Tagged: David Ortiz

That’s What He Said- Dustin Pedroia

In my last post, I looked at a quote from Carlos Silva, in which he attributed some of his success to the abnormally high run support he had been receiving.  I thought that was pretty cool, so I’ve decided to do this more often.  I’ll take a quote from a player, reporter, coach, or whoever and try to prove them right or wrong using statistics.  I hereby dub this group of posts “That’s What He Said” (sorry ladies, I promise there will be a “That’s What She Said” when Eri Yoshida makes it).  

And so, I bring you Dustin Pedroia.  If you follow the Red Sox closely then you’ve probably heard this before, but I think enough time has passed since he said it to evaluate appropriately: 

“David’s fine.  He’s one of our teammates.  It could have been me who hit into a double play.  It happens to everybody.  He’s had 60 at-bats.  A couple of years ago I had 60 at-bats and I was hitting .170 and everybody was ready to kill me too.  What happened?  Laser show.” 

This fantastic quote was uttered following this game on May 4th of this year.  The double play that Pedroia is referring to is the one that David Ortiz hit into in the 8th inning.  The Red Sox rallied for 4 runs that inning to win the game in spite of Ortiz, whose double play appeared to cost Boston the game at the time.  As a side note, if you are new to navigating Baseball-Reference’s box scores, if you follow the link above and scroll to the bottom you will find the play-by-play for the entire game.  
As most fans will recall, Ortiz was not the most popular member of the team just 26 days ago.  Pedroia guessed 60 at-bats, which was pretty close.  Here are Ortiz’s 2010 numbers through May 4th (scroll down to the box after the highlighted games).  Ortiz in fact had 67 at-bats, with just 10 hits, 3 home runs, 6 RBI, and a .149 batting average.  As far as Pedroia goes, a couple of years ago would have to mean 2008, right?  But in 2008, Pedroia sported a .311 batting average through 15 games and 61 at-bats en route to winning the AL MVP Award.  Maybe he meant 2009?  Not likely either, as he was hitting .286 through 15 games and 63 at-bats last year.  
Ah, so he must mean 2007, his rookie season.  Now this begins to make sense.  Through 61 at-bats and 22 games in 2007, Pedroia was hitting just .180 with 11 hits and 3 RBI.  What happened???  Pedroia finished the season hitting .317 and went on to become AL Rookie of the Year.  Also, courtesy of tauntr.com, there is significant photographic evidence that Pedroia did actually provide a laser show by the end of the year.


I’m actually pretty surprised at how accurate Pedroia was with his own numbers here.  Sure, he said “a couple years” instead of “a few” but he was just .010 off of his actual batting average at the start of his rookie season.  But the comparison to 2010 Big Papi?  Not sure if I buy it.  I think it’s a different kind of worrying when your rookie phenom has a rough first month and when your $12.5 mil veteran DH has an even worse first month for the second consecutive season.  There is one area where Pedroia hit the nail on the head though and that is the one that most people care the most about: 2010 David Ortiz has arrived.  Ortiz enters tonight’s action with a .267 average, 10 home runs, and 28 RBI.  Since Pedroia’s quote, that’s .382 with 7 home runs and 22 RBI.  Sounds like a laser show to me.
To recap, Pedroia nailed the rebirth of Ortiz and was remarkably close on the numbers he cited as well, although I’m not sure if I buy the comparison between his 2007 season and Ortiz’s 2010.  But I’m not going to complain while Ortiz continues to hit the ball like he used to in the good old days.  
I’ve taken a few different angles now on this blog, whether it be looking at a current event’s historical significance, looking at some historical events, or this new quote idea.  Some of the other ideas I’ve had for posts are some introduction to newer statistics (such as WAR, GameScore, or UZR), some more BU baseball history, or some game previews or recaps.  Of course I don’t have time to write all of this at once, so if you feel strongly about any of these or there’s anything else you’d like me to write about then by all means let me know and I would be thrilled to do that first.  

On a Roll

Everything seems to be clicking for this team right now.  The starting pitching has been exceptional of late, and quite simply, the team is doing what it needs to do to get the job done.  With Ortiz out for a few games and Manny in a semi-slump, Kevin Youkilis picks up the slack and takes his game to the next level.  That’s the sign of a good team and the sign of a team that’s going to win a serious amount of ball games this year. 

About Daisuke so far this year- you can’t really complain about a guy with no losses, especially when the team seems to win every single time he goes out there.  But there are some things you can’t ignore even in light of his success.  27 walks at this point in the season is a lot, and to have 8 come in one game?  Over 5 innings?  And it was a game that he was otherwise dominant in, only allowing 2 hits, so you can’t say it was a bad night.  His high strikeout total (33) masks the number of walks somewhat, but if he doesn’t figure out what is wrong with his control soon, he will have problems in the future.  And if he does… then the rest of the American League better watch out because he will have solidified himself as one of the most talented pitchers in baseball.

The ties are going strong- strong enough to overcome what I thought could be a fatal error when I accidentally put on an extra swipe of deodorant Sunday morning.  In fact, I was able to go to the game on Sunday after completing the 20 mile walk for hunger.  It was a great game to be at; the rain held off just long enough to get the game in.  Kazmir made his first start of the season and got roughed up a bit, and Youk had a monster game as I touched on before. 

In Detroit again tonight.  What’s wrong with this team?  They looked so dominant entering the season and yet we have walked all over them thus far.  We’ll see if Wakefield can keep the momentum going.

One more thing- I found this story and thought it was hilarious.  Just thought I would pass it along…

Sox Drop Another

What a frustrating loss today.  Elite prospect Justin Masterson is rushed up from AA to make an emergency start and goes above and beyond expectations.  6 innings of 2 hit ball – you can’t ask for more than that.  He leaves the game with the lead and then just like that the bullpen gives it all back.  Neither Lopez nor Delcarmen could record an out, each allowing 2 earned runs.  Maybe Delcarmen hadn’t fully recovered from the flu. 

In any event, there were some bright spots.  Ortiz’s average continues to rise as he is now at .189 after hitting his 4th HR and picking up RBI number 19 and 20.  Crisp had a great game, going 2-4 with 2 doubles, a run scored, 2 RBI, and 2 stolen bases, although he did make his first error of the year.  It was good to see Youkilis back, but Varitek was still missing and Ellsbury got the start in right over Drew.  Word is Lowell will be back tomorrow, which is great news for the club but could mean a demotion for Jed Lowrie, who has been outstanding so far while playing second, third, and shortstop. 

From a superstitious stand point, there wasn’t too much I could do about this one.  I was starting a new streak and therefore a new tie, I simply picked the wrong one.  Also, I was in school during the game so I couldn’t even watch it.  I’ll try a different one tomorrow and hopefully we can get back on track in Tampa.