Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It All Depends

I am striving mightily not to follow the Red Sox at this point. I haven't even read the individual statistics all year, which is usually my favorite aspect. But I have succumbed to temptation and looked at the standings once a week.

Boston is in an essential tie with Philly and Toronto for 2nd place in all of baseball in Runs Scored (Yankees are first). But the Red Sox are fourth-to-last in Runs Allowed. This was supposed to be a pitching and defense team.

So it all depends - if you think their pitching will seriously come around, the Sox will contend. The Runs Scored are sufficient for any team to be a contender. If you think the pitching will not even be good, never mind excellent this year, then they have no chance. None. When you are already near the top of the curve in hitting, there just isn't that much realistic space for you to get enough better to change your wins and losses. The league best is a little better than 900 runs most years. A handful of teams have scored 1000. The Red Sox are on pace to score about 890. Lots of teams win the pennant with 890. If they started hitting at best-of-the-decade pace from here on out, they wouldn't score that many more runs.

OTOH, there are a few teams this year that have allowed just a little more than half as many runs as the Sox. Like 55% as many. To contend, Boston needs to reduce its Runs Allowed by something like 40%! I'm sure no team has done that for longer than a month.

1 comment:

Michael said...

One of the benefits of having won in 2004 and 2007 is that this is no longer "life and death" for me. The goal is to have a competitive team that will keep me interested into September. That goal may not be achieved this year, but it is still early. I wasn't as impressed with the Lackey signing as some (he won more than 14 once in 8 years) and Beckett's fall from grace is mysterious. It is a cliche to say they roll the dice every time Matsuzaka pitches. If it wasn't for the home grown Buchholz and Lester, their staff would be in a world of hurt.

Just once, I'd like the Sox to be on the good end of a comeback from a large deficit. But in reality, they are still only 4 1/2 out of the wild card as of this morning. The 8 1/2 behind Tampa is being to look formidable.