1. Carl Crawford by pretty much any measure has not had a good season thus far.
He bottomed out on April 22, sporting a .135/.190/.162 line through 18 games. Then over the next 17, April 23-May 11, he hit .309/.329/.456. He's back to .174/.208/.174 in his last six games. That doesn't make for a pretty overall line (.212/.249/.285). His 47 OPS+ is second-worst in the league, ahead of only Mark Ellis and just behind Vernon Wells.
Yet Crawford now has three walkoff hits, which lead the league and are more than the Brewers, Cardinals, Nationals, Mets, Phillies, Rangers, Rockies and Yankees combined.
2. Daniel Bard has five Meltdowns this year (games in which he made his team at least 6 percent more likely to lose). For a pitcher who's appeared in 22 games, that's not very good; it's the second-highest total in the game. The big-league average in 2010 was just seven. But he also has nine Shutdowns (in which he made his team at least 6 percent more likely to win). No one with that many Shutdowns has so many Meltdowns.
3. After seeming to get no luck whatsoever earlier in the season, the Sox have now won three straight games by one run. As a result, Pythagoras says the Sox' record should be two games worse than it actually is; that's mostly because of a 7-6 record in one-run games and a 5-7 record in blowouts (5-plus margin of difference). Only one game in the six straight the Sox have won had a margin of victory greater than two runs. That's not usually a good sign for future success.
But Baseball Prospectus' second-order wins — which is what the team's record should be based not on runs themselves but on the components that go into scoring runs — indicate the Sox have actually been slightly unlucky, and the third-order wins, which measures second-order wins and adjusts for strength of schedule, says the Sox have been slightly unluckier still.
Got that? Pythagoras says the Sox should have a worse record based on the runs they've scored and allowed, but Pythagenpat says the Sox should have a better record because they've been very unlucky in how and when their runs score.
4. But if we're going by third-order winning percentage, the Red Sox should still be in fourth anyway because the Yankees and Blue Jays have been even more unlucky. According to BP, the AL East standings today should look like this (rounding to nearest whole win):
- Yankees, 24-18
- Blue Jays, 25-19 (0 GB)
- Rays, 24-20 (1.0)
- Red Sox, 23-20 (1.5)
- Orioles, 17-25 (7.0)