Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Run Differential Comes Down to Middle Relief

While the Sox came into Tuesday night's game against Oakland with a 22-19 record, their Pythagorean won loss record is the exact opposite at 19-22. The Sox have been outscored 168-182 despite their winning record.

If you break it down by innings it looks like the Sox have started games slow and ended them worse:

Runs Scored/Allowed
Innings 1-3: 41-57
Innings 4-6: 69-50
Innings 7-9: 54-71

Now Jenks has actually pitched pretty well this year, so most of that damage has been done in the seventh and eighth. In those two innings the Sox have been outscored 55-39.

The Sox did blow a couple of late inning leads against the Cubs, but most of this damage was done by letting a couple games they were already losing get out of hand.

Middle relief is still a problem, but I think it is one of the easier ones a team can fix. The Sox have internal options and can always make a deal if things don't improve.

I think the quickest way to make the bullpen better would be to send Sisco down to the minors. His mechanics look horrible, he can't throw strikes, and he has one of the more pathetic change-up deliveries I have ever seen. He actually slows his arm motion down to throw the change as if he was a little leaguer believing a change-up just means throwing the ball slow.

He has a strong arm, but I doubt he ever gets his act together to become an effective pitcher.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Positive Post

Sox fans are displaying a lot of angst after dropping 2 0f 3 against the Cubs and watching the offense sputter for 4o games. But from my perspective the glass is definitely half-full.

Konerko and Dye started swinging their bats better this weekend and Thome returns to the everyday lineup tomorrow. This is a team that can average five runs per game and I think they will going forward. And for the record, I don't think firing Greg Walker will do anything to help the Sox score more runs.

As for the Cub series, what can you say. At least they didn't get swept. I thought they would drop two of three going into the series. That doesn't lessen the frustration of watching the bullpen blow two winnable games, but I take some comfort in the fact they avoided the worst case scenario.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

April Players of the Month

The Sox struggled in the opening month but at least they finished above .500. That's quite a feat given their horrendous offense.

Offensive Player of the Month - There were so many offensive players it's hard to just pick one. But seriously, I have to go with Darin Erstad. Only Jim Thome has put up better numbers, but since he is on the DL, I'll give POM honors to the grinder.

His 261/312/375 batting line is not very good. But is better than I thought he would do and his numbers are pretty much the best on the team right now. Obviously, it was a brutal month for the Sox offense.

Pitcher of the Month has to be Mark Buehrle for tossing the no-hitter. He also didn't pitch to poorly in his other starts, going 2-1 in 33.1 IP with 22K and only 5 walks.

The surprise of the month has to be David Aardsma who has struck out 23 in 15.2 innings. Unfortunately, he did blow a 2-run 2-out ninth inning lead against Detroit, but you can't expect him to be complete Cub-free after just one off-season.