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.
On behalf of my employers and myself, I would like to state at the top of this column: Do not harm the messenger and do not harm yourself.
Having said that, this is a very depressing file.
The goal was not to be depressing -- the goal was to write about the Sox with runners in scoring position (RISP). It’s the result that was disheartening.
The Sox are not a very good hitting team with a slash line of .246/.327/.373 compared to .277/.349/.446 last season, but with runners in scoring position it is much worse (.240/.336/.366) than last season (.278/.358/.436). What is particularly gloomy is that you can see that there are plenty of players who have contributed to this situation.
OK, I’ve procrastinated long enough. I simply leave you with the words of an American icon: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”
Nine to Know: Twins (32-35/17-18 on the road) @ Red Sox (31-38/17-19 at home)
1. The Sox have had 140 hits with runners in scoring position: 84 at Fenway, 56 on the road, 89 have been off righties, 51 off lefties, 80 have been with less than two outs, and 60 have been with two outs.
3. There have been more Red Sox RISP hits from the No. 5 and 9 slots in the batting order than any other position. Jonny Gomes and Grady Sizemore each have seven of the 21 RISP hits by the No. 5 batters, while Bradley has 13 of the 21 hits that have come from the ninth slot.
4. The Sox lead the AL with 530 runners left on base. The Pirates lead the majors with 533. The struggling Rays are next with 529.
5. The one thing worse than leaving runners on base is the dreaded GIDP. The Sox have hit into 66 double plays, second only to the Texas Rangers (68) in the majors. A.J. Pierzynski has bounced into 10 double plays to lead the Sox followed by Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, and Grady Sizemore with six each.
6. The Sox have hit into 32 double plays with a at least one runner in scoring position, the most in the AL. Xander Bogaerts has hit into six so far, tied for fifth most in the majors.
7. Jackie Bradley, Jr. leads the Sox with 18 strikeouts with runners in scoring position. He leads the AL in striking out for the third out with runners in scoring position with 13.
8. One of the results of weak hitting with RISP is poor results in close games. Last season, the Sox were 21-21 (.500) in one-run games. In the Bobby Valentine era they were 17-22 (.436). The Sox so far this season are 8-15 (.347), the most losses in the AL.
9. Last season, the Sox were 15-15 (.500) in two-run games. In the Bobby Valentine era they were 25-14 (.641). The Sox so far this season are 7-4 (.636).
See you Thursday as the Sox head to Oakland.