The Red Sox have volumes of scouting reports on opposing batters and hundreds of hours of film digitally cataloged. There is almost limitless information available to the pitchers and catchers.
But the secret to getting Mike Napoli out eludes them.
The Texas catcher was 2 for 4 with a home run, a double, and four RBIs Wednesday night as the Rangers beat the Red Sox, 6-3. He was 6 for 9 in the series with four runs scored, eight RBIs, a walk, and four extra-base hits.
Since the start of the 2010 season, Napoli is 24 of 67 (.358) against the Sox with 10 home runs and 24 RBIs. He has homered in eight of his last 12 games against the Red Sox.
When Napoli gets his next contract, he should send the Red Sox pitchers a thank you note.
• Don’t blame Josh Beckett. Three runs in seven innings against a team that came in averaging 5.7 runs and hitting .290 is a solid, solid effort.
• The Sox have scored two runs in the first inning all season.
• Bobby Valentine is trying to show faith in his pitchers by letting them work out of their own jams. It didn’t work with Daniel Bard Monday and it failed with Franklin Morales Wednesday. Here’s how the top of the eighth went:
Intentional walk (after a passed ball)
Hit by Pitch
That’s when Morales finally was lifted.
“I wanted to keep confidence that I wasn’t going to pull the plug too soon,” Valentine said. “He’s had four good outings for us. I was hoping to salvage that one. It didn’t work.”
• The Red Sox have lost three straight and are 4-8 going into a weekend series against the Yankees. The Sox opened the homestand with three victories against the Tampa Bay Rays, scoring 31 runs. They have scored six runs in the three games since.
“It’s definitely not how you want to play, it doesn’t equal good,” Beckett said. “Especially when you come off a 1-5 road trip.”
The good news? They’re off Thursday.