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 magic of last season for the Red Sox was that there were no “ifs, ands, or buts.” Everything the Sox did worked out as King Midas, I mean Ben Cherington, turned dross to gold.
But this season, the Red Sox are filled with “buts.” I’m not referring to the kind that complete the phrase “pains in the….” Nor or am I referring to the ones that fill the narrow Fenway seats, frequently arriving late and leaving early, right after last call.
I’m referring to the reality that for just about every one of the 27 players and 21 pitchers the Sox have used this season, there is a big “but” attached to their performance.
Here’s an example with the Angels: Josh Hamilton is hitting .266 this season, compared to .250 last year, but he has only eight homers and has hit just .132 in his last 10 games.
I don't like big “buts” and I cannot lie.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 72-49 (31-27 on the road) @ Boston Red Sox 56-67 (29-39 at Fenway)
Nine to Know: But me no buts
1. David Ortiz has hit .299 with runners in scoring position this season, a step up from his overall .250 BA but a step down from his numbers from the last two seasons when he hit .315 last year and .350 in 2012 w/RISP.
2. Poor Dustin Pedroia, it’s miserable to be sick on your birthday. Hope you feel better fast. And speaking of speed, in that 19-inning marathon against the Angels Pedroia stole two bases, but he only has five swipes all season. He had 26 in 2011, 20 in 2012, and 17 last year.
3. I follow Rtot, a fielding stat that that tracks the number runs above or below average based on plays made. What concerns me about Xander Bogaerts is that he is -3 at third but he's an even worse -7 at short.
4. Jackie Bradley, Jr. has a +9 Rtot in CF this season, but in his 149-game career he has had only 21 multi-hit games totaling 45 hits, including 13 doubles, two triples and no homers.
5. In 53 games since June 15, Brock Holt is hitting .271, which feels just about right. But during that time, he has only has two homers, two steals, and 10 RBI, which feels kind of blah.
6. When Rubby De La Rosa gets ahead on the count, batters hit .234 against him, but on hitter’s counts (1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1) they are hitting .358.
7. When the bases are empty, Junichi Tazawa strikes out 32.4% of the batters he faces. But, that number drops to 17.3% when men are on base, and to 15.9% with runners in scoring position. Wouldn’t you feel better if those numbers were reversed?
8. When the bases are empty, batters hit .251 against Junichi Tazawa. But, that number rises to .274 when men are on base, and to .309 with runners in scoring position. Wouldn’t you feel better if those numbers were reversed?
9. Yes, I know that Koji Uehara allowed five homers last season, but has already permitted seven home runs this year. But, only two of those 12 dingers have come with a runner on base, one in each year. This season, batters are hitting a tiny .129 against him with runners on this season and even tinier .109 with runners in scoring position. Not all "buts" are bad.
See you Friday as the Sox continue to mess with the AL West as they host the Mariners for the weekend.