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Nine to Know: Red Sox vs. Reds

The Bill Chuck Files overflow each day with stats, factoids, and observations that are sometimes relevant, sometimes irrelevant, and sometimes simply intriguing. At the start of each Sox series, I will share some of these in my "Nine to Know,” and I hope you will do the same.

I’m at the time in my life when I no longer play drinking games, however if I did….as the Red Sox prepare to host the Reds for a two-game interleague series, I would suggest that a drink be ingested each time the 1975 World Series is brought up. We’ll hear about Pete Rose and Carlton Fisk and Carl Yastrzemski and the rain and Bernie Carbo and Sparky Anderson and Bill Lee and Tony Perez and Joe Morgan and before you know it, you will be sleeping through these two games. So don’t drink and drive and stay in school and make sure you tip your waitress.

Nine to Know: Red Sox (15-17) versus Reds (15-16)
1. Sunday, Koji Uehara escaped unscathed in his one inning of work against the A’s, but it wasn’t a pretty sight. Koji threw 27 pitches, his third most in one inning as a Sox. He tossed 31 in the 8th inning against the Rays last June 18 and 29 last May 15 also in the 8th, also against Tampa.
2. The number nine batter in the Sox lineup this season is hitting .222/.323/.370. Last season, they hit .250/.307/.396. The difference in On Base Percentage is because last season the #9 batters had a 6.8% walk rate and this season, it’s 11.3%.
3. The Reds have been at the .500 mark twice this season, at 1-1 and 11-11, but never over .500. The Sox have been over .500 once at 2-1 and have been at .500 at 1-1, and 2-2.

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4. Both of these teams lost their leadoff batters to free agency this offseason (Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo). Last season, Sox leadoff batters hit .294/.348/.422 and Reds leadoff batters hit .286/.415/.465. This season, Sox leadoff batters are hitting .207 with an OBP of .299 and slugging .304. This season, Reds leadoff batters are hitting .209 with an OBP of .264 and slugging .271.
5. Reds starting pitchers have 2.93 ERA and a 1.084 WHIP. Sox starting pitchers have 3.89 ERA and a 1.333 WHIP.
6. Red Sox outfielders are hitting just .216, only the Astros are worse (.205). But, the Sox group is hitting .258 with men on base and .266 with runners in scoring position.
7. The Reds at 2:59 are one of only three teams averaging less than three hours a game. The Sox, who average 3:18 will take care of that.
8. Over the last week, the Reds’ Brayan Pena has hit .421 with three homers, while the Sox hottest batter has been A.J. Pierzynski hitting .412. As a team the Sox only have four homers over that time.
9. Jackie Bradley, Jr. leads the AL in the most strikeouts (31) for batters with no homers.

See you Friday as the Sox head to Texas.