Digging Deeper into Sox 2004

First 71 games:

44 games against teams currently having a winning record.
26 wins and 18 losses in these games.

27 games against teams currently above .500
14 wins and 13 losses.
(8 wins and 12 losses against teams above .500 that aren’t from the Bronx)

13 one run games. 5 wins and 8 losses in the these games.

Remaining 91 games:

49 games against teams which are currently above .500
42 games against teams which currently have a losing record.

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My opinions of the above facts:

1) Second half schedule is much more difficult

2) Being 6 back in the loss column to the Yanks despite having won 6 of 7 head to head games with them will make it more difficult to catch them. The best way to catch a team is to beat them and it’s hard to expect similar success over the last 12 head to head games.

3) Sox need to get as motivated for other playoff contenders as they seem to do in games against the Yankees. 8-12 against other playoff contenders is very disappointing.

4) Sox must find a way to win close games. Sitting back and waiting for home runs or requiring three (or more) hits to score a run isn’t cutting it. Pick your spots to try to manufacture. Team needs to take a bit more unselfish approach to some at bats. Better defense also will help in these close games. Unearned runs and mental mistakes are a huge problem. Tito’s rationalizing errors with “we know we don’t have gold gloves all around” is unacceptable. Professionals should know how many outs there are and be able to execute fundamental plays such as throwing accurately to a first baseman.

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