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View Full Version : What If Sox Don't Dominate Cleveland Again?


Lillian
02-13-2006, 07:02 AM
Is anyone else worried about Cleveland? If you look at the "Team vs Team" stats from last season, it should be apparent that the Indians were every bit as good as the Sox, except in head to head play.
http://spohttp://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/standings/gridrts.espn.go.com/mlb/standings/grid
I (http://spohttp://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/standings/gridrts.espn.go.com/mlb/standings/grid) said this last season, just before the final series against the Tribe. Fortunately the Sox swept them, but they still worry me. I just think that it is unrealistic to expect to dominate a team with whom they are so closely matched. The Sox won a lot of very close games against Cleveland, but let's be realistic. They went 14 and 5 against a very good team, that played very well against all of the other teams, including the National League teams.
Do you agree with those who think that the Indians have improved in the off season? Do we have any reason to believe that we could dominate them again, or is it more likely that the averages will even out, and that last year's pattern could be reversed?
In any case, I'm glad that there is a Wild Card, because the Sox and Cleveland could be the best two teams in the league. I do like our pitching match ups vs. anyone, for the Post Season, don't you?

Erik The Red
02-13-2006, 08:11 AM
Cleveland's pitching took a step backwards, and they lost a stud defender and terror on the basepaths in Crisp. I don't see how anyone could say that they've improved.

soxfanatlanta
02-13-2006, 08:27 AM
Yes Cleveland has stepped back a bit from the talent last year; Shapiro has maintained that the Indians are 1-2 years off from being where he wants them to be. Although I think the Sox will win the season series, I don't think they will dominate them like last year - but I'd love to be wrong.

I'm more interested in how they will do against the West; Oakland, and the Angels have made thier West coast swings way too brutal in the past.

Flight #24
02-13-2006, 09:31 AM
Shapiro has maintained that the Indians are 1-2 years off from being where he wants them to be.

Where he wants them to be = in a division with a Sox team absent the current 6-pack of dominant starters.

TaylorStSox
02-13-2006, 09:32 AM
Cleveland's pitching took a step backwards, and they lost a stud defender and terror on the basepaths in Crisp. I don't see how anyone could say that they've improved.

They're a young team that's gotten a year older. You can expect some of their younger players to continue to progress.

I agree that their pitching's declined.

The ball bounced our way all year in 05. It'll be interesting to see what the new year brings.

34 Inch Stick
02-13-2006, 09:45 AM
Their pitching has not just declined, it has significantly declined. They lost their best starter and replaced him with an adequate back of the rotation pitcher. They lost their best reliever and replaced him with a player who cannot pass a physical. The lost a centerfielder who, after he came back from an early season injury, absolutely invigorated that team to an almost historical pace of winning games.

I would never expect the Sox to go 14-5 against a 90+ win team. At the same time, I do not expect the Indians to go weeks without a loss.

The Indians are to the Sox what the Sox used to be to the Twins, a good team that is ultimately a pretender to the crown.

Kuzman
02-13-2006, 09:52 AM
On paper we domintaed the Twins of the last couple years. But they would always tear us apart in H2H play. Paper doesn't mean much once the season starts.

ondafarm
02-13-2006, 10:01 AM
. . . The ball bounced our way all year in 05. . .

I disagree. The White Sox did get breaks but they took advantage of them. They also limited the damage that other teams were able to cause when they got a break.

Good teams do both of those things.

TaylorStSox
02-13-2006, 10:10 AM
I disagree. The White Sox did get breaks but they took advantage of them. They also limited the damage that other teams were able to cause when they got a break.

Good teams do both of those things.

I'm not saying we weren't good. That's obviously false. However, we were somewhat lucky, as are most MLB Champs. When's the last time a team won the series without a 20 game winner or a .300 hitter? We had a swingman closer who got people out without good stuff. We had a stagnant offense, rookie 2nd baseman, and a AAAA LF.

I'm still very optimistic. Our strengths improved. The pitching's deeper and the defense should be better. Also, we added a legit LH power bat.

I'm not going to write Cleveland off. They're a better team offensively and their pitchings still very solid.

lostletters
02-13-2006, 10:11 AM
Cleveland's pitching took a step backwards, and they lost a stud defender and terror on the basepaths in Crisp. I don't see how anyone could say that they've improved.
Ditto. If you think Cleveland is the same threat they were last year, you have not been paying attention to the hot stove season. They lost a boat load of pitchers and did not replace them with pitchers of the same quality. Anybody who thinks Cleveland improved during the offseason is completely ignoring the facts. You do not improve by letting your set-up men walk, trading Crisp, and losing your best Starter. Hell even thier offense took a step backwards without Crisp.

Also calling Pods AAAA is NOT COOL. He belongs in MLB, just because you are another one of those nuts who does not like him does not give you the right to think he is not a professional out there. He is still a damn good leadoff hitter.

Sargeant79
02-13-2006, 10:21 AM
I think they're going to miss Coco Crisp more than they think. Plus, their pitching is solid but it's a become a rotation largely composed of 4th and 5th starters. I figure they will be competitive but not quite around 90 wins just yet.

TaylorStSox
02-13-2006, 10:24 AM
Also calling Pods AAAA is NOT COOL. He belongs in MLB, just because you are another one of those nuts who does not like him does not give you the right to think he is not a professional out there. He is still a damn good leadoff hitter.

I'm basing that off some people's perception. I don't necassarily agree with it. He was a guy that didn't come up til he was around 27. He had a good rookie year and poor sophomore year. Coming into last year, most of us weren't really sure what we were getting.

nebraskasox
02-13-2006, 10:40 AM
The Sox probably won't go 14-5 against the Tribe in 06 but I doubt if Cle goes 15-3 in interleague play again. The Sox won a lot of one run games vs. Cle in 05 and porbably won't duplicate that in 06. The W-L distribution will differ but I'm hoping that continued competitiveness against the AL contenders, dominance against sub .500 teams, improved results against Oakland and Texas and continued domination in the tough pitching Central Division will land another playoff spot. After that, it's whoever gets hot in post season.

I agree that, on paper, it looks like the Sox have improved more than Cle.

IlliniSox4Life
02-13-2006, 10:43 AM
I'm basing that off some people's perception. I don't necassarily agree with it. He was a guy that didn't come up til he was around 27. He had a good rookie year and poor sophomore year. Coming into last year, most of us weren't really sure what we were getting.

Well what is it? Do you agree with it or not? And if you don't, then why are you saying it in the first place? If you do, then why did you say you "don't necassarily agree with it"?

Pods is not a "AAAA LF" as you said and then backed away from. He is a legitimate all star. Just because it took him a few extra years to become one doesn't mean that he wasn't one.

miker
02-13-2006, 10:44 AM
Where's that dark cloud graphic?

TaylorStSox
02-13-2006, 10:57 AM
Well what is it? Do you agree with it or not? And if you don't, then why are you saying it in the first place? If you do, then why did you say you "don't necassarily agree with it"?

Pods is not a "AAAA LF" as you said and then backed away from. He is a legitimate all star. Just because it took him a few extra years to become one doesn't mean that he wasn't one.

Basically, I'm still on the fence with Pods. The Pods of the first half was a very valuable player. The one we got in the 2nd half... not so much. I'm still skeptical. If he comes out of the gate performing like he did in the second half, he has very little value. If he has truly lost a step, which isn't out of the realm of possiblity given his age, he becomes a AAAA player. His ability to steal and disrupt pitchers is his greatest asset. It's going to be hard to match Cleveland's production without a healthy/productive lead off hitter. We probably won't match their production anyway, but it'd be nice to take some heat off of the pitching staff.

I don't want to hear any crap about being a dark cloud. If you look at my post history, you'll see that, overall, I've been one of the more optimistic posters, especially in post game loss threads.

Flight #24
02-13-2006, 11:09 AM
The Sox probably won't go 14-5 against the Tribe in 06 but I doubt if Cle goes 15-3 in interleague play again. The Sox won a lot of one run games vs. Cle in 05 and porbably won't duplicate that in 06. The W-L distribution will differ but I'm hoping that continued competitiveness against the AL contenders, dominance against sub .500 teams, improved results against Oakland and Texas and continued domination in the tough pitching Central Division will land another playoff spot. After that, it's whoever gets hot in post season.

I agree that, on paper, it looks like the Sox have improved more than Cle.

Not calling you out specifically, just noting that the Sox under Ozzie have been consistently excellent in 1-run games. It's only 2 years & maybe 100 games, but they were something like 28-18 in '04 and 35-18 in '05. No reason to believe that the overall winning % in that situation will change dramatically, unless you kowtow at the altar of BP.

As for Pods - not sure why we should believe the 2d half instead of the first half since he was injured in the 2d half with both a groin and a hernia. Both since repaired. If you want to question whether he can stay healthy, fine. But questioning whether he'll perform if healthy seems silly.

Hangar18
02-13-2006, 11:16 AM
Not calling you out specifically, just noting that the Sox under Ozzie have been consistently excellent in 1-run games. It's only 2 years & maybe 100 games, but they were something like 28-18 in '04 and 35-18 in '05. No reason to believe that the overall winning % in that situation will change dramatically, unless you kowtow at the altar of BP.

As for Pods - not sure why we should believe the 2d half instead of the first half since he was injured in the 2d half with both a groin and a hernia. Both since repaired. If you want to question whether he can stay healthy, fine. But questioning whether he'll perform if healthy seems silly.


We need Pods to be healthy, thats all there is to it. Lead-off men are very hard to come by and dont just grow from trees (Marlins giving away Juan Pierre is certainly the Exception). I hope Pods 2nd half was because of injuries

TaylorStSox
02-13-2006, 11:18 AM
As for Pods - not sure why we should believe the 2d half instead of the first half since he was injured in the 2d half with both a groin and a hernia. Both since repaired. If you want to question whether he can stay healthy, fine. But questioning whether he'll perform if healthy seems silly.

Well, it's not out of the realm of possibility that a 30 year old might have lost a step. I understand the injuries. I'm just not sure that I buy that the injuries were solely responsible for his drop in production.

I like Pods. I'm just a little skeptical.

Again, the AAAA remark was a liberty I took to argue my point. We were a little lucky last year. That's not a knock on the team. All MLB champs are a little lucky. Hence the lack of repeats and "dynasty" teams in baseball.

munchman33
02-13-2006, 11:20 AM
We dominated Cleveland because their our pitching is dominant and their offense is too reliant on the three run homer. This has not changed.

nebraskasox
02-13-2006, 12:26 PM
Not calling you out specifically, just noting that the Sox under Ozzie have been consistently excellent in 1-run games. It's only 2 years & maybe 100 games, but they were something like 28-18 in '04 and 35-18 in '05. No reason to believe that the overall winning % in that situation will change dramatically, unless you kowtow at the altar of BP.



If I counted correctly, the Sox were 9-0 in one run games vs. Cle in 05. I don't expect that kind of record in one run games to repeat though I agree the Sox are built to win one run games. Plus the Sox had a better record against Cle than KC (13-5 vs. KC). I just don't think Sox will be as dominant vs. Cle though I hope they can improve vs. West coast and continue to dominate the Central. That said, the Sox should be expected to win the season series against Cle. I'd be pleasantly surprised if they go 14-5 again.

Regarding BP, if you're talking run differential, there was a reference in the southsidesox blog http://www.southsidesox.com (http://www.southsidesox.com/) to a study on run distribution which basically says that while the 05 Sox lost run differential vs. the 03, 04 Sox, they gained more 5-6 run scored games. Coupled with their improved pitching and defense, they won more games. This is stating the obvious to Sox fans but at least there's some counter stats that help explain what some have called "luck." I'd rather take a series 2-1 winning 2-1, 5-4 and losing 8-1 than the other way around a la 2003-4.

batmanZoSo
02-13-2006, 01:20 PM
Yes Cleveland has stepped back a bit from the talent last year; Shapiro has maintained that the Indians are 1-2 years off from being where he wants them to be. Although I think the Sox will win the season series, I don't think they will dominate them like last year - but I'd love to be wrong.

I'm more interested in how they will do against the West; Oakland, and the Angels have made thier West coast swings way too brutal in the past.





I'd really like to think the West Coast thing is over, seeing that we swept LA in the playoffs no less in their park. Hopefully that's what this team needed to get that monkey off their back. I thought we were close to shaking it until that debacle with the umpire in Oakland, which set them back again. We'll see. It would be nice not to have all those near surefire L's already set in stone on the schedule.

SoxSpeed22
02-13-2006, 01:37 PM
I'd really like to think the West Coast thing is over, seeing that we swept LA in the playoffs no less in their park. Hopefully that's what this team needed to get that monkey off their back. I thought we were close to shaking it until that debacle with the umpire in Oakland, which set them back again. We'll see. It would be nice not to have all those near surefire L's already set in stone on the schedule.Which can make it tougher because it happens in September this year. Champions win those games.

SoxFan76
02-13-2006, 01:37 PM
The Sox got lucky? They were in 1st place from wire to wire. How is that lucky? I'd call that good.

soxinem1
02-13-2006, 05:45 PM
I disagree. The White Sox did get breaks but they took advantage of them. They also limited the damage that other teams were able to cause when they got a break.

Good teams do both of those things.

True, but we won a lot of close ones against the Indians, and several other Central Division teams too. This year Cleveland may not have the same pitching balance to keep them afloat if they don't hit for the first 2 1/2 months of the season, like they did in 2005. But the Tribe are only a small part of the equation.

The bigger question should be 'Will the White Sox dominate the Central like they did last year?' If they do not, they will have to haul *** against other teams in the other divisions.

FarWestChicago
02-13-2006, 08:45 PM
:darkcloud:

:darkclouds:

The Clouds are back in force. :o: