Interesting factoids from reading the box score:
- All three runs got on base by walks and HBP
- Red Sox had more walks (7) than hits (6)
- Rockies struck out 10 times, Red Sox only 3
- Matt Holliday had 4 of the Rockies 5 hits (Hawpe had the other)
- Red Sox relievers Okajima and Papelbon, over 3 and 2/3 innings, gave up 1 hit and no walks, struck out 6
- J.D. Drew (.571) and Manny Ramirez (.500) are just killin’ it
- Holliday (.500) and Tulowitzki (.400) are the only hitters doing anything at all for Colorado
Colorado was right in this game, obviously, and could just as easily have won it if not for a mistake here or there. And that is often the difference between winning and losing on the big stage: one or two plays that tilt the outcome towards the team that makes the fewest mistakes.
I still think Colorado can regroup here and win at least 2 of 3 at home, but they have to play smart and minimize mistakes like the pick-off of Holliday last night, in the eighth inning.
You really have to admire this Red Sox club though. Very, very solid baseball team. The Cubs, among others, should take a lesson from them, mainly on the right way to scout for talent and build an organization from the ground up that maximizes the winning potential of each player. They don’t seem to get that yet.
One interesting stat I heard yesterday from Peter Gammons on ESPN Radio during Tirico’s show was a hitter’s number of strikeouts compared to their number of walks and number of extra base hits. Gammons said the key is to have the strikeouts be less than both of those numbers, and mentioned Dustin Pedroia in particular as meeting this standard all through the minors and then in the majors too. This year he had 42 strikeouts, 47 walks, and 48 extra base hits. It sounds like the perfect encapsulation of the value of a hitter, to me; at any given level of strikeouts, you’d always want both more walks and more power. OBP is good, but it doesn’t differentiate between a guy who generates no power vs. a guy who generates a lot. OPS I suppose can fill that gap, but it would seem to over-emphasize power. There really isn’t a stat yet that correctly identifies the value of a hitter like Pedroia, or last year’s World Series MVP David Eckstein, at least not one that I know about; seems like you’d want runs scored or RBI in there somewhere too.
Game 3 is Saturday night at 7:30 Central, Daisuke Matsuzaka vs. Josh Fogg. Note that there is now no DH for the next three games, so Boston has to lose either Ortiz or Youkilis in the lineup, and on defense at 1B, Ortiz is inferior to Youkilis. Also, the outfield is big at Coors Field, so another advantage to the Rockies, it would seem.