Dombrowski Bannister: On July 5, 2016 Boston Red Sox Boss Dave Dombrowski unleashed a somewhat overlooked move that may have changed the fate of the entire Red Sox season. Dombrowski stated he wasn’t unhappy with Pitching Coach Carl Willis but he still decided to move Brian Bannister from the data munching, computer cracking and algo studying role of the Director of Pitching Analytics down into the Red Sox dugout. At the time the Red Sox pitching staff ranked 11th in the American league with an ERA of 4.48. The Dombrowski Bannister move was underway.
Since that time the Red Sox pitching staff has literally taken off like a rocket to the point where the once invincible offense (“oh don’t worry the Sox will score 8 so who cares about the stahtah”) has faced numerous scenarios where it failed to help out the pitching staff and take over and win games where the staff gave up 3 or fewer runs. What on Earth is Bannister up to?
Whatever it is it is certainly working. Although the bullpen still has numerous issues one can’t help but notice the improvement in starting pitching and the notable improvements from guys like Clay Buckholz, David Price, Drew Pomeranz along with the continued dominance of Rick Porcello. Let’s see if it lasts.
Check out what we said earlier about the remainder of the Red Sox season and the great TICKETS available at all times:
David Price: Two “Easy” Wins Just What the Doctor Ordered?
David Price: If there was anyone in more need of a confidence boost on the Boston Red Sox than David Price (aside from the much maligned and oft-crushed Tazawa), then someone please point out this person. Making $31 Million/year comes with huge expectations and Price’s inning eating, but mediocre season thus far just wasn’t cuttin’ the mustahd!
So, last week Price beat the Orioles in a game shortened by rain and then on Monday 8/22 he dominated a very modest Tampa Bay Rays lineup. Were these two relatively easy wins “lucky” wins given the friendly gesture by the rain shortening the O’s game to six innings and the gift-wrapped soft Rays lineup on August 23rd? This writer contests that ANY win against a major league ball club is a great accomplishment but Price is and should be held to a higher standard. These two wins very likely ARE indeed just what the doctor ordered because all professional athletes rely on, and desperately need and feed off of, confidence.
Dombrowski Bannister Magic?
However, the home stretch still sits ahead of David Price and his hefty contract and expectations. Two things appear to be quite certain though and they are 1) health, and 2) Price’s consistency in terms of effort demonstrated by leading MLB starters in innings pitched. We will see how he fares against tougher competition and with tougher circumstances down the stretch.
Speaking of the pennant race and the final portion of the season, we offered earlier an analysis of the final 16 home games for the Boston Red Sox. Here is that analysis again with dates and access to great tickets:
Red Sox Home Games: Of the 42 remaining games on the schedule in 2016, only 16 will take place at Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox currently lead MLB in batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, and doubles and clearly enjoy the home cooking they receive at Fenway Park. Can this team grind out a playoff spot with well below half of the games on the schedule at friendly Fenway?
Time will tell, but here’s a look at the games at Fenway Park that remain. There are indeed great tickets available for all of these games currently.
August 26 – Kansas City Royals
August 27 – Kansas City Royals
August 28 – Kansas City Royals
August 29 – Tampa Bay Rays
August 30 – Tampa Bay Rays
August 31 – Tampa Bay Rays
September 12 – Baltimore Orioles
September 13 – Baltimore Orioles
September 14 – Baltimore Orioles
September 15 – New York Yankees
September 16 – New York Yankees
September 17 – New York Yankees
September 18 – New York Yankees
October 1 – Toronto Blue Jays
October 2 – Toronto Blue Jays
Looking at this schedule the good news for Red Sox fans is that these limited home games provide absolutely no excuse for the Red Sox. These games are filled with opportunity. Six of sixteen games are against the Orioles and Blue Jays so it is an opportunity to knock out the exact teams in direct contention in the AL East. The other ten games are against teams that have struggled this season in the Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Rays, and New York Yankees.
Dombrowski and Bannister: Will this take them to the World Series?