Some Links & an Announcement
The Red Sox beat the Mariners last night 6-3 thanks to a solid outing from John Lackey on a wet, raw night at Fenway Park. Nerdy WPA graphical recap here. Meanwhile, the Yanks dropped a game up in Toronto while the Rays handled the Angels on the west coast. Boston now sits 5.5 games back of both the Yanks and Rays, 6 games in the loss column. Boston gets to take their licks against old pal David Pauley tonight, and will counter with Josh Beckett. I think Boston has the advantage but I am honestly not sure.
Marco Scutaro‘s struggles have been frustrating, and “thanks” to Mike Axisa’s twitter feed, I noticed he is hitting just .257/.306/.361 since July 1st. Thankfully, as Steve S. of TYU points out, Derek Jeter is hitting just .266/.328/.358 since May 1st.
Speaking of Scutaro, who “hits” atop the Red Sox lineup these days, as you may have heard, Boston placed a waiver claim for former lead-off man Johnny Damon. I can’t muster strong feelings on the topic. He’s a likely upgrade over Ryan Kalish and Daniel Nava and in case you have concerns about Damon’s defense, have you seen Nava out there? Damon can help. And although I am reluctant to buy into such things, Damon is an energetic guy who’s been there before. His presence can’t hurt Boston’s chances of mounting a charge. And this is all IF Damon accepts a deal here.
Marc has an awesome overview over at BPro this morning on the Red Sox playoff hopes. It’s a little grim, but it’s realistic and thorough.
Here’s a cool article on Daric Barton from Beyond the Box Score. You don’t need to hit for power to be a good first baseman. Also, Jeremy Greenhouse at Baseball Analysts explores the swing zones of a handful of MLB’ers. Spoiler alert: there’s a Jeff Francoeur / Brett Gardner comparison.
Finally, we’re thrilled to have another contributor on board. Ryan of @RedSoxStats fame on Twitter will be writing here as well now. He will go by “Kil” here at The Beacon and in case you’re unfamiliar, his strong opinions and clear thinking make him a must-follow on Twitter. We think he’ll be a must-read here, as well.