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Are the Red Sox toast?

Posted by Andy on May 18, 2010

A pretty good argument can be made that the season is already over for the Boston Red Sox in terms of making the playoffs. Please read down and then vote in the poll at the bottom.

OK now let's hear your opinion:

14 Responses to “Are the Red Sox toast?”

  1. DavidRF Says:

    The Yankees were in the exact same position after 38 games in 2005 (19-19 and 4th place) and ended up winning the division. I certainly wouldn't bet on a team in fourth place right now, but there is a lot of baseball left.

    There seems to be more NY/BOS stuff than usual of late. I realize a lot of hype goes into each of their 18 or 19 annual regular season meetings, but would we dial it back a bit? We already had an "Are the Red Sox Toast" post earlier when they started 4-9.

  2. Djibouti Says:

    So, who will be the last team to win a game when scoring 2 or fewer runs? Looking at the Mariner's staff, they're pretty good, I'm surprised they haven't won a game like this yet. The Astros still have Myers and Oswalt so they've gotta win one eventually. The Indians, well they've got a somewhat rejuvenated Carmona and a surprising start from Talbot. I'll have to go with the Indians being the last team to do it if only because the SEA and HOU offenses are so bad that they'll be in this situation more often.

  3. don Says:

    They're the second oldest team in baseball to the Phillies, who are scoring runs in bunches.

    And there's no reason to expect their run distribution to remain so irregular that I can think of.

    Making up ground on either the Rays or the Yankees will be hard because both are very good teams, but the Red Sox aren't dead yet.

  4. BCC Says:

    It's all about the pitching, both starting and closer (middle relief, though not great, is less of a problem).

    Varitek and Lowell are part-timers at most; I don't see their longevity as an issue. Early returns indicate that a well-rested Varitek is a beast at the plate (6 HR in 47 AB's, 215 OPS+). That's not likely to hold up, but clearly the man needed a rest.

    Can the high-$ pitchers (Beckett, Lackey, Dice-K) pitch up with *any* consistency? If so, they have a shot. If not, they are, indeed, toast.

  5. Andy Says:

    DavidRF, your criticism of too much NYY/BOS is a valid one. We (the bloggers) are in the process of rectifying that by bringing in some new content streams for other teams but it still may take a little while.

    I myself have been dealing with some work issues and haven't had time to do as much research as usual.

  6. Johnny Twisto Says:

    "And there's no reason to expect their run distribution to remain so irregular that I can think of."

    I think teams that are more reliant on HR tend to be less consistent in scoring. But I'm too lazy to check if the Sox fall under that category.

  7. BCC Says:

    In the AL, they are 2nd in HR, 3rd in OPS+, 4th in OBP.

    So, they are fairly dependent on the longball.

    This was supposed to be a run prevention team; so much for that theory.

  8. Johnny Twisto Says:

    On telecasts you often see something like "The Red Sox have scored X% of their runs this season via the home run." I think the league average is usually somewhere around 40%. So it's not necessarily if you hit a lot of HR (obviously HR are always good), but if the % of total runs scored off of HR is very high, your team might not score as consistently.

    However...I can't figure out if we can calculate that % from the stats on B-R. I assume it's possible but I'm not seeing it.

  9. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Actually, this might be it: The batting split for "balls not in play." That will miss inside-the-park HR (there's been one in the AL this year), but no big deal. So, unless this split is picking up something that's not occurring to me, there have been 861 runs scored on HR in the AL this year, 35.9% of all runs. Boston has scored 43.3% of its runs on HR. Not sure how that ranks but it's obviously near the top. So yes, it seems to me that their "boom-and-bust" offense may continue. But, it's better to be inconsistently scoring a lot of runs, as they are, than inconsistently scoring few runs.

  10. MikeD Says:

    Their pitching has not been consistent and their run-scoring depends pretty heavily on hitting HRs. That will lead to periods when they are just not going to score. That type of team will have a hard time overcoming both the Yankees and the Rays. Things should improve once their two OFers are back, and I've got to believe their pitching will improve, but even if that all happens, they will still have to out play all the teams in front of them, and that's going to be very difficult. For example, the Yankees seem to keep holding their own of late even with all their injuries, which means they might actually play better, not worse in the coming months.

  11. JDV Says:

    I can't bring myself to concede yet that my Orioles won't make the playoffs, so that means everyone is still in it.

  12. Arom Says:

    The pitching staff has woefully underperformed, so you have to believe that it'll come back to some sort of decency, even if it's worse than people expected at the beginning of the year. I think they'll finish with about 85-90 wins, pretty good but not enough in the AL East

  13. rico petrocelli Says:

    Tell me if I am wrong. They have to go 76-47 to get to 95 wins. 618 ball. Hard but doable. They have doen it 7/8 years

    Digging yourself out of the hole....With two outfielders out and Ortiz until May flagging and the now-standard crappy April from Lester-Beckett, it'sunderstandable why they are at 500. That's the hole.

    I was there last night. The comeback was all heart. They whomped 9-2 after the first. They doused redhotHughes. The Youkilis homer was a crusher. Wakefield was great. Papel superbombed but that is a relative rarity.

    600 ball --

  14. Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive » Run scoring per game (plus: Red Sox Valley) Says:

    [...] you recall, a little while ago I noted how the Red Sox tended to score a bunch of runs or very fun runs. This graph really shows that with the huge dip at 4 and 5 runs. They are outpacing the rest of the [...]