Pieces of April

A year ago today, the Red Sox were playing their 24th and final game of April. Today will be the 27th and penultimate game of the March/April combo month. When it’s all said and done, the Sox will have played five more games by May 1 than last season. No wonder they’re tired!

After the games of April 29, 2007, the Sox were 16-8, actually not that much better than the possible 17-12 the Sox could rack up (though much better than 15-14) by tomorrow. Let’s take a look at some more comparisons between Aprils.

C — Jason Varitek

  • 2007: .239/.325/.358, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 13 Runs Produced (R+RBI-HR)
  • 2008: .239/.292/.448, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 8 RP

1B — Kevin Youkilis

  • 2007: .291/.402/.407, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 23 RP
  • 2008: .309/.396/.489, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 28 RP

2B — Dustin Pedroia

  • 2007: .182/.308/.236, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 7 RP
  • 2008: .324/.369/.450, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 26 RP

3B — Mike Lowell/Jed Lowrie

  • 2007: .314/.371/.547, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 28 RP
  • 2008: .323/.371/.419, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 9 RP

SS — Julio Lugo

  • 2007: .256/.346/.344, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 24 RP
  • 2008: .297/.333/.330, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 14 RP

LF — Manny Ramirez

  • 2007: .202/.314/.315, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 21 RP
  • 2008: .347/.413/.643, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 31 RP

CF — Coco Crisp/Jacoby Ellsbury

  • 2007: .235/.274/.338, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 13 RP
  • 2008: .280/.396/.440, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 22 RP

RF — J.D. Drew

  • 2007: .278/.376/.392, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 28 RP
  • 2008: .273/.380/.416, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 28 RP

DH — David Ortiz

  • 2007: .297/.402/.615, 7 HR, 22 RBI, 33 RP
  • 2008: .177/.288/.323, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 31 RP

SP1 — Josh Beckett

  • 2007: 5-0, 2.48 ERA, 32.2 IP, 28 K, 7 BB
  • 2008: 2-2, 4.10 ERA, 26.1 IP, 29 K, 7 BB

SP2 — Daisuke Matsuzaka

  • 2007: 3-2, 4.36 ERA, 33 IP, 38 K, 10 BB
  • 2008: 4-0, 3.14 ERA, 28.2 IP, 28 K, 17 BB

SP3 — Tim Wakefield

  • 2007: 2-3, 2.59 ERA, 31.1 IP, 19 K, 15 BB
  • 2008: 2-0, 4.06 ERA, 31 IP, 19 K, 17 BB

SP4 — Curt Schilling/Clay Buchholz

  • 2007: 3-1, 3.27 ERA, 33 IP, 23 K, 7 BB
  • 2008: 1-2, 4.08 ERA, 28.2 IP, 27 K, 10 BB

SP5 — Julian Tavarez/Jon Lester

  • 2007: 1-2, 7.58 ERA, 19 IP, 11 K, 8 BB
  • 2008: 1-2, 5.40 ERA, 31.2 IP, 16 K, 19 BB

CL — Jonathan Papelbon

  • 2007: 9 G, 8 SV, 0.00 ERA, 9.1 IP, 15 K, 5 BB
  • 2008: 10 G, 8 SV, 2.45 ERA, 11 IP, 18 K, 1 BB

The offense looks better, the pitching worse. No surprise there. What is surprising — and heartening — is how well the peripherals of Beckett, Buchholz and Wakefield compare to last season’s. That’s a good sign for improvement, hopefully sooner rather than later. Papelbon is a beast. With the numbers the principal players are putting up, the Sox could (should?) easily have a better record than last season.

That they don’t is likely a testament to the unlisted players here — the middle relief, which has been awful. When Papelbon or Hideki Okajima aren’t on the mound, the bullpen has an ERA of 6.49. That’s a lot of inhereted runners being tagged to the starters and a lot of should-be-easy games that are turned into the maddening one-run wins and losses we’ve seen this month.

A couple more games, then into May. Let’s hope a rested team can get it started on the right note tonight.

1 comment… add one

  • All the days off that the Red Sox didn’t get in April are scattered around the rest of the schedule pretty evenly. If rest is as important as everybody’s making it out to be, and the Sox still compiled a winning record in April, the rest of the season will be a walk.

    Kazz April 29, 2008, 6:15 pm

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