How to get back in this thing

pk1627

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I’ll add substance to this:

- they’ve finally started beating the hell out of bad teams. That’s what good teams should be doing. They dismantled Oakland this weekend and that’s a good sign.

- they need to figure out bullpen roles. Barnes is likely done as an effective pitcher, but who gets the 8th and 9th in close games is still up in the air. I read today the Yankees are undefeated this year when taking a lead into the 8th while the Sox have like 15 blown saves. That has to be addressed.

- Is Franchy for real? I’d like to think so but AAAA guys are so tough to evaluate. If he can stick he’d be a huge boon.
Agreed
And agreed
And agreed
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Four in a row against basement-dwellers.

In pro wrestling, at least in a bygone era, this team would the 1-2-3 Kid: just good enough to beat nobodies, usually loses to bigger names, surprises you every once in awhile but never separates from the pack.

In other words, a jobber to the stars.
 

E5 Yaz

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Four in a row against basement-dwellers.

In pro wrestling, at least in a bygone era, this team would the 1-2-3 Kid: just good enough to beat nobodies, usually loses to bigger names, surprises you every once in awhile but never separates from the pack.

In other words, a jobber to the stars.
The Sons of Johnny Rodz
 

BigSoxFan

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After the first month or two, I was worried that this team wouldn’t see any meaningful summer and beyond baseball. So, good to see that games will matter for at least several more weeks.

When you look at this team objectively, you can kind of squint and see a path here. The rotation has held its own and may be getting something from Sale/Paxton at some point. The offense is still pretty good and the big bats are productive. When Story is on, the lineup gets even scarier.

On the farm, Casas may at some point in the late summer provide some reinforcements. Don’t see much else unless Bello forces his way here.

The biggest problem is the pen and Chaim is not likely to make a huge move here. Hope he can catch lightning in a bottle somewhere.
 

BringBackMo

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Four in a row against basement-dwellers.

In pro wrestling, at least in a bygone era, this team would the 1-2-3 Kid: just good enough to beat nobodies, usually loses to bigger names, surprises you every once in awhile but never separates from the pack.

In other words, a jobber to the stars.
Don’t waste this excellent material here! Post it in the thread you started after 24 games when you declared the season over and compiled the list of players the Sox should look to sell off at the deadline.
 

scottyno

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Four in a row against basement-dwellers.

In pro wrestling, at least in a bygone era, this team would the 1-2-3 Kid: just good enough to beat nobodies, usually loses to bigger names, surprises you every once in awhile but never separates from the pack.

In other words, a jobber to the stars.
You don't want to wait for them to actually play some of the bigger names now that they have a roster that isn't hitting like the worst team in MLB history before deciding they aren't good enough to beat them?
 

soxhop411

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As of this evening here are the AL standings

the AL east has 4 teams that are .500 or better


The AL central and AL west only have one team that is .500 or better.

so. Yah. Pretty good chance that every wildcard team is from the AL east.
 
- Is Franchy for real? I’d like to think so but AAAA guys are so tough to evaluate. If he can stick he’d be a huge boon.
While I don't think anyone can be sure about this sort of thing, I think there's a good chance that he is for real. For a long time the major knock against Franchy has been his incredibly high K rate, which has hung around 35-40% for his career. It takes about 60 PA for K rate to stabilize for hitters. So far in 104 PA, Franchy has cut 10-15% off his career norms and sits at 25% K rate. His walk rate is only a tick higher, but he certainly seems to be quite a bit more selective at the plate. His O-Swing% is down significantly, and his Z-Swing% is up a bit. He's also making contact at better rates both inside and outside the zone. His contact has remained high quality, as he's posted hard hit % near career best. Statcast data suggests he has been very unlucky, as he's near the top of the league in difference between expected and actual homeruns and his xwOBA is way ahead of his actual wOBA. By the eye test I can think of a lot of balls he has scalded that went right at a fielder.

It's far from a sure thing, but I there's a good chance that Franchy will settle in as a ~2 win player and may have some upside beyond that.
 

biollante

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If we keep playing the A's, we will be all set. Somehow the Angels have lost 11 in a row. I hope this will be a West Coast trip to remember. They are usually dreadful.
 

Archer1979

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If we keep playing the A's, we will be all set. Somehow the Angels have lost 11 in a row. I hope this will be a West Coast trip to remember. They are usually dreadful.
I think every team wants to play the A's at this point as they are consistently terrible.

With the Angels, they might be in the same mode as the Sox in that they are good against poor teams (we'll leave the Sox record against the O's out of this for now) and good against poor teams. There are exceptions as the Sox took 2 or 3 from Houston and LAA just got swept by the post-Girardi Phillies.

Honestly, with the way that both teams are playing right now, this four game series could be a sweep for either team or a split and I wouldn't be shocked one way or another. The good news, for me at least, is that when I saw this stretch of games, I thought the LAA were somewhat of a juggernaut in the AL West.

In other words, both teams are consistently inconsistent.
 

reggiecleveland

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Honestly, with the way that both teams are playing right now, this four game series could be a sweep for either team or a split and I wouldn't be shocked one way or another. The good news, for me at least, is that when I saw this stretch of games, I thought the LAA were somewhat of a juggernaut in the AL West.

In other words, both teams are consistently inconsistent.
Jeff Vangundy?
 

Archer1979

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Jeff Vangundy?
All things considered, I'd rather have my hairline than his cash.

The overall point (and I follow the Sox more closely than Angels) is that this team is good against poor teams (in other words, teams that won't be sniffing the playoffs). It's not that good against teams that will most likely make the AL playoffs (specifically anyone in the AL East not named the Orioles). While they might get in as the fourth AL East team which doesn't particularly bode well since they have a losing record against all other AL East teams.

I understand the Lou Gorman thought process of getting in the playoffs and after that it's a crapshoot, but that was back when there were two rounds of playoffs. This team has to significantly improve (and be competitive against good teams) or it will be an early October exit.
 

LogansDad

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I, for one, welcome the inspired animosity of those who have been calling for Bloom's firing, and declaring this season doomed and over, as it has clearly motivated the Red Sox to be better. I say let them have their cake.
 

Ganthem

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I, for one, welcome the inspired animosity of those who have been calling for Bloom's firing, and declaring this season doomed and over, as it has clearly motivated the Red Sox to be better. I say let them have their cake.
Don't count your chickens. They are unlikely to make up the deficit to get first place in the division and all it takes is one Angel like spiral and we are having a different conversation. A couple bullpen meltdowns here, bats going ice cold there and we are suddenly having that different conversation.
 

E5 Yaz

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Don't count your chickens. They are unlikely to make up the deficit to get first place in the division and all it takes is one Angel like spiral and we are having a different conversation. A couple bullpen meltdowns here, bats going ice cold there and we are suddenly having that different conversation.
Let's not and say we did
 

manny

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I think he means let's enjoy baseball in the present and not get worked up over the future one way or the other.
Agree with this sentiment. In theory, the Yankees are one "Angel like spiral" from the AL East being a race. Obviously the Yanks look like world beaters right now so hard to see it happening but things can change quickly and each month can lead to a different vibe for teams.
 

pk1627

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Don't count your chickens. They are unlikely to make up the deficit to get first place in the division and all it takes is one Angel like spiral and we are having a different conversation. A couple bullpen meltdowns here, bats going ice cold there and we are suddenly having that different conversation.
Suddenly the issue is first place in the division.
 

Ganthem

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Suddenly the issue is first place in the division.
Sorry I should have clarified. They are not going to reach first place in the division, leaving the wildcard as their most likely path to the playoffs. All it takes is an Angel spiral to cause us to have a different conversation
 

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Sorry I should have clarified. They are not going to reach first place in the division, leaving the wildcard as their most likely path to the playoffs. All it takes is an Angel spiral to cause us to have a different conversation
And all it takes is a 10 game winning streak to greatly strengthen their wild card position, causing us to have yet a different conversation.

Lots of stuff can and will happen.
 

BringBackMo

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The overall point (and I follow the Sox more closely than Angels) is that this team is good against poor teams (in other words, teams that won't be sniffing the playoffs). It's not that good against teams that will most likely make the AL playoffs (specifically anyone in the AL East not named the Orioles).
I don’t think we have enough information to know whether your point that the Sox lose to good teams and beat bad teams is at all true.

May 10 is as good a date as any other to pinpoint when the Sox started turning their season around. On May 9 the Sox were 10-19 and had lost five straight, and seven of the last eight, including two of three to Baltimore. To that point in the season they had lost to good teams and to bad teams. In other words, they pretty much lost to the teams they were playing regardless of their quality.

Since May 10, theSox have gone 17-8. These are the series they have played, with opponent’s current winning percentage, and series result:

Atlanta .508 1-1
Texas .472 2-1
Houston .648 2-1
Seattle .444 4-0
Chicago .481 2-1
Baltimore .411 2-3
Cincinnati .340 1-1
Oakland .357 3-0

In other words, since the turnaround, the Sox have pretty much beaten the teams they are playing regardless of their quality. Let’s hold off on making determinations about the ability of the Red Sox to beat good teams until they’ve had more opportunities to do so now that they are playing well enough to beat *anybody*.
 

LogansDad

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Don't count your chickens. They are unlikely to make up the deficit to get first place in the division and all it takes is one Angel like spiral and we are having a different conversation. A couple bullpen meltdowns here, bats going ice cold there and we are suddenly having that different conversation.
I can dig it. Keep channeling your Inner Shaughnessy. It's the key to the season.
 

Ganthem

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I can dig it. Keep channeling your Inner Shaughnessy. It's the key to the season.
I fervently hope for the Red Sox to make the playoffs. I love this team and I love baseball, but I am not going to allow that for me to be foolishly optimistic. I am going to try to call things as I see them, though I admit I can be wrong. Right now they are playing well, but to use that as vindication for being foolishly optimist earlier in the season, I think that is a little too soon. If you want to be all glass half full feel free, but that is not me or a lot of other posters on this board.
 

Archer1979

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I don’t think we have enough information to know whether your point that the Sox lose to good teams and beat bad teams is at all true.

May 10 is as good a date as any other to pinpoint when the Sox started turning their season around. On May 9 the Sox were 10-19 and had lost five straight, and seven of the last eight, including two of three to Baltimore. To that point in the season they had lost to good teams and to bad teams. In other words, they pretty much lost to the teams they were playing regardless of their quality.

Since May 10, theSox have gone 17-8. These are the series they have played, with opponent’s current winning percentage, and series result:

Atlanta .508 1-1
Texas .472 2-1
Houston .648 2-1
Seattle .444 4-0
Chicago .481 2-1
Baltimore .411 2-3
Cincinnati .340 1-1
Oakland .357 3-0

In other words, since the turnaround, the Sox have pretty much beaten the teams they are playing regardless of their quality. Let’s hold off on making determinations about the ability of the Red Sox to beat good teams until they’ve had more opportunities to do so now that they are playing well enough to beat *anybody*.
I agree that they've beaten who they've played but...

The turnaround coincided with them playing some pretty crummy teams. If we throw out the East German judge's scores, (winning 2 -3 from Houston and losing 3 - 5 from Baltimore, the only decent (hovering around .500) teams have been Atlanta and Chicago who they have a 3 - 5 record against. Prior to that, the Sox had won a grand total of one series (taking 2 - 3 from a putrid Detroit Tigers team).

In other words, with the exception of Houston, the Sox have lost every series. For the teams that are hovering around .500, they are a combined 4 - 7(adding in the LAA to Atl and ChiSox). With the exception of the Orioles, they've won every series. We're exactly one third of the way through the season so I think the SSS argument doesn't play into this as it did earlier.

While the scheduler wasn't their friend by any stretch, I'm hoping that they have gotten hot as the temperature has gotten warmer. Hell... I'd even take the Texas Barb-B-Q explanation. But the evidence is telling me that while they don't play down to the level of their competition, they're not exactly playing up to it either.
 

tims4wins

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I fervently hope for the Red Sox to make the playoffs. I love this team and I love baseball, but I am not going to allow that for me to be foolishly optimistic. I am going to try to call things as I see them, though I admit I can be wrong. Right now they are playing well, but to use that as vindication for being foolishly optimist earlier in the season, I think that is a little too soon. If you want to be all glass half full feel free, but that is not me or a lot of other posters on this board.
Is this because your Sox fandom from pre-2004 outweighs all the great things this franchise has done in the last ~18 years? I guess I can understand that perspective. But given all that has gone right with Boston sports since ~2001, man, I am much more in the glass half full category with pretty much all of the sports. Plus it's just a way more enjoyable outlook on life than being negative all the time. YMMV.
 

LogansDad

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I fervently hope for the Red Sox to make the playoffs. I love this team and I love baseball, but I am not going to allow that for me to be foolishly optimistic. I am going to try to call things as I see them, though I admit I can be wrong. Right now they are playing well, but to use that as vindication for being foolishly optimist earlier in the season, I think that is a little too soon. If you want to be all glass half full feel free, but that is not me or a lot of other posters on this board.
There's a difference between "foolishly optimistic" and the drag some people have turned this thread (and a lot of others on the main board) into. It's not just you, so don't take it entirely personally, as you just happen to be here on the day I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but the last month and a half on this board have been pretty dang awful from a "let's just enjoy baseball" standpoint.

Do I think this team, as constructed, is a World Series winner? Probably not. Can they get there (whether by prospect additions or trades)? I don't know that they can be "favorites", but there's room for improvement. And contrary to what a lot of people want to think, it was never going to be the "OMG worst team in history"!!!!". And they are currently back to .500. and in a playoff spot, and yet people still want to cry out about how awful they are. It's absolutely exhausting.
 

BringBackMo

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I agree that they've beaten who they've played but...

The turnaround coincided with them playing some pretty crummy teams. If we throw out the East German judge's scores, (winning 2 -3 from Houston and losing 3 - 5 from Baltimore, the only decent (hovering around .500) teams have been Atlanta and Chicago who they have a 3 - 5 record against. Prior to that, the Sox had won a grand total of one series (taking 2 - 3 from a putrid Detroit Tigers team).

In other words, with the exception of Houston, the Sox have lost every series. For the teams that are hovering around .500, they are a combined 4 - 7(adding in the LAA to Atl and ChiSox). With the exception of the Orioles, they've won every series. We're exactly one third of the way through the season so I think the SSS argument doesn't play into this as it did earlier.

While the scheduler wasn't their friend by any stretch, I'm hoping that they have gotten hot as the temperature has gotten warmer. Hell... I'd even take the Texas Barb-B-Q explanation. But the evidence is telling me that while they don't play down to the level of their competition, they're not exactly playing up to it either.
Sox have gone 3-2 against Atlanta and Chicago during this stretch. And Texas is right there with Chicago. Add them in and it’s 5-3. It’s been an impressive stretch of baseball by the Sox and, in my opinion, you have to dice things pretty finely to arrive at a different conclusion.
 

Archer1979

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Sox have gone 3-2 against Atlanta and Chicago during this stretch. And Texas is right there with Chicago. Add them in and it’s 5-3. It’s been an impressive stretch of baseball by the Sox and, in my opinion, you have to dice things pretty finely to arrive at a different conclusion.
You kind of diced away the three game sweep that the ChiSox laid down on us (at home). So moving Texas into a hovering around .500 team, that's still 5 - 6 against the clubs in the middle of the road which is pretty middle of the road in itself.

Don't get me wrong... I don't think that they stink and are certainly a far cry from the 2020 team... but as much as they have played well against their schedule recently, there is still a lot of baseball to be played against the rest of the AL East.
 

Ganthem

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There's a difference between "foolishly optimistic" and the drag some people have turned this thread (and a lot of others on the main board) into. It's not just you, so don't take it entirely personally, as you just happen to be here on the day I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but the last month and a half on this board have been pretty dang awful from a "let's just enjoy baseball" standpoint.

Do I think this team, as constructed, is a World Series winner? Probably not. Can they get there (whether by prospect additions or trades)? I don't know that they can be "favorites", but there's room for improvement. And contrary to what a lot of people want to think, it was never going to be the "OMG worst team in history"!!!!". And they are currently back to .500. and in a playoff spot, and yet people still want to cry out about how awful they are. It's absolutely exhausting.
I am currently cautiously optimist, but I am aware of the level of competition they have faced recently. Also, as we saw last year, the bats can go from very hot to ice cold with very little in between. Assuming the bats can be consistent and the starting pitching can continue to do what it has been doing then they should be fine, but there is a long way to go before they prove that.
 

bluefenderstrat

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I fervently hope for the Red Sox to make the playoffs. I love this team and I love baseball, but I am not going to allow that for me to be foolishly optimistic. I am going to try to call things as I see them, though I admit I can be wrong. Right now they are playing well, but to use that as vindication for being foolishly optimist earlier in the season, I think that is a little too soon. If you want to be all glass half full feel free, but that is not me or a lot of other posters on this board.
I hate this team
 

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Do I think this team, as constructed, is a World Series winner? Probably not. Can they get there (whether by prospect additions or trades)? I don't know that they can be "favorites", but there's room for improvement. And contrary to what a lot of people want to think, it was never going to be the "OMG worst team in history"!!!!". And they are currently back to .500. and in a playoff spot, and yet people still want to cry out about how awful they are. It's absolutely exhausting.
There is not one person in this thread who said that this is the worst team in history. This is a living thread, right? So when the Sox bottomed out and they looked shitty; people (including me) said they looked shitty. I still think that Bloom did a rotten job of constructing this roster and a sweep of the Athletics isn't going to change my mind.

I'm glad that they're playing better than they have at the beginning of the season (it's hard to see how they could play worse) but they're still a long way away from being a contender. And like I've said, if there were a few roster tweaks; I think that they'd be in a much better position than they are now. In a month from now, the Sox are going to be running the gauntlet for a few months playing TB x2, NYY x2, Toronto, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Houston then KC, before finishing with two against Atlanta on August 10.

That's a tough run and if they still have a first baseman who can't hit, an inept outfield and a bullpen that's still among the league leaders in blown saves; it's going to be tough sledding.
 

BringBackMo

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You kind of diced away the three game sweep that the ChiSox laid down on us (at home)
On the contrary, I’ve diced nothing. My initial post made clear that the Sox were losing to everyone before May 9, and that certainly includes the White Sox sweep. I fail to see what that has to do with how the team has been playing since May 10. Since that point, they’ve played four decent to very good teams—Atlanta, Texas, Chicago, and Houston—and are 7-4 against them.
but as much as they have played well against their schedule recently, there is still a lot of baseball to be played against the rest of the AL East.
On this we agree. There is a lot of baseball to be played against the AL East. I think we should see how we do in those coming games before deciding whether the Sox can beat good teams.
 

Ganthem

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What was the context? Have you never reacted emotionally to a sports team? Perhaps our emotional investment in the Red Sox is what differs us?
 

Archer1979

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On the contrary, I’ve diced nothing. My initial post made clear that the Sox were losing to everyone before May 9, and that certainly includes the White Sox sweep. I fail to see what that has to do with how the team has been playing since May 10. Since that point, they’ve played four decent to very good teams—Atlanta, Texas, Chicago, and Houston—and are 7-4 against them.

On this we agree. There is a lot of baseball to be played against the AL East. I think we should see how we do in those coming games before deciding whether the Sox can beat good teams.
I guess it's where you draw the line. I'm not drawing the line of demarcation at any one point in the calendar per se. Instead, I'm categorizing where the quality of their competition falls and how the Sox measure up. Did they start winning because they got hot or was it because they were playing a cupcake schedule? And if it was just because they got hot, why did they suddenly get hot? Obviously, Story turning it around carried the team for a stretch but why did he suddenly get hot?