Josh Beckett’s 2009 Season

Continuing my “hot and cold” theme of late, here’s a visual of Josh Beckett’s 2009 season, with red indicating a quality start (minimum 6 innings pitched with no more than 3 earned runs allowed).  The squares represent innings completed, with earned runs allowed inside each inning.

How Red Sox Hitters Ranked in 2009

There’s been a lot of talk about how (and where) the Red Sox should upgrade their offense.  This visual paints a picture of the Red Sox lineup compared to the rest of the American League.  Note, Marco Scutaro is now the starting shortstop as of today.

Red Sox offense gets a boost at Fenway

Everyone knows that the Sox are better at Fenway Park.  What’s interesting to note is where that extra oomph in offense comes from.  Here’s a graphic that shows the boost (or drop) in production (measured by OPS) for each starter in the lineup.  Note the vast majority of the boost comes from the bottom of the order. The Red Sox will be relying on that tomorrow to extend this series.

Sox at Fenway

Red Sox vs. Angles – speed on the base paths

Much has been made of the Angels’ running game and the Sox’ inability to throw out runners.  Here’s a graphic comparing the base stealers on both teams.  While these two teams have similar stolen base totals, the Red Sox are much more dependent on one player – Jacoby Ellsbury – while the Angles have a number of players who can wreak havoc on the base paths.

sox angles SB

Game 2: Beckett vs. Weaver

Here’s the 2009 season at a glance for both Josh Beckett and Jered Weaver.  Both pitchers had their ups and downs during the season, but what’s most telling is that in the 2 months leading up to Game 2, they were essentially the same caliber of pitcher.

beckett vs. weaver

Red Sox – Yankees Rivalry Over The Years

Looking at the last 100 years.  Pretty lopsided after Ruth was sold to the Yankees, the last 5 years notwithstanding.

sox yanks rivalry

Looking at MLB standings differently

Here’s a different way to look at MLB’s standings, now that we’ve wrapped up the season.  Like my other posts, I’m experimenting with font size to indicate payroll.  The larger teams have the higher payroll, the smaller teams the lower payroll.  Not surprisingly, most of the teams that made the playoffs (in red) had medium-t0-high payrolls, with Minnesota being the exception.  I’m also amused by the comparison between the Florida Marlins (tiny font, tiny payroll) and the New York Mets (further back in the standings, larger font, bloated payroll).  Go Mets!

MLB standings

JD Drew’s Season at a Glance

Drew gets a bad rap every year, but for 3 months of the season (June, August, and September) he’s among the top handful of outfielders in the American League.

Drew season

Jon Lester’s Season at a Glance

I’m trying a new format to show a player’s season at a glance, using their ranking relative to their peers to reflect their performance visually.  Squint and it looks somewhat like a bar chart.  Look closer and you can see how they compared to specific players.  Note also that I have the players grouped in tiers, each tier consisting of 14 players.  Since there are 14 teams in the American League, a perfectly average team would theoretically have 1 player in the middle of each tier.

lester season

So what can we learn about John Lester’s season from this visual?  First, he had a slow April and May.  I recall everyone asking “what’s wrong with John Lester” in April,  and while his performance was below his standards, he pitched like a poor #3 starter (look for him near the bottom of the 3rd tier) which isn’t THAT bad.  In June, July and August he pitched like a true ace.  He finished up September strong, at the bottom of the first tier of teams’ aces (or like a great #2 starter).

Josh Beckett’s Season

I think Josh Beckett is overrrated (at least during the regular season). He’s viewed as a prototypical #1, but he pitched like a true ace for only 2 months (May and June).  He pitched like a #2 in July and September, a #3 in August, and a #4 in April.  Average that out over the season and he was a poor #2 starter or a very good #3 starter.

beckett season

2009 Red Sox – Who gets paid

This visual shows you the 2009 Red Sox roster, with the size of the name indicating the player’s salary.  The heart and soul (and future) of the Red Sox – John Lester, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis hardly register.

Sox payroll

Red Sox vs. Angels – How they spend their money

This visual shows the combined rosters of the Red Sox and Angels, with the size of the player representing their salary.  Both teams have similar payrolls, and its interesting to see how that money is spent.

sox v angels

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