27 of the other 29 major league teams have won at least twice as many games as the Red Sox (2-9).Of the 30 MLB teams, Boston is 23rd in AVG, 16th in OBP, 24th in SLG, 23rd in Runs Scored Per Game, 30th in ERA, 30th in Runs Allowed Per Game, and 26th in WHIP.*
* The Yankees (5-4) are far more close to the Red Sox in most of these categories than i would have thought:
AVG OBP SLG RS/G RA/G ERA WHIP Boston 23rd 16th 24th 23th 30th 30th 26th New York 21st 22nd 3rd 6th 25th 24th 25thWhile the Red Sox are getting on base more often than the Yankees, New York is scoring more runs, thanks in part to a much higher slugging percentage. They have hit 18 home runs; Boston has hit seven. I assumed that the Yankees' BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) would be higher, but it's not: .242 to Boston's .262; however, home runs are not considered balls in play). Thinking of my LOB post yesterday, while the Red Sox have left an average of 7.9 men on base per game this year, the Yankees' average is only 5.8. Whether that's a bit of luck that may change or whether the tight grouping of averages in my post of roughly eight LOB per game is a coincidence, I don't know.
For the most part, nothing. Most of the team is slumping and there are no obvious places on the roster where the team could fix an obvious mistake with a easily obtained solution. I was going to go into some depth about how the team is "stuck" with what it's got and concentrate on that day's game and things will even out, but TheYellowDart5 at SoSH did it more succinctly than I would have:
How much can be done, though? I mean, look at the problems.Playing Lowrie -- who turns 27 on Sunday -- over Scutaro was also suggested by John Tomase in today's Herald.
Lackey and Matsuzaka have been awful so far, but they both have long-term deals and can't/won't be dumped. Besides, the internal options to replace them are Wakefield, Aceves and Doubront. Not exactly an inspiring trio.
Saltalamacchia isn't hitting and his defense has been weak. But the only backup option is Varitek, who is hitting even worse and couldn't throw out any poster on this site. There are no decent Triple-A options, and I imagine there's nothing much out there on the market.
Crawford and Youkilis aren't hitting. Well, they will eventually, and sitting them on the bench doesn't help them and forces the Red Sox to play inferior talent in their place.
Ellsbury has been miserable. But who replaces him? McDonald is no better, Cameron looks ancient, and the Triple-A options (Reddick and Kalish) need more time in the Minors. And the CF market isn't that great either.
The only venue in which there exists a good, in-house replacement options is SS, and even then, I doubt Francona's going to anoint Lowrie the starter just yet. But one position change isn't going to turn around what ails this team.
Sadly enough, Francona and the Sox just need to ride this out. There aren't better options in Triple-A or on the bench.
PA AVG OBP SLG OPS Lowrie 18 .438 .500 .563 1.063 Scutaro 33 .172 .273 .207 .480SSS and all that, but man ...
Lowrie's line-drive percentage this year is roughly 30% (BRef has 27% and Fangraphs has 33% (easily tops on the team)); BRef gives the MLB average as 19%. In limited time last year (roughly 200 PA), Lowrie had a .907 OPS, better than everyone on the team except Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Beltre.
Francona has been giving Lowrie more playing time. Lowrie has started two of the last four games and has reached base in six of his last nine plate appearances.
Much has been made of the team's failure to hit with runners at third and/or second (RATS): 20-for-104, .192. Part of that can be chalked up to seven of the nine starters have a BABIP under the league average:
The top three guys will see their average drop, and the bad luck of the guys at the bottom will improve.Lowrie .467 Pedroia .424 Drew .421 AL Average .278 Gonzalez .270 Saltalamacchia .267 Youkilis .261 Ortiz .257 Ellsbury .185 Scutaro .185 Crawford .184 Varitek .125 Cameron .111 McDonald .000
The Red Sox hit like All-Stars with a man on first, but get him to second, and the bats go cold:
AVG OBP SLG OPS 1-- .342 .422 .575 .997 12- .120 .214 .120 .334 -2- .130 .167 .130 .297Similarly, although the team is hitting better with men on base than with the bases empty, they are making lots of outs with RATS:
AVG OBP SLG OPS No One On .207 .317 .319 .636 Men On .254 .332 .379 .710 W/RATS .192 .267 .240 .508Red Sox batters leading off an inning are hitting only .200/.299/.318.
A chart posted at SoSH shows that while the Red Sox are 4th in the AL with 117 PA with RATS, their OPS of .508 is the league's worst. Also, 15 of their 20 hits with RATS are singles; the other five are doubles. By contrast, the Yankees have had only 73 PA with RATS (2nd fewest in the AL), but are OPSing .919, with 11 of their 15 hits for extra bases (6 doubles, 5 home runs).
Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his next start, as usual - Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park against the Blue Jays - and Terry Francona said that trading, demoting or releasing a player based on one game (or a handful of games) is not smart*.
It was a horrendous second inning. If we do things like that, we'll set ourselves up for some really bad mistakes. It was tough to watch, but if you make decisions based on emotion after bad starts, we wouldn't have a team left.* - George Steinbrenner often wildly overreacted to a player making a game-losing error, failing to get a clutch hit, or getting shelled on the mound. And he became a laughingstock because of it. I'm glad the Red Sox do not run their club like a petulant 14-year-old or according to the whims of talk radio.