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View Full Version : Analyzing differences between 2005 and 2006


Frater Perdurabo
09-12-2006, 08:56 AM
This is not pants-pissing or dark cloud scudding. Rather, I hope to put into words what I've noticed that's different about the 2006 team compared to the 2005 team. While the offense is more powerful (and thankfully so), it's not been as able to win low-scoring games. But it's as much a problem with the pitching as the hitting. Last year's offense often scored just one, two or three runs. But the pitching held the opposing offense in check far more, resulting in lots of tight, close wins.

So it's all about the pitching. Right?

To an extent, yes. But other factors have helped to make the pitching less effective.

This year, the infield defense hasn't been as airtight. Last year, the double play seemed to be "automatic." This year, it's less so. For instance, Paulie has let a few more balls get by him. He's still among the best at digging a throw out of the dirt, but he's not that great at positioning himself to stretch to catch a high throw, or one to his left or right. Also, Uribe seems to have lost a tiny bit of arm strength, and/or he's a bit more lazy at times. A fraction of a second often is the difference between one out and two outs, or between an out and a throw into the dugout. Last year, starting pitchers induced lots of inning-ending GIDPs, saving their arms and allowing them to pitch deeper into games. This meant that the bullpen didn't have to come into games until later, meaning that the bullpen was less exposed and therefore more effective.

In the outfield, Anderson has made a few costly "rookie" mistakes on some throws. Mackowiak has allowed balls that Anderson (or even Rowand) would have caught to get by him for costly extra base hits. Because he plays so deep (to give himself more time to get to deep fly balls), he also doesn't make catches on soft liners to short CF that Anderson often grabs for outs. I also think Pods' hernia surgery recovery slowed him a bit in the outfield, resulting in more bloop/ducksnort hits to left. Overall, defensive miscues in the outfield have extended innings, contributed to more baserunners and allowed opponents both to score more runs and drive Sox starters from games earlier.

Overuse of the bullpen in general, coupled with the Hermanson and Politte injuries, the trade of Vizcaino, Ozzie's gross mismanagement of McCarthy, and Cotts assuming Marte's role (pouring gas on the fire), has led to a much less effective bullpen this year.

I don't think the starting pitching has been that terrible, but it's been less effective for most of this season due to fatigue (in part due to the WBC and in part due to the deep run last year) and due to the defense not being as airtight this year.

The good news is that Sox starting pitching has improved markedly in the last week. If the starting pitchers start pitching deeper into games, they will get the game to the most effective bullpen guys: MacDougal, Thornton and Jenks, each of whom is effective against righties and lefties. Meanwhile, because they will be used less, Riske and Cotts will be more effective.

Bottom line: I smell playoffs!
:supernana:

Sox-o-matic
09-12-2006, 10:17 AM
1. Pods
2. Thome
3. Cotts
4. Vizcaino, Hermanson >>> Riske, McCarthy
5. Politte
6. Buehrle

If Pods can't get anything going, Iguchi can't do his job and the middle of the order has to get on base instead of drive in runs.

Thome in the 3 spot. Besides Uribe, he may be the worst situational hitter in our everyday lineup. He doesn't ever cut down on his swing and hardly ever tries to do anything other than pull the ball with as much power as possible. He has been a huge part of our offense, but he is better off 4th or 5th. I'm glad Ozzie finally realized this and moved him down.

Cotts was a huge asset to the '05 team. He has sucked this year.

Vizcaino was a good 6th inning man in that he got the job done. He also was able to step in and get outs in blowouts without letting the opponent back into the game. When the back of the pen needed rest, he could go two innings or more. Man, does this team miss him.... Meanwhile, Riske, supposedly a better pitcher, hasn't been able to fill Viz's role and McCarthy can't even be half as effective when it counts as an injured Hermanson.

The loss of Politte opened a huge hole that MacDougal filled. Unfortunately the time that it took to fill that hole cost us games.

Mark has always been the kind of guy that, regardless of ERA, would keep you within a run or so. This year he hasn't been able to do that.

Sox-o-matic
09-12-2006, 10:27 AM
The good news is that Sox starting pitching has improved markedly in the last week. If the starting pitchers start pitching deeper into games, they will get the game to the most effective bullpen guys: MacDougal, Thornton and Jenks, each of whom is effective against righties and lefties. Meanwhile, because they will be used less, Riske and Cotts will be more effective.

Bottom line: I smell playoffs!
:supernana:

Not to take this off topic, but isnt it kind of odd that we hear so much about Ozzie's confidence in his pitchers, yet he won't let a guy like MacDougal or Thornton get the final out in the ninth? And, at the same time, he keeps bringing in Neal freaking Cotts with RISP in the 6/7th inning?

If you have confidence in your pitchers, maybe you'll let the ones who are dealing finish the game. In turn, maybe you won't have to use so many pitchers and you'll be able to bring in a Thornton or MacDougal in the 6th/7th inning when you are in a situation that only your best pitchers can handle.

Ozzie = Confusion

Paulwny
09-12-2006, 10:56 AM
Not to take this off topic, but isnt it kind of odd that we hear so much about Ozzie's confidence in his pitchers, yet he won't let a guy like MacDougal or Thornton get the final out in the ninth? And, at the same time, he keeps bringing in Neal freaking Cotts with RISP in the 6/7th inning?

If you have confidence in your pitchers, maybe you'll let the ones who are dealing finish the game. In turn, maybe you won't have to use so many pitchers and you'll be able to bring in a Thornton or MacDougal in the 6th/7th inning when you are in a situation that only your best pitchers can handle.

Ozzie = Confusion

Oz will never say that he lacks confidence in his pitchers however, actions speak louder than words.