Wake’s tough road
July 12th, 2007 by czar

This evening, Tim Wakefield kicks off the second half of the Sox season vs. perennial Cy Young candidate Roy Halladay in Boston. From a purely subjective viewpoint, Wakefield seems to have had a tough time matching up with opponent’s #3/4 starters. He, unfortunately, will not get back in sequence due to the appearance of Beckett Tuesday night in San Francisco, Dice-K’s Sunday start, and Schilling’s bum shoulder.

But enough of feeling sorry for Wake in regards to the other pitcher he has to face, here are where the Sox starters fall in amongst other AL pitchers (with at least 50 IP) and their corresponding cumulative opposing batter OPS.

2. Tim Wakefield, .771 (also 2nd in the bigs)
7. Curt Schilling, .763
12. Julian Tavarez, .761
31. Daisuke Matsuzaka, .754
59. Josh Beckett, .743

71 American League players qualified to give you a general yardstick to see where everyone fits.

Interesting to keep an eye on these as the season continues to progress. One assumes that starters on the same team will typically have their opponent strength statistics gravitate towards some kind of mean value, since the pitchers can’t control the lineups they face. If this is the case, we may look to see Beckett regress a little while facing some tougher lineups and Wakefield see some less potent lineups.  Then again, at this point in the season, the stats will likely not fully normalize due to the quantity of games already played, so trying to seek out  trends in that may be futile.

One other note of interest– with unbalanced scheduling, one might think that teams in the same division would have similar numbers (i.e. if the AL East is typically more offensively potent than the AL Central, one might expect opposing pitchers in the same divisions to see similar opposing batter peripheral trends) but the Yankees have three pitchers qualifying under the aforementioned guidelines. Pettitte comes in at 44, Mussina at 46, and Wang one rung below at Beckett at 60. It seems to imply the Sox pitchers should be facing slightly weaker offensive teams in the second half– unless of course, you want to subscribe to the theory that pinstripes have an unsettling effect to opposing teams.

Posted in Observations


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  • Traversing the land that is known as Red Sox Nation, The Czar Who Wears Red Sox is an attempt at compiling a repertoire of my ever-so-sexy forum posts (when I'm too lazy to write my own damn entry) and other random baseball thoughts that strike. For those whose posts serve as the inspiration of my epiphanies and rants, do not be angry, but merely, be honored that you have achieved such status. Names will never be revealed. Feedback appreciated, as this is a work in progress.

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