This is the second time this year the Red Sox have seen the Yankees this year. They opened up the season in New York; winning the series 2 – 1. Coming into the series, the Red Sox split the home/home series with the Phillies. It was an awful series. The Sox had great outings by the pitchers but the offense could not help. Game 1 – Boston 1 New York 4 I had a bad feeling about this game. New York came into this game after being swept by the Mets(!) and had their ace, Sabathia on the mound. Boston had Lester, their ace, but he was coming off one of his worst outings of the year. Notes from the game – While Sabathia’s velocity has been down and he had not been his normal dominant self, we saw the old Sabathia this evening. He went 7.1 innings, 6 hits, and 10 strikeouts. It’s very hard to lose a game with those numbers! He had great control throughout. I noticed that Chris Stewart, the Yankees catcher, did not have move his glove much. Lester, on the other hand, was all over the place. He went 6.1 innings, 6 hits, and 5 strikeouts. I noticed that Lester was not getting the close strike calls and was visually upset about it. Look at the Strikezone Plots from two of Lester’s outings this year. The first is opening day against the Yankees and the second is from this game. All graphs are from brooksbaseball.net As you can see, Lester was throwing more to the left hand side of the plate. It must have been an off night for Lester because his delivery did not look bad. If you noticed anything off, let me know in the comments. Highlight of the night : Pedrioa leads off the seventh inning with a double on a 0 – 1 count off of Sabathia. Ortiz hits a sacrifice to move Pedrioa to third. Napoli then doubles to bring in Pedrioa in for the Red Sox’s only run of the game. Game 2 Red Sox 11 – Yankees 1. I was so bummed I missed this game! Maybe I should skip games more? Felix Doubront was pitching and went 6 innings, 6 hits, and 1 earned run. He did walk 3 batters. Looking at the pitch/fx data, Doubront’s fastball was on point. 63.33% were strikes. 57.89% of his off speed pitches were strikes, his curve had a 21.05% whiff rate! Looking throughout his other outing, this is his highest rate for this pitch. From the boxscore, it looks like the replacement players played well. Jackie Bradley Jr went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and Jose Iglesias went 2 for 5. Iglesias has been great this season. He played earlier in the year before Ortiz came back. He was called up when Middlebrooks went on the DL with a back injury. I would like to see him replace Middlebrooks but, I doubt it will happen. Napoli hit a grand slam off of Philip Hughes in the third inning. Daniel Nava, who has been a great surprise this season, hit a three run homerun in the eighth. Here is Nava’s slashline .296/.398/.485 with an OPS+ of 134. Last year, in 88 games, his slashline was .243/.352/.390 with an OPS+ of 100. In his AAA career, his slashline was .280/.379/.438. Hopefully this means Nava has gotten over his nerves of being in the majors and does not regress for the rest of the season. Looking at his Fangraphs.com numbers, he is swinging more this season. His O-swing% is 24.0% (up from 19.6% last year), Z-swing% is 59.6% (up from 59.6%), and total swing% is 39.6% (up from 38.1%). His contact% is down as well, 83.5% vs. 84.7%. Basically, he is swing more at pitches outside of the zone, while making less contact. His babip is .326 so far this year, so he is also lucky with his batted balls. Regression candidate? Afraid so. Who has been your biggest surprise this year?
Jon Lester met with the team that has his number last night, the Chicago White Sox. Going into the game he had a career ERA of 5.20. Ouch. He was also trying to be the first Boston southpaw since 1970 to go 7-0 to begin the season. You can see why I was not looking forward to this game. History proved itself and the Red Sox lost 6 – 4.
Lester made it through 6 innings, giving up 5 earned runs. Adam Dunn blasted his 11th homerun giving the White Sox a 3 run lead in the top of the first. Lester’s biggest issue was his command. While watching the game, I noticed Saltalamacchia had to move his glove an awful lot to catch his pitches at the plate. Looking at the pitchFx data confirms this.
Lester issued his first walk since May 5th at Texas. He gave up three walks in total during the game.
The offense for the Red Sox tried to help Lester but unfortunetly, they come up short. Saltalmacchia hit a 2 run homerun of White Sox starter David Axelrod in the third and Middlebrooks hit a 2 RBI double in the seventh to score Ortiz and Napoli. During Ellsbury’s first night off last night he did not fins his bat, as he went 0 for 4 in the game. Pedroia kept his hitting streak alive at 13 games as he went 1 for 4. Victorino left in the sixth inning with a hamstring strain. Victorino was quoted after the game saying he is frustrated with his injurys as of late but this strain appears to be mild. When the Red Sox signed Victorino during the off season, I was not happy. It seemed to be too much money and years for older player. However, I have been impressed with what I have seen so far! Some of his plays in the outfield has been great to see. I will overlook the horrible throw he made to “first” during the game.
As I wait for the Red Sox/Twins game to be called, I thought I would begin a blog with my thoughts on the Red Sox season. I have recently begun to study the game of baseball. I have always enjoyed the game but ever since I have found baseball-reference.com, I have found a new obsession. This blog will be about my thoughts on the Red Sox 2013 going forward.
Thoughts from May 18, 2013: Red Sox 12 Twins 5
Dempster v Diamond. The last time the Sox saw Diamond was on May 7th at Fenway. He went seven innings and only allowed 3 hits. Dempster also went seven innings but allowed five hits. Luckily for the Sox, Diamond was not pitching as well today. He went 4.1 innings while allowing 8 hits and 6 earned runs. Dempster did not fare well either as he managed to go 4.2 innings, allowing 8 hits and 5 earned runs. I was not impressed with the Dempster outing. His K/9 3.86 and BB/9 11.57. This was by far his worst outing of the year.
David Ortiz came in big for the Red Sox. He went 3 for 4, 2 HR and 6 RBIs. I wonder what the Twins ownership thinks about trading Ortiz to the Boston back in 2003.
Daniel Nava also had a great game by going 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs
Craig Breslow came in the sixth inning and came away with the W. He faced six batters and only allowed one hit. He pitch 18 balls and 9 of them were strikes.