Escaping Major League Baseball’s regular season without having lost three games in a row at one point, is an unlikely venture. Even the most reactive of fans aren’t likely to jump ship after three bad games from their team in the middle of July. However, like so many things in life, there tends to be a magnifying glass attached to the beginning and the end of the baseball season, where one doesn’t necessarily exist in the middle.

Five of the thirty teams that comprise the most competitive league in baseball have started the season by losing their first three games: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants. While a poor start has inflicted the fan bases of both expected competitors and anticipated basement dwellers, two from among the five stand out for their group of supporters’ overreactions.

I’ll let you guess which two.

Actually, no, I won’t.

Confounding things for the Yankees is that their cross town National League rival started the season off quite well:

While Boston fans only have one source on which to focus:

While losing three games in a row may not be rare, it seems that the Red Sox and Yankees both starting their season in this fashion is exceedingly so. In fact, 1966 was the last time both teams had a crummy start to the season, way back when New York manager Joe Girardi was only one years old.

In terms of mixed metaphors, much like we turn our noses at the small sample sizes that Spring Training offers, a healthy grain of salt should always come included in the packaging for the first three games of the season. But also like the exhibition schedule, poor results are one thing, but confirmation of concerns are quite another.

If there’s reason to worry outside of mere results, it becomes a matter that shouldn’t be outright dismissed.

Over at SB Nation, our friend Grant Brisbee, California’s only pasty skinned resident, breaks down the two losing streaks like this:

The Yankees lost their three games when …

  • CC Sabathia pitched poorly and Mariano Rivera blew a save in the first game
  • Hiroki Kuroda was knocked around in the second game
  • Their offense was shut down in the third game.

The Red Sox lost their three games when …

  • Their bullpen coughed up the first game
  • Their starting pitcher in the second game got absolutely shellacked
  • Their starting pitcher in the third game got absolutely shellacked and the bullpen coughed up two separate end-of-game leads.

While both teams faced stellar(ish) competition in their respective opening series, the cause of the Yankees losses seemed a whole lot more random than symptomatic of other issues like it was for the Red Sox. And so, while certainly losing three games remains less than a big deal, the way in which a team loses three games can be a reasonable cause for concern.

Pitching has been an issue for the Boston Red Sox, and it was an issue in each of their three losses this weekend. So, while it may not justify the overreaction, it can’t be completely dismissed either.

And The Rest

Just your typical feature on a couple of handsome bloggers and the resulting Blue Jays’ hipster fan base in the biggest national newspaper in the country. I do in fact enjoy how a certain blog is somewhat credited with a renaissance for baseball in the city, but then just as quickly dismissed in favour of the new logo and attractive ball caps. [Toronto Star]

For more from our Opening Day live event from Opera Bob’s, check out this video of the bar’s reaction to Edwin Encarnacion tying the game up in the top of the ninth inning. [Getting Blanked]

And while we’re on the subject, smarty pants Jack Moore breaks down the Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez’s blown save. [FanGraphs]

Jim Thome played first base for the Philadelphia Phillies. First base! The field. Jim Thome! [Comcast Sportsnet]

Have you ever had an idea in your head that you believed to be epic, but then once you executed it, your plan was revealed to be nothing more than ordinary? If so, this goes out to you. [Getting Blanked]

To find out more about why Miguel Cabrera felt it necessary to douse his teammate with a mouthful of water in a cup, this is an excellent summary of one of the three walk offs that happened yesterday. [Walkoff Woodward]

The Cincinnati Reds managed a walk off of their own against the Miami Marlins, as Scott Rolen further cemented himself as a GROAT. [Reds Reporter]

The Pittsburgh Pirates also joined in the fun. [Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke?]

Anything to keep this guy awake. [Rum Bunter]

Hector Santiago will now be closing games for the Chicago White Sox. You can be forgiven for asking, “Who?” [SB Nation Chicago]

Jim Margulus has got you covered for more first impressions from the White Sox this season. [South Side Sox]

The Minnesota Twins: We don’t need no stinking defense. Or wins, apparently. [Free Press]

Could the prevalence of small ball be contributing to fewer runs being scored around the league? [MLBlogs]

Jason Hammel was so close to a no hitter, and then no Morenau hitter. [Camden Chat]

Old man wants neighbourhood kids to stay off his lawn. [USA Today]

Even Ken Rosenthal is suggesting that Ozzie Guillen has gone too far this time. In his defense, c’mon. [FOX Sports]

Comments (15)

  1. “What’s not being mentioned with this though is that as that season progressed, the Yankees went on to win 114 regular season games, eventually taking home the World Series trophy.”

    Ermm…might want to check that. In 1966 the Yankees went 70-89 and the Red Sox went 72-90, finishing last and second last in the AL respectively.

    • But,… they won 114 games eventually right? I’m sure that’s what he meant.
      At some point since 1966 they have won 114 games, and at some point they won a WS.

      • Yeah . . . that’s what I meant . . . that’s the ticket . . . exactly what I meant. I didn’t make a mistake at all.

        • I got your back!

        • You didn’t need to delete that part. Just add a sentence about the last time the Yankees went 0-3 to start a season in 1998 (instead of when both the Yankees and Red Sox started 0-3).

          I agree with your analysis of the two losing streaks. Hopefully the Blue Jays can destroy Boston’s pitching morale some more in the next few days.

  2. “Even Ken Rosenthal is suggesting that Ozzie Guillen has gone too far this time.”
    It was an epically insensitive comment to make but I don’t see how you can suspend him for being stupid.

    “Jason Hammel was so close to a no hitter, and then no Morenau hitter.” – Thank you for this.

  3. If Ozzie had made the same comments while the manager of some other MLB team, it probably wouldn’t have even been newsworthy… If he is suspended, it should be for his own stupidity in making such comments while the manager of the Miami Marlins whose stadium is in Little Havana.

    • I agree, but suspending someone for a mis-interpreted opinion (last time I checked, opinions weren’t illegal in Miami or anywhere else in the U.S.) is beyond Draconian. I find it ironic that everyone’s been calling Cuba a fascist state while ignoring the flak endured by Guillen in order to suppress his opinion.

      I agree that he should probably not say such things whilst being the manager of the Marlins, but to say he CAN’T say such things is ludicrous and illustrates a larger problem with critical opinions in the U.S.

      • The concern though, from what I understand, is that he said what he did in the context of the Marlins’ attempt to rebrand and market themselves. They’re in the middle of a salespitch, and one of their biggest selling points (allegedly) just put his foot, ankle, and shin bone in his mouth.

        What I don’t understand is why anyone not running the Marlins should care that he said that, or why anyone in the press would be calling for a suspension. It’s a corporate image thing, and nothing more. Ken Rosenthal saying it would be the ‘right thing to do’ really caught me off guard.

      • “How dare you say things about other people not being allowed to say things! You shouldn’t be allowed to say things like that!”

      • “suspending someone for a mis-interpreted opinion (last time I checked, opinions weren’t illegal in Miami or anywhere else in the U.S.) is beyond Draconian. I find it ironic that everyone’s been calling Cuba a fascist state while ignoring the flak endured by Guillen in order to suppress his opinion.”

        yes, your words having consequences insofar as consumers can voluntarily boycott or avoid your product is just like, for example, Oscar Elias Biscet being thrown in a Cuban gulag for 25 years for supporting human rights and democracy in Cuba.

        I mean, c’mon…I tried to keep Cuba stuff to the last URL Weaver thread, but this is getting ridiculous. Words having consequences in a marketplace of ideas and consumers is not really equivalent at all to a state that throws people in jail for political speech. If Guillen does get suspended (and I don’t think he will or should), it’ll be by an organization concerned with how its employees’ speech potentially impact their ability to draw consumers and create a sustainable baseball product, and not by state policemen busting down his door, and that difference matters.

        it’s not even as close as apples and oranges in terms of comparison, it’s like…DVD players and oranges.

  4. Re: Pirates fan sleeping.

    What is Stiffler’s mom doing there?

  5. Your supposed Fangraphs/Jack Moore link goes to the EE reaction post.

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