Let's Talk about the manager -- The John Farrell Thread

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theplayer

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well.. i did read it, would still like to know the odds of scoring a run from third with 1 out with infield in. You don't think that's important?
 
out of my league comment is out of line.
 

theplayer

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Farrell just said that if it was a tie game he would have had WM butting...??? thoughts....that doesn't make sense to me.
 

lambeau

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Wow--complicated. Also there is a nonzero chance of the bunt becoming a hit--especially with Miggy and Prince.
 
The decline of bunting skills is so important to the analysis.
 
BTW, Miggy is more hurt than it appears, I think; oddly, when I saw him he limped much more walking than running.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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theplayer said:
Farrell just said that if it was a tie game he would have had WM butting...??? thoughts....that doesn't make sense to me.
 
I think the reason is obvious: potential game winning run > potential insurance run.
 
Another part of the equation that I haven't seen brought up is that Verlander was at 114 pitches and potentially running on empty.  The chances of him making a mistake that Middlebrooks could turn into a run and possibly extra bases are very much a factor in letting him swing away there.  It's not as though we're talking about the pitcher's spot with regard to Middlebrooks.  You don't play for one insurance run there, you're playing for multiple insurance runs.
 

theplayer

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Isn't scoring the 2nd run much more important than scoring an extra 2 or 3?...especially with the way Koji is pitching. I don't get playing for a "big" inning when the 2nd run is so important.
 
and don't forget, ells up with infield in(if WM bunts successfully) increases his chance of getting a ground ball hit..then you have to factor in him stealing 2b...
 

joe dokes

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theplayer said:
Farrell just said that if it was a tie game he would have had WM butting...??? thoughts....that doesn't make sense to me.
 
Given the uncertainties about bunting -- which you seem not to acknowledge -- a run to break a tie is a much more worthwhile risk than the extra run.
 
EDIT: skipped right over Red(s)Hawks
 

smastroyin

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If I expanded the analysis for every outcome, it wouldn't change my primary point - the bunt only "has to be" done if you presume a relatively high rate of success of the the bunt being successful and a very low rate of success for WMB swinging away.
 
Personally, the fuzziness of the odds of WMB successfully executing another type of "productive out" or bettter, getting a hit, are the primary reasons you would justify a bunt attempt.  But what the math should show you is that the bar you have to clear is fairly low before bunting is a bad play.
 
As for the infield in stuff, I have some thoughts on that but this is already pretty boring talk for this thread.  But, basically, the question I have to ask is - if it increases the chance of the run scoring, why would a manager ever pull the infield in?
 

theplayer

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^ I'm sure you really don't need to ask that..Infield back, run scores more easily. Infield in definitely increase the chances of a ground ball getting through.
 
...not to mention a soft liner or a bloop single dropping in
 

smastroyin

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The entire presumption of the bunt attempt is that you need the one run.  I think Myt1 has been clear that this was his intent on calling for the bunt.  If you are playing for more than one run, the bunt is never a good idea.  I'm not going to do the math, trading outs for bases doesn't ever increase your overall expected runs and you can read about this anywhere and everywhere.
 
The bringing in of the infield is done because, for the price of a marginal increase in the chance that there will be a hit, it decreases the chance that the runner from third will score.
 
Therefore, whether or not the infield plays in is not a consideration in favor of scoring that first run.  
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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smas - just a quick nomenclature question.  when you're quoting the odds of "scoring a single run", should I read that as "odds of scoring at least one run", or as "odds of scoring exactly one run"?
 
Regardless, I think your analysis is really interesting and I'm willing to bet we can come to a pretty accurate conclusion by following that process.
 

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smastroyin said:
The problem with the argument is the presumption that once you decide to bunt it is foregone conclusion that it will be successful.
 
Running the gamut of the entire league, sac bunts are successful about 70% of the time over the last ten years.  Because sacrifice attempts are down, we can also pretty much assume that in the vast majority of cases, guys who should be bunting are actually bunting.  What I mean is, the overall league average rate is actually made up by a sample of players who should be above average at bunting (compared to the population of all players).  
 
WMB has executed two sac bunts in his career.  Once, 5 years ago, in short season ball, and once this year.  The one this year was against Josh Roenicke and his pedestrian fastball/change-up stuff.  Now, maybe WMB has a bunting skill that they just haven't used but the late action on Verlander's pitches makes it harder to successfully execute a bunt.  However, I can't really say for sure what the sacrifice success % was for him because I don't have easy access to that data.  
 
Regardless, I don't think there is any reason to think the chances were any better than 70% that this attempt would be successful.
 
Here, from Tango, expectancy of scoring a single run.
 
With none out and a runner on second, it is .637.
With one out and a runner on third, it is .674.  
With one out and a runner on second, it is .418.
 
Based on a 70% success rate, the play changes the chances of scoring a single run by (.7*(.674-.637)+.3*(.418-.637), or -.0398.
 
So no, there is not evidence that "you need to bunt."
 
This isn't the entire analysis of course.  For instance, if you were convinced that WMB were going to make an out that wouldn't otherwise advance the baserunner (his ball, if it had been a bit more straightaway, would have done this, but we'll ignore that), then obviously the bunt attempt value of -.0398 is better than the "sure out that doesn't advance the baserunner" value of -.219.
 
But, let's say the only choices are single or out if you let him swing away.  Futhermore, let's guarantee that Drew will advance exactly one base.  What chance of getting a single do we need to make the bunt decision?
With none out and runners on first and third, the chances of scoring a single run are .868.  
 
So, we know the value of the bunt attempt is -.0398.  To find the percentage that WMB needs to get a single, we can apply this formula:  -.0398 >= (x(.868-.637)+(1-x)(.418-.637)).  Here, x = .4, roughly.  So if there is a 40% chance of the good outcome, it is better than trying the bunt.  Obviously, we wouldn't give WMB a 40% chance of getting a hit.  But again, this isn't the whole story, since there are a myriad of outcomes.  Let's add a 70% chance that Drew scores on the theoretical single.  Now what are the odds?  I'll spare the algebra, but here x would be .26 or 26%.  And if we add a 10% chance that a WMB out would advance Drew even without a sacrifice, the the "x" goes down to 12%.
 
If don't disagree with the logic of bunting especially from the point of view of trying to score one run if you think there is not much chance WMB, Ellsbury, Vic combine to advance Drew two bases without making three outs.  But, the math isn't quite as obvious as you want it to be unless you are willing to assume a successful sacrifice.
 
(also, apologies if any of the math comes out wrong, but the point should remain)
I agree with you that there are other factors to consider. My belief, without hard numbers to back it up, is that the combination of the guy hitting .227 on the season facing one of the best pitchers in the game (as you point out when discussing the possibility that the situation is less favorable than Tango's average) backed up by an obviously injured and otherwise generally poor fielding third baseman tilt towards the bunt.
 

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And, yeah. The whole point of bunting is trading the higher possibility of multiple runs for what I think would have been a higher possibility of one.
 

smastroyin

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MentalDisabldLst said:
smas - just a quick nomenclature question.  when you're quoting the odds of "scoring a single run", should I read that as "odds of scoring at least one run", or as "odds of scoring exactly one run"?
 
Regardless, I think your analysis is really interesting and I'm willing to bet we can come to a pretty accurate conclusion by following that process.
 
It's at least one run, sorry I wasn't clear.
 

The following table presents the chance that a run will score at some point in the inning, from each base/out state
 

Plympton91

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With Iglesias running, it isn't a guarantee that they turn it anyway; and I'd have pulled him after the 4 pitch walk to Jackson. You've got 2 other starters in the pen; no need to stay with one that doesn't have it tonight.

Of course, if they're going to turn Doug Fister into Bob Gibson tonight, it wouldn't have mattered.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Just by eye, if Pedroia fields it cleanly they turn the DP and they're out of it down 1-0.
 
Dempster is a starter and needs a ton of time to warm up. Workman doesn't, but he's not immensely better than Peavy and you lose all chance at saving any of the pen if you start churning through guys.
 
I think its defensible to leave him in. It's indefensible for Pedroia to magically turn a 1-0 game into 5-0 because he boots a routine play.
 

smastroyin

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Pedroia didn't do it himself and didn't give up the 2B or 1B that followed.  Peavy didn't make the catch that recorded an out either.  So the defense gave and took.
 
All of that said, you have a 2-1 series lead, you are not going to pull your starter in the second inning.  
 

Otis Foster

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smastroyin said:
Pedroia didn't do it himself and didn't give up the 2B or 1B that followed.  Peavy didn't make the catch that recorded an out either.  So the defense gave and took.
 
All of that said, you have a 2-1 series lead, you are not going to pull your starter in the second inning.
This. I do think JF is right in taking the longer view. If this score holds, it's just 2-2 and you still have home field advantage. If you start throwing the pen in early in the game, what do you do in a game 5 that's going extra innings? and if you stumble through that, you still have a game 6 (and maybe 7) and your pen is running on fumes.

What's happening with Jake? Is he over-amped?
 

amarshal2

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Really? You have two long men on the staff - one of whom is highly capable. There's a day off on Friday. If Lester doesn't make it deep tomorrow they probably lose. This was inexcusable managing in my opinion. Peavy couldn't buy a strike and Farrell just decided to give away a playoff game. Ridiculous.
 

normstalls

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I don't think it's fair to blame the manager when players completely fail at executing their job.
 

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amarshal2 said:
Really? You have two long men on the staff - one of whom is highly capable. There's a day off on Friday. If Lester doesn't make it deep tomorrow they probably lose. This was inexcusable managing in my opinion. Peavy couldn't buy a strike and Farrell just decided to give away a playoff game. Ridiculous.
 
Farrell did no such thing. The rheotic is ridiculous.
 
He clearly tried to get more out of Peavy given:
 
- they're up 2-1 in the series
- there's a game tomorrow
- it was the second inning.
 
It's jusitifiable to try not to burn out all the long men in the pen by pulling your starter in the second. And not to say it worked, but Peavy did give them a clean 3rd before getting yanked in the 4th.
 
Obviously in an elimination game this won't happen. The Hellickson references in the Game thread were stupid.
 

smastroyin

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As with many things, the biggest problem (and I say this as someone guilty of it myself), is that for the situation we are criticizing, we know the result, whereas when we make up alternate scenarios, we can presume the best.
 
The shorter way of saying this is that for all we know, Doubront would have come in and given up a grand slam to Johnny Damon Austin Jackson, and while sure that is the worst case, my point remains - they are likely to give up runs no matter who comes in.
 
I do think that his command looked crap even in the 1-2-3 first, and maybe with all the shaking off and pacing around the mound, Nieves should have gotten his ass out there to find out what was going on before the 3 consecutive walks.
 

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Otis Foster said:
What's happening with Jake? Is he over-amped?
It seems like he was unusually worried about contact, so he threw a preponderance of off-speed pitches and primarily out of zone. Just from memory in the 2nd inning (pitchfx doesn't have anything up yet), Avila got 1 fastball and only 2 pitches in the zone en route to a walk and Jackson got 1 fastball and zero pitches in the zone en route to his walk. It looked ugly. But maybe it was as simple as his control was shit tonight.
 

Plympton91

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John Farrell really doesn't like Will Middlebrooks, does he? I am starting to think that there's a good chance Drew is resigned and Bogaerts gets 3B, with Will as trade bait.
 

radsoxfan

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John Farrell really doesn't like Will Middlebrooks, does he? I am starting to think that there's a good chance Drew is resigned and Bogaerts gets 3B, with Will as trade bait.
 
He's given Middlebrooks all 8 postseason starts, including 6 straight against right-handers. Against right handers this season in 238 ABs, he has put up a .244 OBP. Seems to me he likes him a hell of a lot more than he should (I'm sure we can find some post call-up stats that look better.... but the fact is he has stunk this year, and I still am not convinced he's a new player because he got hot for a month late in the year).
 
I said this in the game thread, but the logical move seems to be Xander for WMB at 3B tomorrow.  Drew isn't coming out given his solid SS D and a righty starter.
 
 
As to the future.... I still think they want to give Xander a chance to stick at SS.  Plus, signing Drew means the left side of the infield is locked up for years to come. I think they want to keep 3B for an open low-cost competition between WMB, Cecchini, and maybe Betts.  At most, they'll get a short term vet as insurance, but I don't see a long term deal over there.
 

amarshal2

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Farrell did no such thing. The rheotic is ridiculous.

He clearly tried to get more out of Peavy given:

- they're up 2-1 in the series
- there's a game tomorrow
- it was the second inning.

It's jusitifiable to try not to burn out all the long men in the pen by pulling your starter in the second. And not to say it worked, but Peavy did give them a clean 3rd before getting yanked in the 4th.

Obviously in an elimination game this won't happen. The Hellickson references in the Game thread were stupid.


There's nothing ridiculous about it. It's a completely reasonable position. It's ridiculous that you called it ridiculous.

Peavy fell behind nearly every better he faced. Anybody could see that he had no command. He walked the worst hitter in the series on 4 pitches with the bases loaded...and it was his third walk in the inning.

How would he have burned every long man in the pen? Every guy on the team can pitch two days in a row. Further, they have two long men! He could have brought in Doubront for several innings and then reevaluated based on where they were in the game. If they're out of it, Morales and Workman can finish up. You save Dempster for tomorrow. (Or you do what he did tonight, which is pitch both of them, thereby "burning" them..?)

Peavy had 7 ER tonight. Farrell cost the Red Sox several runs by pretending he needs to protect his pen as though it's the regular season. The Red Sox got 12 hits tonight which is not surprising - it's the best matchup of the series. This easily could have been a game and gone the other way if he's pulled peavy after the walk...or the double...or the single...or the 3rd where he started off nearly every hitter 2-0 and got lucky outs.

Of course none of us know the counter factual, but I can't remember many times I was this upset at a manager's decision before it went bad. I hope the media fries him for it. It's not an elimination game but you've got to manage with a short term focus in the playoffs.
 

Paul M

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I think the reason I'd be more aggressive than was the case--and hindsight does make this a little too easy--is the prospect of having to win 2 of 3 against 3 of the top 7-10 starters in the league. He did manage the bullpen well to the tune of 4 shut-out innings and just 70 pitches. It's not some sort of slam dunk decision but I think once a starter gives up 4-5 runs in a playoff game in this era, I'd yank him. They have 4 long/middle guys after all.
 

Orel Miraculous

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amarshal2 said:
Every guy on the team can pitch two days in a row. Further, they have two long men!
 
You could actually say they have four.  Workman and Morales are both more than capable of throwing multiple innings (if not quite four or five). 
 
I absolutely think Farrell was too slow with the hook.  The argument that he was right to take the "long view" and shouldn't make such moves in a non-elimination game doesn't hold much water, IMO.  It's a short series, there is no long view.  You win a short series by not even getting to elimination games in the first place.
 

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amarshal2 said:
There's nothing ridiculous about it. It's a completely reasonable position. It's ridiculous that you called it ridiculous.
 
What was labelled ridiculous was your childish assertion that Farrell decided to give away a playoff game. He obviously did no such thing. We can argue the slowness of the hook; I was calling out the idea that Farrell was just giving up on the game. That's dumb.
 

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JF has three line-up decisions to make tonight before the first pitch.
 
Xander is being discussed in another thread.
 
Ross for Salty seems like it's coming.  If Lester is much more comfortable with Ross, then I think it's the right move.  If Jon is indifferent or close to it, and his performance hasn't differed all that much when paired with either catcher (yes, that's a fact I could look up), then going to Ross would be a rather large mistake in my book.  Salty is simply better offensively and, as we know, had two hits last night.  
 
The other one is Gomes-Nava.  This was obviously discussed prior to game 3 and the consensus here was that going to Gomes was a mistake.  I'm close to ambivalent on this one.  I understand that Nava is the more logical choice against the righty starter but I respect JF's feel for the team and it's hard to argue against Gomes' contributions, however you label them.  Good things happen when he's in the line-up and this team does seem to feed off of him. 
 

amarshal2

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What was labelled ridiculous was your childish assertion that Farrell decided to give away a playoff game. He obviously did no such thing. He can argue the slowness of the hook; I was calling out the idea that Farrell was just giving up on the game. That's dumb.


Maybe the word "decided" should have been modified by the word "effectively." Obviously Farrell didn't choose to lose but his actions suggested that he was not nearly as concerned with preventing marginal runs as he was saving Ryan Dempster for tomorrow.

My point wasn't "childish", but thanks for your thoughts.
 

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amarshal2 said:
Maybe the word "decided" should have been modified by the word "effectively." Obviously Farrell didn't choose to lose but his actions suggested that he was not nearly as concerned with preventing marginal runs as he was saving Ryan Dempster for tomorrow.

My point wasn't "childish", but thanks for your thoughts.
 
His actions and words after the game indicated that while he didn't think Peavy pitched very well, he was also the victim of some bad luck when Pedroia dropped the double-play grounder which allowed the inning to continue. IIRC he did get Workman up in the pen during that inning. In the next inning Peavy gave him a 1-2-3, so he was likely hoping that Peavy might be able to give them a bit more to avoid going through the pen. With the Sox' hitters doing a decent job this series of driving up pitch counts (if not actually scoring runs) it's hardly unreasonable to think that they might be able to close the gap against Detroit's weaker pen.
 

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
His actions and words after the game indicated that while he didn't think Peavy pitched very well, he was also the victim of some bad luck when Pedroia dropped the double-play grounder which allowed the inning to continue. IIRC he did get Workman up in the pen during that inning. In the next inning Peavy gave him a 1-2-3, so he was likely hoping that Peavy might be able to give them a bit more to avoid going through the pen. With the Sox' hitters doing a decent job this series of driving up pitch counts (if not actually scoring runs) it's hardly unreasonable to think that they might be able to close the gap against Detroit's weaker pen.
 
It's not at all clear to me why he should have feared "going through the pen."  If they don't catch up, he could have had Workman pitch 3 innings and Dempster pitch 3 innings, then Morales for 1 or 2 as necessary.  If they did catch up, then great, that's why you play for today in the playoffs.  Worst case scenario you use your top 3 relievers for 3 days in a row because all the games are close; who cares? They are very well rested with all the off days and you do that regularly during the season anyway.
 
I am very concerned with the seeming increase in the number of hunches that Farrell seems to be playing, especially all this Gomes and Ross vs. righthanders bullshit. Maybe we'll hear after the season that Nava had a bad wrist or something, and that's why it was happening.  But until then, I don't understand why you get to the playoffs and effectively bench the guy with the 8th best batting average in the AL all season, probably higher than that if you just count at bats against righthanders.
 

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DrewDawg said:
 
Based on what?
 
Cabrera is hurting, is apparently having an issue with fastballs (swung through 8 of them tonight, per MLB Network, is that correct?) and beyond that, has better numbers against Uehara. Why would you want the less advantageous matchup?
Just saw this, but to close the loop and because it still may be relevant the next three games, because of the fact that Koji is a much better pitcher and I dont put lots of stock into 4 at bat sample sizes. 
 

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Surprised at the reaction to Farrell's handling of Peavy last night.  I think there's a good argument he shouldnt have come out for the third and some argument he shouldnt have faced Cabrera, but pulling him after the Jackson walk would have been a super, super quick hook and, with hindsight, he got the next guy to hit into a double play ball.  Seems marginal and pretty low on the list of reasons for last nights loss IMHO.
 

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JF has three line-up decisions to make tonight before the first pitch.

Xander is being discussed in another thread.

Ross for Salty seems like it's coming. If Lester is much more comfortable with Ross, then I think it's the right move. If Jon is indifferent or close to it, and his performance hasn't differed all that much when paired with either catcher (yes, that's a fact I could look up), then going to Ross would be a rather large mistake in my book. Salty is simply better offensively and, as we know, had two hits last night.

The other one is Gomes-Nava. This was obviously discussed prior to game 3 and the consensus here was that going to Gomes was a mistake. I'm close to ambivalent on this one. I understand that Nava is the more logical choice against the righty starter but I respect JF's feel for the team and it's hard to argue against Gomes' contributions, however you label them. Good things happen when he's in the line-up and this team does seem to feed off of him.


Sanchez and Gomes seem like a bad match for us. The changeup combined with Johnny's refusal to try to hit to the opposite field virtually insure popups and strikeouts. I agree with the point about Ross-Salty. If Ross runs into one it's a major accident, but a possible one. Lester's comfort zone is the crucial issue.
 

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Over 162-game season Daniel Nava was the best hitter on the Red Sox not named David Ortiz - avg. obp. ops - you name it.  The best hitting position player on the team.  The best hitting outfielder.  I don't know on what planet THAT GUY is relegated to the bench at the whim of the manager but it shouldn't be this planet.  There is no slump to speak of - hell, in  the 2 games he wasn't cast aside like a bubble boy he posted the highest obp on the team - doing exactly what he has done all season.  The only thing that makes this more ridiculous is that when has played he's virtually the only one doing exactly. what he did all season.  If Farrell wants to get Gomes at bats he needs to be a helluva lot more creative than benching the teams best hitting position player. And Xander needs to replace Middlebrooks.
 
The gods favor the bold...
 

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esfr said:
Over 162-game season Daniel Nava was the best hitter on the Red Sox not named David Ortiz - avg. obp. ops - you name it.  The best hitting position player on the team.  The best hitting outfielder.  I don't know on what planet THAT GUY is relegated to the bench at the whim of the manager but it shouldn't be this planet.  There is no slump to speak of - hell, in  the 2 games he wasn't cast aside like a bubble boy he posted the highest obp on the team - doing exactly what he has done all season.  The only thing that makes this more ridiculous is that when has played he's virtually the only one doing exactly. what he did all season.  If Farrell wants to get Gomes at bats he needs to be a helluva lot more creative than benching the teams best hitting position player. And Xander needs to replace Middlebrooks.
 
The gods favor the bold...
 
 
Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
I am actually fairly certain Nava is dinged up. No idea with what or when he did it, but the playing time decisions almost certainly point to something. We'll find out after the season is over, I guess.
 
It's been pretty obvious the past 6 weeks or so that he's not 100%
 

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amarshal2 said:
There's nothing ridiculous about it. It's a completely reasonable position. It's ridiculous that you called it ridiculous.

Peavy fell behind nearly every better he faced. Anybody could see that he had no command. He walked the worst hitter in the series on 4 pitches with the bases loaded...and it was his third walk in the inning.

How would he have burned every long man in the pen? Every guy on the team can pitch two days in a row. Further, they have two long men! He could have brought in Doubront for several innings and then reevaluated based on where they were in the game. If they're out of it, Morales and Workman can finish up. You save Dempster for tomorrow. (Or you do what he did tonight, which is pitch both of them, thereby "burning" them..?)

Peavy had 7 ER tonight. Farrell cost the Red Sox several runs by pretending he needs to protect his pen as though it's the regular season. The Red Sox got 12 hits tonight which is not surprising - it's the best matchup of the series. This easily could have been a game and gone the other way if he's pulled peavy after the walk...or the double...or the single...or the 3rd where he started off nearly every hitter 2-0 and got lucky outs.

Of course none of us know the counter factual, but I can't remember many times I was this upset at a manager's decision before it went bad. I hope the media fries him for it. It's not an elimination game but you've got to manage with a short term focus in the playoffs.
This is an excellent post and summarizes my feelings exactly.  When a guy literally can't throw a strike and walks three batters in an inning and gives up two runs, why do you leave him in there to face Tori Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, and Prince Fielder?  That's where the game was lost.
 

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Bone Chips said:
This is an excellent post and summarizes my feelings exactly.  When a guy literally can't throw a strike and walks three batters in an inning and gives up two runs, why do you leave him in there to face Tori Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, and Prince Fielder?  That's where the game was lost.
 
IMO the game was lost when Pedroia bobbled a routine double play ball, which prevented Peavy from getting out of the inning down only 1-0. If Peavy was a mortal lock to implode after walking Jackson, he sure showed it strangely by getting a ground ball that should have ended the inning with no further damage.
 

Judge Mental13

Scoops McGee
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Apr 16, 2002
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While I agree that Peavy sucked last night, putting it on Farrell makes very little sense to me for a couple of reasons 
 
1.) Jake Peavy is not Jeremy Hellickson, meaning there was no reason for Farrell to have his long guys on hand ready to enter a game at the first sign of trouble. Farrell didn't have any reason to think a veteran guy like Peavy would completely melt down like that.  
 
2.) Even if you started warming up Dempster/Dubront/Workman at the first sign of trouble, what would you consider the first sign of trouble? After the Martinez single? Probably not, after the Peralta walk? Nah, the bottom of the order is coming up, you can let Peavy try to work out of that.  After the Avila walk? OK so you get somebody up now, I hate to tell you, but neither Dempster, Dubront, or Workman are going to be ready to come in two batters later.  This isn't The Show. Assuming Workman was the guy who gets warm the fastest, the earliest you could put him in would be to face Torii Hunter with runners on 1st and 3rd and Cabrera on deck. That's not exactly a matchup that has me jumping for joy. 
 
Especially considering the fact that Peavy did induce what should have been a double play ball, and we're talking about a one run inning. 
 
The point is it all fell apart pretty fast for Peavy.  But expecting Farrell to be able to predict that he would come apart in the second inning and therefore should have Doobie/Demps/Workman on call that early in the game is a reach. 
 

glennhoffmania

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
IMO the game was lost when Pedroia bobbled a routine double play ball, which prevented Peavy from getting out of the inning down only 1-0. If Peavy was a mortal lock to implode after walking Jackson, he sure showed it strangely by getting a ground ball that should have ended the inning with no further damage.
I can see both sides of this and I honestly don't know when I would've pulled Peavy.  But that grounder was hit pretty hard and it happened to be right at Pedroia.  I don't think Peavy should get much extra credit for inducing a hard hit ball that, if it was 5-10 feet to Pedroia's left, would've been a 2 run single instead.
 

smastroyin

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The real question is what do you do with him if they advance?  I'm completely serious.  He looked like a hopped up deer in headlights on that stage and I'm worried it would be even worse in a World Series start.  Shades of Bronson Arroyo in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS - he did not get another start and was not sharp in his later relief appearances.  At least with his next start I think you have to treat it like he is Jeremy Hellickson.  I wish I was kidding.  It wasn't just the results.  That happens once in a while.  But, his body language was terrible even in the 1-2-3 first, he had no command, he didn't once seem to know what the plan was for each hitter.  The dugout shots of him after the second inning looked like he was shell shocked.  I hate to be "sideline psychologist" and I honestly don't know what was really going on in his head, but he just looked bad all around.  
 
I am 100% sure that I am overreacting, but you have to seriously wonder after that performance.
 
For the record I was and am a big fan of the trade and will happily take him next year, and yes I know he pitched great against the Rays in that game 4.  Maybe too much rest keyed him up too much for this start or something.  Who knows. 
 

rodderick

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smastroyin said:
The real question is what do you do with him if they advance?  I'm completely serious.  He looked like a hopped up deer in headlights on that stage and I'm worried it would be even worse in a World Series start.  Shades of Bronson Arroyo in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS - he did not get another start and was not sharp in his later relief appearances.  At least with his next start I think you have to treat it like he is Jeremy Hellickson.  I wish I was kidding.  It wasn't just the results.  That happens once in a while.  But, his body language was terrible even in the 1-2-3 first, he had no command, he didn't once seem to know what the plan was for each hitter.  The dugout shots of him after the second inning looked like he was shell shocked.  I hate to be "sideline psychologist" and I honestly don't know what was really going on in his head, but he just looked bad all around.  
 
I am 100% sure that I am overreacting, but you have to seriously wonder after that performance.
 
For the record I was and am a big fan of the trade and will happily take him next year, and yes I know he pitched great against the Rays in that game 4.  Maybe too much rest keyed him up too much for this start or something.  Who knows. 
 
I think it's been a while that Peavy's been shaky, even when he gets good results. The command isn't there, and the stuff isn't overpowering. Tinkering with his arm slot mid season is seeming like a poor move in hindsight.
 

KillerBs

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Nov 16, 2006
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I give Farrell a pass on this too. I have been an advocate of a quick hook all series, but going to Workman/Doubie/Dempster over Peavy in the 2nd with the bases loaded or runners on 1 and 3rd to get a righty is not what I had in mind. You could make a case to go get him after the 3rd walk or the botched double play ball, I suppose, on the premise that this is a high leverage point in the game, even if it is the 2nd, but is there any reason to think the guy you are bringing is a considerably better option that Peavy in that moment? I mean it would make more sense to to turn it over to Tazawa in the second with runners in scoring position for an 1+ and then turn it over to Doubront or Dempster,  but no one expects him to do that.
 
In the 4th, we are down 5-0 already. He got thru the 3rd unscathed. You are hoping he can give 5 or 6 in any event so you don't lose and tax the pen. He got him out after 2 more hits, and there was probably not enough time to get someone up and in after the first hit. 
 

Rovin Romine

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
IMO the game was lost when Pedroia bobbled a routine double play ball, which prevented Peavy from getting out of the inning down only 1-0. If Peavy was a mortal lock to implode after walking Jackson, he sure showed it strangely by getting a ground ball that should have ended the inning with no further damage.
 
I get what you're saying, but the issue is in how much risk the manager was willing to take on in letting Peavy continue when he was in trouble?  I think Farrell's decision to leave Peavy in was defendable.  However, when the implosion was happening, I kept wishing Farrell would do the bold thing and take Peavy out, even at the theoretical cost of losing the longmen for game 5.   I can't say it's an obvious move - well, maybe it is to the stat guys, but I was clearly vacillating when I was watching the game.
 
In the light of morning, I look at it this way:  the basic premise is that Fister is the weakest Detroit starter and the least likely to go deep into a game - and while our bats are moribund, they've got a better chance against him and the Tiger bullpen than against any of the Tiger's big 3. 
 
So, if the game is close, you burn the bullpen to try to get the win.   The reasoning is as follows:
 
Sox 3-1, we win game 5.   Game over.   (Or win game 6 or 7.  Sanchez, Scherzer and Verlander are no picnic, but a legitimate playoff team like the Sox can reasonably hope for one victory.) 
 
Sox 3-1, we we lose game 5 because Sanchez shuts us down and/or Lester does not show up.  However, in this scenario, having a rested bullpen or both long men won't give us a better chance to win game 5 against Sanchez (because you have to figure Farrell won't pull Lester early unless he's down a couple of runs - and coming back against Sanchez is likely more difficult to do than against Fister.)  So we go back to Fenway with a 3-2 record and need to get one win out of Buch v Scherzer or that-guy-whose-name-I-forget v. Verlander. 
 
OR
 
Sox 2-2, we win Game 5. Same as above.  Except now we likely go back to Fenway with our long men intact.  Big deal.  We only have to win 1 of 2 at home.
 
Sox 2-2, we lose Game 5.  We go back to Fenway needing two wins.  Against Scherzer and Verlander.   Much longer odds as either are capable of going very deep into games.  Basically the only "bad risk" scenario is if we lose game 5 because Lester flounders early, gives up a fivespot, and we nonetheless rally for several runs against Sanchez, but the game is hopelessly out of reach because we couldn't call on Workman, Dempster, Morales, or Doubront.  Which we still actually could do tonight (to an extent) even if one of Dempster, Morales, or Doubront went 2-3 innings last night. 
 
***
 
It's Farrell's job to figure all this out out ahead of time, not to manage by the seat of his pants.  Presumably there was some kind of starter implosion scenario run, or some criteria set up for a quick v. slow hook. 
 
With the series as is, and a rested bullpen, I'm inclined to stop the bleeding if there are 3 walks in a row.  (And yes Pedroia's fielding could have stopped everything at 2 runs.  But that hit ball could also have been a sharp, legitimate single.  The point is that Peavy can't walk the bases loaded and not be scrutinized by the manager.)   
 
On the other hand, it may have been a freak thing - the 3 walks. 
 
Regardless, by the time that five spot was on the board, I was wondering if that was the series right there. 
 
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