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Will the Red Sox even win a playoff round?


Welcome to early-to-mid July (7/12/18) to be exact. The air conditioner is on and Chris Sale got a win on (7/11/18) which improved his record to 10-4 alongside a minuscule 2.23 ERA. I guess I should grab some pom poms and shake my posterior.

“Earning” their 65th victory (4-2 at Fenway) against the now 40-54 Texas Rangers is really something Red Sox fans should not be bragging about. You are really going to tell me that the 29-year-old Sale shouldn’t have beaten the 45 year old Bartolo Colon? Colon is now 5-7 with a 4.64 ERA.

4 runs seemed like a gift for Sale against the Rangers when during Sale’s 3-game losing streak this season, the Red Sox only mustered 5 runs in those 3 games. It is underwhelming the team can’t provide runs for their ace at times. The only starting pitcher that shows intensity on the mound. Personally, it is still surreal to see him in a Red Sox uniform.

Sale has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for years. His career began at age 21 in 2010 for the Chicago White Sox. He played for the White Sox for 7 seasons. The White Sox were not a team looking out for Sale’s best interests.

Typically, he has been mismanaged throughout every season which results in him flaming out towards the end of the season. Lets take a moment to look at his postseason success in the only season he’s made it there.

Last postseason, Sale pitched 2 games (1 game started) for your Boston Red Sox. Mr. Sale was 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA in 9.2 innings pitched. Allowing 9 earned runs and 4 home runs, I think it’s fair to say he wasn’t too sharp. And that is the Red Sox ace.

Sure, Sale was throwing 99-100 mph fastballs against the Rangers but will he have the bullets in that arm in October? Manager Alex Cora sure as hell has been trying to keep Sale’s innings down this season. Sale has only had two starts over 8 innings in 20 games started. His two highest pitches thrown per game have been 116 and 112.

After Sale, follows David Price, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez for the Red Sox top starters. Porcello and Rodriguez have pitched well but David Price has been atrocious. Especially at 30 million dollars in 2018. A million dollars may not mean as much these days but at 30 million racks- Price isn’t worried about having coffee money for the morning.

All Red Sox fans should know that no current starter has a victory in that same role in the postseason. The trade deadline is July 31st and the farm system is pretty barren. That is always the route of President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski– tear down the farm system for proven talent. His definition of proven talent doesn’t always come to fruition though. See: Travis Shaw for Tyler Thornburg.

With other needs, the Red Sox are in a tough spot at the trade deadline. The first priority is a bullpen arm. We need a reliable 8th inning man. I would also include another bat of importance. Unless, Cora decides to play Steve Pearce more often.

Currently the Red Sox do not have the roster to win a playoff round. The Astros, Yankees, and Indians are teams that I trust more. J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts are a great combination at the plate but all of those other teams have more stacked lineups than us. The Astros have the best starting pitching which is why I believe they will come out of the American League in 2018.

 

 

 

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2 comments

  1. Normally, I would be gentle with my counteropinion here, but given that this post had no interest in being qualified or using a handy “I think”, I might as well hit back with the same force. Frankly, this article is moronic, taking the “I’m going to look at everything in the most negative light possible” angle and therefore rendering it useless. Sigh…

    Boston’s lineup has LESS “stacked” lineups than at least THREE other AL lineups, even though Boston has been pacing the sport in runs sport despite peaking at 10 more road games than home games? There’s another way to look at it: even though Boston’s lineup hasn’t had “everything go right” this year, most especially with four positions offering significantly below-average production, the lineup has STILL been that good. What if Jackie Bradley has another patented hot streak (imagine if it hits late in the year and in the postseason)? What if Devers progresses, as 21 year olds are prone to do? What if Pedroia gets healthy in time for the late stretch? What about the fact that Boston’s lineup doesn’t strike out, and offers a mix of speed and contact? The ability to manufacture runs and/or hit good pitching is a key to postseason success, and lineups that lack that tend to go “cold” when facing consistently excellent pitching. IF ANYTHING, Boston’s lineup is better set up to face postseason pitchers, not worse.

    Meanwhile, Boston’s pitching is supposed to be a problem, and yet the team has the second best run prevention in the sport. How does that work? Yes, the rotation isn’t bulletproof, but you’re only as good as your Starting Pitching AT THE TIME THE PLAYOFFS START. Boston will have its 3-4 playoff SPs in order come October, or it won’t. Meanwhile, the bullpen has found success while at times being a bit dodgy, but the team does have that coveted bullpen ace that it can rely on.

    The biggest miss of this piece is that it pretends that the other AL contenders are some kind of juggernaut, which is the only way to present Boston in such dire light. Look at the other teams mentioned:
    -Cleveland’s pitching is coming apart at the seams in places, especially the bullpen. Having a bunch of aces/near aces is great in the playoffs, but this is a bullpen sport in the playoffs now no matter how you try to make it otherwise, and that could be a disaster for the Indians. The lineup is very similar to Boston’s, but is even more imbalanced, relying on 3.5 hitters to do the good work.
    -New York has an aces bullpen and is laden with power, but that power-driven lineup is loaded with strikeouts and hitters who can be up and down, which is a recipe for getting shut down by good pitching at any time in the playoffs. The Yankees also need homefield advantage given how well they play at home, and as constituted that likely won’t happen given the issues in the rotation.
    -Houston is the most Boston-like and balanced (along with Boston) team, and is the one to watch. There is no denying how good they are, which we learned last year. The team’s bullpen is also like Boston’s, getting the job done when it matters less and then imploding spectacularly when it matters most. In what way does this team have a distinct advantage over Boston, especially if it doesn’t have home field. A matchup between the two would have the makings of a spectacular series, a la Boston versus Cleveland in 2007 or Boston versus Detroit in 2013.

    I don’t have a lot of patience for the “axe to grind” mindset in sports analysis, and I don’t think many reasonable people do either. This was a turd of a piece, hand-waiving Boston’s success and shining spotslights too much on the flaws that literally every team has. Is Boston a lock to win the division and coast to the World Series? Heck no. But this is a terrific team here in a league of impressive top contenders, and it’s as simple as that.

    Liked by 2 people

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