I agree that the team had more hitting talent on paper, but the difference is more negligible than you might imagine.
We have a better hitting team than everyone we faced in September, except maybe without Youk vs the Yanks. We had better pitching than Baltimore and Toronto, even with "4 guys out" in many of the games we lost.
Nothing scapegoating about losing 1-run games or calling out a questionable pitching coach. I gave my reasons for Young months ago.
The 2004 team was 16 - 18 in one-run games. Did they play like losers? Did they "step up" in those close affairs?
Yes, actually, they did...when it counted. In Sept, the 2004 team was 4-1 in 1 run games. They also scored 6 or more runs 20 times in 28 games. They played like "winners" ...WHEN IT COUNTED. We wona clinching 2 run game in the ALDS, and a 2 run game in game 4 vs the yanks, a 1-runner in game 5, a 2 runner in game 6...
And, Young is part of our team that helped us "play like losers". If it's his fault we "played like losers", it doesn't change the fact that we did 'play like losers".
Show me another team that lost 4 key starters and contended. I dare you.
Players playing at that level, with rare exception, will not produce adequately when playing hurt
I never said anyone else we played had 4 major injuries. My point was that our replacements (Wake, Bedard, Miller, Weiland, & Aviles) did not make us a worse team on paper than many of the teams we lost to. Some of the starters and line-ups and bullpens we lost to were very bad on paper. We still should have won. That's the reason why I (and I assume you too) still had faith we'd make the playoffs despite all the injuries until the last day of the season. Even with the injuries, we were still "good enough" to do better than 7-20. We did NOT do better. We played like "losers and lost". We managed and coached like losers too.
but we came up short as favorites.
Again, that's perception. I'll take a "weaker"opponent against a stronger team with poor pitching most any day.
harness, you have flipped 180 degrees. I went game by game and showed that we did in fact have the "better pitching" in many of the games we lost to "weaker opponents"... better starter...better pen...and better line-up and fielding. You said we can't expect to win everyone of those games. Yes, we had "poor pitching", but we were "favorites", because the opponents had even worse pitching. Are you saying you'd take a worse pitchign team with a worse line-up and fielding team "anyday"?
Look at the pitching match-ups in the Toronto series and Baltimore series. Compare the pens. We didn't need Baltimore to have 4 injuries to still have wrose pitching than us! They didn't even need 1 injury to remain worse than us.
Even today, I'd take Beckett, lester, Wake, Bedard/Weiland, and Lackey over Baltimore's starting 5 in a 5 game series anyday, with our superior fielding and hitting as the kicker.
1) Guthrie 9-17 4.33 1.341
2) Britton 11-11 4.61 1.451
3) Arrieta 10-8 5.05 1.458
4) Simon 4-9 4.90 1.452
5) Tillman 3-5 5.52 1.645
5A) Matusz 1-9 10.69 2.114
5B) Bergesen 2-1 5.70 1.495
5C) Jakub. 2-2 5.72 1.687
5D) Hunter 3 -3 5.06 1.413
(I think the ones in red were the ones we faced and lost more than we won against in Sept.)
Quite true. I do think off-field personal played into the regression, but it didn't start in Sept. It can be traced long before then.
Yes, and I said as much when i said we were this same team in April and from may to August. We were flawed, but even with the flaws, we both felt we were better than Baltimore and Toronto and should have won more of those games and made the playoffs. We did not reach our expectations, even after injuries. We played below our expectations. To me, that translates into "we played like losers and lost".
How would you feel if they called you out for playing like a loser when you busted UR azz?
"bustin azz" is not always a positive when it leads to "pressing to hard" and "trying to do it all by yourself", which I feel is exactly what we did. We didn't have the calming presence of a Manny, and we made some bone-head plays on the basepaths (beyong our 3rd base coaches mistakes). We played recklessly at times and seemingly carelessly at others. I know we cared. I'm not saying our players gave up, but they didn't rise to the occasion for perhaps various reasons, injuries notwithstanding. Guys were swinging for the fences in close games. Players were picked off, ran into dumb outs, misfielded easy balls, and players who had great seasons all seemed to have their worst stretches when it mattered most.
We might be just arguing semantics, but even our healthy and strongest players went into a funk. That "funk" looked like good players playing like "losers". maybe it is a harsh word, but I waited until my emotions subsided to think long and hard about how we played down the stretch. i think my choice of words fits the bill. I never meant to imply that our team is full of "losers". I do not think Bard and Paps are losers, but they sure picked the wrong time to blow up. Unlike others, I do not think beckett is a loser. You don't turn from a "money pitcher" to dirt overnight. He's a winner who had an unfortunate injury at the wrong time. Lester? well, it's hard to say what happened there. Go ahead and blame young, but Lester has to except some of the blame for not stepping up on several occaisons when we needed him to be our stopper. Wake was overused, but gave his best. Bedard did what he always does...got hurt. I don't blame him: I blame Theo for not expecting it. He sat through August and didn't even make a waiver deal for a 5,00 ERA innings eater. Miller and Weiland are no worse than some of Baltimore's starters they threw out there this year.
Our "timely hitting" lost track of time. That happens any time of the year, and I don't attribute that to being a "loser", but when it happens for a month of crunch time, i do call it "playing like a loser".
There's a difference in calling someone a "fool" and saying "you are acting like a foll right now".