Sox Watch

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Red Sox WPA through 5/1/06

Johnny Who? For all the media hype surrounding Damon's return to Fenway, the real story tonight was Doug Mirabelli. Douggie flew cross-country, arrived at Logan at 6:48 PM, hopped in a police car, and arrived at Fenway at 7:00 PM, emerging from the car in full uniform and dashing into the park. It's unclear whether he had a chance do do anything more than strap on his pads before hustling onto the field. I kept expecting him to call time in the first inning so that he could go out to the mound and say "Hello" to Wakefield.

This is just the kind of move that could reinvigorate the team. I hold nothing against Josh Bard, who was probably a victim of bad luck more than anything else. But the fact is, he showed no signs of improving behind the plate - his last game was the worst of the year. Mirabelli brings an excellent track record catching Wakefield, along with a healthy dose of good karma from the 2004 season. I hope Bard has a great year with the Padres - and that Mirabelli stays healthy.

Mirabelli proved his worth behind the plate in his first outing, handling Wakefield's knucker (which was moving pretty well) with aplomb. He was hitless at the plate, but hey, so was Damon. Wakefield had a decent night, with one bad inning, and finished with a respectable +0.024 WPA. Timlin got a big WPA boost, coming into a tie game in the eighth and pitching well (a walk to Jeter was immediately erased by an inning-ending DP). Papelbon gets only a few WPA points for his inning in the ninth, a non-save situation with a four-run lead. But he was lights-out again, striking out ARod, getting a weak popup from Matsui, and striking out Posada to end the game. He has now struck out six of the last seven batters he has faced. Manny, Ortiz, and Youkilis provided most of the offense. Loretta gets a huge +0.204 WPA boost from his go-ahead RBI in the eight, but offset this by going 0-for-4 the rest of the night, finishing with a +0.054 for the night. The WPA goat of the night was Peña, who twice left the bases loaded at the end of an inning.

Individual Player WPA Contributions
Monday, 5/1/06
Red Sox 7, Yankees 3

Full-Season Player WPA Contributions
Through Monday, 5/1/06

Full-Season Category WPA Contributions
Through Monday, 5/1/06

And just because it's the Yankees, and it's fun to see all those negative bars, we've got a bonus graph today with the Yankees' WPA results from last night's game. Too bad Posada and Sturtze beat out Damon for the lowest score.


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