Babe Ruth, April 1917*:
5-0, 45 IP, 29 H, 15 ER, 13 BB, 25 K, 3.00 ERA, 0.933 WHIP
Pedro Martinez, April 2000:
5-0, 35.1 IP, 22 H, 5 ER, 8 BB, 50 K, 1.27 ERA, 0.849 WHIP
Josh Beckett, April 2007:
5-0, 32.2 IP, 27 H, 9 ER, 7 BB, 28 K, 2.48 ERA, 1.041 WHIP
* Accuracy heavily dependent on my ability to correctly interpret digital reproductions of 90-year-old box scores.
Before you hang Julio Lugo high, consider this: Two more hits in
four fewer at-bats and his .234/.330 line morphs into Kevin Youkilis’
much more palatable .274/.369 line. Each hitter has 11 Ks to go with 11
walks, four doubles and five RBI. Youk has one more run scored and one
home run to Lugo’s zero, but Lugo has six steals in six attempts.
Still thinking about trading for Todd Helton? Why not, especially if
it means keeping Julian Tavarez away from the Fenway Park mound? As hot
as Mike Lowell is right now (.316/.366/.553), Helton would provide a
whopping 110 points more in on-base percentage
(.365/.478/.486). If nothing else, pull the trigger on the basis of
Lowell’s impending free agency and the theory that Helton’s power will
pick up while Lowell has a history of slumping as the season goes
Still, the Sox’ offensive inconsistency wouldn’t be solved by
bringing in Helton — Lugo (0 for 9 slump notwithstanding), Youkilis,
Ortiz, Drew and Lowell are all close enough to normal to be reliably
productive. Manny Ramirez (he and Coco Crisp are the only starters with
a sub-.300 OBP) is not, and that’s the crux of the lineup.
The last time Boston held at least a 5.5-game lead over New York was
Aug. 10, 2005, when the Sox held the same margin. Needless to say, the
Yankees won the division. Still plenty of baseball.