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Nine to Know: Red Sox vs. Tigers

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Tom Olmscheid/AP

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.

The Bruins elimination makes the Sox the only game in town, so here’s some 20-20 hindsight for those you who are just joining us. The Sox are playing 20-20 baseball and that feels just about right. They haven’t lost more than three in a row and they haven't won more than two in a row. Yet, they are just a game-and-a-half out of first because the rest of the injury-depleted AL East is struggling as well. They were 0-1 in March, 13-13 in April, and 7-6 this month. They are 6-4 in their last 10, 11-9 in their last 20, and 16-14 in their last 30. And, with a Jon Lester/Max Scherzer match-up tonight, it feels like Opening Day so welcome aboard.

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Nine to Know: Tigers (24-12) at Red Sox (20-20)
1. The book says to be a postseason team you need to play .500 on the road and .667 at home. Last season, Boston was .543 on the road and .654 at home. This season, the Sox are .526 (10-9) on the road, but just .476 (10-11) at home. The Tigers are .733 (11-4) on the road and .619 (13-8) at home.

2. Sox pitchers lead the AL East with a 3.77 ERA. Their starters are second to the Rays (4.02) with a 4.08 ERA while their relievers lead with a 3.18 ERA. Sox starters are 14-13 and the bullpen is 6-7. Tigers’ pitchers lead the AL Central with a 3.34 ERA. The starters lead with a 2.79 ERA but Detroit’s relievers are last with a 4.50 ERA. The Tigers starters are 18-8 and the bullpen is 6-4.

3. Two former Red Sox, Adrian Gonzalez and Victor Martinez, lead all cleanup batters with nine homers each. Mike Napolii leads the Sox with five (the same as former Sox Brandon Moss).

4. The Sox 7-8-9 batters have a .223/.307/.321 slash line with five homers, 44 walks, and 123 whiffs. The Tigers 7-8-9 batters have a .252/.311/.352 slash line with five homers, 30 walks, and 94 whiffs.

5. Andrew Miller has now appeared in 20 of the Sox' 40 games.

6. The Tigers' bullpen has only walked 31 batters (104 IP), the fewest in the majors. Boston’s pen has walked 43 in 124.1 innings.

7. This is the 10th time in Red Sox history that they started 20-20, but the best of those years was “The Impossible Dream” team of 1967 that went to the Series. It featured Jim Lonborg, who won the Cy Young Award with a 22-9 record, and AL MVP Carl Yastrzemski, who won the Triple Crown, with a .326 batting average, 44 home runs, and 121 RBI.

8. Rick Porcello has a five-game winning streak going with a 2.84 ERA (31.2 IP/10 ER) with 21 strikeouts and four walks.

9. There’s never a right time to face him, but Miguel Cabrera leads the majors with 20 RBI this month. David Ortiz leads the Sox with 11. Xander Bogaerts has none.

Tuesday, the Jays come to town and I’ll see you before the singing of “Oh, Canada.”