With a pause here at the All-Star Break, it’s the natural juncture to review how the Red Sox have handled themselves over unofficial first half of the season.
Around Red Sox Nation the feelings seem relatively universal that this year’s team hasn’t lived up to its great potential. The numbers, in fact, bear that out, mostly in the pitching department, though the offensive numbers are a little misleading. Certainly the Red Sox bats have been solid on average, but they’ve also been inconsistent with some very high highs and some really low lows. That inconsistency, coupled with some obvious pitching deficiencies have put the team in a position to do or die in the second half. The potential is there, the question is whether it will finally manifest for good in the final two and a half months of the season.
So, here we go…
The Red Sox reached the All-Star break with a 49-41 (.544) overall record. Boston is 3rd in the American League East, 9.0 games back of the division lead. The team has not ever been in 1st place this season.
The Sox were 20-22 at home, 29-19 on the road; 20-16 during the day and 29-25 in night games; 38-27 facing righty starters, 11-14 facing left starters; 40-35 on grass surfaces, 9-6 when playing on turf.
Against division rivals Boston was 19-19 (.500). Were 16-7 (.696) vs AL Central, 12-12 (.500) vs AL West and 2-3 (.400) in Interleague play.
The Red Sox were 43-38 (.531) for regulation length games, 6-3 (.667) in extra-innings games. In one-run games the Sox were 13-11 (.542) and 6-8 (.429) in two-run games. When leading at one point by five or more runs Boston was 15-10 (.600). In all, the Sox have had 27 come-from-behind wins, the largest being from being down five runs. They’ve blown 20 leads, with the largest blown lead being six runs.
For the first half, the Red Sox had a losing record for March/April (13-17, .433) but winning months of May (16-11, .593), June (15-12, .556) and July (5-1, .833). The club had 5 walk-off wins and 4 walk-off losses. They shut out 4 opponents and been shut out 3 times. Boston’s longest winning streak was 6 games, the longest losing streak was 4 games.
The Red Sox played in the two longest 9-inning, first-half games (by time) in the major leagues (4:42 on June 29 and 4:24 on June 30, both vs Yankees). The Sox also played in the longest extra-innings game by time in the majors (5:45 on June 18 at Twins).
At Fenway Park in the first half the club drew 1,484,036 fans to home games, averaging 35,334 per contest.
The Red Sox started the season 6-13 (.316) with a team AVG of .229 and team wOBA of .291 through April 17. Since that date, Boston has gone 43-28 (.606) with Major League bests in team AVG (.283) and team wOBA (.355).
At the plate the Red Sox were a Major League-best 874-for-3210 (.272) at the break, including 184 doubles (3rd-most in AL, 5th-most in MLB), 15 triples (tied for 4th-most in AL, tied for 9th-most in MLB), 131 home runs (7th-most in AL, 12th-most in MLB), 480 RBI (3rd-most in AL and MLB), 344 walks (2nd-most in AL, 5th-most in MLB), 49 stolen bases (6th-most in AL, 10th-most in MLB) in 65 attempts for a 75% success rate (tied for 2nd-best in AL, tied for 8th-best in MLB).
Home Run Report: Of their 131 home runs, 57 have come at home, 74 on the road. 93 were facing righty pitchers, 38 facing lefties. 83 were solo shots, 31 were for two-runs scored, 15 were for three runs, and there were 2 grand slams in 112 opportunities (vs an MLB average of 2.7 slams in 80 opportunities). The club recorded at least one home run in 69 games, multiple home runs in 35 of those.
The Red Sox owned an MLB-best .345 on-base percentage in the first half, and a .461 slugging percentage (4th-best in AL, 6th-best in MLB). The Sox averaged 5.66 runs-per-game (3rd-best in AL and MLB). The team wOBA was .343 (3rd-best in AL and MLB).
With a chance to score: With runners in scoring position the Red Sox batted .277, going 223-for-804 (3rd-best in AL, 4th-best in MLB) with a .368 on-base percentage (2nd-best in AL, 4th-best in MLB), and a .442 slugging percentage (8th-best in AL, 16th-best in MLB). Boston’s 804 at-bats with the RISP was the most such opportunities in baseball during the first half. The club also drew the most walks in the majors for such situations (124).
With the bases loaded the Red Sox batted .272, going 25-for-92 (8th-best in AL, 15th-best in MLB). The club’s 92 such at-bats were 2nd-most in the majors after the Angels (99 with a .303 AVG in such at-bats).
30 times in the first half a Red Sox batter scored from first on a double (most in MLB).
Batting for extra-bases: 9.1% of all plate appearances resulted in an extra-base hit for the Sox in the first-half (4th-best in AL, 8th-best in MLB). Boston recorded an extra-base hit in all 90 first-half games, the longest streak in the major leagues this season. The streak, in fact, dates back to September 15, 2018 (104 games).
The Red Sox were the top MLB team in the first half for two-out hitting, going 281-for-1039 (.270) with MLB-best marks for two-out OPS (.841), two-out wOBA (.355), two-out doubles (68), two-out total bases (508), two-out RBI (205), and two-out runs scored (222). Boston also led MLB with a .381 on-base percentage when batting in the first half with 2 outs and runners in scoring position.
Double-digit hits and runs: The Red Sox had 10 or more hits in 40 first-half games (3rd-most in AL, 5th-most in MLB). The most hits in a game was tied for an AL-best 21 (on May 4 at White Sox). The Sox scored 10 or more runs in 10 games during the first half (tied for 6th-most in AL, tied for 9th-most in MLB). The most runs scored in a Boston game for the first half was 15 (vs White Sox on May 4). The most Sox runs scored in 1 inning was 9 (3rd inning of May 4th game at White Sox). The most Boston walks in a game was tied for an AL-best 11 (on May 11 vs Mariners).
Great in the pinch: Boston first-half pinch hitters were 20-for-47 for an MLB-best .426 AVG. Were also tops in baseball with a .509 on-base percentage and .787 slugging percentage.
The Red Sox pitching staff owned a 4.59 ERA (7th-best in AL, 17th-best in MLB) during the first half of the season vs an MLB average of 4.47. Boston has 18 saves (5th-fewest in MLB, 4th-fewest in AL). Opponents wOBA facing Sox pitching was .321 (tied or 15th-best in MLB, 7th-best in AL).
Red Sox pitchers recorded an MLB-best 914 strikeouts and allowed 307 walks (7th-most in AL, 12th-most in MLB) vs an MLB average of 292. The club averaged 10.1 strikeouts per 9.0 IP, the best such rate in the majors. Boston allowed 116 first-half home runs (12th-fewest in MLB, 5th-fewest in AL) and 178 doubles (4th-most in AL, 5th-most in MLB). 43 opponents were hit-by-pitch (2nd-most in AL, 4th-most in MLB).
Opponents facing the Red Sox in the first half had a .250 AVG (8th-best in AL, 15th-best in MLB) with a .323 on-base percentage (7th-best in AL, tied for 14th-best in MLB) and a .427 slugging percentage (6th-best in AL, 14th-best in MLB).
Opponents have loaded the bases 81 times in the first half (3rd-most in AL, 5th-most in MLB) and have averaged a .296 AVG in such situations (7th-highest in AL, 12th-highest in MLB). Sox pitchers have allowed 3 grand slam home runs vs an MLB average of 2.7.
All the way to a full count: Red Sox pitchers allowed 378 full-count at-bats in the first half (2nd-most in AL, 3rd-most in MLB) resulting in 89 hits (2nd-most in AL and MLB), 169 walks (2nd-most in AL, 4th-most in MLB) and 155 strikeouts (2nd-most in AL, 5th-most in MLB). Overall, opponents batted .235 vs Boston pitchers in full count situations (3rd-worst in AL and MLB).
During the first half Red Sox starters recorded a 4.70 ERA (9th-worst in AL, 13th-worst in MLB). Club relievers recored 351.0 innings of work (5th-most in AL, 6th-most in MLB) with a 4.44 ERA (7th-worst in AL, 15th-best in MLB). Relievers recorded 31 wild pitches (tied for 2nd-most in AL and MLB) and allowed 161 walks (4th-most in AL, 5th-most in MLB).
The hits keep coming: The Red Sox allowed 10 or more opponent hits in 36 first-half games (tied for 5rd-most in AL, tied for 9th-most in MLB). The Sox allowed opponents to score 10 or more runs in 7 games during the first half (7th-fewest in AL, tied for 13th-fewest in MLB). The most runs allowed in a first-half game was 17 (vs Yankees on June 29).
Boston combined for a .984 fielding percentage vs an MLB average of .983 with 2,449 putouts in 3,298 total chances with 795 assists and 54 errors (matching the MLB average). Red Sox fielders turned 58 double plays in the first-half (4th-fewest in AL, 5th-fewest in MLB).