Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dirty Inner Harbor Water

"This guy threw a Berken at us! He doesn't even understand baseball!"

Another win against the O's. We finish 16 and freakin' 2 against them. I love how every day in this current stretch we play before the Yanks. Every time we win, they go into their game knowing they can't gain ground. Kinda key when they're the ones clinging to a lead. It goes until Tuesday, then they finally play a day game Wednesday, while we play at night and then play on Thursday while they rest. So we gotta just keep putting the pressure on them through Tuesday and then take it from there.

Again we can cut it to 5, 4 in the loss today--the Yanks already trail 2-0 early, but that's to be expected when shitty Joba breaks the hill.

And I don't get it--why wouldn't we want to take on the central champ and have the Yanks play the Angels who they always have trouble with? And all this with home field advantage throughout? That's NOT important enough to fight for? The goal is not to make the playoffs, it's to win in the playoffs. So make give yourself the best chance to win there! I'm not saying bring in Papelbon in the 8th up by 4 against KC, but come on, let's play our normal game and go for this thing!

I'll keep it right here since Joba's in a bases-loaded jam....and he walks in a run! 3-0 us. It's already the second inning, Girardi, might wanna take your boy out, haha! And now a sac fly makes it 4-zip. Nice job once again, Joba.

Update, 2 seconds later: Griffey gets an "in play, run(s)," and I say, Tell me it's a fucking home run that goes 500 feet, as I wait....and it IS a dong! Hahahahaha! Joba!!!! 7-0 Mariners! Still very early. But still very awesome!

Update, 7:01 PM: Mariners win 7-1. On September 8th, I said if we cut the lead to five by the Yanks series (which starts this Friday), we have a shot at the division, provided we then sweep them. Well, we're already five back, with four games to play before the Yanks series. AJM noted after the games on the 10th that we'd have to go 13-0 and the Yanks 8-4 to get to five back by then. Since then, we've gone 8-1 and the shitty Yanks have gone 4-5, turning the 9-game lead to 5 already, and we've got four in KC while they have three in Anaheim. So that would suggest we'll be even closer than five by Friday, but we shall prov. see. The tough thing about trying to overcome a big lead with little time left is the fact that one bad day sets you back largetime. So we gotta just keep plowin' through these bad teams....

Well, time for me to do a Fonzie and admit that I was massively w-w-w-w-r-r-r-ong about the Sox' chances of cutting the lead to 5 in 12 games or less. Not the 1st time, won't be the last. In my half-hearted defense, the Birds of Baltimore are so awful at this point that there was very little reason to expect them to take 2 games last weekend in the Bronx. In my 8-4 scenario for the Yanks, I was actually assuming that 3 of those 4 losses would come against the Angels, with the other one either against the Jays or Mariners. So with the Anaheim series coming up, I agree that the lead could get cut down another game or so.

Anyway, to answer your question as to why not go for the division, I would imagine that Theo and Tito probably look at it something like this...
Argument for going for it:
Home field, since the Sox are a significantly better team at Fenway, plus forcing the MFYs to face their Angel nemesis's on the road.

Arguments for pulling in the reins:
They're pretty much guaranteed the WC, and resting starters/getting the rotation set up and rested will benefit them greatly in October.
Even with this great run, making up the additional 5 games is still quite a longshot. The coolstandings site, which does a very solid job calculating probabilities, tonight gives the Sox a 9.6% chance of winning the division (and yes, they take into account the remaining strength of schedule and the 3 remaining games against the Yanks).

My guess is that given those odds, the front office values resting and preparing the roster over home field. They may just make a big push this week, and see where they stand next Sunday night. I suspect that whether they choose to start Byrd or Beckett on Tuesday night in KC may tell us whether they're going for it or not.

And for the record, I would still very much like to see them make a push for the division. I'm thinking of getting a pair of tix for one of the games next weekend.
"whether they choose to start Byrd or Beckett on Tuesday night in KC may tell us whether they're going for it or not."

Maybe the answer is in the way NESN and have been covering this, as if the division race doesn't even exist.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States