May 26, 2015

Rabble.tv: Broadcast The Game Yourself

After all my complaints about NESN (and baseball broadcasting teams in general), I'm glad to offer a possible alternative.

Rabble TV is a new site where fans can sign up and broadcast the games themselves. According to the Help page, these are the very simple instructions:
1. Pick up the remote control to your TV.
2. Press the MUTE button.
3. Grab a mic.
4. Create a broadcast on Rabble.TV.
You can also see if the game/event you want to watch is being broadcasting by anyone. It looks like there are at least two broadcast alternatives for Red Sox games.

G46: Twins 2, Red Sox 1

Red Sox - 010 000 000 - 1  7  1
Twins   - 200 000 00x - 2  7  0
Only when the Red Sox were down to their last four outs did they finally get their second runner beyond first base. The first one had come in the second inning when David Ortiz doubled and scored on Mike Napoli's single.

Now, facing Blaine Boyer in the eighth, Dustin Pedroia grounded a two-out single to right and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mookie Betts walked. The Twins brought in closer Glen Perkins and Pablo Sandoval, hitting only .071 against lefties this year, reached on an infield single. Brian Dozier ranged far to his right and gloved it behind the second base bag, but did not have a play. With the bases loaded, Hanley Ramirez flied out to right.

Perkins retired the Sox in order in the ninth.

Minnesota hit three doubles off Clay Buchholz (7.1-7-2-1-4, 102) in the first inning and scored twice. It turns out that would be all the runs the Twins would need. Buchholz ended up turning in a decent performance, retiring the side in the second, third, sixth, and seventh innings. He got a double play to escape a bases loaded/one out jam in the fourth.

Despite cutting the lead to 2-1 in the second, Boston could not do much against Mike Pelfrey (7-5-1-1-4, 100). Betts singled in the first but was erased on a double play. Sandy Leon singled to start the third, but watched as the next three hitters flied out. Napoli walked with two outs in the fourth and Leon singled in the fifth, but again, their teammates were unable to advance them.

Rusney Castillo made two outstanding diving catches, one in right-center and the one diving head first towards the right field foul line.
Example
Clay Buchholz / Mike Pelfrey
Pedroia, 2B
Betts, CF
Sandoval, 3B
Ramirez, LF
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Castillo, RF
Leon, C

May 25, 2015

G45: Twins 7, Red Sox 2

Red Sox - 002 000 000 - 2  8  0
Twins   - 160 000 00x - 7 16  0
Joe Kelly registered only five outs (1.2-8-7-1-0, 52).

Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts, and Mike Napoli each had two hits.
Example
Joe Kelly / Ricky Nolasco
Pedroia, 2B
Betts, CF
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, LF
Sandoval, 3B
Napoli, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Nava, RF
Swihart, C

May 24, 2015

G44: Red Sox 6, Angels 1

Angels  - 000 001 000 - 1  4  0
Red Sox - 020 010 03x - 6 12  0
Wade Miley pitched eight commanding innings (8-4-1-1-2, 97), Mike Napoli drove in four runs with a home run and a double, and Xander Bogaerts went 4-for-4.

Bogaerts was on first base in the second inning when Napoli crushed a pitch roughly a dozen rows up in the bleachers in dead center. ESPN Stats and Info said it travelled 450 feet, the longest home run hit at Fenway this season. It was Napoli's fifth dong in his last six games.

Bogaerts collected four hits for the third time in his career: he went 4-for-5 on September 2, 2014, and 4-for-8 on April 10 of this year.

Miley retired the first 14 Angels before walking Chris Iannetta in the fifth. C.J. Cron followed with a single, but Miley retired Matt Joyce to end the inning. Mike Trout had an RBI-double in the sixth. Miley shrugged that off, retiring the side in order in the seventh and erasing a one-out hit in the eighth by inducing a double play.

The Red Sox (now only 2.5 GB in the East) begin a six-game road trip to Minnesota and Texas with a game against the Twins tomorrow at 2 PM.
Example
Hector Santiago / Wade Miley
Pedroia, 2B
Betts, CF
Ramirez, LF
Ortiz, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Napoli, 1B
Castillo, RF
Holt, 3B
Leon, C
Roster move: Shane Victorino was put on the 15-day disabled list and infielder Jeff Bianchi was called up from Pawtucket.

May 23, 2015

G43: Red Sox 8, Angels 3

Angels  - 200 000 010 - 3  6  1
Red Sox - 011 002 22x - 8 12  0
In play, run(s)!

The Red Sox scored eight runs on Saturday night - more runs than they had scored in a game in nearly one month (April 28). It was their largest margin of victory since a 7-1 win over Baltimore on April 20.

Mike Napoli hit two home runs, Brock Holt and Blake Swihart each scored twice, and Mookie Betts (who did not start) drove in two runs, as eight of the nine starters got at least one hit. David Ortiz was the outsider, going 0-for-4, after reaching base in all of the previous 19 home games this year. Steven Wright (6.1-4-2-1-2, 75) pitched extremely well and the bullpen took care of business the rest of the way with little drama.

The start of the game gave little indication of how it would end. By the time Wright had thrown 10 pitches, the Angels had three hits and two runs. Erick Aybar began the game with a single to right and after Mike Trout flied to right, Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun stroked back-to-back doubles.

Wright promptly settled down, though, retiring the next 10 batters and 18 of the next 19. After issuing his first walk of the game with one out in the seventh, he was lifted, having thrown only 75 pitches. It was a curious decision, as Wright had thrown 110 pitches in relief on May 12 and 83 pitches in his previous start. (Perhaps John Farrell was concerned about the 12 flyball outs the knuckle-balling Wright had recorded.)

Napoli nailed a solo home run in the second - nearing hitting a target drawn on a fan's sign in the second row of the Monster Seats - to halve LA's lead and Boston tied the game in the third. Holt walked and took second on a wild pitch. Dustin Pedroia singled to right and Betts (pinch-hitting for Shane Victorino, who left the game with left calf tightness) singled to left. Hanley Ramirez reached on an infield single, as the Angels nearly nipped Betts at second, loading the bases. Ortiz grounded into a 3-6-1 double play.

Ramirez walked to open the sixth. With two outs, Napoli launched a bomb to left-center that sailed out of the park and gave Boston a 4-2 lead. Napoli's batting average is now up to a season-best .193.

The Angels used four pitchers in the seventh and Boston scored twice, Xander Bogaerts driving in both runs with a bases-loaded single. In the eighth, Holt singled with one out and took off on the 0-1 pitch to Swihart. The Boston catcher tapped a slow grounder into right field. As Calhoun ran in and fielded the ball, Holt was at third - and had not slowed down. He scored easily as Calhoun, startled to see him on his way to the plate, made a late throw. Betts knocked in Swihart with the Sox's final run.

The Red Sox came into the game hitting .203 with RATS/RISP. They went 6-for-12 in those situations tonight. ... They also gained a game in the standings and are now 3.5 GB the Rays. ... Adding to the day's fun: the Yankees gave up 10 runs in the third inning and lost to Texas 15-4. New York has lost nine of its last 10 games.
Example
C.J. Wilson / Steven Wright
Pedroia, 2B
Victorino, RF
Ramirez, LF
Ortiz, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Napoli, 1B
Castillo, CF
Holt, 3B
Swihart, C
Dustin Pedroia: "Everybody's pissed."

May 22, 2015

Robots, Please!

G42: Angels 12, Red Sox 5

Angels  - 000 290 010 - 12 12  2
Red Sox - 010 200 200 -  5 11  3

Example
Garrett Richards / Rick Porcello
Betts, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Napoli, 1B
Holt, 3B
Castillo, RF
Swihart, C
Rusney Castillo has been promoted from Pawtucket, with Jackie Bradley being sent down.

The AL East, with games behind and run differentials:
      W   L    GB  DIFF
TBR  23  19   ---   +21
NYY  22  19   0.5   +12
BAL  18  20   3.0   + 5
BOS  19  22   3.5   -35
TOR  19  24   4.5   +16
Boston's expected record based on that negative differential is 16-25.


Andrew McCutchen's Pay Stub

A friend sent this to me at work. I see that it's being discussed at Deadspin.

In May, Crooked Numbers Are Very Rare

How pathetic has the Red Sox's offense been in the month of May?

In 19 games this month, the team is batting .218/.286/.351.

They have scored 17 runs in their last nine games (an average of 1.89 runs/game). By some miracle, they have actually won four of those games.

How about this? In 171 innings, they have scored more than 1 run only seven times.

They have scored more than 2 runs in an innings only twice.
0501 - 001 100 000    - 2
0502 - 000 100 100    - 2
0503 - 000 005 000    - 5
0504 - 010 000 000    - 1
0505 - 000 001 01x    - 2
0506 - 002 000 010    - 3
0508 - 000 000 000    - 0
0509 - 000 010 000    - 1
0510 - 400 020 000    - 6
0511 - 000 110 200 01 - 5
0512 - 000 001 100    - 2
0513 - 010 000 010    - 2
0514 - 000 100 001    - 2
0515 - 001 000 000    - 1
0516 - 011 002 000    - 4
0517 - 000 000 000    - 0
0519 - 100 120 00x    - 4
0520 - 000 010 000    - 1
0521 - 000 100 000    - 1
Overall, the Red Sox are batting .234 with men on base, which is actually better than their .232 mark with the bases empty.

With runners on second and/or third, the team's average drops to .199.

May 21, 2015

G41: Rangers 3, Red Sox 1

Rangers - 200 100 000 - 3  7  0
Red Sox - 000 100 000 - 1  6  2
It was around the end of seventh inning when Maxwell Horse posted to the game thread: "It's absolutely insane that a two run deficit feels insurmountable."

I whole-heartedly agree, and yet ... the Red Sox have scored only 17 runs in their last nine games. When a team averages 1.89 runs per nine innings, a two-run lead is insurmountable.

It turned out that Texas scored all the runs it would need against Clay Buchholz (7.1-5-3-2-4, 106) in the first inning. Shin-Soo Choo lined a single to right and Delino DeShields bunted his way aboard. Both runners advanced on Prince Fielder's fly to deep right and Adrian Beltre walked, loading the bases. Mitch Moreland grounded to Dustin Pedroia, whose throw to Xander Bogaerts at second base was off-target. Bogaerts stretched and kept his foot on the bag to record the out, but dropped the ball - and two runs scored.

Moreland (3-for-4) homered in the fourth, giving the Rangers a 3-0 lead. The Red Sox came back quickly with one run in their half of the inning. Mookie Betts beat out an infield single and raced to third on Pedroia's double to left. David Ortiz swung at the first pitch and grounded out, but Betts scored. Pedroia then took off when Hanley Ramirez squibbed the ball in front of the plate - and was easily tagged out 1-2.

From there, whenever Boston got a man on base, they were unable to do anything further.

5th: Bogaerts walked with one out. Daniel Nava then singled to right-center, but the ball hit Bogaerts's foot on its way through the infield - and he was called out. Sandy Leon fanned, ending the inning.

6th: Betts, Pedroia, and Ortiz all grounded out to shortstop Elvis Andrus.

7th: Brock Holt worked a 10-pitch walk with two outs. Keone Kela then relieved Wandy Rodriguez (6.2-4-1-2-5, 112). Bogaerts lined a hard single to right. Nava - batting .175 and slugging .211 - struck out on three pitches.

8th: Pablo Sandoval pinch-hit for Leon and despite being the team's best hitter against RHP (.365), he struck out. Betts flied to right and Pedroia was called out on strikes.

9th: Facing Shawn Tolleson, Ortiz doubled to left-center. It was a great beginning, but the game ended with him still standing on second. Ramirez popped to short center. Napoli struck out, chasing a slider low and away. Holt also chased two pitches out of the strike zone, missing them both. After two balls, he was called out on a pitch on the outside black.
Example
Wandy Rodriguez / Clay Buchholz
Betts, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, LF
Napoli, 1B
Victorino, RF
Holt, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Leon, C
Runs scored by the Red Sox in their last eight games: 2, 2, 2, 1, 4, 0, 4, 1.

Nevertheless, Alex Speier offers some silver linings about the team's frustrating lack of production.

Also: Marvin Hudson is a colossal asshole.