Monday, July 11, 2011

Rox Talk - Week 15

The Week That Was
A 2-5 week against the Braves and Nationals. The Rox currently stand at 43-48. Eight and half games behind the Giants for the division lead in third place. Currently 22-22 at home and 21-26 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 407-395 (expected wins is 44 versus historical wins at 43). On pace for 77 wins with 703 runs scored and 725 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.97 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

First half - Done.  First divisional championship - Unlikely.  Playoff hopes - Doubtful.  No matter how you package the first half, once again the Rox have been disappointing and expectations have not been met.  Over the last two years, coming into the season, the management, team, media, and fans have all come to a conclusion that this would be the year.  The year to finally compete with the big boy teams and make another run to the World Series.  Throw in the fact that this year, the Rox signed Tulo and CarGo to long term deals, re-signed de la Rosa, and signed some nice components off the scrap heap, the Rox had hoped to compete.  Unfortunately after a 17-9 April start, things have gone down hill quickly.  Middle of the road teams like our Rox really need to have all things work.  They don't have the resiliency to have players not play to their perceived capabilities.  Rox are currently on pace to score 703 runs.  Preseason projections expected this team to score close to 800 runs.  Where did all the runs go?  Lowest total in Rox history before this year? 740 in 2005. 

My in season analysis - small payroll team's like the Rox get killed when the run expectancy changes so quickly.  How many teams out there forgot what small ball was?  You build teams 5 years ago at least with an eye on how to win in your league, division, and ball park.  What if the rug gets pulled out from under you and suddenly low scoring, one run games become the norm and yet you build a team on big home run hitters with pedestrian speed?  I think it becomes tough to pull a switcheroo mid season.  You can't just go out and find speed.  Sad thing is our Rox do have some speed and yet he finds himself playing AAA ball. 

All in all, to finish with 90 wins they need to go 48 - 23.  Of course Giants are on pace for 92 wins.  Wild card? Yeah right, Braves are chasing the Phillies (on pace for 101 wins) who are on pace for 95 wins.  So unless the Braves have an epic fail in their final 70 games I think the only chance Rox have to get to the playoffs would be winning the division.  Could Rox win 48 - 50 games in their final 71 games?  In 2007 they went 45 - 26, 2008 36 - 35, 2009 43-28, and 2010 33 - 38.  Don't think lightning is going to strike twice but Giants need to go 38 - 32 to win 90 games.  Sure they could go through a rough spot and Rox could get hot again but it is a pretty steep road to get there!

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