April 14, 2015

Red Sox Hitters Beneficiaries of Generous Scorers?

(CJ Gunther/EPA)
We won the home opener, while recording 13 hits.  But several of those should have been scored as reached on error instead. This isn't a criticism of Boston's official scorer, as he is only following the practice of all other MLB scorers. But if a routine fly ball falls between two fielders, in my opinion (and that of the pitcher on the mound, no doubt) an error should be charged.  I talk more about it over at my Scoring Rules blog along with some accompanying videos.  Take a look.

April 12, 2015

Fenway Home Opener!

A good excuse for another day off work. Last year's was absolutely amazing.  No banner going up or rings to hand out this year. But expectations for this season are pretty high.

The matchup looks pretty good, with the Nationals Jordan Zimmerman facing our own Rick Porcello. The starters for the home openers are all over the place. Unlike Opening Day where usually you get both team's #1 facing each other, the home opener is a bit of a wildcard. Sometimes they are scheduled after a 3 game series, so the teams' #4 starters oppose each other. If it's the 3rd series of the year, then it's game 7 so it's #2 starters facing off. And rainouts, injuries, extra inning games etc can impact all of that so it's really unpredictable.  Having said that here is who threw at Fenway for the home team over the past 10 seasons and the outcome of the game:

April 07, 2015

What did we learn from Opening Day?

 Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
What a great start to the season! Boston beat the Phillies 8-0, with some great pitching aided by some powerful slugging.  So what did we learn?  Here are a few things I saw on twitter / message boards / talk radio and the usual sources of idiocy:
  • We were lucky to have avoided signing Jon Lester
  • We were lucky to not have traded for Cole Hamels
  • We have an ace better than the above two options in Clay Buchholz
  • Dustin Pedroia is going to have a huge year
  • Hanley Ramirez is going to be a monster
  • Mookie Betts IS a Hall of Famer
  • David Ortiz is cooked
  • Nobody can remember why we wanted to sign Pablo Sandoval 
  • Our pitching is going to be just fine
  • We’re going to hit the shit out of the ball
Hey, feel free to extrapolate whatever you want from one day of baseball, but keep in mind it is just one day. Some of the above may end up being accurate forecasts, others maybe not so much. Hall of Famers have off days, and scrubs can look like stars for a few hours.

Here’s a boxscore from 2002 OD.  We hit four home runs before the 2nd inning was over! But lost the game because our starter gave up 8 runs in 3 innings. At least we could look forward to the fact that Tony Clark who went 3-5 with a big fly was going to fit in Boston just fine (he ended up batting .207 and hit 2 more home runs all season). And the starting pitcher? Some guy named Pedro, whose stats I'm not going to look up, but I'm sure he worked out all right, too.

So, what did we really learn from Opening Day? The only concrete takeaway is that baseball is back and it’s a lot of fun. During the long off-season it’s easy to forget just what a great game this is. 

I'm glad it's back!  Now, can someone tell me why there's an off-day already?

April 05, 2015

2015 MLB Predictions

Crystal ball time. I've done so well in the past, why stop now.  Below is my projected number of wins for each team, and a quick note or two about each one. Feel free to bookmark this so you can make fun of me in October.

AL East
Boston (88) -          Jackie Bradley Jr. will play a much bigger role for this team than anyone is currently anticipating. Mookie Betts and "future first ballot Hall of Famer" will be said in the same sentence a lot less than the Fenway Faithful are expecting, but that phrase will start to be heard about Xander Bogaerts again.
Baltimore (86) -      They lost many key players, but they won 96 games without Machado and Wieters last season. They could drop 10 games in the standings and still be in the division chase the last weekend of the year.
Toronto (80) –        Exciting team with lots of young future stars. Canadian fans should get excited about the team that AA is building up here. But not this year. A rocky summer will lead to John Gibbons being dismissed.
New York (80) –     What will they do without the season long Jeter ball-washing tour? Not to worry, there will be enough controversy in the Bronx to keep them on the front pages of the tabloids.
Tampa Bay (75) –   They still have some very good arms. Among the best rotations in the AL, but they’ll have difficulty scoring enough runs.

April 02, 2015

Red Sox Opening Day 25 man roster

Only a couple of days away. Still a lot of decisions to be made:
- What to do about the outfield logjam?
- What arms get the last couple of bullpen slots?
- Will Joe Kelly start on the DL?

With those questions in mind, here is my projection for the starting 25: