Thursday, June 23, 2005


More Bull from the Pen

Whew. That was a close one. I felt like Tito was pushing his guys out onto a tightrope, one by one. As soon as one would fall, just barely catching the rope and holding on for dear life, he would send another one out, and let the last one fall in a safety net.

But "safety" is a relative concept. I'm not sure I would feel too safe walking around New England if I were Alan Embree right now.

The bullpen has been a subject of frustration for me for quite awhile now. (Theo, you had better be working on that shit.) That's what drove me to create all these crazy charts to try and make some sense out of it. Do I seem like the type of girl to spend hours and hours pouring over box scores collecting data so I can spend still more hours entering this data and making charts of it? Well, I don't know what my mystical internet friends think of me, but people who know me in person would be shocked. The bullpen has officially driven me to madness. seriously. and this was not a good night for the bullpen, per usual.

Tonight I might have been the only person in Red Sox Nation not having temporary heart failure as Alan Embree approached the mound. Why, you ask? Well I looked at his chart, of course, and determined that he was due for a good outing. Tito has not been on top of this trend up until now, always bringing him in for his good outing when there's nothing on the line. Has someone shown you my chart, Tito? I'm so glad you've finally caught on to Alan's Yo-Yo effect.

In truth he was not all that good, but he did get out of that bases loaded jam, and got through most of the 7th before giving up two hits in a row.

Having witnessed our bullpen blow sizable leads MANY times this season, it was nice to see the bleeding stemmed at a mere trickle. It was scary out there, that's for sure, but the numbers aren't that bad. Errors made the situation much worse than it should have been; it's a good thing those guys picked up the bats and kept us in it. Manny & Edgah both made errors, but also got some key hits that made up for it.

I thought tonight was his night, for sure, when Captain came to the plate with the bases loaded. His swing is so deep in these situations, you can see how much he wants it. It's too bad he swung at that last pitch. It was high; it would've walked a run in. Well, maybe. I wasn't too thrilled with how some of those pitches were called tonight. Dude needs his eyes examined, if not his head. (the ump, of course, not C-tek.)

The guys at ESPN had a taped interview with C-tek, and it seemed like every inning they were cutting from the game to see Jason answer another question. Now I'd love to hear whatever Captain has to say, but make sure we see the pitch, guys. The national guys spend so much time on silly crap like that to catch the interest and inform the viewers who might not know anything at all about the Boston Red Sox (those people, if there are any, are not likely to be watching ESPN) they tend to forget sometimes that WE ARE TRYING TO WATCH THE GAME.
(I really should never complain about the ESPN coverage like that as it means I am able to watch the game on my television. I can barely see the ball on my computer, so I wouldn't have seen the pitch anyway, right?)

I've been wondering lately, what is the bullpen car? You know, from the blog "Bring Back the Bullpen Car" (which apparently has not been touched since April)? I'm just wondering what it IS, because the bullpen is a sorry lot who could use all the help they can get. Somehow I have my doubts that some silly looking golf cart thing is the answer, but at this point I think we should try ANYTHING.

I will update my charts, for anyone who cares, tomorrow. And I'll work on the whole access to data thing. I have a feeling, though, people are not going to be thrilled with my data. It's really just another chart with numbers in it. The "bases awarded" number is actually figured out in a physical notebook while I stare at box scores on my computer. If you are appalled by my terribly unscientific ways, I will remind you that I am a painter by trade. My job does not even require the use of a computer at all (although I do use it for billing and records & such) and unlike most people, being on the job means being away from the computer, so I actually still use pen and paper quite often. Like I said in the beginning, this sort of stuff is much better suited for people with fancy high-powered computer programs and lots and lots of data. I'm just doing it because I want to know. And the graphs are actually much more helpful to me than the average is, which I'm sure is all we'd ever get if this were some kind of official stat.

My childhood memories of "the bullpen car" are of a white Datsun bringing in relievers at yankee Stadium. And whenever me and my friends would see a white datsun on the road, we'd say "yankee bullpen car!"

So for me, this whole bullpen car thing just gives me yankee memories. I don't need it to come back.

But the Red Sox had a cooler one, a big ball with a hat on it. I don't ever remember seeing it on the field at Fenway, though. Just in front of the souvenir shop.
Oh man, I know, we've been hardcore slacking on the bullpen car site. *hangs head in shame*

And FWIW, I like the charts and numbers and things. I reinforces my cherished, insanely biased belief that Sox bloggers are the best and smartest people on the magical interweb.
Reb, you hit the Sox nerdblog equivalent of the big-time: Firebrand has a big plug for BpB up.
Maybe Doug Mientkiewicz could use an on-deck cart. Love your stats. I'm a Sox fan stuck in Philly, but it was a very nice weekend.
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