You don’t need numbers to tell you how ugly June was for Boston, just take a look at the exasperation on the faces of the members of Red Sox Nation. Reasonable people looked at this team in spring training and had hopes for a much better season than either of the last two.
Moods started to rise at Fenway as the Sox finished April with a 14-10 record, just a half-game behind the upstart Orioles in the AL East standings. In May, the Sox found themselves sitting pretty in first place with a 32-20 record that put them 3.0 games ahead of the O’s, 5.0 games ahead of the Blue Jays, 7.5 games better than the Yankees, and 9.0 ahead of the last-place Rays. Fans could not wait for the regular season to end so that Boston could face Theo and the Cubs in the World Series.
Then the calendar turned to June and the swoon began.
With a 10-16 record last month, the Sox dropped out of first as the Orioles took command of the division.
Here’s a quick look at the problems the Sox faced in June. It’s up to you and Dave Dombrowski to figure out if May was the fluke or if June was the anomaly.
- After hitting .281 in April, the Red Sox led the majors by hitting .305 in May. In June, the Sox hit .271.
- In April, the Sox led the American League with 94 extra-base hits. In May, the Sox led the majors with 122 extra-base hits. The Sox finished June with 80 extra-base hits and slugged .420, down from .525 in May.
- In April, the Sox led the AL with 126 runs. In May, the Sox led the majors with 182 runs. In June, the Sox were back at 126 runs.
Every key member of the Sox’ offense dropped in batting average from May to June:
- Xander Bogaerts, in May, hit .395. In June, Xander hit .324.
- Jackie Bradley, Jr., in May, hit .381. As streaky as any player in baseball, JBJ had four homers, but hit a paltry .218 in June.
- David Ortiz, in May, hit .347. In June, Papi hit .337 (despite some aching feet).
- Dustin Pedroia, in May, hit .308. Pedey hit .294 in June.
- Hanley Ramirez, in May, hit .305. After seeming to be heating up, his .229 average hurt in June.
- Mookie Betts, in May, hit .298. Always consistent, Mookie hit .296 in June.
- Travis Shaw, in May, hit .275. Its not easy being a major leaguer, just ask Travis, who hit .214 in June.
Some good news from June:
- With runners in scoring position, Bogaerts hit .424 and Betts hit .389.
- Ortiz had a .461 OBP in June, with 28 hits and 18 walks. Despite being on base so frequently, he only scored 10 runs (and that includes the four times he scored on his own homers).
Some bad news from June:
- With runners in scoring position, Ramirez hit .156, Bradley hit .196 and Pedroia hit .231.
- Pedroia only had five RBI all month.
- Bradley struck out 25 times in 87 at-bats and Shaw struck out 20 times in 84 at-bats.
And now … the pitching:
Everyone knows that the offense is what has kept the Sox as close as they are in the standings and everyone knows (including every other GM) that the Sox need help in the rotation and in the bullpen.
Here are some numbers:
- Check out the Sox’ team ERA for each month this season: April ERA: 4.15; May ERA: 4.07; June: 4.88.
- Let’s dig down and look at the starters: April ERA: 4.49 in 134.1 IP; May ERA: 4.63 in 173.0 IP; June: 5.24 in 149.1 IP.
- Now let’s look at the bullpen: April ERA: 3.59 in 82.2 IP; May ERA: 2.82 in 76.2 IP; June: 4.22 in 81.0 IP.
- Thank goodness for Stephen Wright, who in five starts in June went 3-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 33.1 IP. Wright allowed one fewer run in June than Joe Kelly in 2.1 IP, than Roenis Elias in 4.0 IP, and than Clay Buchholz in 10.1 IP.
- Wright made five starts yet pitched just three innings less than Rick Porcello, who made six starts and 6.1 IP less than David Price who made six starts.
- Porcello had a 3.96 ERA in June; Price a 4.08 ERA in June; Buchholz a 6.10 ERA in June; and Eduardo Rodriguez, who went 0-3 (and back to Pawtucket), had a 10.03 ERA in June.
Some good news from June:
- Righties only hit .224 against Wright.
- Lefties only hit .221 against Wright.
- Lefties only hit .222 against Buchholz.
- Heath Hembree had a .182 batting average against in June.
- Koji Uehara had a .219 BAA in June.
- Wright and Craig Kimbrel each had a .222 BAA in June.
- Baserunners were 0-3 against Buchholz in steal attempts.
Some bad news from June:
- Yes, Price had 41 strikeouts in June, but he was 1-4 with 4.01 ERA.
- Righties hit .368 against Buchholz.
- Uehara allowed 4 homers in June.
- Porcello allowed 5 homers in June.
- Price allowed 8 homers in June.
- Rodriguez allowed 9 homers in June.
If it makes you feel any better (and it shouldn’t), the Sox were both 5-8 at Fenway and on the road. The Sox had at 3.90 ERA at home, but a very ugly 5.90 ERA on the road.
The bottom line…
- The Sox ended June with a 42-36 overall record.
- With 84 games to go, they need to go 36-48 to match their miserable last-place record from last season.
- If they go .500 the rest of the way, they will finish 84-78, putting them in a very tenuous position for reaching the postseason.
- To hit the 90-win mark, they just need to play .510 baseball, going 48-36. To do that, they have to play like they did in April and May and not at all like June.
Fasten your seatbelts.