May 31, 2015

Runs Per Game In May: The Worst In Red Sox History

Could this be the worst May for scoring runs in Red Sox history?

Fox wanted to give its viewers that impression when it broadcast this graphic early in Saturday's debacle against the Rangers:
Fewest Runs/Game (In May Since 1920)
2015 - 2.93
1932 - 3.16
1943 - 3.17
1929 - 3.24
1923 - 3.35
But why only "since 1920"? It's not as though game scores from 1901-1919 are unknown or unavailable. In fact, Baseball Reference has runs scored/runs allowed splits by month for the Red Sox all the way back to 1901. (Here's a link to 1907's schedule and results.)

It took me only 10 minutes to check the totals for those other 19 seasons. I did a little division, and bam! Here's a complete and up-to-date list of the worst Mays for scoring runs in Red Sox history:
Fewest Runs/Game (In May In Team History)
1907 - 2.38
1906 - 2.81
2015 - 2.82 (does not include 5/31)
1914 - 3.08
1915 - 3.09
Okay, it's not the worst, but you've got to go back nearly 110 years to find worse.


Seven Years of College Down the Drain said...

Pre-1920 = dead-ball era, also before spitballs were banned (except for the grandfathered pitchers).

allan said...

I know that, but it still seems somewhat arbitrary. Although there is the fact that Elias, the official stat people for MLB, does not acknowledge RBIs before 1920 (when they became an official stat).

If anyone has been following Slappy passing Gehrig in AL RBIs, you would have seen a huge difference in Ruth's RBI totals from Elias (1992) and BRef (2214). Elias does not count his RBI from 1914-19.

laura k said...

Pre-1920 = dead-ball era

You're talking to Mr Deadball here!

UsualNoise said...

Yeah, having just watched Ken Burns Baseball 1920 was the magic year after which baseballs were routinely removed from the game instead of leaving them in for the duration regardless of their color or shape. The baseball was also wound tighter around then which produced the increase in offense. I understand why 1920 was used as a cutoff, but it was probably more for the show ... being able to use the "worst in history" graphic.