June 20, 2005

G68: Red Sox 8, Pirates 0

After a 5-1 homestand in which Boston pitchers put up a 1.83 ERA, the Red Sox hit the road. First stop: Cleveland, who has won nine consecutive games and 13 of their last 14. Since May 21, Cleveland is 20-7 and Boston is 14-13.

Matt Clement and Alan Embree teamed up for a four-hit shutout Sunday afternoon. Clement threw seven innings, allowing only three singles and one walk, while striking out nine batters for the second consecutive start. Embree threw two innings, getting out of a man-on-third, one-out jam in the eighth.

The Globe's Chris Snow notes that Carl Pavano and Brad Radke were higher on the Sox's winter wish list than Clement, but that he has easily outpitched both of them, even though he actually "has poorer core pitching numbers now than he did June 20, 2004" when he was pitching for the Cubs.
           ERA   K/9  BB/9
Chicago 3.07 9.4 2.8
Boston 3.48 7.4 3.0
Snow: "Some of that should be discounted given the league change -- he's now facing a legitimate batter in the No. 9 hole." ... On June 20, 2004, his record was 7-5; right now, he is 8-1. That's because he's getting plenty of run support in Boston.

Boston scored eight runs yesterday with Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez on the bench. Ramirez's left ankle is still sore from being hit on Saturday night -- and Damon has a strained right rotator cuff, suffered on a diving catch back on June 4. Damon has not taken batting practice in about a week. Damon: "There's some days it feels like it's going to pop out of the socket. ... Fifteen days [on the disabled list] is probably what would help it, but I'm not that kind of person. I know I can help this team even if I'm not totally healthy. ... Maybe I need to take a day or so off once a week to rest it."

The Red Sox batted around and scored five times in the third inning, the rally highlighted by David Ortiz's two-run triple and Jay Payton's two-run homer. Payton started both games this weekend and went 4-for-7 (he doubled twice on Saturday). ... Bill Mueller doubled and tripled yesterday.

A SoSH thread -- Why Don't We Do It On The Road? -- examines why Boston has been so ineffective (16-20) away from Fenway. While the hitting has been fairly consistent
       AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS
Home: .282 .365 .456 .821
Road: .282 .357 .438 .795
the pitching has not (3.94 ERA at home and 5.46 on the road). The Red Sox pitchers have allowed pretty much the same number of baserunners at home and on the road (walks + hits per inning), but looking at home runs allowed gives us a clue as to why the road ERA is so high.
      WHIP   ERA  GM  IP    HR
Home 1.35 3.94 32 288 19
Away 1.40 5.46 36 304.2 43
Tonight: David Wells (4.54) / CC Sabathia (3.91), 7:00
Tuesday: Bronson Arroyo (4.26) / Kevin Millwood (3.20), 7:00
Wednesday: Wade Miller (5.16) / Cliff Lee (3.33), 7:00

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