April 13, 2004

One Week In. The Red Sox have a 4-3 record after the first week of the season, which is good enough for a share of first place in the AL East. And considering that they are playing without Nomar and Nixon, and missed Damon for two games, that's pretty good. And while I recently suggested laughing at people who rely on small sample sizes, today's papers are full of to-date stats, so I'm posting some of them.

Boston's team batting average is .236; only the Blue Jays (.217) and Yankees (.208) are worse. Boston's slugging percentage of .364 is 13th in the AL (.001 ahead of Toronto) and the team's OBP is .336 (10th). Some numbers:
          AVG   OBP   SLG

Manny .414 .469 .621
Ortiz .304 .467 .739

Mueller .182 .229 .182 (0-last 19)
Varitek .190 .433 .333 (9 BB, 2nd in MLB)
Bellhorn .174 .424 .348 (10 BB, leads MLB)
The Red Sox pitching staff has a 3.56 ERA -- 2nd best behind Oakland's 3.11 and 1.45 points lower than the Yankees, who are 10th at 5.01. The starters are 3-1, 3.20 and the bullpen is 1-2, 4.24. Theo: "We'll be OK if we don't play two 12-plus-inning games a week the rest of the year. If we do, we might have to go with a 15-man staff." ... The Red Sox staff has issued 32 walks and one-quarter of them have come from Bobby Jones -- in only 3.1 innings.

Theo on the first week: "There have been lots of injuries and atypical performances in some respects. But the bottom line is we're only going to play better as we go forward. ... We haven't been able to develop a rhythm yet with our personnel or with game situations. ... It's been an unusual set of circumstances. The first week of the season, we have seven guys on the DL and another unavailable."

Gerry Callahan on the pulling of Pedro: "Ped-ro! Ped-ro! they chanted, and you couldn't help but wonder if he would finish the job. ... He wouldn't get the chance. Not this year. Not with this manager. ... Francona signaled to the bullpen before he reached the mound ... A funny thing happened on this night, though. No one seemed to mind. ... 'I told him he pitched a whale of a ball game,' Francona said, 'and Foulke will finish up for him.' ... The Red Sox made a number of upgrades in the offseason, and this is certainly one of them. Francona doesn't have to be a genius. He just has to make sense."

Mussina and Contreras could be flip-flopped on Friday, in which case Mussina would face Schilling. ... Alex ".172" Rodriguez heard some boos on Sunday in Yankee Stadium.

Pitchers for the Orioles series:
Tuesday: Lowe/Kurt Ainsworth
Wednesday: Wakefield/Sidney Ponson
Thursday: Pedro/Matt Riley

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