Monday, April 9, 2012

A Lost Sox Weekend

As usual, Joy of Sox puts things in perspective for us:
"Losing three games - two of them by only one run - to the powerhouse-hitting team many people think will steamroll to the World Series? This is making Red Sox fans panic? ...
It was a bad three games, I agree. Sunday's game was particularly horrific. ...
This has many fans demanding that Daniel Bard be yanked from the rotation before he has made even one start and plugged back into the bullpen. But that would be a mistake and a clear sign that the front office has abandoned the philosophy that brought them two World Series championships after an 86-year drought. It would show that the team is taking the short view and looking at only the recent games when making important decisions. You don't base team decisions on two games worth of data."
And also: "My advice to you: stay away from all Boston media until further notice."

Joel made some similar points here. I only caught a little of G3 (the odds of me catching any weekend or day games are slim to none) and my only comment is that Aceves didn't look like the same pitcher he was last year. Of course, I suspect the Tigers will make many pitchers look bad. My bigger concern is Josh Beckett: we have enough concerns with our starting rotation to have Beckett not pitch up to his capabilities.

Regardless, let's see what happens in the next few series before declaring all is lost. Time to kick some Blue Jay ass! (But please, please, stay away from Bautista.)


  1. I'm not advocating that we pull Bard out of the rotation. (Who would take his place?)

    But, I am also mindful of the fact that last year we decided to be patient and wait and see: a strategy that worked just fine, until it didn't.

    As JoS notes: "The 2011 Red Sox started out 2-10, then started winning like gangbusters, going 80-41, including 36-15 in June and July. (What happened in September does not erase the previous four months of excellence.)"

    While all of that is true, it also must be pointed out that what happened in April effectively prevented the Sox from going to the playoffs.

    Every game is worth just as much as every other. It is small comfort to note that two out of the first three games were close games, especially when we lost both of them for the exact same reason. Aceves pitched in those two games, giving up four hits and three runs without making a single out. Melancon pitched in those two games, giving up five hits and four runs on his way to managing three outs.

    Detroit may be good, but they are not that good. Bottom line: the Red Sox bullpen was not ready to play ball, and that is a problem that needs to be figured out quickly.

  2. What's fascinating about baseball is the balance you need to strike between the fact that every game is worth as much as any other, and that there are an incredible amount of games. Combine this with the least amount of teams making the postseason of any of the major sports (even with the new wild cards) and this means that management needs to walk a fine line between the short term and long term. The cliche says "Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint" and by this analogy you could look at these three games as simply a runner who takes a while to loosen up his legs before turning it on at the end. However, it might be better put to write "Baseball as a marathon consisting of a series of sprints" - that might better capture the spirit of the game.

    Regardless of these strained analogies, your point is well taken. If Aceves and Melancon hadn't choked in Detroit, the Sox could have taken the series 2-1. However, I don't know if I want the Sox to take drastic measures in their bullpen without knowing if those two pitchers have lost it, are off to a slow start, or simply didn't perform against great hitters. In other words, until we have a larger sample size. After all, Aceves looked good last night.