ALCS 2021: Red Sox vs. Astros Discussion Thread

chrisfont9

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That was frustrating, but hey, if anyone deserves to catch a break, it's the Houston Astros.

LFG. Bats need to land somewhere in between the last two games, at least. Cora's moves have worked out because they have scored enough runs to back up his risky pitching choices. We didn't pressure them enough with our offense yesterday. As tough as it was, I definitely believe in this team's ability to flush it and come out locked in.
 

Strike4

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Agreed, he treated them very differently. Totally agree with your point about getting into the pen early today. It is crucial.
This team has showed a lot of mettle in the postseason and I'm really hoping that they get right back on the horse, rather than stay in a squander funk as happened in the regular season.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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I’ll join the chorus of those saying that it’s hard to find fault with much of what Cora did last night. Even with Perez, I’m not sure who else you could bring in in that situation that you’d have any more confidence in. Removing Eovaldi at that point was the right decision I believe, as he did not seem sharp, and had thrown 24 pitches with a lot of effort. He surrendered the lead, and the role that he had been brought in for had not been filled. Whether we saw Perez at that point, or to start off the next inning, I’m not sure who else could have been the next man up.

Sometimes your best goes up against their best, and you don’t win. Credit to their hitters, who have been struggling for the last two games but stuck to their approach, and had things break their way.
 

chawson

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I think their plan B to Valdez has to be Luis Garcia. If Garcia were truly hurt, I don’t know why they wouldn’t bump him from the roster in favor of one of their other decent long men, like Bielak or Solomon. Taylor, Stanek, Yimi and Pressley would all probably be good to go an inning apiece tonight.

I’m sure they don’t want to burn Garcia, but if he’s not at full strength it’s probably a wash with Odorizzi, who would line up to be their G6 starter. Then it’s all hands on deck for G7.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Same here. Im guessing the only reason Cora didn't get run was because Diaz knew.
You'd have to figure that as much as we all know that Diaz is bad behind the plate Diaz knows it better than all of us. He knows what he can't see. He also knows how he is calling balls and strikes and he surely is not oblivious to the fact that he doesn't do it very well. He has to go out there and sell it and while it's easy to imagine that these guys don't care, that's kind of an act and they have to give that vibe.

I guess the honorable thing would be to retire. Or maybe the real honorable thing would be for baseball to recognize that some guys have strengths as umps and just because you can tell whether a foot hit a bag a second before the tag got down, it doesn't mean you also can call balls and strikes. Maybe there's a peak efficiency that could be realized by not forcing a guy who can't do it to get behind the plate every four/six games.

The part that's so frustrating is that I bet Diaz has strategies to deal with what he must know are his shortcomings. That is, it's probably more than just "try my best and try to be consistent." You would think that he maybe should shrink the zone a little when there are 2 strikes or expand it just a bit when there are 3 balls, because if he did that consistently it would at least tend to minimize the effect of missed call by reducing the chance that it would be completely plate appearance dispositive. Yes, a blown strike call on 1-1 changes the entire at bat but a blown strike call on 1-2 ends the at bat.

If that were his approach and Nate got bit by a narrow strike zone with 2 strikes because Diaz had made the decision that if the pitch is super close he'd rather give the guy another pitch than wrongfully call him out, I could live with that. Plan A would be to say don't give that guy the plate in the playoffs. Plan B would be to say that line it up so that he's calling game 4 which traditionally is the least dispositive of a series, and then just try to make him use a consistent approach to deal with his shorcomings.

Except that clearly isn't his plan. Otherwise how does he call JD out on a pitch that's not close? Unless maybe it is his plan but he just screwed it up.

One could probably do a very deep dig and look at the count on his blown calls over the course of a season to get some info, but fuck it it's not worth it.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I’ll join the chorus of those saying that it’s hard to find fault with much of what Cora did last night. Even with Perez, I’m not sure who else you could bring in in that situation that you’d have any more confidence in. Removing Eovaldi at that point was the right decision I believe, as he did not seem sharp, and had thrown 24 pitches with a lot of effort. He surrendered the lead, and the role that he had been brought in for had not been filled. Whether we saw Perez at that point, or to start off the next inning, I’m not sure who else could have been the next man up.

Sometimes your best goes up against their best, and you don’t win. Credit to their hitters, who have been struggling for the last two games but stuck to their approach, and had things break their way.
Perez was the right call to face Brantley. He did get him out in a similar spot in Game 1. The trouble was that because of the 3-batter rule, by the time Cora could go to someone else after Perez failed to get Brantley, four more runs had come across and using another pitcher to keep it at a 5 run deficit probably didn't gain them anything (the odds of scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the ninth are barely better than scoring 7).

As for next man up, Houck, Brasier, and Robles were still available (just to name guys that Cora has trusted recently). In a case where the game went to extras, Houck is probably the choice. It definitely wasn't a matter of Cora having no other choice but to go to Perez.
 

chrisfont9

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You'd have to figure that as much as we all know that Diaz is bad behind the plate Diaz knows it better than all of us. He knows what he can't see. He also knows how he is calling balls and strikes and he surely is not oblivious to the fact that he doesn't do it very well. He has to go out there and sell it and while it's easy to imagine that these guys don't care, that's kind of an act and they have to give that vibe.

I guess the honorable thing would be to retire. Or maybe the real honorable thing would be for baseball to recognize that some guys have strengths as umps and just because you can tell whether a foot hit a bag a second before the tag got down, it doesn't mean you also can call balls and strikes. Maybe there's a peak efficiency that could be realized by not forcing a guy who can't do it to get behind the plate every four/six games.

The part that's so frustrating is that I bet Diaz has strategies to deal with what he must know are his shortcomings. That is, it's probably more than just "try my best and try to be consistent." You would think that he maybe should shrink the zone a little when there are 2 strikes or expand it just a bit when there are 3 balls, because if he did that consistently it would at least tend to minimize the effect of missed call by reducing the chance that it would be completely plate appearance dispositive. Yes, a blown strike call on 1-1 changes the entire at bat but a blown strike call on 1-2 ends the at bat.

If that were his approach and Nate got bit by a narrow strike zone with 2 strikes because Diaz had made the decision that if the pitch is super close he'd rather give the guy another pitch than wrongfully call him out, I could live with that. Plan A would be to say don't give that guy the plate in the playoffs. Plan B would be to say that line it up so that he's calling game 4 which traditionally is the least dispositive of a series, and then just try to make him use a consistent approach to deal with his shorcomings.

Except that clearly isn't his plan. Otherwise how does he call JD out on a pitch that's not close? Unless maybe it is his plan but he just screwed it up.

One could probably do a very deep dig and look at the count on his blown calls over the course of a season to get some info, but fuck it it's not worth it.
I'm not sure if this is too pathetic a point of view to share here, but I umped a ton of little league, and in my "experience" when you make a call, first your brain reacts lizard-like and the call comes out of your mouth. But then a few other thoughts get processed, by which time it is too late to change. I have had a number of times when maybe 2-3 seconds later I wish I didn't make the call I did, but it's kind of paralyzing. So yes, I knew I didn't get it right. Laz knows too.
 

amRadio

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I'm not sure if this is too pathetic a point of view to share here, but I umped a ton of little league, and in my "experience" when you make a call, first your brain reacts lizard-like and the call comes out of your mouth. But then a few other thoughts get processed, by which time it is too late to change. I have had a number of times when maybe 2-3 seconds later I wish I didn't make the call I did, but it's kind of paralyzing. So yes, I knew I didn't get it right. Laz knows too.
I umped little league, pony, legion, varsity. What a perfect description. Most of the time, preparation and anticipation meet and the call is solid. Sometimes you know where your responsibility is but things move at a speed that just getting eyes in the right spot is tough and then the brain follows as you describe to a T. That's a real point of view on a hard job, not pathetic. It's a hard deal. I have intrusive thoughts about my more cringey calls all the time, especially in traffic for some reason
 

Zososoxfan

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The problem was Tucker leading off that inning. You can’t have someone like Ottavino or Brasier face a tough lefty in a one run spot. Again, it gets back to the limited nature of this pen- Whitlock is really the only guy trusted to get RH and LH batters out. And even him against lefties isn’t optimal.

If the offense had gotten a few more runs and it’s 3-1 or 4-1, than yeah, you can stick with Otto there.

The lack of a second lefty they trust has been a problem.
I can't find the data on Baseball Reference, but what about Houck?
 

Zososoxfan

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I'm not sure if this is too pathetic a point of view to share here, but I umped a ton of little league, and in my "experience" when you make a call, first your brain reacts lizard-like and the call comes out of your mouth. But then a few other thoughts get processed, by which time it is too late to change. I have had a number of times when maybe 2-3 seconds later I wish I didn't make the call I did, but it's kind of paralyzing. So yes, I knew I didn't get it right. Laz knows too.
I umped little league, pony, legion, varsity. What a perfect description. Most of the time, preparation and anticipation meet and the call is solid. Sometimes you know where your responsibility is but things move at a speed that just getting eyes in the right spot is tough and then the brain follows as you describe to a T. That's a real point of view on a hard job, not pathetic. It's a hard deal. I have intrusive thoughts about my more cringey calls all the time, especially in traffic for some reason
There's a few umps (couldn't tell you who) who take a beat or 2 before making a call. That makes so much sense to me because like you both said, sometimes it takes a little extra time to process what you just saw.

That being said (and with no offense intended), I've been ready for the robots for years.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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There's a few umps (couldn't tell you who) who take a beat or 2 before making a call. That makes so much sense to me because like you both said, sometimes it takes a little extra time to process what you just saw.
...
Are they teaching umps this? It seems much more common nowadays to see base umps pause for a second before making the call, as though they are replaying what they just saw and confirming it in their mind's eye. That's a little harder to do with balls and strikes, especially when base runners are on the move.
 

Al Zarilla

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There's a few umps (couldn't tell you who) who take a beat or 2 before making a call. That makes so much sense to me because like you both said, sometimes it takes a little extra time to process what you just saw.

That being said (and with no offense intended), I've been ready for the robots for years.
Jordan Baker, also MLB's tallest ump, might delay more than any. It's funny, but not really, if you Google anything about MLB umps, you see entries about the worst umps, and invariably, Bucknor, Diaz and Angel Hernandez show up. It's no secret that they are awful, but they keep getting post-season games.
 

chrisfont9

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I umped little league, pony, legion, varsity. What a perfect description. Most of the time, preparation and anticipation meet and the call is solid. Sometimes you know where your responsibility is but things move at a speed that just getting eyes in the right spot is tough and then the brain follows as you describe to a T. That's a real point of view on a hard job, not pathetic. It's a hard deal. I have intrusive thoughts about my more cringey calls all the time, especially in traffic for some reason
Thanks for the kind words. I can't imagine how it equates to MLB, where the stakes are so high and the ball moves a lot, but somehow the best ones figure it out.

Sorry about the calls that stay with you! I have flushed all of mine because at least I was willing to do the job, as opposed to all of the other parents who were watching and (occasionally) complaining.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jordan Baker, also MLB's tallest ump, might delay more than any. It's funny, but not really, if you Google anything about MLB umps, you see entries about the worst umps, and invariably, Bucknor, Diaz and Angel Hernandez show up. It's no secret that they are awful, but they keep getting post-season games.
The bolded more than anything else is what I find so frustrating. They have systems in place to grade these guys. They know what their records are. Yet they still give them post-season assignments where their well-known shortcomings can impact a game or a series in a negative way.

I'm generally a pro-union guy but this is one case where unions are bad for business.
 

nvalvo

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The bolded more than anything else is what I find so frustrating. They have systems in place to grade these guys. They know what their records are. Yet they still give them post-season assignments where their well-known shortcomings can impact a game or a series in a negative way.

I'm generally a pro-union guy but this is one case where unions are bad for business.
I'm also a pro-union guy, but I don't think we need to assume that unions will always make deleterious choices. The union is its members, and could absolutely choose to be part of the solution here, just as (keeping things to baseball) the players' union chose to participate in the drug testing scheme. For instance, you could imagine a world in which the Umpires Association trained, graded and selected the best umpires for post-season play, presumably with some sort of league input. (If the relationships between the league and its various unions end up more adversarial than that, well, it takes two to tango.)

I know they're not Wagner Act unions, but that's basically what professional associations like medical boards and bar associations are. Or hell, something like the IBEW. They self-organize and self-police themselves to maintain a high professional standard because it is in all of their interest to boost trust in their profession. It's bad for the profession if lawyers are out there dipping into funds held in trust, or whatever. It's bad for business if buildings keep burning down due to faulty electrical work, so the union has a hand in training and licensing electricians.

One thing that I would point out is that things are actually getting better. The younger umpires are, on the whole, considerably better than the older ones. Looking around in the Umpire Scorecards' data, the best umpire is probably John Libka: he's 34, and over a large sample, he's been right 95.6% of the time. That's pretty amazing. Will Little, Jason Visconti, Manny Gonzalez, Junior Valentine are other relatively young guys near the top of the leaderboards.

This WSJ article notes the age difference, but interprets it as an age effect rather than a cohort effect. I don't think it provides much persuasive evidence for that assertion beyond the correlation. I find it far more plausible that the younger umps have worked under the Questec system for their whole careers, and that shows in their accuracy. The older guys learned how to ump pre-Questec and then had that system shoehorned into their work. I guess we'll see whether, as the Libkas of the world age into their 50s and 60s, they can maintain that standard of excellence.

So one thing the union could do to help would be to stop insisting quite so much on seniority for playoff assignments. We could staff the playoffs entirely with 94+% accurate umpires if we wanted, but instead we're out here with Laz Diaz and his meager 91.9% average (the 87.6% figure in last night's game was terrible even for him). There are generally 150-200 ball-strike calls in a typical game, so each percentage point of accuracy makes a meaningful difference.
 

DamageTrain

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Would it make the union any happier if we could just put the robots in the umpires ear, like an announcers earbud? That way the umpires stay employed, the game doesn't look or feel different, it's just that none of the calls are wrong.
 

BaseballJones

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Would it make the union any happier if we could just put the robots in the umpires ear, like an announcers earbud? That way the umpires stay employed, the game doesn't look or feel different, it's just that none of the calls are wrong.
That's exactly how it should go. A little beep in the earpiece indicating that it's a strike. The umpire has the final authority to overrule it if somehow the technology fails (but steep consequences job-wise for them if it doesn't fail and they overrule it). It beeps, and they call a strike like they always do. Fans wouldn't notice any difference functionally, but basically every single ball/strike call would be correct.

I can't really see any reason NOT to do this just like this.
 

YTF

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That's exactly how it should go. A little beep in the earpiece indicating that it's a strike. The umpire has the final authority to overrule it if somehow the technology fails (but steep consequences job-wise for them if it doesn't fail and they overrule it). It beeps, and they call a strike like they always do. Fans wouldn't notice any difference functionally, but basically every single ball/strike call would be correct.

I can't really see any reason NOT to do this just like this.
On the surface it doesn't sound terrible, but I'm curious if guys will just sort of "zone out" behind the plate when it comes to balls and strikes and not be able to properly respond on a failed robocall.
 

mfried

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That's exactly how it should go. A little beep in the earpiece indicating that it's a strike. The umpire has the final authority to overrule it if somehow the technology fails (but steep consequences job-wise for them if it doesn't fail and they overrule it). It beeps, and they call a strike like they always do. Fans wouldn't notice any difference functionally, but basically every single ball/strike call would be correct.

I can't really see any reason NOT to do this just like this.
That's exactly how it should go. A little beep in the earpiece indicating that it's a strike. The umpire has the final authority to overrule it if somehow the technology fails (but steep consequences job-wise for them if it doesn't fail and they overrule it). It beeps, and they call a strike like they always do. Fans wouldn't notice any difference functionally, but basically every single ball/strike call would be correct.

I can't really see any reason NOT to do this just like this.
Clear thinking which leads to a major improvement in this game.
 

Hank Scorpio

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Houston's starting pitching this series:

Valdez: 2.2 ip, 6 h, 3 r, 2 er, 3 bb, 2 k
Garcia: 1.0 ip, 2 h, 5 r, 5 er, 3 bb, 2 k
Urquidy: 1.2 ip, 5 h, 6 r, 5 er, 2 bb, 1 k
Greinke: 1.1 ip, 1 h, 2 r, 2 er, 3 bb, 0 k

TOT: 6.2 ip, 14 h, 16 r, 14 er, 11 bb, 5 k, 18.90 era, 3.75 whip

And the Astros are somehow tied with the Red Sox 2 games to 2.
They got the starters out in games 1 & 4 before it was too late (2-3 runs), and the bullpen was able to quell the Sox offense. In games 2 & 3, both starters gave up 5-6 runs, and then the next guy out got slaughtered as well. We've won two SP battles, and lost two bullpen battles.
 

Hank Scorpio

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Game 4(not factoring in Eovaldi as he's not in play tonight and who cares about Perez)

Taylor 0.2 IP 6 pitches
Ottavino 0.1 4 pitches
Whitlock 2 IP 26 pitches

Game 3
Robles 1.0 IP 9 pitches
Sawamura 1 IP 10 pitches

Houston
Game 4

Raley 0.2 IP 16 pitches
Javier 3 IP 57 pitches
Maton 1 IP 10 pitches
Graveman 2 IP 30 pitches
Pressly 1 IP 22 pitches

Game 3
Y Garcia 1.1 IP 30 pitches
B. Taylor 1 IP 20 pitches
Raley 1.2 IP 27 pitches
Maton 1.1 IP 12 pitches
Stanek 1 IP 14 pitches

Looking at the relievers used the past 2 days, it looks like the Red Sox have a clear advantage. All of the Red Sox high leverage guys should be available tonight however Whitlock may be a question mark given how they've handled him. Maybe for 3 batters. For Houston, Javier is probably down. Raley has 43 pitches over the last 2 days. Maton has pitched 2 days in a row. Graveman is in the same boat as Whitlock. Pressly threw 22 pitches. He had to have been warm already for him to pitch the 9th up 9-2.

If the Sox can get to Valdez, I fail to see who Houston can bring in early to give them a lot of length unless they burn Odorizzi again.
I wouldn't be shocked if they went to Graveman for another two innings if close/ahead, with the off day tomorrow, as well as Raley. I don't think Javier is available, I think everyone else is. If I'm Houston, I'd empty the pen to win today, even if it means I have to ride or die with my SP for 100+ pitches in Game 6, or throw Greinke back out there to get everyone lined up for Game 7. No way in hell I want to go back home down 3-2.
 

mfried

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I wouldn't be shocked if they went to Graveman for another two innings if close/ahead, with the off day tomorrow, as well as Raley. I don't think Javier is available, I think everyone else is. If I'm Houston, I'd empty the pen to win today, even if it means I have to ride or die with my SP for 100+ pitches in Game 6, or throw Greinke back out there to get everyone lined up for Game 7. No way in hell I want to go back home down 3-2.
Houck is option 1 today, preferably for 3-4 innings, then Robles/Taylor/Ottavino. No Whitlock today. I was impressed by his post-Altuve nerves but it would be asking too much…
 

chrisfont9

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That's exactly how it should go. A little beep in the earpiece indicating that it's a strike. The umpire has the final authority to overrule it if somehow the technology fails (but steep consequences job-wise for them if it doesn't fail and they overrule it). It beeps, and they call a strike like they always do. Fans wouldn't notice any difference functionally, but basically every single ball/strike call would be correct.

I can't really see any reason NOT to do this just like this.
I suspect they would push back hard on this because it completely changes their activity from focusing their eyes and squatting into position, to standing there and waiting to hear something. But maybe with training they could get the hang of it.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I wouldn't be shocked if they went to Graveman for another two innings if close/ahead, with the off day tomorrow, as well as Raley. I don't think Javier is available, I think everyone else is. If I'm Houston, I'd empty the pen to win today, even if it means I have to ride or die with my SP for 100+ pitches in Game 6, or throw Greinke back out there to get everyone lined up for Game 7. No way in hell I want to go back home down 3-2.
Since it's October, I doubt anyone is totally unavailable for either club today. There are certainly limits on some guys who pitched yesterday but I expect it's all hands on deck going forward.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Now that the Astros will be returning to Houston (recapturing HFA) I suspect Baker won't be playing this for a kill shot and will hold his bullets for games 6 and 7. If his offense can destroy Sale... great. But I don't think he'll be yanking the starter early and trying to keep it close today.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Since Greinke went out just about 22 hours ago, literally everything has gone wrong - missing fat pitches, poor hitting in general, BABIP really fueling the Astros' rallies into giant innings, lack of pen depth exposed, bleh defense (more so tonight), bad umpiring in high leverage situations for the Sox.

Get 48 hours or so to reset and refocus.
 

tims4wins

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Since Greinke went out just about 22 hours ago, literally everything has gone wrong - poor hitting on fat pitches, poor hitting in general, BABIP really fueling the Astros' rallies into giant innings, lack of pen depth exposed, bleh defense (more so tonight), bad umpiring in high leverage situations for the Sox.

Get 48 hours or so to reset and refocus.
Playoff baseball is crazy. As of 10-11pm last night we were looking at a potential 3-1 lead. 20 hours later and we’re down 3-2. Turn it around on Friday.
 

chawson

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Playoff baseball is crazy. As of 10-11pm last night we were looking at a potential 3-1 lead. 20 hours later and we’re down 3-2. Turn it around on Friday.
I’m ready to punch through a wall.

On the bright side, their G6 and G7 starters are looking like some combination of Garcia, Odorizzi and Urquidy who I feel pretty good about facing even in Houston. Their pen should be rested but I don’t think Valdez would be available for much more than an inning in Game 7.

Edit: Javier would be available probably too.
 
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JMDurron

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The worst part of this is that there’s nothing of any value to analyze, debate, or otherwise dig into. There’s no fun thought experiments in the current environment.

The lineup either gets it’s shit together on the off day, or we’re done. Nothing else matters. There’s no “8 IP, 1 ER allowed” outcome, even with Eovaldi. Mash or go home. Maybe mash AND go home, but at least go down swinging.
 

nazz45

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I’m ready to punch through a wall.

On the bright side, their G6 and G7 starters are looking like some combination of Garcia, Odorizzi and Urquidy who I feel pretty good about facing even in Houston. Their pen should be rested but I don’t think Valdez would be available for much more than an inning in Game 7.

Edit: Javier would be available probably too.
While this is true, the Astros bullpen has been outstanding outside of Odorizzi. A 2.59 ERA over 24.1 IP, with 29 strikeouts, 9 walks and 16 hits. The backend guys along with Javier as the key long-man have all been dominant

Sox offense has to put up a crooked number early. That is how they won their games. The late and close bullpen games have favored Houston heavily.

I’d imagine the only arms we should be seeing in Game 6 for Sox is Eovaldi, Houck, Ottavino, Taylor, Whitlock and Pivetta if needed.
 
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soxhop411

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The red sox offense the last two days

Total hits 8 (3 Tuesday, 5 today)

Number of 1-2-3 innings by sox offense

Today: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th, 9th

5th inning- 1 hit, 1 HBP, 1 DP
6th: double; and 3 outs

7th: devers homer, one walk, DP


Tuesday, of our 5 hits

2 were in the 9th
1 in the 5th
1 in the 4th
1 in the first...



Tuesday Individual RISP stats

  • Team RISP:
    0-9 (Martinez 0-1, E. Hernández 0-2, Bogaerts 0-1, Renfroe 0-2, Schwarber 0-1, Verdugo 0-1, Devers 0-1)
Team lob 11

Wed:
0-4 (E. Hernández 0-1, Renfroe 0-1, Schwarber 0-1, Verdugo 0-1)

https://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore/_/gameId/401361971
https://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore/_/gameId/401361967


Team LOB= 2!!!!

So its not just Renfroe, the entire team has forgotten how to hit the last two games
 

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The red sox offense the last two days

Total hits 8 (3 Tuesday, 5 today)

Number of 1-2-3 innings by sox offense

Today: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th, 9th

5th inning- 1 hit, 1 HBP, 1 DP
6th: double; and 3 outs

7th: devers homer, one walk, DP


Tuesday, of our 5 hits

2 were in the 9th
1 in the 5th
1 in the 4th
1 in the first...



Tuesday Individual RISP stats

  • Team RISP:
    0-9 (Martinez 0-1, E. Hernández 0-2, Bogaerts 0-1, Renfroe 0-2, Schwarber 0-1, Verdugo 0-1, Devers 0-1)
Team lob 11

Wed:
0-4 (E. Hernández 0-1, Renfroe 0-1, Schwarber 0-1, Verdugo 0-1)

https://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore/_/gameId/401361971
https://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore/_/gameId/401361967


Team LOB= 2!!!!

So its not just Renfroe, the entire team has forgotten how to hit the last two games
Sometimes good pitching beats good hitting, and the Astros are on a great streak of pitching. When that happens, you have to scratch out runs and have really aggressive hooks for your pitchers. I mean, it's the ALCS.
 

chawson

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Cora: No changes to the lineup going forward
If Dalbec would have shown, it’d have been tonight. He’s maybe the only guy we have who hits slow curveballs from lefty hurlers.

Dusty’s starter options the next two games are a) Odorizzi b) Urquidy c) Garcia with a knee injury d) this version of Greinke e) Javier on two days rest (after 60 pitches) or f) two consecutive bullpen games. Not a lot of good options there.
 

nazz45

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Why in the world would you say that 46 hours before the next game?
Because the real plan is cloning 9 Danny Santana’s by Friday? But does it matter what he says anyway? He could still make a change (he won’t and against the righty Garcia he shouldn’t - though I imagine Plawecki starts but I guess that isn’t really a change).

The real managing in regards to the lineup starts once Houston goes to the pen. Is he going to use Dalbec at all against a lefty reliever? He is he going to use Shaw in left on right spot? Is he going to bring in Vazquez as soon as Eovaldi is out?
 

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Because the real plan is cloning 9 Danny Santana’s by Friday? But does it matter what he says anyway? He could still make a change (he won’t and against the righty Garcia he shouldn’t - though I imagine Plawecki starts but I guess that isn’t really a change).

The real managing in regards to the lineup starts once Houston goes to the pen. Is he going to use Dalbec at all against a lefty reliever? He is he going to use Shaw in left on right spot? Is he going to bring in Vazquez as soon as Eovaldi is out?
No, it doesn't really matter. I just don't know why you wouldn't just defer and make some type of nebulous statement.
 

nazz45

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If Dalbec would have shown, it’d have been tonight. He’s maybe the only guy we have who hits slow curveballs from lefty hurlers.

Dusty’s starter options the next two games are a) Odorizzi b) Urquidy c) Garcia with a knee injury d) this version of Greinke e) Javier on two days rest (after 60 pitches) or f) two consecutive bullpen games. Not a lot of good options there.
Dalbec is one of the better low ball hitters on the team (him and Devers who seemed to be the only capable hitter against Valdez). But are you pulling either Verdugo or Schwarber? Are you going to swap out one RHH for another in Renfroe and weaken your defense by putting a DH in the outfield? Those are tough calls.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/alcs-x-factor-red-soxs-ability-to-punish-low-pitches-against-astros-sinkerball-pitchers-could-loom-large/amp/

As it turned out, Renfroe and Schwarber were real negatives at the plate and in the field.
 
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BaseballJones

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I suspect they would push back hard on this because it completely changes their activity from focusing their eyes and squatting into position, to standing there and waiting to hear something. But maybe with training they could get the hang of it.
No, they'd have to be ready to actually call a ball or strike, because they don't know for sure if the technology is going to work or not. Easy peasy with training.
 

BaseballJones

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The red sox offense the last two days

Total hits 8 (3 Tuesday, 5 today)

Number of 1-2-3 innings by sox offense

Today: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th, 9th

5th inning- 1 hit, 1 HBP, 1 DP
6th: double; and 3 outs

7th: devers homer, one walk, DP


Tuesday, of our 5 hits

2 were in the 9th
1 in the 5th
1 in the 4th
1 in the first...



Tuesday Individual RISP stats

  • Team RISP:
    0-9 (Martinez 0-1, E. Hernández 0-2, Bogaerts 0-1, Renfroe 0-2, Schwarber 0-1, Verdugo 0-1, Devers 0-1)
Team lob 11

Wed:
0-4 (E. Hernández 0-1, Renfroe 0-1, Schwarber 0-1, Verdugo 0-1)

https://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore/_/gameId/401361971
https://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore/_/gameId/401361967


Team LOB= 2!!!!

So its not just Renfroe, the entire team has forgotten how to hit the last two games
Yep and if this is how it is going to be, obviously the season is over.

Eovaldi needs to be really good on Friday. The Sox need to scratch out a few runs and somehow, some way get this to a game 7 where anything can happen.
 

chawson

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Dalbec is one of the better low ball hitters on the team (him and Devers who seemed to be the only capable hitter against Valdez). But are you pulling either Verdugo or Schwarber? Are you going to swap out one RHH for another in Renfroe and weaken your defense by putting a DH in the outfield? Those are tough calls.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/alcs-x-factor-red-soxs-ability-to-punish-low-pitches-against-astros-sinkerball-pitchers-could-loom-large/amp/

As it turned out, Renfroe and Schwarber were real negatives at the plate and in the field.
I was a little puzzled it wasn’t Dalbec in/Verdugo out. Cora could just be going with his guys at this point, or he may have a deeper reluctance to use Schwarber in left than he lets on.

Oddly it’s JDM who’s lost the ability to hit breaking pitches against lefties (.178 xWOBA vs. LHP curveballs in ‘21 vs. .599 xWOBA in 2019), but it wouldn’t have made sense to sit him after the series he’s had.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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No, it doesn't really matter. I just don't know why you wouldn't just defer and make some type of nebulous statement.
I kind of do believe that one area where Cora excels is in managing the personalities on the team. I mean, we are in the playoffs so now is not the time for a retrospective yet but there have been good chunks of the year where this team has been more than the sum of its parts. I don’t want to make every thread a Cora thread but I think even his detractors have to give him that. This team is not good enough to be playing on October 22 and having a chance — admittedly now not a great chance — to take out the Yankees, Rays and Astros. The AL has been a gauntlet this year and they have made it pretty far. But here we are.

Anyway, the only reason I can think of for Cora to make public his thinking about the line up is that he is talking to his team. He is sticking his sword in the ground to communicate to them publicly his confidence in them. That kind of shit doesn’t win games on it own but maybe it makes Renfroe sleep a bit better to know that his manager is on record and he is going to get another chance. And maybe that gives him an edge and he fights through the crap and runs into one.

I dunno, I don’t know shit about managing but I assume there is probably some method to his madness here.
 

BaseballJones

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The Sox were down 3 games to 0 against NY in 2004, looking completely dead in the process (their two aces had lost already and they got killed 19-8 in game 3), and came back to win the series, including the last two in Yankee Stadium.

The Sox were down 3 games to 1 against Cleveland in 2007, looking completely dead in the process (having just scored 5 runs total in games 3-4, and Cle had won games 2, 3, and 4 by a total of 24-11), and came back to win the series.

They took 4 in a row off Houston in 2018 to win the ALCS. They took 3 in a row off Tampa just this month to win the divisional series. Obviously this team isn't the team that played in 2004, 2007, or even 2018, but this franchise, this century, has stepped up to the plate in big spots. Doesn't mean they will do it here, because right now it looks pretty bleak. But it looked bleak in 2004 and 2007 and 2013. It has looked bleak even this year against Tampa. It looks bleak now but that's why they play the games.

Win Friday. Get it to game 7.
 

Archer1979

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Games 6 and 7 are pretty much what we saw from the Astros in Games 2 and 3 in terms of starting pitching, right?

In the words of Rocco Lampone, "This is difficult, not impossible."
 

InsideTheParker

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I am surprised not to find more discussion of the claim by our radio guys that Valdez was touching a particular part of his face which appeared to some to have something on it. Is that because it was a cracked-brain claim? No evidence? The contrast between his two alcs starts is dramatic, but I guess last night's performance was more in line with what he did during the season.