W.S. Hangover Cures: The Devil is in the Details...

Sep 13, 2006
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Repeating (in baseball) is never easy. If it was, someone would've done it since the last millennium. How Cora, DD, et al, will go about seeking the elusive cure for "the hangover" should prove fascinating and worthy of its own thread (unless the Dopes disagree). Please keep the emotional, knee-jerk, ten-too-many-beers commentary to the game threads.

After yesterday's loss, Cora said (link below): "I pay attention to details...I love paying attention to details and that’s something I took pride last year, and right now, we’re not paying attention to details...We’ve got to get it going. Regardless of the results – you win or lose – but stuff like that can’t happen, and that’s a reflection on us. I’m accountable, and I expect better things out of the group... We have to play better. That’s the bottom line. Like I said, I take pride in that stuff. Details. And details win ballgames." https://weei.radio.com/blogs/rob-bradford/alex-cora-after-latest-red-sox-loss-we-re-not-paying-attention-details

From another article (link below), David Ross said: "I think it’s a fine line in rest and actually being prepared and what that formula is I don’t know. We had a lot of distractions and repeating is hard. Being on two World Series teams, that second year finding that energy on a Wednesday day game early in the year when the last thing you remember is 50,000 people screaming, for me it’s hard to find that motivation and energy that takes your game to the next level that you had in October. It’s hard to duplicate that at the beginning of the year. It’s a combination for me of a lot of different things. And you’re told by the organization to rest and take your time. I think it’s difficult to get off to a good start." https://weei.radio.com/blogs/rob-bradford/can-red-sox-learn-lessons-2014-hangover

Thankfully, it's still very early and the other so-called "super teams" have had shaky starts of their own. What unfolds over the next 6 months should provide ample fodder for quality discourse. Have at it!
 

DeadlySplitter

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If the Sox hadn't blown early 3-0 leads in each series finale, they'd be 4-4 and no one would be talking about this.

But they did blow those leads, when the defense and pitching were bad at the same time. Now tonight more of the same - a 2-1 game got out of hand very quickly on three bad defensive plays in a row. It's early but unless they win these last two games, this is a huge hole they've dug themselves, the one thing you don't want to do in April.

as atrocious as those two parts have been, the offense has secretly been punchless too. They've had a few 3-run innings but nothing higher, an explosive game-changing (or covering up the rest of the mistakes in a game) inning they are capable of many times over. All three outfielders are not making the difference on offense that they can be. 2B has turned into the black hole again. Really, only JDM and Swihart are pulling their weight.

very early but you never want to go 3-7 in a 10 game stretch. and that's the BEST they can do now in these first ten.

(and yes, I'm assuming tonight is a lost cause, 7-1 in the 6th. prove me wrong!)
 

Seels

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I understand having games stay out of the shitty conditions of April at Fenway but the defending champs shouldn't have to start the season when most of their fans can't even watch the games. I've been able to watch 3 games this year and they've all been out of reach within the first 3-4 innings.

Baseball shouldn't be played in March. Shorten the season or make some other change.
 

bosockboy

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I understand having games stay out of the shitty conditions of April at Fenway but the defending champs shouldn't have to start the season when most of their fans can't even watch the games. I've been able to watch 3 games this year and they've all been out of reach within the first 3-4 innings.

Baseball shouldn't be played in March. Shorten the season or make some other change.
Schedule is done before there’s a champion determined.
 

j-man

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its unfair for the champs to start a 11 game road trip and your owners shouild push back and said i am not giveing up 2 home games to my biggest rival unlees they give up 1 or 2 as well
 

DeadlySplitter

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the only thing I'll say about the schedule is that I think Seattle & Oakland, having played two that counted in Japan the week before, were more prepared and it showed. drawing 8 road games against them off the bat was rotten. but then we got destroyed by Arizona tonight, so it probably didn't change much if anything.

I am pretty concerned this team hasn't even had a lead entering the 9th inning yet. Or I think 8th or even 7th. that's hard to do in a 9 game stretch.
 

Adirondack jack

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All these (relatively) underpaid guys are playing like it's October while the local nine are playing like its February in Orlando.

Things are rarely as bad as they appear
 

Koufax

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When Eduardo Nunez's 9.0 ERA is better than most of the starters, something is not right.
 

mauidano

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Schedule is done before there’s a champion determined.
Exactly. And EVERY team plays 81 at home and 81 on the road. No excuses with the schedule. Try to salvage the next two and head home. Pitch better. FFS when you score 8 runs, you should be able to win games.
 

joyofsox

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I am pretty concerned this team hasn't even had a lead entering the 9th inning yet. Or I think 8th or even 7th. that's hard to do in a 9 game stretch.
Or the 6th!!!

Leading after 6 innings: 0-0
Tied after 6 innings: 1-0

Leading after 7 innings: 0-0
Tied after 7 innings: 1-0

Leading after 8 innings: 0-0
Tied after 8 innings: 1-0

Red Sox score first: 0-3

Scoring less than 3 runs: 0-2
Scoring 3 or 4 runs: 0-2

From today's Game Notes:
The Red Sox also went through a 2-6 stretch during 2018 (August 19-26).
The 2003 Marlins and 2011 Cardinals started 2-6 (or worse) and went on to win the World Series.
 

j44thor

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At least they are undefeated at home.
I think for a lot of them the season starts Tuesday. Probably still feels like spring training playing on the West Coast against teams you don't play all that often. Not to mention the little work the starting pitchers got in spring training. If losing a few in April means they are strong come Aug/Sept/Oct then sign me up.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Exactly. And EVERY team plays 81 at home and 81 on the road. No excuses with the schedule. Try to salvage the next two and head home. Pitch better. FFS when you score 8 runs, you should be able to win games.
The Red Sox will play 79 at home and 83 away this year.
 

johnmd20

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Most disconcerting is the -26 run differential. They aren't just losing, they are getting murdered. Nobody is worse than -13.

But it's only 9 games, too, so it's extremely early. Time to focus, not panic.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Most disconcerting is the -26 run differential. They aren't just losing, they are getting murdered. Nobody is worse than -13.

But it's only 9 games, too, so it's extremely early. Time to focus, not panic.
Well, they are 8th in runs scored in MLB. I'm not worried about the offense (even though admittedly those numbers are probably inflated because teams are putting in their shitty pitchers once they've built up a massive lead). And the bullpen has been mostly fine (other than white-flag guys like Johnson).

It's really purely an issue of the starting pitching and defense. Unless there is something more serious going on behind the scenes I have to think that those facets will eventually revert to the mean - the problem is whether by that point in time the Sox will already be in too big of a hole.
 

uncannymanny

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Is it just me or have they gone against a lot of soft tossing starters so far? Obviously this doesn’t excuse the starting pitching, but might explain why they’ve had difficulty scoring runs in the early parts of a lot of games.
 

Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

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I've never put any stock in Spring Training results. But Manager Cora put a shit load of stock in it last season, bragging about how well the team did. This year, he downplayed it big time and the team was miserable. And they've been miserable to start the season. There was a clear change in the way the team approached ST this year, perhaps for good reason, but a major change nonetheless. And the results of ST carried to the regular season both seasons.
 

twibnotes

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If this continues, can we change this thread to be a discussion about cures to actual hangovers?
 

bosockboy

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I've never put any stock in Spring Training results. But Manager Cora put a shit load of stock in it last season, bragging about how well the team did. This year, he downplayed it big time and the team was miserable. And they've been miserable to start the season. There was a clear change in the way the team approached ST this year, perhaps for good reason, but a major change nonetheless. And the results of ST carried to the regular season both seasons.
Agreed. Win/loss results mean nothing but one of the most important functions of the manager is getting their team prepared and motivated to play crisp baseball out of the chute. Huge failure this year.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I'm not burying the team at all yet just because of history. Did any of these past teams go through the toughest road trip of the year to start off?

it's a mixture of factors all going wrong. it's going to be alright, but probably not going to run away with the division this year. or maybe they'll be in first place come May 1 anyways, who knows?

in particular, I'd like to see all three outfielders play much better. Beni has looked good this weekend actually, but Mookie & JBJ are absolutely stinking it up and it's killing the team on both sides of the ball.
 

dhappy42

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I blame the west coast road trip and regression. Last year’s team over-performed expectations with 108 wins. (And it was glorious.) If the team is really a 100-win quality team, then 92 wins this year would be more-or-less normal.
 
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Clearly the pitchers didn't leave Spring Training ready for the season. The team babied them after the extra innings of October, and it shows.
Anybody else wonder how much of the overall funk is due to being distracted by contracts? A couple times during the spring I saw comments from JD and Mookie about what was going on with the unsigned free agents, the CBA and such. Then we've got Sale and Bogaerts signing their extensions, Porcello a FA at the end of the year, Mookie being asked repeatedly about his upcoming FA opportunity, etc. These guys are playing like they've got something else on their minds...
 

OurF'ingCity

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Agreed. Win/loss results mean nothing but one of the most important functions of the manager is getting their team prepared and motivated to play crisp baseball out of the chute. Huge failure this year.
Agreed. I do think Cora got cocky (maybe subconsciously) about how easy everything went last year for the most part and figured that, since the team was so good and since pretty much the same team was coming back, they could take it easy and just turn it on when the games started counting.

So the silver lining here is that hopefully Cora will learn from this experience and that nothing can be taken for granted regardless of how good you think your team is heading into the season.
 
Jul 5, 2018
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Clearly the pitchers didn't leave Spring Training ready for the season. The team babied them after the extra innings of October, and it shows.
Anybody else wonder how much of the overall funk is due to being distracted by contracts? A couple times during the spring I saw comments from JD and Mookie about what was going on with the unsigned free agents, the CBA and such. Then we've got Sale and Bogaerts signing their extensions, Porcello a FA at the end of the year, Mookie being asked repeatedly about his upcoming FA opportunity, etc. These guys are playing like they've got something else on their minds...
I don't believe contract situations has anything do with how the Sox are playing. Price, who seems less confident than other pitchers, had his second best season in terms of WAR during his contract year and Trout had another great season in 2018. Hitters can't have something else on their minds during the .25 seconds they have to deal with a pitch.

I've often heard announcers talk about contract years as if it motivates players to have their best years ever.
 

Maximus

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I've never put any stock in Spring Training results. But Manager Cora put a shit load of stock in it last season, bragging about how well the team did. This year, he downplayed it big time and the team was miserable. And they've been miserable to start the season. There was a clear change in the way the team approached ST this year, perhaps for good reason, but a major change nonetheless. And the results of ST carried to the regular season both seasons.
Exactly, you hit the nail on the head.
 

Plympton91

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I blame the west coast road trip and regression. Last year’s team over-performed expectations with 108 wins. (And it was glorious.) If the team is really a 100-win quality team, then 92 wins this year would be more-or-less normal.
Blaming the west coast trip for a systematic failure of starting pitchers to answer the bell on the regular season is bush league whining. I wouldn’t even let my daughter’s travel team use that excuse if they showed up this flat to a major out of state tournament, let alone major leaguers flying on private jets between luxury hotels. Good grief.
 

JohntheBaptist

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Yeah I think you could point to it if there was some underperformance in the margins here and there. You absolutely cannot blame it for looking comically bad in absolutely every facet of the game and getting repeatedly blown off the field. It likely isn't anyone one thing, but "long west coast trip" explains dropping a couple winnable games at the end of the trip or something. This is so clearly beyond that.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I'd love to see Nunez kept out of the lineup for a game or two for not running to first base on the wild pitch on strike three. This is NOT an example of a guy paying attention to things
Wouldn't running to first have been admitting that he didn't check his swing, which he was clearly trying to sell (or believed he'd done)? I'm first in line to chastise a player for lack of hustle, but I'm not sure that was the case this time.

If it was a full swing and a miss and he stood around, that would have been unforgivable (for swinging at the bad pitch and for not running).
 

bosockboy

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Wouldn't running to first have been admitting that he didn't check his swing, which he was clearly trying to sell (or believed he'd done)? I'm first in line to chastise a player for lack of hustle, but I'm not sure that was the case this time.

If it was a full swing and a miss and he stood around, that would have been unforgivable (for swinging at the bad pitch and for not running).
Ump called the strike really late also.
 

richgedman'sghost

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Once again, Lose chimes in without considering the context of the situation. As other's have mentioned, the ump placed Nunez in a lose/lose situation. (See what I did there)Lol If Nunez runs to first, he is admitting he swung at the pitch. But if he doesn't run, then he will get thrown out easily. Plus the ump made a very late call on the pitch.
 

joe dokes

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Wouldn't running to first have been admitting that he didn't check his swing, which he was clearly trying to sell (or believed he'd done)? I'm first in line to chastise a player for lack of hustle, but I'm not sure that was the case this time.

If it was a full swing and a miss and he stood around, that would have been unforgivable (for swinging at the bad pitch and for not running).
It wasn't lack of hustle, so much as a plain old blunder. Looked to me that he got fixated on what the 1st base ump was going to call on the swing and so didn't run. I suspect a fair number of MLB players would have done the same thing. I don't think he was trying to "sell" anything. It just didn't occur to him in the moment.
 

lexrageorge

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If Nunez really felt he checked his swing, then the right play is to wait for the umpire to call it "no swing". Especially when the home plate umpire is really late on the call.
 
Sep 13, 2006
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If Nunez really felt he checked his swing, then the right play is to wait for the umpire to call it "no swing". Especially when the home plate umpire is really late on the call.
From what I saw, Nunez appeared to have successfully checked his swing. He then waited on the home plate umpire who took a long time to point down to the 1st base umpire for the call.

Of all the miscues/brain farts that have plagued the Sox during their opening road trip, this one (if it even qualifies as such) is WAY down the list.
 

keninten

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This road trip could be just the wake up call the team needed to get focused back in. Last year everything fell into place and now they`ve got to realize they have to fight to make the playoffs.