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,ï¿½ and I hope you will do the same.
You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go go go, oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello
I say high, you say low
You say why and I say I don't know, oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
When they look back on July 31, 2014 and they wonder why this day of infamy/famy (?) took place, historians will simply point out that the Red Sox have gotten progressively worse throughout the 2014 season. In March/April, they went 13-14 .481; in May, they went 13-15 .464; in June, they went 12-16 .429; and in August, they went 10-15 .400.
The most prosperous person at Fenway this weekend will be the one who shouts the words: ï¿½Scorecard heah! Get your scorecard heah! Canï¿½t tell the players without a scorecard!ï¿½
Hereï¿½s your Nine to Know about the players we say hello to and those we goodbye.
New York Yankees (55-52 30-26 on the road) @ Boston Red Sox (48-60 26-29 at Fenway)
1. Hello to Yoenis Cespedes who hit .198 in July. The Sox outfield actually hit .295 in July, led by Daniel Nava (.345), Shane Victorino (.344), and Brock Holt (.328). But the entire outfield in 288 AB hit only three homers. Cespy had three by himself.
2. Cespedes tends to chase balls out of the strike zone, his 282 chases so far this season is 20th most in the majors and 11 more than David Ortiz, who leads the Sox. He has swung at 819 pitches this season, the same as Nelson Cruz and Jose Abreu, two other serious power hitters.
3. Hello to Allen Craig who in 2013 hit .454 with RISP, but in 2014 is hitting .250. In 2013, the Red Sox hit .278 with RISP; 2014: .235. Ben needed to also trade for a time machine
4. This season, Craig is hitting .237 against fastballs, .189 against sliders, .179 against curves. He sure sounds like a Red Sox outfielder.
5. Goodbye to lefty Andrew Miller who has held righties to a .180 BAA and lefties .150 BAA this season. The stat that makes the Orioles pick up of Miller so huge: he has inherited 26 runners and only allowed two to score (8%).
6. Hello to the pitcher in the Sox starting rotation with the most World Series experience, Joe Kelly (5.1 IP). Kelly is coming off a serious hamstring injury and has appeared in only seven games this season. His BAA is .291 with lefties hitting .338 against him. He is not a strikeout pitcher, but when heï¿½s on he produces ground balls. He has a 1.19 groundball to fly ball ratio compared to John Lackeyï¿½s 0.90.
7. Goodbye to John Lackey who in 2011 allowed 114 ER, the most in the league. The fact that following his elbow surgery that he resurrected his career enough to become a valuable trade chip is testament to his hard work. This season, 15-of-21 of his starts have been Quality Starts. But, his other six starts were Inferior Starts (Maximum 5.2 innings pitched, minimum four earned runs allowed.).
8. Goodbye to Jake Peavy, Felix Doubront, John Lackey, and Jon Lester, 80% of the Sox season opening starting rotation. Clay Buchholz either figures the Red Sox really value him or nobody wants him. My bet is on the latter. Buchholz will be 30 in two weeks, he has a 5.87 ERA, a 1.562 WHIP, and has never thrown 200 innings and wonï¿½t this season either.
9. We say goodbye to Jon Lester who leaves with a 2.52 ERA, the ninth best in baseball; a 1.118 WHIP, the 18th best in baseball; a .237 BAA, the 27th best in baseball; allowed nine homers, tied for the 18th fewest in baseball; 13 games of 7+ IP, tied for 9th in baseball; and his 149 whiffs are the 11th most in baseball. Numbers mean nothing. We say goodbye to Jon Lester, who this season has exhibited enough style and grace under pressure to rank number one in baseball.
Oh, we also say goodbye to Stephen Drew and this presumably brings an end to the relationship between the Red Sox and the Drew family.
Iï¿½ll say ï¿½Hello!ï¿½ again on Tuesday when this team of strangers head to St. Louis, perhaps to face John Lackey.