Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sabermetric Stats Update: 4/22/06 

Since the stats of many of the Sox players are beginning to become relevant, I've started an Excel file with their traditional stats, coupled with several sabermetric stats.

I've started a separate webpage with the sabermetric stats, and I will update it 2-3 times per week.

The first installment can be found below:

2006 Boston Red Sox Sabermetric Stats

I will also post a permanent link to this page on the righthand side of the site.

I will post a preview for the Cleveland series tonight.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Loretta walk-off caps 7-6 Sox win 

It figures that the one afternoon I get stuck working, the offense finally busts out, led by Big Papi's two homers (and almost a third). All was not lost, though. I was fortunate enough to catch the entire bottom of the 9th on the radio as I rushed home, hoping to catch it on television.

Castiglione's call of Loretta's walk-off blast was phenomenal. While he and Trupiano are notorious for "trouping" me on many a false homerun call, Castiglione remained poised until the ball crashed into the second row of the Monster seats. I had goosebumps.

As I expected, Lenny DiNardo provided five solid innings. He did his job, allowing only two runs to cross the plate. The sinker was obviously working nicely, as DiNardo's groundball-to-flyball ratio for the afternoon was 10-4.

Seattle was able to score their other four runs off of the Boston bullpen, but couldn't put the game out of reach. The M's went ahead by a run in the top of the 9th, and Eddie Guardado came in to close it out. Everyday Eddie has been somewhat erratic this year, and it appeared that the Sox were aware of this. Wily Mo Pena and Dustan Mohr both struck out to start the inning, looking at a total of five strikes.

The next batter, Kevin Youkilis, also looked at two strikes from Guardado, but on a 1-2 count, he hit a grounder up the middle, but second baseman Jose Lopez was able to dive to his right and throw a strike to first base from his knees. However, Youk was hustling right out of the box and beat the throw by a split-second to keep the game alive. P.S. - Is there anyone that still thinks Kevin Youkilis is incapable of being an everyday player? The kid has been money all season, especially on defense. I know it's early and probably a pipe dream, but if Youk keeps this up, he needs to be in the discussion for a Gold Glove. This cannot be overlooked.

Also, the slow-motion replay of Youk hustling down the line goes down as one of my favorite slo-mo replays of all-time. I just love that type of stuff.

Loretta was next to the plate, and quickly ran the count to 2-0. With Big Papi on-deck, there was no doubt that Loretta was going to get a pitch to hit. Sure enough, Loretta got the 2-0 fastball right over the heart of the plate, and he raked it into the Monster seats, for his first career walk-off homerun.

Other game notes:

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Beckett mauls Mariners; Sox win 3-2 

On Sunday afternoon, Josh Beckett got over his first-inning excitedness and led the Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners. In all of Beckett's starts as a member of the Boston Red Sox, he has pitched to the tune of 7 innings and 1 earned run, leading the Sox to a victory in each contest.

One thing I've come to appreciate about Josh Beckett is that he can turn it on when he's in a tough situation. He can get in predicaments and gut his way through them. On Sunday, with the Sox leading by a run in the 6th inning, Raul Ibanez, the potential tying run, was standing on third base with only one out. The heart of Seattle's offense was due up. Without thinking, I instinctively leaned forward towards the television while simultaniously cranking the volume up. Let's face it, I was nervous. Of the 36,000+ at Fenway, all but one was nervous. The confident fellow? Meet Josh Beckett.

Poor Richie Sexson was Beckett's first victim. With two strikes, Beckett broke off The Curveball From Hell. The curveball didn't bend. Instead, it forced the world to bend around it. Remember, in the early days of the bender, when folks used to insist that it was merely an optical illusion? Beckett's hellacious curveball laughs in their general direction. Ol' Uncle Charlie got the best of Richie Sexson.

Beckett's next victim? Adrian Beltre. After getting two strikes on Beltre, Varitek wanted to burn him with a heater just off the outside corner of the plate, but he wouldn't bite. It was officially challenge time. Beckett's next pitch was a 98 MPH fastball on the inside corner, level with Beltre's hands. Beltre took his best hack, but the ball exploded into Tek's mitt for the final out of the inning -- preserving the one-run lead.

Pressure? Josh doesn't comprehend that concept.

Papelbon slammed the door in the 9th, by completing his league-leading 6th save with another tidy 1-2-3 inning.

Lenny DiNardo takes the hill tomorrow in place of the injured Boomer Wells. With an essentially rested pen, if DiNardo can toss five solid innings, the Sox will be in good shape. The left-hander made one start last season, allowing one earned run on seven hits over six innings against the Orioles on September 2nd. As a fixture in Pawtucket's rotation, DiNardo went 6-3 with a 3.15 ERA in 22 starts. With an improved infield defense, and DiNardo's biting sinker, the Sox should be able to keep the Mariners at bay.

This offense has to bust out eventually, and I figure, what better occasion than Patriots Day? Manny Ramirez has looked more like Manny Alexander lately, but I'm not worried -- yet. Gil Meche isn't anything special, and with Nixon back in the lineup, the Sox should be able to do some damage.

Remember, the game is at 11 AM. See you guys then.

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