|The Factors – Week 6||05.17.10 at 5:19 pm ET|
* – LEADING OFF INNINGS – The Red Sox continue to lead the major leagues at getting the inning’s first batter on base (.383 OBP) after a .382 mark in Week 6… Opponents hit .455 (20-44) leading off innings against the Phillies last week and hitting a cool .330 in those situations against them for the season (99-300). If it holds up, that .330 average allowed would be the highest ever since they began tracking the stat in 1974:
.330 – Philadelphia Phillies, 2010
.319 – Colorado Rockies, 1999
.315 – Colorado Rockies, 2004
* – AFTER 0-1 COUNTS – It’s tough to hit consistently when you get behind most of the time, but that’s what the Sox did this week as 51% of their plate appearances went through 0-1, while 41% went through 1-0 and 8% put the first pitch in play. Their .581 OPS following 0-1 counts this week, a middle-of-the-pack result (compared to .880 after 1-0 counts, also ranked in the middle), should tell you just how difficult it is… Red Sox pitchers thrived after getting ahead, walking just 4% of batters after a first pitch strike. Their season-long percentage is now 6.7%, the 3rd worst in the majors and threatens to be the worst since ’74 by a Red Sox staff in a non-strike year:
6.71% – 1996 Red Sox
6.67% – 2010 Red Sox
5.16% – 1992 Red Sox
* – AFTER 1-0 COUNTS – This is not directly 1-0 related, but it’s worth noting: Opposing hitters went 10-40 (a very strong .250 average allowed) last week when putting the first pitch in play, easily the most such AB in the majors in that span. For the season, opponents are 62-170 (.365) when they put the first pitch in play. That’s easily the most such opponent AB in the majors (Washington and Arizona, 165 each) and only Baltimore opponents have more first pitch hits (63). Baltimore has allowed the highest first pitch average in the majors so far (.460). That .460 mark is well ahead of the pace for the all-time highest first pitch average allowed since 1974:
.460 – Baltimore Orioles, 2010
.401 – Tampa Bay Rays, 2007
.392 – Detroit Tigers, 1996
* – AFTER 3-0 COUNTS – Not sure that you can get much worse than the Sox pitchers were against five batters after falling behind 3-0: Four walks and a HR. For the season, their 2.152 OPS allowed after 3-0 counts (.852 OBP and 3 HR allowed in 20 official AB) is not only the worst in the majors this season, but is WAY ahead of pace to be the worst since they tracked the stat (’74):
2.152 – Boston Red Sox, 2010
1.670 – Cincinnati Reds, 2004
1.660 – Kanas City Royals, 1997
All three HR have been allowed by Sox relievers (Okajima, Ramirez, Schoeneweis).
* – AFTER 0-2 COUNTS – Getting behind 0-2 pretty much meant death in Red Sox games last week as both teams combined to hit .107 (8-75).
* – FULL COUNTS – As has been the case pretty much all season, Red Sox pitchers were awful on 3-2 counts again in Week 6, allowing a .500+ OBP and 1.000+ OPS. For the season, they have allowed an MLB-high 1.054 full count OPS that includes 8 HR (tied for the most in the bigs) and an AL-high 79 walks. Especially ineffective once the count goes full have been Josh Beckett (allowed 20 of 30 to reach including 2 HR), Jon Lester (19 of 36 including 2 HR), and Hideki Okajima (7 of 10 reached base). The worst full count OPS allowed by any other Red Sox staff (since ’74) is .912, by the 1998 squad.
* – GROUNDBALLS – The Red Sox remain 7th in the majors at avoiding hits on groundballs even after a lackluster (.227) week. But at least they’re not the Mets (.315 last week and .271 for the season, both MLB worsts).
* – LINE DRIVES – Red Sox pitchers saw 13 of opponents’ 30 line drives turned into outs last week as their .567 average allowed on frozen ropes was the best (luckiest?) in the majors. Here’s the rub: So far this season, only Seattle, Detroit, and Baltimore in the AL have allowed more line drives than Boston’s 205.
* – RUNNERS IN SCORING POSITION – The Sox averaged fewer than 2 hits per game with RISP last week, which is a concern. Here’s a big part of the problem: So far in 2010, Kevin Youkilis (2-12) and JD Drew (2-16) have combined to bat .143 with RISP and 2 outs. Last year, their combined average in those situations was .336 (38-113).
|A Five Run First!!||05.15.10 at 9:12 am ET|
* – Prior to last night, the Red Sox had not had 5+ RBI in a first inning since August 12, 2008, when they took a 10-0 lead in the first against Texas in that classic, 19-17, win at Fenway. David Ortiz homered twice in that inning.
* – The last time they collected 5 first inning RBI on the road was June 20, 2007, at Atlanta, keyed by a 3-run homer by Coco Crisp.
* – Ortiz’ HR was the 50th of his career in the first inning. That ranks him 24th in first inning bombs since he broke into the league in 1997. Alex Rodriguez is the leader with 105 first inning HR in that span.
|Friday Nuggetpalooza!||05.14.10 at 11:43 am ET|
Here’s a slew of random nuggets to carry you through the weekend:
* – Over the last 6 games, the Red Sox have 96 plate appearances versus opposing bullpens but they’ve hit just .209 with a .513 OPS (2nd worst in the AL in that span; LA Angels, .399). This after they torched bullpens from April 26 through May 5 to the tune of a .354 average and 1.023 OPS. No other MLB team batted .300+ or put up an OPS of .950+ versus opposing pens during that span.
* – Since allowing 37 stolen bases (and throwing out just 2) over their first 17 games, the Red Sox have allowed just 7 (and thrown out 7) over the last 18 games (since April 24). Only one AL team has allowed fewer steals (Seattle, 5) and Boston and their next opponent, Detroit, are the only AL teams to allow a 50% success rate or lower during that almost three week span.
* – Since last September 6, Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena is 0-33 in games that the Rays lost.
* – The Red Sox have collected 6+ hits in their last 22 straight games. It’s the longest such streak in the majors this season and the longest by the Red Sox since 2007. They’ve still got some work to do to break the longest such streak since 1952: 69 games by the 1987 Red Sox. They hit .297 during the streak from May 18 through August 14 that year, but went just 34-35 in those games.
* – The Red Sox have won 6 of 7 in Detroit over the last two seasons, batting .299 with 11 HR in those games.
* – David Ortiz has averaged one RBI every 3.74 AB in his career at Detroit’s Comerica Park (34 RBI in 127 AB), the best career mark by any opposing player there (min. 100 AB). Lower that minimum to 50 AB, and the all-time leader becomes Kevin Youkilis (2.80; 20 RBI in 56 AB).
* – Last year, the Red Sox (and their so-called “poor” defense) allowed 41 unearned runs, the 2nd LOWEST figure in the AL (Minnesota 39). This year, the Twins are again leading the league, having allowed only 3 unearned runs. But the Red Sox have allowed 13, which is the 10th lowest in the AL.
* – The Red Sox have not turned a DP in their last two games. This comes on the heels of a 7 game streak in which they turned at least one in each, their longest since 2007.
* – OK, this probably won’t matter in the end, but the Red Sox longest current road hitting streak is 3 games (JD Drew) and their longest of the season is 8 (Marco Scutaro). They’ve had at least one road hitting streak of 10+ games in every non-strike season since 1982. For a little perspective, the Yankees failed to turn that trick in 2004 but an Oriole has done it every year sine 1969.
* – Here are three leaderboards (thru Wednesday):
MAJOR LEAGUE RBI LEADERS
37 – Andre Ethier, LAD
36 – Miguel Cabrera, DET
32 – Casey McGehee, MIL
29 – Evan Longoria, TB
29 – Jorge Cantu, FLA
MAJOR LEAGUE RBI LEADERS PER RUNNER ON BASE
(min. 50 runners on base)
48.1% – Andre Ethier, LAD
42.6% – Jose Bautista, TOR
41.8% – Jason Heyward, ATL
41.2% – Paul Konerko, CHW
MAJOR LEAGUE RBI LEADERS PER RUNNER IN SCORING POSITION
(min. 30 RISP)
82.2% – Andre Ethier, LAD
76.7% – Dustin Pedroia, BOS
73.0% – Mark Reynolds, ARI
71.8% – Jason Heyward, ATL
Other than Ethier, these leaderboards show that RBI leaders are largely a product of opportunity. Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera and Milwaukee’s Casey McGehee have batted with 97 and 96 runners on base, respectively, the 5th and 6th highest figures in the league. Below are the totals and percentages for the Red Sox so far (sorted by total RBI). I know exactly where you are going to look first, so I’ve highlighted David Ortiz’ line:
23 – Dustin Pedroia (79 runners; 30 RISP; 29% RBI/runner; 77% RBI/RISP)
21 – JD Drew (71; 37; 30%; 57%)
20 – Adrian Beltre (94; 54; 21%; 37%)
19 – Jeremy Hermida (66; 40; 29%; 48%)
17 – Kevin Youkilis (60; 24; 28%; 71%)
17 – Victor Martinez (79; 37; 22%; 46%)
11 – David Ortiz (70; 41; 16%; 27%)
11 – Darnell McDonald (48; 28; 23%; 39%)
10 – Jason Varitek (14; 9; 71%; 111%)
9 – Mike Lowell (43; 19; 21%; 47%)
7 – Marco Scutaro (75; 34; 9%; 21%)
NOTES: Last season, Pedroia batted with 192 RISP and had 75 RBI (39%) compared to his 77% start this season… The 54 runners in scoring position with Beltre batting ranks 11th in the majors so far… Jeremy Hermida has batted with an average of .805 runners on base and .488 RISP this season, the 2nd highest rates in baseball (Troy Glaus: .813 and .500)… David Ortiz’ RBI rates last season were 26% per runner and 50% per RISP… If you drop the minimum to 10 runners, Jason Varitek is far and away the major league leader with his 71% and 111% rates… Marco Scutaro’s RBI rate of 9% per runner is the lowest in the majors among those who have batted with more than 65 runners on this season.
|The Factors – Week Five||05.10.10 at 3:26 pm ET|
LEADOFF NOTES –
* – The .379 OBP leading off innings by the Red Sox this week was still quite solid, but it marked just the 2nd week this season that they’ve been under .400.
* – Only 8 leadoff strikeouts by Boston pitchers tied for their weekly low this season. Their 26 leadoff walks allowed this season is the 4th most in the AL, trailing only Cleveland, Toronto, and Kansas City.
* – Clip N’ Save: Toronto has hit a major league leading 15 HR leading off innings this season.
* – Pittsburgh’s pitchers allowed the leadoff batter to reach base only 7 times in 6 games last week, a .130 OBP, best in the majors last week. They entered last week having allowed a .395 OBP to each inning’s leadoff batter, the worst mark in the majors.
0-1 COUNT NOTES –
* – Boston hitters fell behind 0-1 in 50% of their plate appearances last week and are at 50.9% for the season, the highest percentage in the majors:
50.9% – Boston Red Sox
50.1% – San Diego Padres
50.1% – Baltimore Orioles
49.9% – Los Angeles Dodgers
Fortunately, the Sox have put up a .717 OPS after 0-1 counts (4th best in the majors). They hit an AL high 5 HR last week after falling behind 0-1.
* – Sox pitchers got ahead only 42% of the time last week, the 3rd lowest mark in the majors.
* – Angels’ pitchers walked 15 batters last week after getting ahead 0-1 and have now walked 53 such batters this season, the most in the majors:
53 – Los Angeles Angels
44 – Colorado Rockies
42 – Boston Red Sox
1-0 COUNT NOTES –
* – You can see that the Red Sox rank 4th in OPS after 0-1 counts and are 8th this season after 1-0 counts (.858 OPS). But when they put the first pitch in play, they’ve hit .427 with a 1.263 OPS. Both lead the majors. And they led the majors last year in first pitch hitting, when they batted .359 with a 1.029 OPS.
* – Darnell McDonald entered the season 2 for 13 (.154) in his career when putting the first pitch in play. He’s 6-6 so far this season.
* – As well as the Sox have hit following 1-0 counts, the pitching has been pretty horrid after falling behind 1-0. Last week, Sox pitchers allowed 5 HR (tied for the most in majors) and a .350 average (MLB high) last week after 1-0 counts. The main culprits:
Josh Beckett – .392 average and .500 OBP after 1-0, compared to .221 average and .280 OBP after getting ahead 1-0.
Okajima, Ramirez, Schoeneweis relief troika – .375 average, 16% walks, and 6 HR after 1-0 counts, versus .242 average, 4% walks, and 0 HR after throwing strike one on the first pitch.
* – Clip ‘N Save – Toronto hitters have stroked 22 HR after getting ahead 1-0 this season, the most in the majors.
0-2 COUNT NOTES –
* – The Sox’ .133 average last week after getting in an 0-2 hole was their worst weekly mark so far this season. Their .209 mark for the season to date still ranks 3rd best in the majors.
* – Opponents are 1-15 (.067) with 10 strikeouts after Daniel Bard gets ahead 0-2 this season. In his career, he has struck out 64.6% of opposing hitters after 0-2 counts, the 2nd highest career mark in the AL (since 1990; min. 60 such BF):
66.5% – Bryan Harvey
64.6% – Daniel Bard
62.9% – Travis Phelps
* – Clip ‘N Save – Opposing hitters went just 2-37 (.054) last week against Toronto after falling behind 0-2, the lowest average allowed in the majors. For the season, Blue Jays pitchers have allowed a .351 OPS after 0-2 counts, the best mark in the AL.
* – The Cincinnati Reds have not allowed a HR following an 0-2 count yet this season (in 201 batters faced). They are the only team that has yet to do so.
FULL COUNT NOTES –
* – The Red Sox offense finally came to life last week on 3-2 counts, putting up a .548 OBP (6th) and 1.120 OPS (3rd) for the week. Both were easily their highest weekly marks of the season. They’ve still got a ways to go, though, carrying just a .392 OBP (28th) and .739 OPS (27th) on full counts for the season. That OBP is still a full 100 points behind their full count OBP of last year (.492).
* – The 3-2 pitching by the Red Sox has been atrocious as they’ve allowed a .513 OBP and major league worst 1.050 OPS for the 2010 season to date. The worst full-season OPS allowed by a Red Sox team on full counts was .912, by the 1998 squad. This could be an interesting race.
* – Twins’ opponents went 0-17 on full counts last week and are batting .112 (10-89) for the season.
GROUNDBALL NOTES –
* – Boston’s .256 average on grounders was their highest since they put up a .271 in Week One. Still, their .210 season-to-date average ranks 24th and is far from their .237 of last season.
* – The Sox induced 96 groundballs last week, easily a season high for them and 2nd most in the AL. For the year so far, they’ve gained significant ground, allowing a .199 average on grounders (7th), much better than that 22nd ranked .244 from last season.
* – The Florida Marlins infield, including former Sox farmhand-turned-superstar Hanley Ramirez, has allowed a .258 average on grounders this season (28th). This includes last week’s average allowed of .373.
LINE DRIVE NOTES –
* – The 53 line drives hit by the Red Sox last week were the most in the majors (Texas was 2nd with 46) and 10 line drive doubles was 2nd in the AL, trailing only Boston’s next opponent, Toronto (12).
* – Not only have the Yankees allowed the 2nd fewest line drives in the majors this season (142), but they’ve also allowed the lowest batting average on line drives (.638), far better than 2nd best Tampa Bay (.673).
* – Opponents were 30 for 32 (.938) on line drives versus the Orioles last week and are hitting .810 for the season, the highest line drive average allowed in the majors so far (and they’ve allowed the 2nd most liners in the AL). Their line drive average allowed last season was .754. Only the Angels (.759) was higher. Yikes.
RISP NOTES –
* – Since that dismal showing in Week Two in which the Red Sox went just 4 for 42 with RISP (.095), the Sox have hit .333 or better in each of the last three weeks in those situations. Their .337 average over the last three weeks with RISP is 17 points better than any other major league team during that span.
* – Boston’s pitching gave a lot of the offense’s RISP gains right back last week, allowing a .322 average (4th highest in the majors) and .463 OBP (2nd highest) last week. It was Boston’s second straight week allowing a .300+ average with RISP.
* – JD Drew is batting .071 (1 for 14) with 1 RBI every 7 AB this season with RISP and 2 outs. He’s hitting .304 with an RBI every 5.5 AB in all other spots.
* – How much longer can Tampa Bay keep up their .128 average allowed with RISP and 2 outs? Their WORST week so far was Week One (.179), followed by two consecutive weeks where opponents combined to go 2 for 40, followed by .160 (Week Four) and .143 (last week). Here are the all-time (since 1974) AL single season leaders in batting average allowed with RISP and 2 outs:
.126 – Tampa Bay Rays, 2010 (partial season)
.194 – Anaheim Angels, 2002
.197 – Oakland A’s, 1977
.197 – Oakland A’s, 1976
|Monday Morning Quickie – Just Two Nuggets||05.10.10 at 9:30 am ET|
Just a couple of things this morning:
* – The Red Sox allowed 6+ runs in 17 of their first 31 games this season. How does that compare to prior seasons?
2009 – Allowed 6+ runs 12 times in first 31 games and their 17th such game came on June 14, in their 63rd game of the season. I’ll do the math for you: They allowed 6+ runs just 5 times from game 32 through game 63 last year.
2008 – Did it just 9 times in their first 31 and reached 17 such games on May 22 (game 50).
2007 – Only 7 such games in their first 31 and their 17th came on June 3 in game 55.
2006 – Allowed 6+ runs 12 times through 31 games and got to 17 on May 24 (game 44).
2005 – Allowed 9 such games in their first 31 and reached 17 on May 27, in their 47th game.
2004 – Allowed 9 such games in their first 31 and reached 17 on May 31, in game number 51.
2003 – Allowed 12 such games in their first 31 and reached 17 on May 17, in their 42nd game.
* – Seven different American League teams have won 100+ games since the beginning of last season (Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minnesota, New York, Tampa Bay, Texas). Following are the number of games played by each of those “Heavy Seven” against others from that group so far in 2010 (with W-L record in parentheses):
21 – Los Angeles (6-15)
20 – Boston (9-11)
18 – New York (12-6)
17 – Detroit (9-8)
13 – Minnesota (9-4)
10 – Texas (3-7)
7 – Tampa Bay (5-2)
The Rays still have *LOTS* of work to do. In my opinion, Boston’s not going to catch New York. They can catch Tampa, though.
Check back later today for “Factors – Week Five”.
|Boxscore Breakdown: Tuesday’s Win||05.05.10 at 9:20 am ET|
Let’s see what we can find from last night’s boxscore, shall we?
* – The Red Sox held the Angels’ 4-5-6 hitters off base last night. It’s the first time since last August 20 that Boston pitchers have kept an opponent’s 4-5-6 hitters from reaching (66 games) and just the 2nd time in 132 games. It snapped a 10 game hitting streak by opposing #4 hitters against Boston pitching in which they had gone 21-41 (.512).
* – Jon Lester held the Angels to 0-4 with runners in scoring position last night. Over his last three starts, opponents are now 0-12 versus Lester with RISP.
* – Marco Scutaro had three hits from the leadoff spot in last night’s game. It was the 21st consecutive game in which he’s led off for Boston and he is now 27-91 (.297) in those games. The Red Sox have won their last 13 straight games when they have received 3+ hits from their leadoff spot. Their last loss came on May 15, 2009 against Seattle.
* – Mike Lowell picked up an RBI from the #9 hole last night (albeit in a pinch hitting role), the 17th from Boston’s #9 hitters this season. That’s tied with Tampa Bay for the 2nd most in the AL (Oakland, 20). The Red Sox have won 21 of their last 25 when their #9 hitter chips in an RBI.
* – Red Sox pinch hitters now lead the AL with a 1.111 OPS (5 for 15 with 2 doubles and a HR).
* – Jeremy Hermida’s clutch three-run double (his first go-ahead RBI since last July) gave Boston’s 8th place hitters 12 RBI this season, trailing only Baltimore’s 8th spot (15). Sox #8 hitters have put up a .953 OPS and have 50 total bases, each tops in the AL.
* – David Ortiz had 2 strikeouts and 2 GIDP’s for just the 2nd time in his career. The other came on 8/20/04. The bases loaded GIDP was the 6th of his career but the first ever that went home-to-first. The home-to-first GIDP was the first against the Red Sox since April 25, 2009.
* – The Red Sox began the season by losing their first six games in which they failed to hit a HR. Last night’s victory was their 4th consecutive win in games where they did not hit a HR.
* – There were no home runs hit by either team last night. Boston has now won 16 of their last 18 games at Fenway when neither team homers. They have won just 8 of their last 19 when one or more balls leave the yard.
* – Jonathan Papelbon tossed a perfect inning with two strikeouts last night. It was his first 2010 appearance where he pitched 1+ innings, allowed no baserunners, and fanned more than one batter. He had 6 such appearances last year, and 12 in 2008. He is the all time Red Sox leader in such appearances:
44 – Jonathan Papelbon
18 – Hideki Okajima
17 – Lee Smith
17 – Alan Embree
* – The Red Sox are torching opposing bullpens. For the season, the Sox are hitting .292 versus relievers with an .845 OPS and 66 RBI (all lead the AL). Over the last 5 games, opposing bullpens have thrown 16 innings versus the Sox, allowing 27 hits, 21 ER (11.81 ERA), a .386 average, and 5 HR.
|The Factors – Week 4||05.03.10 at 12:27 pm ET|
Still an awful lot of awful four weeks into the 2010 season:
* – LEADING OFF INNINGS – OFFENSE – The offense has been just fine this season in this category, ranking 4th season-to-date with a .384 leadoff OBP. They’ve been below .400 in just one week so far. The Sox’ leaders so far have been Drew (.450), Scutaro (.441), and Beltre (.429).
* – LEADING OFF INNINGS – PITCHING – After allowing .389 and .400 OBP’s in weeks 1 and 2, the staff has been better over the last two weeks (.328 in week 3 and just .291 last week). Clay Buchholz has been the team leader here this season, allowing just a .280 leadoff OBP, while Jon Lester’s .414 has been fueled by 6 leadoff walks and one leadoff HBP.
* – AFTER 0-1 COUNTS – OFFENSE – Boston’s .709 OPS following 0-1 counts ranked 10th this week (thanks to 3 HR), and their .698 mark YTD is 5th. Their 15 HR this year after 0-1 counts is tied for 2nd in the majors (Arizona, 20). Kevin Youkilis (.915) and Dustin Pedroia (.868) have been stout after falling behind so far. Here’s a concern: Pedroia has fallen behind 74 times already (most in the majors), nearly twice as often as he has gotten ahead (39).
* – AFTER 0-1 COUNTS – PITCHING – The staff has been getting ahead a little more often recently (now up to 49%) and their .594 OPS allowed after getting ahead is their best weekly mark of the season so far. Daniel Bard (.457; opponents are 3-26 with 2 HR against him after 0-1 counts) has been the best on the team, while Lackey (.844 OPS allowed) needs improvement. Clip and save for this week: Red Sox pitchers have walked 35 after getting ahead 0-1 this year. Only two teams have walked more such batters so far, Colorado (38) and this week’s opponent, the Los Angeles Angels (38).
* – AFTER 1-0 COUNTS – OFFENSE – Victor Martinez’ .472 OPS after getting ahead is the lowest in the AL. Papi’s .616 isn’t much better. Boston has had two weeks of Jekyll (.900 & .848) and two weeks of Hyde (.612 & .745).
* – AFTER 1-0 COUNTS – PITCHING – The good news is that Sox pitchers fell behind just 39% of the time (after 42%+ in each of the first 3 weeks) and that their strikeout percentage in this spot (21%) was the highest in the AL. However, only Oakland (.736) allowed a higher slugging percentage than Boston’s .600 this week.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
* – AFTER 0-2 COUNTS – OFFENSE – Adrian Beltre is 7 for 10 this season after 0-2 counts. That’s a .700 average. The league is hitting .167 in those spots. Beltre went 19-95 (.200) in each of the last two seasons after 0-2 counts.
* – AFTER 0-2 COUNTS – PITCHING – John Lackey’s .928 OPS allowed after getting ahead 0-2 has been a ridiculous departure from his norm (.441 in 2008; .501 in 2009) and I’ll be shocked if that doesn’t improve. As a team, they allowed 3 walks (only Oakland had more) and allowed 4 extra base hits (tied for AL most) last week after getting ahead 0-2.
* – FULL COUNTS – OFFENSE – Well, when the guys that you expected to produce in the middle of the order are 0-11 on full counts (Victor Martinez) and 1-18 with 11 strikeouts (David Ortiz), you’re offense is going to struggle. Other than week 3, where the Sox batted .310 on full counts, Boston has gone 11 for 90 (.122) during the other three weeks this season. If you are looking for a silver lining, at least this week’s full count OBP was north of .300 (higher than the other two poor weeks).
* – FULL COUNTS – PITCHING – Josh Beckett’s OPS allowed on full counts is 1.722 as opponents are 9-18 (.500) with 9 walks. However, Beckett only went full on two batters yesterday and fanned both of them. So maybe, just maybe, things will improve from here. As a team, they can’t go anywhere but up from their 1.037 full count OPS allowed on the season, last in the majors.
* – GROUNDBALLS – OFFENSE – Here are a few Red Sox hitters with their season-to-date averages on groundballs with last year’s average in parentheses:
Pedroia: .205 (.270)
Youkilis: .194 (.266)
Ortiz: .125 (.152)
Drew: .208 (.203)
Scutaro: .216 (.262)
Beltre: .222 (.262)
Martinez: .158 (.249)
In 2009, the AL hit .239 on groundballs and the Red Sox have five guys on this list at .249 or better plus Ellsbury (.266) and Mike Cameron, who hit a whopping .310 on grounders last season. Have we stumbled across another part of the Sox’ “plan” for retooling the offense in 2010? Effective groundballers? It’s a stretch, but *IF* that’s the case, it ain’t working as every one of them (except Ellsbury in limited time and Drew is basically a wash) is worse than last year.
* – GROUNDBALLS – PITCHING – Here are the weekly averages on groundballs versus the Red Sox this season:
I think it’s safe to say that this is another major concern given the 2010 campaign platform based on “Run Prevention”.
* – LINE DRIVES – OFFENSE – Here are a few Red Sox hitters with their season-to-date averages on groundballs with last year’s average in parentheses:
Pedroia: .714 (.717)
Youkilis: .833 (.823)
Ortiz: .600 (.712)
Drew: .750 (.775)
Scutaro: .684 (.752)
Beltre: .857 (.781)
Martinez: .643 (.725)
Nothing much of note here. After a very slow start, the Red Sox as a team have seen their “line drive luck” steadily climb back to just about normal now.
* – LINE DRIVES – PITCHING – Let’s just say that it’s nice to see the Sox hit more line drives than they allowed last week. For the season, they’ve allowed 135 liners and hit 134.
* – RUNNERS IN SCORING POSITION – OFFENSE – Their .333 average with RISP this week is more than a little misleading. They went 11-20 (.550) on Monday in their 13-12 win against Toronto, then went 8 for 34 (.235) the rest of the week.
* – RUNNERS IN SCORING POSITION – PITCHING – For the season, the 258 opponent at bats with RISP are the most in the AL, as are the 78 hits and 115 total bases allowed with RISP.
* – RUNNERS IN SCORING POSITION & 2 OUTS – OFFENSE – As with RISP, this week’s average was skewed by Monday’s slugfest: 6 for 10 with 3 doubles on Monday, then 5 for 17 (all singles) the rest of the week.
* – RUNNERS IN SCORING POSITION & 2 OUTS – PITCHING – Let’s just say that the three straight hits allowed by Dice-K in the 5th inning on Saturday with two outs and RISP didn’t help this week’s cause. Wakefield’s 2-out, 3-run homer allowed the following inning didn’t, either.
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