Sox Watch

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Red Sox WPA through 5/26/06

I've never been a big fan of saves, which have always seemed to me to have too many arbitrary regulations to be a useful real-world stat. Reading Moneyball just served to reinforce this perception. However, it has taken just eight short weeks in this Spring of Papelbon to turn me into a full-fledged save-a-holic. You know you're in too deep when you start rooting for late-game Devil Rays rallies just to bring the game back within three runs. This game was a nail-biter in the save department:

  • After six, Sox lead 6-1. Tonight's not going to be the night for #17.

  • Tampa Bay gets 2 in the top of the seventh to make it 6-3. Maybe....

  • Nixon singles in Lowell in the bottom of the seventh to make it 7-3. Oh well.

  • Crawford opens the eight with a solo shot to make it 7-4. Hmmmm.

  • Ortiz gets his fourth RBI in the bottom of the eighth. 8-4. Game over.

  • But wait! Seanez (of course) puts two men on in the ninth. And the save regulations, carefully crafted by federal bureaucrats for maximum complexity, allow for a save in a situation where the tying run is on deck, even if you have a four-run lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

  • So enter Jonathan Papelbon. He is so intense on the mound! And he makes quick work of Carl Crawford, notching number seventeen to keep his perfect record intact. I'll concede that notching a one-out save with a four-run lead in Fenway against the Devil Rays is not the same as mowing down four Yankees to get the save in a two-run game in Yankee Stadium. But he's done that too. In fact, against the Yankees this year, in four games (three in non-save situations), he has faced 14 batters, and has yet to give up a hit - a single walk to Jeter mars his perfect record.

    In the WPA realm, Ortiz of course dominated with his 4 RBIs. It was nice to see Wells come away with the second-best total, given his strong performance before he went out. I remain optimistic that he's just dealing with a bad bruise, but we'll see.

    Individual Player WPA Contributions
    Friday, 5/26/06
    Devil Rays 4, Red Sox 8

    Full-Season Player WPA Contributions
    Through Friday, 5/26/06

    Full-Season Category WPA Contributions
    Through Friday, 5/26/06


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