Series Pre & Post-view: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays

TORONTO,CANADA - APRIL 1: An exterior view of the Rogers Centre is seen during the home opener for the Toronto Blue Jays as they face the Minnesota Twins during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre April 1, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Dear Readers: This is a day late. Obviously. My apologies. At least this is italicized.

Series Notes

  • Marketing is marketing but I don't like the slogan the Red Sox are using this season, "We won't rest until order has been restored." Two things: 1) It sounds snobbish not competitive. Its lesst 'We're gonna kick all y'alls butts' and more 'this is our seat so kindly move or we'll call over the maitre d'. 2) It implies the Red Sox in first place is the natural order of things. In the last twenty years the Red Sox have finished first twice. I'm not talking World Series wins here, I'm just talking about finishing first. If you take it to mean the natural order of things is the Red Sox winning the World Series, well then I'm just going to be sick in my manbag.
  • The Sox are 8-4 8-5 versus Toronto this season. They've outscored the Canadians 87-47 87-48. Or 103-47 with the exchange rate.
  • Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos has pointed the Jays in the right direction so quickly as to elicit a sort of whiplash in the analytical community. Getting rid of Vernon Wells, the red ruby in Anthopoulos' crown, was something I don't think anyone thought would be possible. Ever. It was widely assumed the Jays were so stuck with Wells they'd eventually have to bury him underneath center field at Rogers Centre. Yes, that is what that hole out there was for. Allegedly.
  • That Anthopoulos dealt Wells at all let alone received actual useful players in return is a minor miracle worth of recognition by all the churches and governments in the land. The deal was so fantastically one-sided that Anthopoulos gets a pass for turning around and dealing Mike Napoli for a relief pitcher. He probably did it out of guilt. Napoli is a beast who always seems to beat up on the Red Sox (he's a career 1.340 hitter versus Boston. Yes, he gets 1.34 hits on average every time he comes to the plate against a Boston pitcher. I defy anyone to prove that stat wrong!) so the fact that he's not in a Jays uniform 19 times a season is, from my perspective, a feather in Anthopoulos' cap.
  • And now it's time for everyone's favorite rite of Fall, Cherry Picking To Make Things Seem Bad!
  1. The Red Sox have lost two of their top three starting pitchers over the past 48 hours to injuries of unknown severity! Whoo hoo!!
  2. The team ha five losses over the last seven games! YEAH!
  3. The offense has scoring fewer than five runs in each of those losses!! Hooray!
  4. Boston has lost 4.5 games to the Yankees in the last eight days. YAY!!!
  • Everything Alex Anthopoulos touches turns to gold. This is a problem for the man when he does things like eat or wipe his bottom.
  • This series features four MVP candidates. Pick only one:
  1. Jose Bautista: .306/.444/.632 with 40 homers, 7.9 fWAR
  2. Jacoby Ellsbury: .311/.371/.520 with 24 homers, 7.7 fWAR
  3. Adrian Gonzalez: .339/.404/.548 with 23 homers, 5.8 fWAR
  4. Dustin Pedroia: .304/.391/.469 with 18 homers, 7.2 fWAR
  • It's hard to go against Bautista. He's the best hitter of the bunch by a large margin, so to vote against him you have to believe that the defense played by one of the Red Sox has been so superior as to more than bridge that gap. That's an impossible (for me) argument to make for Gonzalez and almost as difficult to make for Ellsbury. To argue for Ellsbury you have to say the positional adjustment is so valuable (i.e. that Ellsbury plays center field intrinsically makes him far more valuable) that he's the MVP. It's a decent argument but not one I'd make. Pedroia oddly enough is getting the least press and to me he might have the best case just based on his incredible defense. But is his great defense enough to make up for 50 points of on-base and 150 points of slugging? Maybe...? 

Individual game notes after the jump!


Next Game

Boston Red Sox
@ Toronto Blue Jays

Monday, Sep 5, 2011, 1:07 PM EDT
Rogers Centre

Josh Beckett vs Henderson Alvarez

Cloudy. Winds blowing in from left field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 65.

Complete Coverage >



- Yes, this game already happened. Oops. Eleven innings of offensive ineptitude and burning through the bullpen thanks to an injury to the Red Sox best or at least most productive starting pitcher. Holy Hell, sign me the poop up!

- Was anyone else reminded of K-Rod when watching young Henderson Alvarez? There was a swagger there that, frankly, was quite annoying. Also, is it necessary for every Blue Jay hitter to do some stupid dance before each pitch? Jeez.


Next Game

Boston Red Sox
@ Toronto Blue Jays

Tuesday, Sep 6, 2011, 7:07 PM EDT
Rogers Centre

Jon Lester vs Luis Perez

Place mix in bowl. Add three eggs and 1 cup oil and beat until frothy. Place in 425 degree oven for 25 minutes

Complete Coverage >


 

- This is Game Two of facing pitchers we've never heard of. Henderson Alvarez's six major league starts make him a league veteran compared to Luis Perez and his three major league starts. While Alvarez may have a future as a starter in the big leagues, Perez likely doesn't. Applaud the Jays for giving him a look in what has officially become a lost season for them, but this is someone the Red Sox should hit around a bit.

- Lester started the season in a rotation with Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and John Lackey. With Beckett's unknown (which scares me) injury, that puts 60% of the Sox beginning of the season starting rotation down for the count, at least temporarily. Jon Lester = Last Man Standing. He's the last guy at the bar stool at closing. And no, I'm not counting John Lackey and his 6 run ERA as still standing. To me a 6 run ERA is more like lying prone on the floor hoping nobody steps on your junk.


Next Game

Boston Red Sox
@ Toronto Blue Jays

Wednesday, Sep 7, 2011, 7:07 PM EDT
Rogers Centre

Tim Wakefield vs Brandon Morrow

Cloudy. Winds blowing in from left field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 65.

Complete Coverage >



- Has there ever in the history of baseball been a pitching match up between two guys who are so different? Wakefield and his 60 mph knuckleball and Morrow and his 100 mph fastball. And yet they both have similar problems in walks and homers. Baseball is an odd game, eh?


Boston Red Sox
@ Toronto Blue Jays

Thursday, Sep 8, 2011, 7:07 PM EDT
Rogers Centre

Andrew Miller vs Rickey Romero

Cloudy. Winds blowing in from left field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 65.


 

- After a very good start on August 25th vs. Texas, the White Flag Of Surrender (WFOS) deep-sixed the Sox during his last start. Miller lasted an inning and a third so actually "lasted' probably isn't the best word to use there. His start went like this: walk from dugout to mound. Six runs and four walks. Walk back from mound to dugout. Fin.

- J.P. Ricciardi was pilloried for not selecting Troy Tulowitzki with the Jays first round pick in the 2005 draft. Instead Ricciardi selected Ricky Romero. Romero had less than a meteoric rise to the major leagues, but since he got there he's been shockingly good. He's a lefty who eats innings for breakfast and keeps his xFIP in the mid 3s. That's a good pitcher to have. He's not Tulowitzki or anything, but the return on investment is still pretty strong.

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