Just about every weekend on RSNStats.com, we have a look at nine story lines of interest to Red Sox fans for games past and present. On this Trade Deadline Weekend, here’s the latest set of these odds ‘n ends. Hope you enjoy.
Losing two to the Twins, then being swept by the Tigers, not to mention the dreadful end to Thursday’s game in Anaheim sent shivers down the backs of Red Sox fans this past week, and for good reason. Despite a prodigious offense, tops in so many categories, Red Sox pitching, despite back-to-back stellar outings from David Price and Rik Porcello recently, is mediocre and downright unreliable. Do I want to see Betts, Bogaerts, or Bradley leave in a trade? Of course not. I’m glad fixing this problem isn’t my job. But it is Dave Dombrowski’s. He needs to do something if there’s a hope of even seeing this team in the postseason in 2016. If I’m Dombrowski’s boss, my message is clear: It’s a tough problem, but it’s yours to solve. Work it out, get it done, live with the consequences.
- Speaking of Mookie Betts, he’s managed 16 stolen bases and 20 home runs in less than 100 games played this season. The only other player in baseball to accomplish that is Wil Myers of the Padres. The only other MLB player to do that in history was the Blue Jays Raul Mondesi in 2000.
- As David Ortiz marches up one leaderboard after another, you keep coming across certain names, like Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. Just how good was he? Once Yaz hit for the cycle then tacked on another home run, just because. Only seven MLB players have ever done that, the last being Greg Colbrunn of the Diamondbacks in 2002. Of course, as good as you might be, there’s always the possibility of someone being better. In this case, it’s the Yankee Clipper. Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio not only tacked on a home run with his cycle, but he did it twice (July 9, 1937 and May 20, 1948).
- Back to that incredible Sox offense this season. Did you know that three of the top five two-out slugging percentages in baseball are by Red Sox players? Remarkably, with two outs David Ortiz has an MLB-best .755 SLG followed by Betts (.673), Washington’s Daniel Murphy (.672), Arizona’s Jake Lamb (.664), and then Jackie Bradley (.627). Can’t allow all that to go to waste!
- A highlight of the Red Sox recent matchup against the Twins came from Dustin Pedroia, who tied a career-high with five hits including two doubles, an RBI, and three runs scored in Boston’s 13-2 win in Game 1 of that series. It was Pedroia’s fourth career five-hit game, which tied Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski and Johnny Pesky for the most in Red Sox history since 1913. Hall of Famer Ty Cobb holds the record since 1913 for 5-hit games (11). Pete Rose had 10 followed by Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn (9) and Max Carey (9). Pedroia is the 9th second baseman in history with four or more such games.
- After a brief downturn, home runs are back. As of this writing there have been 3,442 round-trippers in 1,497 MLB games for an average of 2.29 per game or the most per game since 2.34 in 2000. Over the past 16 seasons, the home run average per game was lowest in 2014 (1.72), 2011 (1.87), 2010 (1.90) and 2013 (1.92).
- The Giants exited the All-Star break with six straight losses, including both games of a two-game set at Fenway. In so doing, San Francisco became the first team to lose their first six games of the second half after ending the first half with the best record in baseball since the 1991 Dodgers. LA lost their first seven games after the break that season.
- What a remarkable few days for AL Player of the Week Hanley Ramirez. You can read more about that here, but note this too: at the time of this writing Hammerin’ Hanley is just two from joining five other Red Sox teammates with 100+ hits this season. Hanley had 100 hits for all of last season. At this rate, Ramirez could have his most single-season hits since belting 155 in 2012. Don’t have to mention his throwing error clinched an Angels win in the bottom of the 9th Thursday. That was unfortunate, but frankly, Hanley has overall been far more productive than anyone could reasonably have expected back around April 1.
- When Hanley arrives at 100 hits the Red Sox will be the only club in baseball with six such players this season. No other American League club has more four such players. You just can’t waste this. Return to Item No. 1 above.