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LITTLE NELL
07-04-2006, 04:56 AM
The Sox have created a monster. By hitiing so many homers and scoring runs in bunches our starters are just going through the motions. Buerhle looked like he was throwing batting practice pitches on Sunday. What ever happened to Ozzie smallball?

AJTrenkle
07-04-2006, 10:06 AM
I don't know that we ever really played smallball (look at our home run totals last year and the % of runs scored off the homer). I also don't know that it would be wise considering the Cell is a hitter's park.

But smallball usually implies great pitching. The back two of our rotation has not been strong, and if it gets fixed (the talent is there or we can put in McCarthy), we could really set ourselves up for another great run.

Baby Fisk
07-04-2006, 10:10 AM
The Sox have created a monster. By hitiing so many homers and scoring runs in bunches our starters are just going through the motions. Buerhle looked like he was throwing batting practice pitches on Sunday. What ever happened to Ozzie smallball?
Ozzie has always acknowledged that a big part of the Sox game is the home run. He says it during his interview on one of the World Series DVDs. The Sox game hasn't changed much this year from last year.

Thome25
07-04-2006, 11:15 AM
Ozzie has always acknowledged that a big part of the Sox game is the home run. He says it during his interview on one of the World Series DVDs. The Sox game hasn't changed much this year from last year.

I agree. we still hit a ton of homers last year. We never really played "small ball". We've been playing "smart ball" or "ozzie ball" which revolves around pitching, defense, and clutch hitting. We just play the game the right way while smacking the ball outta the ballpark at the same time.

As far as the rotation goes, our #4 and #5 starters might not be too good right now but, try to name a team who has better back of the rotation starters than we do. Especially at #5. Vasquez still is the best #5 in the game even though he's struggling.

The McCarthy to the rotation talk needs to stop.

StatHead21
07-04-2006, 11:53 AM
The Sox have created a monster. By hitiing so many homers and scoring runs in bunches our starters are just going through the motions. Buerhle looked like he was throwing batting practice pitches on Sunday. What ever happened to Ozzie smallball?

Ugh, its not the offense's fault the pitching is struggling, its the pitching staff's fault.

Small ball is overrated, you can bunt, steal and hit and run every time but it doesn't guarentee you a run will be scored.

HRs are guarenteed runs, the best way to score runs is to get on base and hit HRs. The Sox are doing this and they are doing it with consistancy.

Last year they scored most of their runs on HRs but no one seems to notice that fact.

Bottom line is the whole staff needs to sack up.

TaylorStSox
07-04-2006, 12:37 PM
So you want us to stop scoring so the pitcher's have more pressure. Wow! That's terrific logic. :?:

TDog
07-04-2006, 12:51 PM
Another possibility is that both the pitching and hitting numbers are inflated some because of conditions at home-run friendly ballparks.

Often pitchers who struggle in the heat of the summer shines in October. If the Sox weren't winning games, I would be concerned.

voodoochile
07-04-2006, 12:57 PM
Another possibility is that both the pitching and hitting numbers are inflated some because of conditions at home-run friendly ballparks.

Often pitchers who struggle in the heat of the summer shines in October. If the Sox weren't winning games, I would be concerned.

Yep and the golf ball MLB is currently using to play baseball with isn't helping either.

rdwj
07-04-2006, 07:55 PM
The Sox have created a monster. By hitiing so many homers and scoring runs in bunches our starters are just going through the motions. Buerhle looked like he was throwing batting practice pitches on Sunday. What ever happened to Ozzie smallball?

Last season was a great one for almost ALL of our pitchers. You can't expect that every year. I see the added run support as a way to take pressure off the staff. I think we'd be behind the twins without it.

wassagstdu
07-05-2006, 07:00 AM
The Sox didn't give up power in 2005, of course, but "small ball" -- the ability to score runs when good pitching shut down the power game -- was the missing ingredient that was added in 2005. It seems to have gone missing again in 2006.

.

soxtalker
07-05-2006, 07:38 AM
The problem isn't just the #4 and #5 pitchers. All of them have struggled. There are a number of teams -- in particular, the Tigers -- which are significantly better in team ERA and other team pitching statistics.

bigsqwert
07-05-2006, 08:08 AM
...try to name a team who has better back of the rotation starters than we do...Oh I dunno.....Detroit?

Frater Perdurabo
07-05-2006, 09:01 AM
The Sox didn't give up power in 2005, of course, but "small ball" -- the ability to score runs when good pitching shut down the power game -- was the missing ingredient that was added in 2005. It seems to have gone missing again in 2006.

First, Pods began the season having missed much of spring training while recovering from hernia surgery/groin injury. So he didn't have his usual burst of speed in early April. He compounded that with a terrible start at the plate.

Second, Jim Thome got hot right away. When Pods started to get on base more (or when Pods didn't get on but Iguchi did), there was far less incentive to steal, because with first base open the opposing manager would order his pitcher to intentionally walk Thome. Why do something that would take the bat out of Thome's hands?

Third, Pods had a pretty bad month of June at the plate. His average and OBP has started to rebound, though.

Finally, "small ball" is a strategy a team should employ when they lack power in the middle of the lineup. In 2005, both Konerko and Dye started off very poorly. Dye hit sixth for much of the year. Everett hit third. The only way they could score runs early on was to rely on Pods getting aboard, stealing second, Iguchi sacrificing him to third (or Iguchi sacrificing him to second with Pods then stealing third), and Everett hitting a sac fly or single to bring Pods home. Once Frank Thomas returned and Konerko and Dye heated up, the 2005 Sox started to score runs in bunches.

Would it be good if the Sox could manufacture runs in a tight game? Absolutely! But in those situations where the Sox faced a good pitcher, often their own starter or Cliff Politte has put them in a big hole. In the eighth inning when the Sox are down by five, giving up two outs to get one run isn't smart baseball. There just haven't been enough tight games for the Sox to play very much "small ball." They have, however, rallied against Cleveland's and Minnesota's bullpens in games in which they struggled against the opposing starter, usually with big, clutch RBI extra base hits and homers.

Ol' No. 2
07-05-2006, 09:19 AM
Ugh, its not the offense's fault the pitching is struggling, its the pitching staff's fault.

Small ball is overrated, you can bunt, steal and hit and run every time but it doesn't guarentee you a run will be scored.

HRs are guarenteed runs, the best way to score runs is to get on base and hit HRs. The Sox are doing this and they are doing it with consistancy.

Last year they scored most of their runs on HRs but no one seems to notice that fact.

Bottom line is the whole staff needs to sack up.So many fallacies, so little time.

No, they didn't score most of their runs on HR last year.

No, hitting HR is not the best way to score runs.

A HR is a guaranteed RUN not RUNS. Big difference.

The best way to lose games is to wait around for home runs. Small ball is not INSTEAD of power hitting but complementary to it. It's one thing to pound a lot of HR off weak pitching, but you're just not going to hit a lot of HR off top-tier pitching, and when you do it's likely to be solo HR. You don't win a lot of ballgames hitting solo HR. You have to be able to manufacture runs against the best pitchers.

AJTrenkle
07-05-2006, 11:32 AM
So many fallacies, so little time.

No, they didn't score most of their runs on HR last year.

No, hitting HR is not the best way to score runs.

A HR is a guaranteed RUN not RUNS. Big difference.

The best way to lose games is to wait around for home runs. Small ball is not INSTEAD of power hitting but complementary to it. It's one thing to pound a lot of HR off weak pitching, but you're just not going to hit a lot of HR off top-tier pitching, and when you do it's likely to be solo HR. You don't win a lot of ballgames hitting solo HR. You have to be able to manufacture runs against the best pitchers.

Yes but they did have, I believe, the highest percentage of runs scored off the home run. So the HR was more important to the Sox offense than anyone else's.

I dont know what "the best" is but a home run based attack has been effective historically. When combined with OBP whether through eye or contact it is the most time tested way to score. This magnifies the importance of any homerun. A homerun hit with anyone on base is worth at least 2 runs, so a lineup with three guys averaging OBP of .333 (decent but by no means good) before the HR has a good chance of making that home run count double. Very efficient as it costs no outs, unlike a sacrifice or sacrifices or hitting behind the runner or whatever. Your 27 outs are precious.

Waiting around for the HR should never be a strategy, but getting on base and not being foolish with outs is the way to win. A traditional power heavy lineup is one great way to do this, though by no means the only way.

The problem the Sox had last year was so many free swingers. Crede, Uribe, Rowand, AJ and Everrett didn't walk much. This year this is being masked by better AVG among this group and obviously the monumental upgrade from the worst DH in the AL (Everrett) to the best (Big Jim).

Sxy Mofo
07-05-2006, 11:43 AM
The sox can beat teams every which way, which is why they're such a good team.

Need to manufacture a run? We can do that.
Need to long ball it? Sure can
Need some base hits? Yup
Need some pitching? Of course
Defense? No doubt.