FanDuel - WFBC

October 05, 2004

The Red Sox scare me.: OK, as a Yankee fan I admit - this Sox team is good. Jayson Stark has a pretty good rundown of all the playoff teams here, and it really is hard to argue against the Sox. Anyway, with the playoffs starting today, we need a playoff thread. So here it is.

posted by Bernreuther to baseball at 10:07 AM - 68 comments

On paper, they look like they oughta do it...but on paper, they looked like they oughta did it last year, too. The Yankee pitching staff looks about as strong as a wet paper bag, but when it comes down to it, for no rational reason at all, I think I'd bet on them -- even Kevin "Watch This!" Brown -- over Pedro.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:47 AM on October 05

i made myself sick last year during some of these games. so this year i'm taking the quick's advice...ain't no sense worryin'

posted by goddam at 11:00 AM on October 05

Well, here's a decent set of "Reasons to Believe". I honestly don't know. I don't think this Sox team is appreciably better than last year's. And Pedro is a question mark (at least until Playoff Pedro shows up tomorrow at 10:09pm and I berate myself for ever doubting-- and promptly fall asleep). I do know I almost drove to the set of Pardon the Interruption yesterday when Norman Chad suggested neither the Sox nor the Cards have a chance. Not that he knows anything other than poker and how to write lame-ass NFL jokes and get paid for it. If you're looking for me, I'll be sweating in front of the TV, trying to figure out the optimum spot for the remote, whether my feet should be on or off the coffee table, etc. goddam, I'd be more sympathetic, but you guys have a little less at stake, huh?

posted by yerfatma at 11:48 AM on October 05

Great Sox-Angels preview from the BSG

posted by yerfatma at 11:54 AM on October 05

On paper, they look like they oughta do it...but on paper, they looked like they oughta did it last year, too. ------ I don't think this Sox team is appreciably better than last year's. Are you guys talking about the same red sox I've been watching? This team is better than last years no matter "on paper" or in reality. Any team with schilling on it is automatically better, we actually have a closer this year, and above all the defense is much improved. I'm not even sure if casual fans understand the importance of it. Granted, I know as well as anyone the red sox could collapse at any time, but this team is clearly better than last years team.

posted by justgary at 11:55 AM on October 05

Schilling has made 11 postseason starts in his life. He has given up more than two earned runs in only one of them. He's 5-1, with a 1.66 ERA in those starts I would just like to point out that the one start in which he lost and gave up six earned runs was against the Blue Jays in 1993. I shall now resume weeping. Thank you.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:32 PM on October 05

justgary is right. This team is so much better, both offensively and defensively. What scares me is I have been waiting for this team my whole life. Well, at least since 1986. In the age of free agents it is hard to imagine a better team for the post-season. It just pisses me off SI and ESPN picked them. That's all they need is another jinx...

posted by BoSoxFan at 12:42 PM on October 05

goddam, I'd be more sympathetic, but you guys have a little less at stake, huh? well, i'm certainly not looking for sympathy. and how exactly do we have less at stake?

posted by goddam at 12:46 PM on October 05

I would just like to point out that the one start in which he lost and gave up six earned runs was against the Blue Jays in 1993. I shall now resume weeping. Thank you. I NEVER FORGET! JAYS FOREVER! WOOOO! *goes back to silent sobs*

posted by grum@work at 12:51 PM on October 05

Not to mention there's no Grady Little in the dugout. There's a line to the effect of "The game isn't played on paper. It's played in a glass box by small two-dimensional men." And I won't forget Schilling's big blow-up in '93 any time soon neither. It was my last unambiguously happy MLB moment. (Well, Mitch Williams notwithstanding.)

posted by chicobangs at 12:55 PM on October 05

Any team with schilling on it is automatically better, we actually have a closer this year, and above all the defense is much improved. I'm not even sure if casual fans understand the importance of it. I'm going to ignore that last sentence for now, assuming you were pointing it somewhere else. 1. Any team with Schilling is better than last year's team without. I suppose. I pray at the altar of Pedro, and that altar has been tarnished badly, so maybe my perception of the starting rotation is skewed. However, Lowe was shaky last year, but not as bad as he is now. Wakefield has fallen apart this year. Bronson Arroyo, released by the Pirates not that long ago, is the clear favorite for 3rd starter. 2. We have a closer this year. Whoopee! I like Keith Foulke. A lot. He doesn't make this year's pen better than last year's pen. Not even close. Look at Timlin and Williamson in last year's playoffs. I can't see anyone matching those numbers. [My opinion:] Closers are overrated and they're never more overrated than in the playoffs. Yes, you need a guy who can stop the bleeding, but if you wait until the 9th in the playoffs, see you next year. 3. The defense is much improved Which, over the course of 3-19 games, might be worth 2 runs. I'm sure that statement will bring out the Harold Reynolds and Joe Morgans among us, to educate me on the importance of one run and smallball's significance, but what I'm saying is the difference between last year's Sox D and this year's is not enough to get excited about. They're a flawed team. Thankfully most everyone in the playoffs is flawed as well. goddam, all I meant was, you've been waiting what . . . 3 years for a series? And if you don't get one this year, there's a good chance the Yanks will be reloaded in a year or two. Sox fans don't really have those luxuries to fall back on. There are no SI Commemorative DVDs for the last Sox series win.

posted by yerfatma at 01:11 PM on October 05

I like the Sox all the way this year. No one can match their 1 and 2 starters and Foulke is more than enough in the pen for this team. Yerfatma, as always, under-estimating the D. Though I do think the Sox are thin in the outfield in that department. And the Angels will run like hell on the Sox pitchers. Actually, every other team matches very favorably for the Sox outside of the Angels. People are making the demise of Pedro out to be a lot more than the numbers bear out. I'm betting on him winning.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:24 PM on October 05

How can a Yankees fan afford to worry about the Red Sox? You're playing the Twins today!

posted by dusted at 01:30 PM on October 05

Speaking of who the Sox and Yankees should worry about, StL just dropped a sack of hammers all over LA. Bottom of the 4th, 7-0.

posted by rocketman at 01:41 PM on October 05

These are the things that worry me, a Yankee fan: Johan Santana Paul Quantrill Javier Vasquez Curt Schilling Bernie Williams' right arm Ortiz/Ramirez/Nixon Pujols/Edmonds/Walker/Rolen Brown, Moose, and Leiber will be fine. Not dominant, but fine. The big question mark is Vaz, because even if he pitches well the rest of the time, he'll still give up a 2 run HR in the first to put the team in a hole. He does this EVERY GAME. Hopefully Torre will be able to go with Brown in 3 and El Duque in 4. Sure am glad the Duque threw 123 pitches in that one start... And hopefully Torre will have the good sense to keep Quantrill away from the mound. It's a shame that Tanyon Sturtze is the #3 bullpen option right now. I'll be happy to get a 4.00 ERA out of the starters with a 7 inning average. That will give them a chance to win against anyone but Schilling and Santana, and I'm hoping that in one or two of those 4-5 games they'd end up finding a way to win anyway, much like last week against the Twins.

posted by Bernreuther at 01:46 PM on October 05

All this talk means nothing since St. Loo is going to run over everybody like they was Killdozer or somethin.

posted by NoMich at 01:47 PM on October 05

And the Angels will run like hell on the Sox pitchers. Ever the contrarian, I think this is probably overstated since a lot of Anaheim's steals vs. Boston came against Lowe and Wakefield. Arroyo is very good at holding runners on; Pedro and Schill are probably average at worst. I do agree St. Louis* == Killdozer this year, but the lack of an ace (not, as Chad suggested, the complete lack of pitching) will hurt. And given I saw them play maybe twice, my opinion isn't worth much. As always. * Stuck in my head now: "East Saint Louis?" "Is there any other?"

posted by yerfatma at 02:20 PM on October 05

Also: Bernie Williams has a right arm?!

posted by yerfatma at 02:21 PM on October 05

The Angles Scare me more than the Yanks or the Sox. The Red Sox bullpen leaves alot to be desired. There is one thing that people the Yankees and who ever else the Twins play this post season will learn--The Twins are more than just Johan Santana. Its really funny how many people are assuming that the Sox and the Yankees will be in the ALCS

posted by daddisamm at 02:33 PM on October 05

Hey, what happened to jerseygirl?

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:45 PM on October 05

seriously. i miss her

posted by garfield at 03:02 PM on October 05

8-3 final. CanCon bonus: two home runs by Larry Walker. 1-0 Sox, top o' the first.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:24 PM on October 05

The myth of the playoff ace GO CARDS!

posted by mbd1 at 03:35 PM on October 05

Its really funny how many people are assuming that the Sox and the Yankees will be in the ALCS What's wrong with the standard view being the two teams with the best records meeting? From an objective standpoint, I can see Santana beating the Yankees in a 5 game series (even though they beat him last week), but is it unreasonable to think the two "best" team would get to the next round?

posted by yerfatma at 03:36 PM on October 05

I think j-girl was married in August, so she's probably enjoying her honeymoon. She'll be back. I hope.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:36 PM on October 05

she was in the locker room yesterday.

posted by goddam at 03:43 PM on October 05

No, she's still unmarried.

posted by jerseygirl at 03:43 PM on October 05

Santana beating the Yankees in a 5 game series (even though they beat him last week) No, they didn't. He left the game with the lead, the Yankees beat Minnesota's bullpen (Romero took the loss). Gardenhire pulled Santana after five innings to make sure he stayed fresh, something that's probably not going to happen tonight.

posted by rocketman at 03:45 PM on October 05

she was in the locker room yesterday. Whoo-hoo, Porky's!

posted by NoMich at 03:50 PM on October 05

I'm not even sure if casual fans understand the importance of it. ---- I'm going to ignore that last sentence for now, assuming you were pointing it somewhere else. I wasn't pointing it anywhere, though it should have read even the "hardcore" fan... 2. We have a closer this year. ------- Whoopee! I like Keith Foulke. A lot. He doesn't make this year's pen better than last year's pen. Not even close. Look at Timlin and Williamson in last year's playoffs. I can't see anyone matching those numbers. You're are right about last years numbers. No way will we match them. However, that was a gift from god. Going in to the playoffs, and during the season, the bullpen paled in comparison to this one. Last year the bullpen was suppose to be awful in the playoffs and was great. This year they should be good and hopefully will be good. Would I take last years bullpen and take away foulke for the playoffs this year? No way. Bullpen this year is better. 3. The defense is much improved Which, over the course of 3-19 games, might be worth 2 runs. I'm sure that statement will bring out the Harold Reynolds and Joe Morgans among us, to educate me on the importance of one run and smallball's significance, but what I'm saying is the difference between last year's Sox D and this year's is not enough to get excited about. They're a flawed team. Thankfully most everyone in the playoffs is flawed as well. We will just disagree on this one. I said on sportsfilter when nomar was traded it was a good trade because of the defensive improvements, while others couldn't thought the red sox were ripped off. Well, look at the records since. And you can play with the stats all you want, it doesn't show things like the confidence a good defense has on a pitcher, or what it allows them to do differently (ex. trying for a ground ball instead of feeling the need for a strike out). Is this team flawed? Unless a team is perfect, of course it has flaws. But this team has less than last years. Now they need to play to their potential and have a little luck. Wait and see.

posted by justgary at 04:24 PM on October 05

Not a bad start. If first-3/4 Pedro shows up tomorrow night, people might actually get optimistic here in Boston. If last quarter Pedro shows up... yeek. Not good.

posted by tieguy at 07:06 PM on October 05

jerseygirl! Yay! (not that you're unmarried, just that you're here)

posted by worldcup2002 at 07:27 PM on October 05

As mentioned above, right now the Red Sox are the least of the Yankee's worries. The loss tonight and Leiber going tomorrow...could be trouble in the Bronx. What were they 2-16 or something with men on base? 5 DP's. They got to Santana but couldn't close. Hell of a throw in the second and hell of an against the wall catch by Hunter.

posted by pivo at 12:42 AM on October 06

Man. Yeah.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:00 AM on October 06

Thank GOD they left the "Cowboy Up" at home. That was so gay. Now they're just hungry. The Red Sox Nation is holding their breath to see which Pedro shows up tonight... Great outing from Shil last night. He's a rock. He's up every time he takes the hill. Yankees looked great last night. I mean it. They were hitting the ball hard every inning. Just that the Gods were not kind when it mattered. What's different about this year's team is, after Moose, who? Now the Twins are into the soft underbelly of the Yanks starting rotation (in game 2...)

posted by BoSoxFan at 09:45 AM on October 06

Yeah, at least they can say that Santana doesn't scare them. They had 10 or 11 baserunners against him and lots of hard hit balls. Unfortunately, Mr. DP Posada hurt us more than once. There's no reason he shouldn't have been on 2nd on his hit in the 2nd, which would have eliminated the need for the foolish tagging on a fly to shallow center. I'm not sure what they were thinking when they decided to hit and run when there was a pretty good chance of a strikeout... I'm sure I'm not the only one who saw that coming in the first...

posted by Bernreuther at 10:17 AM on October 06

There's no reason he shouldn't have been on 2nd on his hit in the 2nd, which would have eliminated the need for the foolish tagging on a fly to shallow center. Was that after the tag up Joe Buck declared "brilliant base running"? What's up with Buck? Good football announcer, awful baseball editorialist. It's like he's got Stockholm Syndrome from rooming with McCarver on the road.

posted by yerfatma at 11:28 AM on October 06

Aside: I do have to admit that I'm not pleased with Rogers Sportsnet just picking up the Fox feed instead of working it themselves. Among other things, it's the first time I've ever had to sit through the middle of the seventh inning for GBA. Usually I just have to put up with an extra Tim Horton's commercial.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:33 AM on October 06

Not to be snarky...to the good defense naysayers, last night was case in point of good defense winning a game. Hunter alone probably saved two runs.

posted by pivo at 12:22 PM on October 06

Was that after the tag up Joe Buck declared "brilliant base running"? What's up with Buck? Good football announcer, awful baseball editorialist. Yeah. Why is it so hard for FOX to find someone that isn't MOTO (master of the obvious) or give bad baseball advice? Bring back JACK Buck. Dig his ass up. I'd even take Tony Gwynn over this clown.

posted by BoSoxFan at 12:24 PM on October 06

Hunter alone probably saved two runs. I'll never, ever forget the stunned look on the face of Rodriguez, the look that said "You don't understand, Torii. I have a $252-million contract. I play for the New York Yankees. That is a home run, Torii."

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:36 PM on October 06

The one thing that Yankee fans dont understand. This year's Twin team is totally different from last year's team This team plays with a visable confidence, something that wasnt there last year! This Team is more than Santana, its 25 guys knowing what thier job is and then going out and doing it. This series could be over quicker than people think

posted by daddisamm at 01:12 PM on October 06

Yeah, at least they can say that Santana doesn't scare them. They had 10 or 11 baserunners against him and lots of hard hit balls. This is what was so great about the Twins win last night. Santana clearly didn't have control of his breaking ball last night, but with the help of the defense (Hunter and double plays), they were still able to shut out the Yankees. If Santana pitches game four, in the Metrodome, in front of 60k fans, and 70 "weather" to help his grip, the Yankees will see a much different Santana on the mound. Santana will win the Cy Young this year because he keeps batters on their toes, which happens when he has control of his breaking ball, allowing him to mix it up with the change-up, fast ball and slider. The only time he gets hit hard is when he makes a mistake on a breaking ball, or leaves a change-up high in the zone, so an outing like last night would be less likely to happen again. Unless of course the Twins save him for game 5 in New York, where the cold air would be a factor.

posted by emoeby at 01:21 PM on October 06

Santana didnt have his best stuff, but made pitches when he had to. If/when he faces the Yanks again, it very well could be "lights" out for the Yanks. He does give up the home run ball from time to time. Most of the time, they are of the "bases empty" variety and cause little damage. Given Radke's ability to pitch in the cold and in big games, the series may be over before Santana is needed again! Carlos Silva may supply the biggest surprize of all for the Yankees--Many are over looing his abilities. He gives the Twins a solid three man rotation.

posted by daddisamm at 01:29 PM on October 06

I hope Silva is the guy that wins it for the Twins, as I'll be at the Metrodome for game three! Question: If Boston and Minnesota win, who gets home field advantage for the ALCS? Boston had the better record, but Minnesota was a divisional champ.

posted by emoeby at 01:58 PM on October 06

Oh, and Silva was the guy we got in exchange for Eric Milton, whom we traded to Philly. Silva is about $7 mil cheaper, so I'd say it was another great move by Terry Ryan, our GM.

posted by emoeby at 02:01 PM on October 06

That ARod ball looked to me like it'd have bounced off the top of the wall and not gone out. It also turned out that he didn't have to go that far for it. However, the reckless abandon in approaching the wall could only be matched by a few others. Bernie certainly wouldn't have gotten to that one. And while it was a good throw, he gets a bit too much credit for it to. Posada is slow, it was a shallow fly, and anyone but the fastest runner has no business tagging on that. Not to take anything away from Hunter, but he's not why they won the game... and I think we're seeing announcers jumping all over his bandwagon the same way they do with everything else... they just beat the same topics to death. It will be interesting to see if Santana goes in Game 4 if they're up 2-1. In that case I might save him for 5, just because he's a near-lock and they could take their chances in 4 without him, leaving him for game 1 of the ALCS possibly. I think he has to go in game 4 if the Yankees win the next two.

posted by Bernreuther at 02:02 PM on October 06

Re: Hunter's defence, not taking anything away from and perhaps adding to the assessment of... well, it has been shown that any ball hit anywhere near the warning track is a home run waiting to be bloopered. So Hunter's superior defensive skills not only prevented him from accidentally knocking the ball over the fence but also enabled him to keep the ball in the field of play and, as a bonus, he actually caught the thing.

posted by gspm at 02:34 PM on October 06

If ARod had only juiced like his teammate(s), it would have gone another 30 feet...

posted by BoSoxFan at 04:42 PM on October 06

last night was case in point of good defense winning a game Never mind that, what about the Sox game? If Figgins doesn't make those two errors (I know he was only charged with one but the ball in the first, at best, should have been a single and an error) the score is 3-2 (I'm giving back Schilling's error in trade) and that's a very different game given the relative bullpen strengths. </agreeable>

posted by yerfatma at 05:27 PM on October 06

I can't believe I'm excited about baseball. Stupid lockout.

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:58 PM on October 06

Was thinking along the same lines yerfatma. Figgins' gaffes made that a very different game. Can't be putting Manny up with two men on when you should be out of innings. So there's the flip side of the good-defense-winning coin. All borne out in one day even.

posted by pivo at 06:46 PM on October 06

This is already a great postseason.

posted by rocketman at 08:13 PM on October 06

Damn you Yankees. Great game though.

posted by emoeby at 10:36 PM on October 06

NY-Min. GM 2. ok, bottom of the 12th high drama. woo.

posted by gspm at 10:39 PM on October 06

well, so much for not making myself sick this year. that drive home would've seemed a whole lot longer if they didn't pull this one out. but they did, and it didn't. and more importantly i got to enjoy tonight's game with my dad. (i just hope he makes it home ok.) maybe now people will shut up about arod not being a big game player (i'm looking at you reggie). yeah, yeah, i know it's only one game, but earned his pinstripes tonight.

posted by goddam at 11:51 PM on October 06

Fucking Yankees. Good game, but I'm really, really pulling for the Twins to win this one.

posted by dusted at 12:01 AM on October 07

Was Gardenhire channeling Grady tonight? You don't send a closer out for a third inning. Especially against the Yankees.

posted by pivo at 02:15 AM on October 07

You don't send a closer out for a third inning. Word. The kind of thing, like kicking a field goal on third down, that would cause Pat Summerall to intone "UH-OH! What a MISTAKE!" in Joe Montana Football for Sega Genesis. That's all I hear in those moments. Unless it involves the Sox; then I just hear the blood rushing in my head.

posted by yerfatma at 07:10 AM on October 07

And jeez, you definitely don't leave him hanging out there for that long in the third inning. What a catastrophe for the Twins. And what a satisfying night for the Sox. Not vintage Pedro, but pretty damn good for a #2 starter.

posted by tieguy at 07:29 AM on October 07

Nathan was still our best/only option for that third inning. RHP Jesse Crain is a rookie with only 27 IP, and LHP Romero has struggled lately, that I wouldn't trust him with a 10 run lead. Jeter, A-Rod and Sheffield were all coming up to bat and have killed lefties this year, so it was best to stick with Nathan. Aaron Gleeman: Hardball Times

posted by emoeby at 09:17 AM on October 07

Hmm, in reading Page 2's second guess column (see Oct 6th) at least I am not the only one to wonder what Jacques Jones was doing on that last play. Seeing the highlights again this morning I wondered why Jones didn't throw the ball home and then I saw that he actually threw it to the cut off man. He didn't charge that ball to get a good throw home when the play HAD to be prevent that run from scoring but the way he handled it - flat footed, hesitation, gun it to the infield cut off man - looked pretty awful considering the circumstances.

posted by gspm at 10:21 AM on October 07

That's exactly right. Jones should have been charging that ball and thrown the ball home so hard he did a somersault (ala Torii). Instead, we get a toss to LeCroy, and LeCroy has so little time he wings a throw off target to Borders. Shame Jones. Shame.

posted by emoeby at 10:44 AM on October 07

Nathan was still our best/only option for that third inning. You and Grady have been drinking the same koolaid. ANY live arm is better than what Nathan was throwing. He looked totally spent. I was screaming at the TV. Jesus, this is baseball 101. The Yankees are a killing machine and it's very rare occasion when they don't make you pay for gambling with a pitch count. The house always wins. So forget the throw. The Twins shouldn't have even been in that position.

posted by BoSoxFan at 12:02 PM on October 07

so it was best to stick with Nathan. Is that necessarily true? Nathan's opponents batting average in a third inning is probably not available anywhere (or meaningful), but I bet he's no more effective than other fresh arms in the pen at that point. Plus he had pitched the night before. Plus he's a young kid who doesn't need to have that hanging over his head. Maybe he was the right guy to start the 12th. He certainly wasn't the right guy to continue after he allowed a runner or two to reach.

posted by yerfatma at 12:04 PM on October 07

hey bosoxfan, i checked your profile and it doesn't say what your fave MLB team is... If you start from the end result (winning run, jeter on a matsui sac fly) then the first thing you find to second guess is the catch and throw. Then the retroactive second guessing extends to the pitching and and the management. But all that could maybe possibly have been rendered moot if Jones.... It is asking a lot of that one play to save the Twins bacon though, more than it would be assume that an earlier pitching change was the right course of action. I watched it and he couldn't find the strike zone and you could feel it that the momentum was shifting. Heck, even the announcers were talking about it being a pivotal moment in the series (2-0 up or tied 1-1, duh).

posted by gspm at 12:56 PM on October 07

hey bosoxfan, i checked your profile and it doesn't say what your fave MLB team is... My favorite MLB team? Whoever is currently playing the Yankees.

posted by BoSoxFan at 02:42 PM on October 07

Typical Red Sox fan. ;)

posted by dusted at 03:33 PM on October 07

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