Originally Posted by gosox41
That may be part of the reason but there's got to be more to it. Some thought Ozzie went with too many Sunday line ups throughout the course of the whole season. He didn't just institute them after the All Star Break. So guys were getting days off (or multiple days off as Ozzie scheduled off days around the schedule) and thus they should have been fresher in the second half.
Also, why do our guys get tired and fade. Didn't Cabrera and Prince play 160 games this year. They didn't fade, and Prince is fat. Verlander has thrown the most pitches of any pitcher in baseball 3 of the last 4 years. He hasn't faded.
There's got to be more to it. I was hoping that when Robin took over, some of those trends that happened under Ozzie would stop (ie second half fades, losing tough luck games to Minnesota, bad west coast trips). To Robin's defense, this years bench was not very good.
But there are some teams that seem to have a history of heating up in the second half. The A's and definitely the Cards come to mind. What is the difference between them and us? Is it the youth of the A's? If they faded, inexperience would be an issue. Is this years A's bench really that much better then ours? They had a tougher schedule and a tiny payroll then the Sox. And the Cardinals have this switch that clicks on in August and runs through October.
There's more to this. I wish I had answers.
They did, but they are 29 and 28 years old, respectively. In the prime of their careers. When Paul Konerko was that age, he was enjoying some of his finest seasons. He led us to a World Series title at age 29. Now, Paul is 36 and more prone to injury. He's not the only older player in the Sox lineup who struggled down the stretch either.
It is worth noting Alex Rios led the Sox in games played with 157, and he did not fade at all. He played some of his best baseball down the stretch while teammates were crumbling around him. Rios is 31, a little older than Cabrera and Fielder, but still young enough to handle a huge workload. Two of the five games Rios did not appear in this season were the final two meaningless contests in Cleveland.
As for Verlander, check his August and September numbers
for his first full year in Detroit's rotation. That was 2006. I think you'll see he had some struggles as a young pitcher, much like a couple young pitchers in the Sox rotation this year. It takes a little time to build up the kind of arm strength where a pitcher can handle a 200-plus innings haul. He's at a much different place in his career than say, Chris Sale.
As a matter of fact, Detroit's best players are all in their primes. The Sox best players are mostly on the back end of their careers, or in the case of a few pitchers, just getting started. That makes a difference.