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View Full Version : Could it simply be the Opposing Pitchers?


Lillian
05-06-2008, 07:12 AM
Amidst all of the angst, and anger over this recent road trip, perhaps it might be helpful to put the sudden total lack of offense, and the accompanying losing streak, into perspective. There are two very insightful baseball adages that speak volumes about this kind of team hitting slump: "Good pitching will stop good hitting", and "Pitching is 80% of the game".

We just faced three guys who are 8th, 9th, and 10th in the League in ERA, and for those who watched them pitch, they showed why. The way Marcum, Halladay, and McGowan were pitching, I really believe that they would have made a lot of great hitters look pretty bad. That was a very impressive display of some nasty stuff, and great command.
I agree with those who say that this Sox team is slow, and is filled with guys who swing for the fences. However, these same guys were among the top teams in the Majors in runs scored, until they left Chicago for this nightmare trip.

Anytime an entire team suddenly goes into a collective slump, isn't it reasonable to suspect that the lack of offense has more to do with the opposing pitching, than it does with the lack of ability, or execution of the hitting? How many times have we all seen a power house team get shut down by really good pitching?

I hope that everyone, including Sox management will be mindful of this simple fact before they do anything rash. This is not to overlook this team's offensive short comings, but to start dumping or trading guys because they are in a slump is probably ill advised. I hate to make excuses, and there are a few guys I wouldn't mind seeing replaced. I've been arguing for a long time that the Sox need a more balanced attack, with more speed. Nevertheless, most of these veterans will still put up numbers reflecting their recent historical stats. If they are healthy, and facing average pitching, I think that they are still capable of scoring enough runs to win a lot of games with the kind of pitching we have been getting. Whether or not our staff can sustain this level of performance worries me a lot more, and is ultimately more critical to this team's success. After all, "good pitching will indeed stop great hitting", and "pitching is still 80% of the game"!

CLR01
05-06-2008, 07:26 AM
It could be but it's not. The Sox are famous for making scrubs look like all-stars.

VenturaFan23
05-06-2008, 07:42 AM
It could be but it's not. The Sox are famous for making scrubs look like all-stars.

Well you're definitely right about that, but I wouldn't call Marcum and McGowan scrubs. It's too bad Toronto's offense is almost as bad as ours, otherwise they could definitely overtake the east from New York and Boston.

sox1970
05-06-2008, 07:44 AM
The thought has crossed my mind. I felt like the Tigers ran into a huge run of good pitching the first two weeks.

aryzner
05-06-2008, 07:48 AM
I have been wondering if the Sox look this bad in batting practice before the game as well.

SoxGirl4Life
05-06-2008, 08:26 AM
I thought about this, but then I remembered last year. I'm trying to find a balance between optimism and realism.

russ99
05-06-2008, 08:45 AM
Partially. Also, the Sox don't do that well in domes.

eriqjaffe
05-06-2008, 09:44 AM
Partially. Also, the Sox don't do that well at hitting baseballs.Fixed that for you. :wink:

scarsofthumper
05-06-2008, 10:24 AM
Opposing pitching did have a little bit to do with it, but like i'm sure someone said, you won't win games if you don't hit.,

Buerhle, Contreras, and Vazquez had three solid outings, and I bet if we had put the numbers on the offense, we coulda taken 3 of 4.

munchman33
05-06-2008, 10:29 AM
Our offense is one dimensional. We're going to look like this against good pitching and lights out against everything else. To a certain extent, it is the pitching. Because our offense isn't built to scrap for runs.

But speed and being able to put the ball in play are way overrated.

Billy Ashley
05-06-2008, 10:48 AM
It likely has more to do with this not being a very good offensive team.

Williams did a great job bringing in two very promising bats in Quentin and Swisher. Thus far there performance combined is likely what we should have expected (I suspect it will even out when Swisher begins to hit the way he should and Quentin comes down to Earth a bit). However, beyond Konerko and Thome the offense isn't that good.

To start off the season AJ, Dye and Crede were hot. Crede and AJ over their careers have OPS+ under 100, so while they are useful to good players in that ones a decent catcher and the other is an excellent fielding 3b we should have figured they would be atop the OPS charts this season. Dye is comming off an average season and is a year older. While he's still a good hitter he's likely no longer the legit middle of the order threat he was in 05 and 06.

Uribe sucks... we all knew this. Orlando Cabrera is slightly overrated but he should turn it around as he's always been at least a decent offensive shortstop (funny to see how bad both players in that trade have done since thus far).

The bench is awful and there is little hope of anyone stepping and spot starting well to give the struggling players time off.

This is a team that if it remains competitive will do so because it had an excellent 1-2 punch at the start of the season in their rotation and a high upside high risk kid Danks.

ondafarm
05-06-2008, 11:00 AM
It likely has more to do with this not being a very good offensive team.

Williams did a great job bringing in two very promising bats in Quentin and Swisher. Thus far there performance combined is likely what we should have expected (I suspect it will even out when Swisher begins to hit the way he should and Quentin comes down to Earth a bit). However, beyond Konerko and Thome the offense isn't that good.

To start off the season AJ, Dye and Crede were hot. Crede and AJ over their careers have OPS+ under 100, so while they are useful to good players in that ones a decent catcher and the other is an excellent fielding 3b we should have figured they would be atop the OPS charts this season. Dye is comming off an average season and is a year older. While he's still a good hitter he's likely no longer the legit middle of the order threat he was in 05 and 06.

Uribe sucks... we all knew this. Orlando Cabrera is slightly overrated but he should turn it around as he's always been at least a decent offensive shortstop (funny to see how bad both players in that trade have done since thus far).

The bench is awful and there is little hope of anyone stepping and spot starting well to give the struggling players time off.

This is a team that if it remains competitive will do so because it had an excellent 1-2 punch at the start of the season in their rotation and a high upside high risk kid Danks.

Well, the crystal ball has spoken!

Billy Ashley
05-06-2008, 11:03 AM
Well, the crystal ball has spoken!

I'm glad you agree.

KyWhiSoxFan
05-06-2008, 11:07 AM
It's the opposing pitchers every game for more than a year?

VeeckAsInWreck
05-06-2008, 11:23 AM
Here's an oldie for you guys.

:jerry

"Opposing pitchers have been bringing their "A" game."

Lip Man 1
05-06-2008, 11:35 AM
Lillian:

You may be correct based on this weekend but that doesn't explain the past five years or so does it?

From Gabbard and Waecther to Sonnestein and Benoit this has been an on going problem from this franchise based in my opinion because of their organizational / hitting philosophy.

It's not a "one shot deal" when you look at it in those terms (and Daver apparently has looked into the Sox minor league system.)

When basically the only way you can score runs is via a home run and you face off speed pitchers who are consistently getting hammered by everyone else, if you can't do anything but try to hit home runs, you have an issue.

Lip

munchman33
05-06-2008, 11:54 AM
Williams did a great job bringing in two very promising bats in Quentin and Swisher. Thus far there performance combined is likely what we should have expected (I suspect it will even out when Swisher begins to hit the way he should and Quentin comes down to Earth a bit). .

Quentin is hitting exactly how I expected him to and I believe it will continue. He has a very talented bat and I believe he will be a superstar very shortly. Best move of the offseason by far.

jdm2662
05-06-2008, 12:19 PM
It's a matter of ptichers making adjustments and the hitters are not. For once, I'd like the Sox hitters to adjust and go opposite field, not swing for the fences, actually hit off speed stuff, etc. Hell, how about Thome bunting once in a while when the shift is on? David Ortiz has done it in the past. Seriously, I remember when A-Rod was horrible to start the season in 2004. When he played the Sox, he laid a bunt down to get on base. Granted, I realize A-Rod runs much faster than Thome, but when the ball goes to a place where no one can get it, you can still get on base. Do SOMETHING different. This team is so bad now, I don't get upset anymore. It's just comical.

Billy Ashley
05-06-2008, 02:16 PM
Quentin is hitting exactly how I expected him to and I believe it will continue. He has a very talented bat and I believe he will be a superstar very shortly. Best move of the offseason by far.

I agree with you that it was one of, if not the best off-season move this past winter and that Quentin has a chance of being a very special hitter.

He is bound to come back to Earth though unless of course you suspect him to post better numbers than Miguel Cabrera ever has for the rest of the season.

He's just a very talented hitter with a good future seeing the ball really really well right now. What's insane is that his BABIP is a meager .254 suggesting that thus far he's been a bit unlucky.

Again though, there's no reason to expect this good of a performance going forward, he's been Frank Thomas good thus far.

munchman33
05-06-2008, 04:25 PM
Again though, there's no reason to expect this good of a performance going forward, he's been Frank Thomas good thus far.

And he's that type of player. Obviously, not Frank. But there are a LOT of similarities. Especially his opposite field power and strike zone judgement.

Before he was hurt, if you asked me which minor leaguer had chance to be the next "Pujols" type guy, I would have said Quentin. Looks like he isn't hurt...

palehozenychicty
05-07-2008, 09:46 AM
Well you're definitely right about that, but I wouldn't call Marcum and McGowan scrubs. It's too bad Toronto's offense is almost as bad as ours, otherwise they could definitely overtake the east from New York and Boston.


I've seen a lot of Marcum and McGowan the past couple years since I live out East, and either one of those guys would make this team a WS contender. Their stuff is nasty. If Toronto had ANY offense at all (hear this before?), they'd make the playoffs.

Hitmen77
05-07-2008, 10:03 AM
Could it simply be the Opposing Pitchers?

NO.

We play in a tough division in a tough league and we need to adequately hit these guys. We're going to face good pitchers most games this season. There is no excuse for a team batting avg of .229.

There is no excuse for Swisher, OC, PK, and Thome all hitting about .210. I didn't expect much from Uribe offensively, but can he at least get a little close to the freaking Mendoza line?

These guys have been killing us - you can't score many runs if your lineup has five guys that are averaging about 1 for 5.