Thursday, October 25, 2007


Reflecting on the Sox' annihilation of the Rockies, here's a very insightful quote from Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan (excerpted from Jayson Stark's column about the game):

"For me, patience is not necessarily walking," said Magadan. "Patience at the plate is waiting for your pitch to hit. And the byproduct of that can be a walk. But a lot of times, you're going to hit in a lot of hitters' counts. These guys have a real good idea of what they're looking for, and they will be stubborn and wait till they get that pitch.
"They're going to make the pitcher throw three tough pitches to get them out. And when you've got to make three quality pitchers to get hitters out, it's tough to grind and get through the lineup. Every guy is seeing five, six, seven, eight pitches. And then boom ... one swing of the bat. It makes it tough."

This is the essence of plate discipline, which can't be summed up simply in walks and strikeouts. This is the quality that scouts look for in young hitters, which is why walk totals alone aren't always an indicator of a hitter's "discipline," as described above. And when you get a lot of disciplined hitters in the same lineup together, it's a pretty devastating effect, as I'm sure the Colorado pitchers would attest. The scary thing is that this isn't even the best offense the Red Sox have had in recent years; their 2003 order was one of the best offensive teams ever. But even if this isn't the best Boston team of our time, it's still a better team than the Rockies.

Baseball Prospectus gives the Red Sox a 71.4% chance of winning the World Series. I guess that's about right, but we can't take Boston's Game 1 performance at face value. 5 teams other than Boston have scored more than 10 runs in Game 1 of a World Series, and only two of them went on to win.

Tune in tonight for the first World Series appearance by someone named Ubaldo.

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