May 27, 2010

In Crucial 23-Game Stretch, Red Sox Played .700 Ball

We know we're good. We started out real slow and everyone kind of panicked. ... I don't panic. I just drink more Red Bull.
Dustin Pedroia

On the morning of May 3, the Red Sox woke up with an 11-14 record, a distant seven games out of first place. They had just been swept in a three-game series by the lowly Orioles and the schedule for the rest of the month ahead was daunting: 23 games against most of the best teams in the American League, as well as three games with the 2008 World Champs and winners of the last two National League pennants -- Angels (4), Yankees (3), Blue Jays (3), Tigers (3), Yankees (2), Twins (2), Phillies (3), and Rays (3).

It wasn't much of an exaggeration to say the Red Sox's playoff hopes hung in the balance and the team could be effectively buried by May 27.

Boston went 16-7 in those games (.696, a 113-win pace), scoring an average of six runs per game. After scoring two runs or fewer in 10 of their first 25 games, they scored two runs or fewer in only four of the next 23.

The one real problem with the team -- its pitching -- has improved tremendously, holding opponents to no more than three runs in 13 of the 23 games. In the last eight games, the Red Sox played only first-place teams (Yankees, Twins, Phillies) and allowed a mere 16 runs. The club's overall ERA has dropped from 4.99 to 4.48 in the last week.

The Red Sox play the Royals (4), Orioles (3), Rays (3), and Blue Jays (3) -- and then there is the All-Star Break. [Note: Ignore this paragraph! Jeez. WTF?!]

Adrian Beltre has a .372 OBP. "I'm probably more patient than I have been in a long time. That's usually not me. I'm watching the other guys we have and it has been good for me."

David Ortiz has a 1.230 OPS in May (76 PAs, .368/.421/.809). Amazingly, his season OPS+ of 137 is second on the team only to Kevin Youkilis (180), who has gone .361/.552/.764/1.316 this month.

Since Tampa Bay's four-game sweep at Fenway Park in April, the Red Sox are 23-12, 0.5 GA of the Rays 22-12.

Matt Garza, on the Red Sox: "They came in with their hair on fire and played that way."


Patrick said...

I read in SI about Kosuke Fukudome when he first joined the Cubs, about how his selective approach was rubbing off on other players.

They pointed out that this wasn't an uncommon phenomenon.

Sure that last stretch was crucial, but so is this next one up to the allstar break. We can't let up now.

9casey said...

The Red Sox play the Royals (4), Orioles (3), Rays (3), and Blue Jays (3) -- and then there is the All-Star Break.


what about June?

allan said...

what about June?

Oh yeah!

I printed out the season schedule from and it has the months laid out like this:


I was looking at May, then simply went to the right and looked at July.

buffwarrior said...

I know that I looked at the schedule and the way the Sox were playing and thinking.. there's going to be alot Yankee poop eat. I figured I better just start concentrating on Football. Red Sox simply turned it around. The best stuff was watching the Sox make the Phillies and Rays look like little leaguers. So glad I can put my Sox cap back on and hold my head high and tell the Yankees they suck again. I'm mean ALWAYS.

9casey said...

I'm sorry if I come off like a pompous jerk correcting you.

Another thing i forget to mention, Bob Ryan was on Mike and Mike last week after the first Yankee game and said the Red Sox were all done, no way they could jump 3 teams, lets see how fast he changes that..

allan said...

Ha! Not at all.

For about 1/6 of a second, I thought wow, we've played enough games to get the ASB already! Then moved on. You'd think since I type G46, G47, G48 every day, I'd know if we were (or were not) closing in on 80 or 81.