Re: Fireman/Softy time to own this
posted at 10/21/2013 10:08 AM EDT
I was scared to death of the Tigers rotation, plus they have a good lineup. In fact, Sanchez, Scherzer, and Verlander all pitched very well, but the Sox took game 2 largely because of Ortiz's miracle grandslam against their bullpen and game 3 because of Lackey's brilliant start and Napoli's solo dinger.
redsoxfireman actually didn't predict either way. He did predict/guarantee the Sox win in the ALDS, but was equivocal about the ALCS.
He did identify the fatal flaw, which was in the Sox lineup, specifically, Napoli following Ortiz. He believed this would negate Ortiz's big bat because Leyland would always walk him if 1B was open, etc. Problem was, 1B wasn't open in the 8th of game 2 because the bases were loaded. Detroit then had a 5-1 lead and up to then their pitching in games 1 and 2 had dominated the Sox lineup, including Ortiz, who had 4 K's in those two games. So Leyland did not call for the IBB. Statistically, walking someone intentionally with the bases loaded has been done 6 times in 130 years of MLB history, so not walking Ortiz could hardly be called remarkable. When the ALCS was over, Ortiz had an OPS of .422 and Napoli .950 or thereabouts. So the fatal flaw wasn't quite so fatal.
Fireman also said Middlebrooks would be one key to the Sox winning or losing the ALCS. Nope. Middlebrooks got benched for game 6 for not hitting. Drew could have been benched, but was clearly our best SS.
Speaking of which, redsoxfireman assured us that Iglesias was/is vastly superior to Drew at SS. Brilliant, yes. But not vastly superior. In the ALCS Iglesias committed two errors, both of which led to unearned runs, one the winning run in game 2. In the postseason Iglesias was part of 2 double plays, but Drew was part of 11. This was not Iglesias's fault, but does show why Farrell stuck with Drew even though he wasn't hitting. This was also, I think, one of the reasons the Sox, who had invested a lot money ($8M in salary alone) in Iglesias, were willing to let him go. A great fielder, but Drew was more consistent and a better hitter. Plus the backup SS turned out to be Bogaerts, who is likely to be better than Drew or Iglesias. Plus the Sox had a shot at the postseason and needed another starter with Buchholz out, etc.