Several people have e-mailed trying to pin the collapse of the Red Sox on Adrian Gonzalez of all people. So rather than reply individually, let’s take a look at Gonzo here.
For the record, he is at .315/.392/.493 since the All-Star break. That’s 31 points higher than his career batting average, 24 points higher than his career OBP and 14 points lower than his career slugging percentage.
He had an outrageous .354/.414/.591 line before the break. Now perhaps you were expecting that he would maintain a 1.005 OPS all season. Be advised that outside of Jose Bautista (1.007), nobody in baseball is above .998. Gonzalez is seventh in the majors at .961.
So, no, he didn’t maintain his first half. But the odds of doing that were pretty slim. All he did was have a really fantastic season to date. Pinning anything on him is silly.
Still, more home runs were expected. Gonzalez has six fewer than he had last year with a bad shoulder and half his games at Petco National Park. He hasn’t hit a home run at Fenway Park since July 7.
His career low for a full season was 24 in 2006. He has 25 now.
Gonzalez and the Red Sox are fine offensively. The Sox have the highest OPS in the game, the highest OBP and only 11 fewer runs than the Yankees. They have the second-most home runs, the most doubles, etc.
As always, it’s about the pitching.
UPDATE, 2:11 p.m.: Some comments mentioned Gonzalez striking out too often and how he hits with runners in scoring position. Again, facts trump perception.
He averaged 123.6 strikeouts in his previous full seasons and has 107 this season. So he’ll actually probably strike out less than he usually does. He’s also hitting .337/.428/.470 with RISP.