Simple Answer

What ails our boys this early in the season?  A quick peek at Baseball Reference tells us that the Sox have had 135 baserunners on the sacks with batters at the plate.  That's not an immense raw number of runners, but even worse only 13 of them have scored, less than 10%.  Compiled numbers show that 15% (or 33% more than the Sox) is the average, and top teams Baltimore, Toronto, Seattle have driven in about 20% of their baserunners while at bat. Say what you want about Mike Lowell, Ortiz' lack of power, etc. etc.but I don't think we need to look at anyone in specific, or deeper into the numbers, to understand the 2-4 record.*

*Small Sample Size disclaimer – they may only be through Saturday, and for the record this post isn't meant to discourage Paul from digging in deeper, of course!  

5 comments… add one

  • Isn’t your conclusion based on a very small sample size of an even smaller sample?
    I don’t think it’s necessary to datamine here. Simply, the reason the Sox be suckin is because their pitching has been blah while only 3 members of the offense are hitting above .210

    Dirty Water April 13, 2009, 9:59 am
  • Yeah, so far Youkilis, Bay and Varitek are the only productive members of the team. Holy shit, did I just say that Varitek is one of the most productive members of the team? It looks like I did. What a difference a week makes.
    That Angels series easily could have gone our way 2-1, it’s not terribly indicative of the long-term success of the team. A few games in Oakland before coming back to Fenway should help that.

    Atheose April 13, 2009, 1:40 pm
  • Of course, the Angels series could have easily gone 0-3. Both of the Sox’s wins have been close, but so have a couple of their losses. But they were against tough opponents (although I’m of the opinion the Angels are on their way to a very long and very far fall).

    AndrewYF April 13, 2009, 3:00 pm
  • that was a frustrating series for me. the LA-Aneheim-california-Angels are not that good of a team, they should have been swept. Oh well, the Oakland-S.F- Athletic A’s (why does the “s” on their hat have a different font than the “A”) should also be swept! just glad they’re not playing Seattle on this trip!

    dw (sf) April 13, 2009, 4:10 pm
  • I think the season so far could be summed up in the seventh inning. Scot Shields on the mound, struggling mightily with his control, walks the bases loaded with one out and runs the count to 2-0 on Mike Lowell. Who swings. And pops out.
    And then Jason Varitek comes up. And swings on the first pitch. And lines out. End of the inning.
    The Red Sox are batting .174/.304/.261 with runners in scoring position, which makes their otherwise pathetic line with any runner on base (.238/.330/.393) look downright Ruthian. This obviously will happen when EIGHT of your 12 batters have an OPS+ worse than what Jason Varitek had last year. (In lineup order, it looks like this: 26, 61, 46, 237, 37, 234, 50, -44, 157.)
    We can keep citing the small sample sizes, and it’s certainly unlikely that this trend will continue to such an extreme, but after six games, it’s pretty hard not to notice that the Red Sox’ offense has been catstrophically bad with runners on base.

    Paul SF April 13, 2009, 4:20 pm

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