Monday, August 27, 2007

V Day

A pathetic 2 months since my last post when I complained bitterly about Paul Pierce and the sad state of the Celtics. The situation seems to have corrected itself. Also on June 27th the Sox where 9 games up on the Yankees. Today they are 7.5 games up and soon to be 8 after Mike “The Mess” Mussina gets hammered by the Tigers tonight. I’d like to reenter the blogging world by proclaiming loudly that the Sox have pretty much locked up the A.L. East. A quick look at the numbers shows that if we play 1 game under .500 we’ll finish the regular season with 95 wins. For the Yankees to equal that win total they would have to go 23 and 9 in their remaining 32 games and their pitching staff simply isn’t good enough to do that. I won’t talk too much smack because I think the Yankees are quite likely to win the wild card. And with a team that has underperformed mightily and with a top three of their rotation Clemens, Pettitte and Wang they are not a team you would want to face in a short series. Add to that the extra motivation they would feel playing a Sox team that completely emasculated them 3 years ago and it gets a little scary. But for now I’m just going to enjoy our first A.L. East title since I was still in college and celebrate Steinbrenner’s empire looking like Shelly’s poem.

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away


Dan said...

not so fast, swifty.

Dewy24 said...

The sweep wasn't enjoyable I'm still confident. With the sweep I think the Yankees chances of winning the AL East went from 1 in 100 to about 1 in 20. If the season were 180 games they might have caught us. But it is not. Here are some numbers:

If the Sox go 14-14 in their remaining 28 games they will finish the season with 94 wins.

For the Yankees to equal that win total they would have to go 19-9 in their remaining games.

With the weak teams the Sox are facing in the rest of the season I think an 18-10 records is realistic. That would make 98 wins. For the Yankees to equal that they would have to be 23-5.

Yankees would have to make up more ground in a month than the have all season long. In June they decreased the Sox lead by 2 games. July, 3.5 games and August, 2 games. Could they make up the 5 games in September? It is possible but the Sox would have to play the worst they have all season and the Yankees the best.

I think the Yankees have wrapped up the Wild Card so it really doesn't matter if they catch the Sox or not except for a matter of pride of winning the AL East over Boston. But what I learned from 2004 is that if you win the World Series it really doesn't matter how you got in the post season.

akboognish said...

O.k., sure, maybe it's a sure thing that we're going to make the playoffs. But until we start putting together consistent wins against good teams, not just a couple of crappy teams, we're going to be in trouble. Getting swept in NY is a problem, but did we really have any expectation that we were going to win more than one game? That's not good enough to get to the World Series, let alone win it. I think things are a lot more dire than folks are saying.

Check out the Sox' record against each team they've played since the All Star break (w-l):
Toronto: 2-2
KC: 1-2
CWS: 6-1
Clev: 3-1
TB: 6-3
Balt: 3-3
Sea: 2-1
LAA: 3-4
NY: 0-3

The only bright spot there is that they played well against Cleveland, a team they could easily meet in the postseason. They've been able to feast on Chicago and, to a lessor extent, Tampa Bay. They did what they had to do against Seattle, but they're not making the postseason. Against the Angels and the Yankees, they've simply not done what they need to do.

I completely agree that NY does not have what it takes to win the World Series. They could make it out of the first round with three quality starts (IF they get them), but after that they're going to have their rotation screwed up and they won't make it out of the ALCS. Mussina is done. Cleveland could have some legs and could give anybody a run, but it looks like we play well against them. But the team everybody has to worry about, frankly, is the Angels. The only reason they aren't regarded as more of a threat is because they usually play well after you all on the east coast go to bed. They're the real deal and the team to beat. They're 6-3 against NY this year, 4-6 against Boston, although 3 of Boston's wins were a sweep a million years ago (April). They've got plenty of pitching, including incredible relief pitching, and although they don't hit for that much power (but Vlad needs a multiplier in the postseason) they manufacture runs incredibly well. I don't like them having a guy on first with one out--he's going to score more often than not. We can't make that happen for the life of us and that's our biggest problem.

Well, maybe not our biggest problem. I think our biggest problem is a lack of come-from-behind victories in late innings. We're losing in the 6th or 7th? Forget it. Like tonight. I hope I eat my words, but right now we're down 9-4 in the 8th, with two men on and one out. I'm turning the computer off and going home, confident that nothing is going to happen that changes the outcome of this game. The only consolation is that NY is screwing up one of their easy must-wins, making getting to 19 that much harder. Woops--amendment; two outs and same score. See ya.

akboognish said...

correction to that last post: it's only the 7th inning, not the 8th. And since I tried to turn the computer off the Sox have scored 2 runs, so it's 9-6 in the bottom of the 7th. I'm still going home, but maybe if I'm lucky they'll make a lier out of me...

Dewy24 said...

Ok. Here is the Sox record against potential foes in the post season:

Cleveland 5-2
Detroit 3-4
LAA 6-4
NYY 7-8
Seattle 4-5

That gives them a 25-23 against contenders. That's not a bad record against good teams. Success in the post season comes down to 4 things: Luck, the top 3 of your pitching rotation, your middle reliever and closer, and team defense. Luck is impossible to measure but in the other 3 the Sox look very good. The top three of Beckett, Matsuzaka and Schilling is better than any team in the AL and maybe the best in the whole league (the Padres are very good but play in Petco Park which is extremely pitcher friendly and Fenway is the opposite). Okajima and Papelbon have been close to unhittable this season and shorten the game to 7 innings. Perhaps the biggest thing in their favor is team defense. When measured by defensive efficiency (% of balls hit into play that are turned into outs) they are the 2nd best in the American league behind Toronto and the best of the play off contenders.