. Tito has to get Tek more starts from here on out.


But still less than half.

If all he does is catch Beckett and DiceK because those guys trust him more or whatever, I'm fine with that.

#14 Rice4HOF

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 01:00 AM

QUOTE (Pumpsie @ May 25 2010, 10:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...Tito has to get Tek more starts from here on out.

At the start of the season, who would have believed we'd be saying this? We were all worried he'd get too many starts! And it's not an indictment of Victor's offense, who after a slow start, now has an 858 OPS for the month of May.

#15 Eric Van


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Posted 26 May 2010 - 05:38 AM

This is the 5th time in Red Sox history that they have had two shutouts allowing 1 hit or less in the same season. I've noted team BA for the season in the appropriate venue.

6/26/62: Earl Wilson no-hits the Angels (.244) at Fenway Park.
8/1/62: Bill Monboquette no-hits the White Sox (.251) in Chicago
-- span of 33 games

6/14/76: Rick Wise 1-hits the Twins (.278) in Minnesota, a 1-out 1B in the bottom of the 3rd by Jerry Terrell.
6/29/76: Wise 1-hits the Orioles (.252) at Fenway, Paul Blair breaking up a perfect game leading off the top of the 6th.
-- span of 16 games

4/4/01: Hideo Nomo no-hits the Orioles (.242) in Baltimore.
5/25/01: Nomo 1-hits the Blue Jays (.256) at Fenway, Shannon Stewart leading of the 4th with a 2B.
-- span of 45 games

6/7/07: Curt Schilling 1-hits the A's (.240) in Oakland, Shannon Stewart singling with 2 outs in the 9th.*
9/1/07: Clay Buchholz no-hits the Orioles (.264) at Fenway.
-- span of 78 games

5/22/10: Daisuke Matsuzaka (8) and Daniel Bard (1) 1-hit the Phillies (.258) in Philadelphia, a Juan Castro 1B with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th.
5/25/10: Jon Lester (5), Manny Delcarmen (1), Daniel Bard (1), and Jonathan Papelbon (1) 1-hit the Rays (.259) in Tampa, a Willie Aybar 1B with 1 out in the bottom of the 4th
-- span of 4 games

Not just the quickest it's ever happened, but the first time both games have been on the road, and what looks to be the second toughest pair of teams to low-hit.

*When Curt lost his no-no, did anyone note at the time that Stewart had the only hit in Nomo's 1-hitter?

special mention:

7/18/06: Lester (8) and Papelbon (1) 1-hit the Royals at Fenway, a 1-out 2nd inning 1B by Mark Teahen.
10/1/06: Devern Hansack no-hits the Orioles for 5 innings at Femway.
-- span of 71 games




#16 Pumpsie


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Posted 26 May 2010 - 06:54 AM

QUOTE (Rasputin @ May 26 2010, 12:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But still less than half.

If all he does is catch Beckett and DiceK because those guys trust him more or whatever, I'm fine with that.


Say, 3 games out of every 10 or something for awhile. And, see what the results are. If he continues to catch good pitching performances, then increase it.

#17 Al Zarilla


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Posted 26 May 2010 - 09:19 AM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ May 26 2010, 03:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is the 5th time in Red Sox history that they have had two shutouts allowing 1 hit or less in the same season. I've noted team BA for the season in the appropriate venue.

6/26/62: Earl Wilson no-hits the Angels (.244) at Fenway Park.
8/1/62: Bill Monboquette no-hits the White Sox (.251) in Chicago
-- span of 33 games

6/14/76: Rick Wise 1-hits the Twins (.278) in Minnesota, a 1-out 1B in the bottom of the 3rd by Jerry Terrell.
6/29/76: Wise 1-hits the Orioles (.252) at Fenway, Paul Blair breaking up a perfect game leading off the top of the 6th.
-- span of 16 games

4/4/01: Hideo Nomo no-hits the Orioles (.242) in Baltimore.
5/25/01: Nomo 1-hits the Blue Jays (.256) at Fenway, Shannon Stewart leading of the 4th with a 2B.
-- span of 45 games

6/7/07: Curt Schilling 1-hits the A's (.240) in Oakland, Shannon Stewart singling with 2 outs in the 9th.*
9/1/07: Clay Buchholz no-hits the Orioles (.264) at Fenway.
-- span of 78 games

5/22/10: Daisuke Matsuzaka (8) and Daniel Bard (1) 1-hit the Phillies (.258) in Philadelphia, a Juan Castro 1B with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th.
5/25/10: Jon Lester (5), Manny Delcarmen (1), Daniel Bard (1), and Jonathan Papelbon (1) 1-hit the Rays (.259) in Tampa, a Willie Aybar 1B with 1 out in the bottom of the 4th
-- span of 4 games

Not just the quickest it's ever happened, but the first time both games have been on the road, and what looks to be the second toughest pair of teams to low-hit.

*When Curt lost his no-no, did anyone note at the time that Stewart had the only hit in Nomo's 1-hitter?

special mention:

7/18/06: Lester (8) and Papelbon (1) 1-hit the Royals at Fenway, a 1-out 2nd inning 1B by Mark Teahen.
10/1/06: Devern Hansack no-hits the Orioles for 5 innings at Femway.
-- span of 71 games

Thanks for the research Eric. So, this from the game thread is not true.

From Alex Speier on twitter:

Since 1952, this is the first time that the #redsox have recorded two one-hitters in the same week.


I did some digging last night and couldn't find two one-hitters in 1952, looking at all starting pitchers results that year, although there might have been a game or two pieced together by more than one pitcher la these two one hitters. Back then though, if a pitcher had it going like that, he'd finish unless he got hurt. What was your source for the historical data?


#18 Eric Van


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Posted 26 May 2010 - 09:42 AM

QUOTE (Al Zarilla @ May 26 2010, 10:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the research Eric. So, this from the game thread is not true.

From Alex Speier on twitter:

Since 1952, this is the first time that the #redsox have recorded two one-hitters in the same week.


I did some digging last night and couldn't find two one-hitters in 1952, looking at all starting pitchers results that year, although there might have been a game or two pieced together by more than one pitcher la these two one hitters. Back then though, if a pitcher had it going like that, he'd finish unless he got hurt. What was your source for the historical data?

B-ref's 1952 Pitching Game Log shows only one 1-hitter.

I didn't look at 1-hitters where they gave up a run or more. If I had, I would have included 1992, when Frank Viola pitched a 1-hitter on 9/30 in addition to Matt Young's infamous 8-inning no-hit loss to the Indians in April.

The year with two no-hitters or 1-hitters in the same week was 1923, when Howard Ehmke no-hit the A's on 9/7 and 1-hit the Yankees on 9/11.

B-ref Play Index is the source.

#19 phrenile


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Posted 26 May 2010 - 09:48 AM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ May 26 2010, 06:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is the 5th time in Red Sox history that they have had two shutouts allowing 1 hit or less in the same season. I've noted team BA for the season in the appropriate venue.

QUOTE (Al Zarilla @ May 26 2010, 10:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the research Eric. So, this from the game thread is not true.

From Alex Speier on twitter:

Since 1952, this is the first time that the #redsox have recorded two one-hitters in the same week.


I did some digging last night and couldn't find two one-hitters in 1952, looking at all starting pitchers results that year, although there might have been a game or two pieced together by more than one pitcher la these two one hitters. Back then though, if a pitcher had it going like that, he'd finish unless he got hurt. What was your source for the historical data?

EV's list is of no- or one-hit shutouts in the same season. Speier's list is of one-hitters in the same week. There's some overlap between those sets, but their relative complements aren't empty.

The significance of 1952 is that's simply how far back baseball-reference.com's box score data go.

#20 Dogman2


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Posted 26 May 2010 - 11:40 AM

QUOTE (Pumpsie @ May 25 2010, 08:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I've said it once, I've said it a dozen times on this board recently that we'll go as far as our starting pitching will take us. It's ALL about the starting pitching.


You led the "put Beckett and Lackey on the trade table" brigade. Nice work, Man-O-Leader.


#21 Al Zarilla


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Posted 26 May 2010 - 12:16 PM

Thanks Eric and Phren. I'll go to B-Ref first next time, not Baseball Almanac, although I still like the latter's Olde Town Team look and feel.


#22 Pumpsie


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Posted 26 May 2010 - 01:32 PM

QUOTE (Dogman2 @ May 26 2010, 12:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You led the "put Beckett and Lackey on the trade table" brigade. Nice work, Man-O-Leader.


Reading comprehension still a problem, I see. I said that IF the Sox are out of it at the trade deadline, that Lackey and Beckett should be on the trade table as much as anyone, that they shouldn't be sacred cows. And I STILL say that. The statements are not contradictory in the least.

#23 John DiFool

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 05:13 PM

Sox have had their ERA drop from 4.80 to 4.48 over their last 4 games-and, from May 8th, from 5.11.

#24 Eric Van


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Posted 27 May 2010 - 07:40 AM

When Lackey came out in the 7th it was the first mid-inning pitching change since Oki couldn't get through the 7th last Tuesday, 8 games ago. No wonder why the games have been going quicker.

OTOH, after four games out of five with the starter going at least 8, that's three in a row where he went 6.0 or 6.1. Which probably tells you something about the Rays' approach at the plate vs. the Phillies'.

Edit: not four straight.

Edited by Eric Van, 27 May 2010 - 09:49 AM.


#25 Boggs26

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 09:42 AM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ May 27 2010, 08:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When Lackey came out in the 7th it was the first mid-inning pitching change since Oki couldn't get through the 7th last Tuesday, 8 games ago. No wonder why the games have been going quicker.

OTOH, after four straight games with the starter going at least 8, that's three in a row where he went 6.0 or 6.1. Which probably tells you something about the Rays' approach at the plate vs. the Phillies'.


I know this is extremely basic, but if this is true (that there is a large difference in approach) there must be a heavy interleague difference since on average the Phillies and Rays see almost exactly the same number of pitches per game. Based on P/PA x average PA/G the Rays come to 153.7 and the Phillies 153.6

On the other hand, using this basic formula, we should see some long starts against KC (142.9), OAK (144.4), BAL (140.6) and SF (140.2) over the next month.



#26 Eric Van


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Posted 27 May 2010 - 09:48 AM

QUOTE (Boggs26 @ May 27 2010, 10:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I know this is extremely basic, but if this is true (that there is a large difference in approach) there must be a heavy interleague difference since on average the Phillies and Rays see almost exactly the same number of pitches per game. Based on P/PA x average PA/G the Rays come to 153.7 and the Phillies 153.6

I was thinking more of the Phillies' advance scouts telling guys they needed to swing early and the Rays having the opposite. But of course the only guy who had both a short and long outing was Lester, and his long outing was against the Twins, so never mind. smile.gif