Why are these guys hitting so well?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Why are these guys hitting so well?

    The Sox lead MLB in runs and OPS, but they have just one really good bat, Ortiz's, who opposing managers don't mind walking intentionally or even semi-intentionally. 

    And they don't have even one really good righty bat to take advantage of the green monster and generally have problems hitting against lefty starters.  In fact, there have been several threads saying the Sox badly need one good righty bat.  Pedroia, Iglesias, and Napoli are actually pretty good, but the first two don't hit many dingers, and Napoli's homer output is tapering off. 

    So why all those runs scored and the high OPS?  My version is it's combination of depth--not just in the everyday lineup, but in guys who go in and out of the lineup and up and down from Pawtucket--and the success of the lefty bats in using the green monster.  And some of the lefty success, I contend, is the result of AGon setting the example while he was here, which Ortiz followed and has had great success doing so, and which other guys like Carp, Drew, Ellsbury, Victorino, and Nava (but not Salty) are now also doing.  The thing about the green monster is it just might be a better offensive weapon for a lefty hitter than a righty one because it can yield a lot of doubles and singles on balls that would otherwise be caught.   In other words, the Sox basically have a lefty-heavy lineup which does not seem to miss that big righty bat because they are all, except for Salty, hitting to all fields effectively. 

    As for the depth thing, I consider it signficant that so many guys in the lineup, including the usual #9 hitter Iglesias, can start a rally or drive in a key run.  On top of that, utility guys like Carp and Gomes have made contributions.  Plus Middlebrooks, the guy currently playing workup in Pawtucket, might yet turn into that big righty bat he seemed to be last year.  Or maybe Bogaerts, who just moved up to AAA.  If an outfielder goes on the DL, Bradley, another lefty bat, will no doubt return.  Napoli's dingers are less frequent, but he is still driving runs in, especially after IBB's to Ortiz.  Plus, if a righty starter is especially tough, Farrell who put Nava or Carp at 1B and the other one in the outfield. 

    And don't forget the chemistry thing.  The infamous Bailey had 8 saves in 12 save opportunities.  But the Sox only lost one of those four games in which Bailey blew the save.  They actually won three of them because these guys are very good at picking each other up. 

    Recently against the Rays Bailey blew a two run lead in the 10th, but the team came off the field pumped up and enthusiastic because the situation had been much worst than those two runs scored.  The Rays actually had the bases loaded with nobody out and the score already tied in the bottom of the 10th with Longoria coming to the plate.   With the infield in, Longoria hit a one hopper to Middlebrooks, who threw home to Salty, who then made a great throw to 1B to get a double play.  The next batter drag bunted to Pedroia who charged in and threw him out at 1B.  The Sox scored 2 in the 14th to win it. 

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    The infamous Bailey had 8 saves in 12 save opportunities.  But the Sox only lost one of those four games in which Bailey blew the save. 

    I think this is called "winning the game IN SPITE of Bailey", not because of him. There is a reason Bailey was removed from the closer role: he stinks. He should not be in a game until and if he is able to turn it around unless we are ahead by at least six runs. Personally, I think he is toast.

    WE ARE ALL JUST POPPYSEEDS IN THE BAKERY OF LIFE

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    The infamous Bailey had 8 saves in 12 save opportunities.  But the Sox only lost one of those four games in which Bailey blew the save. 

    I think this is called "winning the game IN SPITE of Bailey", not because of him. There is a reason Bailey was removed from the closer role: he stinks. He should not be in a game until and if he is able to turn it around unless we are ahead by at least six runs. Personally, I think he is toast.

    WE ARE ALL JUST POPPYSEEDS IN THE BAKERY OF LIFE




    You missed the point, which is the Sox won 3 of those 4 games because of chemistry and an unwillingness to roll over when the closer doesn't close.  I offered no defense of Bailey and in fact am happy with Uehara. 

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    You might also ask the following questions:

    Why is there air?

    Why do leopards have spots?

    Why is water wet?

    Why do people have two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth, yet they use the mouth more than the eyes and ears?

    Why do I bother posting anything intelligent of Boston.com forums?

    The answer is: Because that's the way it is.

    "There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.-Josh Billings

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from charliedarling. Show charliedarling's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    max,

    do you not think that pedroia has a good bat?  i think that he has done pretty well for a guy who has one thumb that probably needs surgery.

    napoli has driven in over 50 runs in half a season even with his monster strike out numbers.

    nava has almost 59 RBIs, victorino and iglesias are on base quite a bit, ellsbury is getting better after a rough beginning, carp has been good when healthy, saltalamacchia has been pretty good although slumping again lately, drew has over 30 rbi's despite only hitting .230, gomes has had some clutch hits and even middlebrooks has 30 rbi's even though he is currently in pawtucket.

    at least, most of these guys have been  pretty consistent throughout the first half

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from slomag. Show slomag's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    There aren't any real holes in the lineup, so it's hard to pitch around guys, and everybody works the count well.  OBP is the key.

    Before his recent four innings of struggles, Bailey had given up three runs and 10 hits in 18.1 innings.  He's been successful far more often than not - I don't know why everybody is trashing him so quickly; his crime on Sunday was giving up two ground ball singles - one to Miguel Cabrera.  

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    In response to charliedarling's comment:

    max,

    do you not think that pedroia has a good bat?  i think that he has done pretty well for a guy who has one thumb that probably needs surgery.

    napoli has driven in over 50 runs in half a season even with his monster strike out numbers.

    nava has almost 59 RBIs, victorino and iglesias are on base quite a bit, ellsbury is getting better after a rough beginning, carp has been good when healthy, saltalamacchia has been pretty good although slumping again lately, drew has over 30 rbi's despite only hitting .230, gomes has had some clutch hits and even middlebrooks has 30 rbi's even though he is currently in pawtucket.

    at least, most of these guys have been  pretty consistent throughout the first half




     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    There was never a reason to think they wouldn't hit.  I think some of the posters tend to think that everyone else has a juggernaut, when everyone else has holes.  We have no position below .705.  Detroit, for all the hitting that Miggy and Fielder supply, still have a .609 at catcher and .654 at DH.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

     

    There was never a reason to think they wouldn't hit.  I think some of the posters tend to think that everyone else has a juggernaut, when everyone else has holes.  We have no position below .705.  Detroit, for all the hitting that Miggy and Fielder supply, still have a .609 at catcher and .654 at DH.

     



    Yes! And, take it a step forward:

     

    1) The second worst Sox position after 3B (.705) is .746 (SS). If Iggy keeps hitting and playing SS and 3B, those numbers may go up quickly. After C (.609) and DH (.654), the Tigers have a .711 at 2B and .726 in LF.

    2) Looking at our line-up slots vs Detroits... (Red= 12+ pts better):

        BOS   DET

    1 .771  .755

    2 .781  .792

    3 .811  1.108

    4 1.009  .847

    5 .739   .630

    6 .772   .759

    7 .809   .753

    8 .695   .674

    9 .728   .704

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from jimedfred. Show jimedfred's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?


    Because ;

    they eat chicken

    sleep with Margo

    NEVER take their cowboy boots off after drinking lots of beer.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sheriff-Rojas. Show Sheriff-Rojas's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    In response to maxbialystock's comment:

    The Sox lead MLB in runs and OPS, but they have just one really good bat, Ortiz's, who opposing managers don't mind walking intentionally or even semi-intentionally. 

    And they don't have even one really good righty bat to take advantage of the green monster and generally have problems hitting against lefty starters.  In fact, there have been several threads saying the Sox badly need one good righty bat.  Pedroia, Iglesias, and Napoli are actually pretty good, but the first two don't hit many dingers, and Napoli's homer output is tapering off. 

    So why all those runs scored and the high OPS?  My version is it's combination of depth--not just in the everyday lineup, but in guys who go in and out of the lineup and up and down from Pawtucket--and the success of the lefty bats in using the green monster.  And some of the lefty success, I contend, is the result of AGon setting the example while he was here, which Ortiz followed and has had great success doing so, and which other guys like Carp, Drew, Ellsbury, Victorino, and Nava (but not Salty) are now also doing.  The thing about the green monster is it just might be a better offensive weapon for a lefty hitter than a righty one because it can yield a lot of doubles and singles on balls that would otherwise be caught.   In other words, the Sox basically have a lefty-heavy lineup which does not seem to miss that big righty bat because they are all, except for Salty, hitting to all fields effectively. 

    As for the depth thing, I consider it signficant that so many guys in the lineup, including the usual #9 hitter Iglesias, can start a rally or drive in a key run.  On top of that, utility guys like Carp and Gomes have made contributions.  Plus Middlebrooks, the guy currently playing workup in Pawtucket, might yet turn into that big righty bat he seemed to be last year.  Or maybe Bogaerts, who just moved up to AAA.  If an outfielder goes on the DL, Bradley, another lefty bat, will no doubt return.  Napoli's dingers are less frequent, but he is still driving runs in, especially after IBB's to Ortiz.  Plus, if a righty starter is especially tough, Farrell who put Nava or Carp at 1B and the other one in the outfield. 

    And don't forget the chemistry thing.  The infamous Bailey had 8 saves in 12 save opportunities.  But the Sox only lost one of those four games in which Bailey blew the save.  They actually won three of them because these guys are very good at picking each other up. 

    Recently against the Rays Bailey blew a two run lead in the 10th, but the team came off the field pumped up and enthusiastic because the situation had been much worst than those two runs scored.  The Rays actually had the bases loaded with nobody out and the score already tied in the bottom of the 10th with Longoria coming to the plate.   With the infield in, Longoria hit a one hopper to Middlebrooks, who threw home to Salty, who then made a great throw to 1B to get a double play.  The next batter drag bunted to Pedroia who charged in and threw him out at 1B.  The Sox scored 2 in the 14th to win it. 

     



    Max, point taken about how the players pick each other up and how the team receives contributions from almost every player in the lineup, on the bench, and in the bullpen.  However, I think you might be underestimating the overall cost of Bailey's failures.  I can think of two recent losses that he is mainly responsible for, and even though they may have comeback to win in those extra inning games, those extra inning games exhausted the bullpen and may have contributed to a weaker showing in Baltimore and Detroit.  By Bailey not doing his job, the entire bullpen gets stretched a little further, and relief pitchers are put into roles that they may not be cut out for.  I love what I've seen so far from Uehara as a closer, but if the team has to play a number of tight games back to back in September and in the playoffs, there's a good chance he'll break down.  They'll likely pick up another reliever, probably a closer, but this will not come without some cost to the organization.  

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    In response to charliedarling's comment:

    max,

    do you not think that pedroia has a good bat?  i think that he has done pretty well for a guy who has one thumb that probably needs surgery.

    napoli has driven in over 50 runs in half a season even with his monster strike out numbers.

    nava has almost 59 RBIs, victorino and iglesias are on base quite a bit, ellsbury is getting better after a rough beginning, carp has been good when healthy, saltalamacchia has been pretty good although slumping again lately, drew has over 30 rbi's despite only hitting .230, gomes has had some clutch hits and even middlebrooks has 30 rbi's even though he is currently in pawtucket.

    at least, most of these guys have been  pretty consistent throughout the first half



    Only Ortiz has the really good bat, an OPS over 1.000 and almost an rbi per game.  Pedroia and Nava are both over .800 on OPS and Nava has over 40 rbi's.  Iglesias is a big surprise.  Ellsbury is coming around.  Drew is a better, but not as good as advertised yet.  The point remains, it's the collective effort that is driving in and scoring the most runs in MLB.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

    There was never a reason to think they wouldn't hit.  I think some of the posters tend to think that everyone else has a juggernaut, when everyone else has holes.  We have no position below .705.  Detroit, for all the hitting that Miggy and Fielder supply, still have a .609 at catcher and .654 at DH.



    "Hit" covers a pretty wide definitional swath.  I'm say nobody, especially not you, was saying before this season,  "these guys are going to lead MLB in runs scored and OPS at the mid-point mark.  I mean, look at the terrific lineup."  This lineup, including all the guys who have gone in and out of it, has vastly exceeded any reasonable expectations.  At the beginning of the season, a lot of guys wondered if Ortiz was even going to play. 

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?


    Sheriff-Rojas,

    About Bailey.  I would argue the schedule as much as anything threatened to wear down the bullpen, but in fact it never happened.  Farrell and Cherington adeptly kept moving guys up and down from Pawtucket to Boston, plus whenever a good start was needed, they seemed to get one.  The Sox are tied for the MLB lead in games played to date, and that has nothing to do with Bailey.  Yes, he cost those four extra innings against Tampa, but usually the blown save was retrieved in the 9th inning.  If you look at AL relievers stats, you will find out that Tazawa and Uehara are up there but not the leaders in games pitched, and neither is in the top ten in innings pitched (among relievers).  Plus, I think you have to agree, right now neither one looks exhausted.   If you want to point to a reliever who has contributed to bullpen exhaustion, I think Hanrahan, who was supposed to close and is now gone for the season, is the best candidate. 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from greenwellforpresident. Show greenwellforpresident's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

     

    You might also ask the following questions:

    Why is there air?


    Due to the earth's gravity holding in gasses.  Also if there wasn't we wouldn't be here to ask that question.

    Why do leopards have spots?


    Evolution, for camoflauge.

    Why is water wet?


    Everything is 'wet' at a certain temperature.

    Why do people have two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth, yet they use the mouth more than the eyes and ears?


    Again, evolution. Two ears to add directional ability to hearing, two eyes for depth perception.  No benefit to two mouths.

    Why do I bother posting anything intelligent of Boston.com forums?


    You don't.

    The answer is: Because that's the way it is.

    "There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.-Josh Billings

     




     

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ThefourBs. Show ThefourBs's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    In response to maxbialystock's comment:

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

     

    There was never a reason to think they wouldn't hit.  I think some of the posters tend to think that everyone else has a juggernaut, when everyone else has holes.  We have no position below .705.  Detroit, for all the hitting that Miggy and Fielder supply, still have a .609 at catcher and .654 at DH.

     



    "Hit" covers a pretty wide definitional swath.  I'm say nobody, especially not you, was saying before this season,  "these guys are going to lead MLB in runs scored and OPS at the mid-point mark.  I mean, look at the terrific lineup."  This lineup, including all the guys who have gone in and out of it, has vastly exceeded any reasonable expectations.  At the beginning of the season, a lot of guys wondered if Ortiz was even going to play. 

     




    I never though this team wouldn't hit.

    I did think Iggy would still be in AAA and Middlebrooks would be hitting more than his weight.

    I figured the weakness would be pitching, if Lester, buchholz and Dempster didn't produce.

     

    As for Ortiz, I think you read too many Bill-806 threads. Wink

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?


    ThefourBs, saying they could hit is not at all the same as predicting they would hit well enough to have the highest OPS in MLB at the halfway point.  Like you, I am surprised how Middlebrooks and Iglesias have turned out--very surprised.  The pitching has indeed been better than expected, but the hitting is the key to this team. 

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from crazyworldoftroybrown. Show crazyworldoftroybrown's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    Imagine if this team didn't strikeout as much. They must be in the top 5 in the Majors in K's.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from crazyworldoftroybrown. Show crazyworldoftroybrown's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    After reading teams stats, (Sox do lead the league in K's, at this point, 2nd in league in BB's), shows you the most overated hit in Baseball is the HR.
    Drive for show, Putt for dough mentality.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from JimfromFlorida. Show JimfromFlorida's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?


    What we are seeing is a great job by the FO getting guys who give you consistency in all aspects of the game. Many that disliked certain signings over looked the consistency of certain players. They preferred the guy who had a great year last year or or two yrs.

    This team has decent speeed not great speed. Smart players and guys who have each others backs.

    Consistency and character

     

     

     

    Love the Red Sox and enjoy the ride every year

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    In response to JimfromFlorida's comment:


    What we are seeing is a great job by the FO getting guys who give you consistency in all aspects of the game. Many that disliked certain signings over looked the consistency of certain players. They preferred the guy who had a great year last year or or two yrs.

    This team has decent speeed not great speed. Smart players and guys who have each others backs.

    Consistency and character

     

     

     

    Love the Red Sox and enjoy the ride every year



    The problem with this theory, is that half the players Ben signed have been inconsistent or consistently bad or hurt. I wouldn't say we are winning because of the signings. It would be hard to see us in 1st place without Napoli, Uehara, and Carp, but one could argue we'd be farther ahead had we not signed a couple of these guys as well.

    Uehara: Fantastic signing that nearly everyone here liked at the time

    Dempster: has done very well, but with bad luck. Many here did not like this signing (including me). With such poor run support, it's hard to say we'd have less wins with someone else, but that's not fair to Dempster.

    Hanrahan: injury cut his season short & did poorly in tiny sample size. (Trade not signing)

    Drew: Better fielding than I expected, but has not met expectations (most were against this signing and a few of us really wanted Iggy from day 1.)

    Victorino: Injured a lot and doing OK when he plays. (I thought he was overpaid and signed for a year too long. I'd say most did not like this signing, but it was close to 50-50.)

    Napoli: has been our RBI man- hard to criticize this signing. He is still way below his reent OPS numbers.

    Gomes: Underperformed, but is heating up some. (I preferred this signing than Cody Ross' massive overpay.)

    Carp: the steal of the winter (softy lambasted this no risk deal: most of us saw it for what it was- a low risk deal with a slight to moderate chance at hitting paydirt.)

     

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from soxnewmex. Show soxnewmex's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    In response to greenwellforpresident's comment:

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

     

    You might also ask the following questions:

    Why is there air?


    Due to the earth's gravity holding in gasses.  Also if there wasn't we wouldn't be here to ask that question.

    Why do leopards have spots?


    Evolution, for camoflauge.

    Why is water wet?


    Everything is 'wet' at a certain temperature.

    Why do people have two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth, yet they use the mouth more than the eyes and ears?


    Again, evolution. Two ears to add directional ability to hearing, two eyes for depth perception.  No benefit to two mouths.

    Why do I bother posting anything intelligent of Boston.com forums?


    You don't.

    The answer is: Because that's the way it is.

    "There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.-Josh Billings

     




     




    Who's Josh Billings?

     

     
  23. This post has been removed.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    The expected set-up on day one was probably going to be something like this:

        vs RHP    vs LHP

    C    Salty    Ross   (Now it's Lava)

    1B     Napoli

    2B    Pedroia

    3B    Middlebrook  (Now it's Iggy & Snyder)

    SS      Drew            (Now it's Iggy vs LHPs)

    LF  Nava   Gomes  (Carp has played more than expected)

    CF     Ellsbury

    RF    Victorino  (Nava filled in)

    DH      Ortiz       (Missed time early)

     

    I'm not trying to be critical of Ben, but does anyone really think he expected or planned on 3 of our top 5 OPS guys being these players?  

    (Not that Ben still shouldn't get some credit for them doing well)

     

    1) Carp   1.023 (Great deal picking this guy up as Nap injury insurance) 

    2) Papi   1.017

    3) Iggy   1.015 (Had to get his chance through injury)

    4) Pedey  .844

    5) Nava    .820 (Was expected to be at most a platoon OF'er)

     

     

    Sox4ever

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxKimmi. Show RedSoxKimmi's posts

    Re: Why are these guys hitting so well?

    In response to slomag's comment:

    There aren't any real holes in the lineup, so it's hard to pitch around guys, and everybody works the count well.  OBP is the key.



    That sentence pretty much sums it up.  The FO made a conscious effort this offseason to bring in high OBP guys (thank you Bill James).  OBP is the single biggest factor in scoring runs, not home runs, not slugging.  The Sox are 2nd in the league in OBP (.348) behind Detroit and first in wOBA (.344).

     
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