Nation STATion: In case you were wondering. . .

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Nation STATion: In case you were wondering. . .

By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com

I am frequently asked how I come up with the stats that I write about everyday, and its an inspirational story. Not a made-for-TV-movie inspirational, more like as events occur I get inspired to see how they relate to other players or events and then I do some research if there is something worthwhile to share. My goal is to find something interesting enough for you to share with your friends, spouse, colleagues, boss, bar mates, or cellmates.

So here are some other items I was wondering about and I thought you might too.

In case you wondering

Harmon Killebrew hit .285 against the Red Sox, his highest average against any team. He also slammed 61 homers and drove home 199 in 913 at bats.

This past week, the Royals Vin Mazzaro gave up 14 runs in 2.1 innings in a game against Cleveland. The closest Red Sox equivalent I could find was Howard Ehmke, on Sept. 28, 1923, faced the Yankees and gave up 17 runs (16 earned) in six innings. He allowed 21 hits and walked four as New York won, 24-4.

Wins Above Replacement (WAR) represents the number of wins a player adds above his replacement, usually from the minors. John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka were both put on the Disabled List this week. Lackeys WAR this season is -1, which means his replacement theoretically is worth one more win than Lackey. Dice-Ks is -0.1, which basically means his replacement will do about the same or ever so slightly better. To give you a frame of reference, Josh Beckett has a WAR of 2.4 (hes worth 2.4 more wins than his replacement), Clay Buchholz, including last nights effort, has a WAR of 1.5, and Jon Lester has a WAR of 1.8 this season.

Speaking of Lackey, since the start of the 2010 season, four pitchers are 16-16:

Player ERA Tm John Lackey 4.95 BOS Mark Buehrle 4.23 CHW Randy Wolf 4.15 MIL Hiroki Kuroda 3.25 LAD
Player Date Opp Dustin Pedroia 2010-06-24 COL Kevin Millar 2004-07-23 NYY Bill Mueller 2003-07-29 TEX Nomar Garciaparra 2002-07-23(1) TBD Jason Varitek 2001-05-20 KCR
Double figure strikeouts are not in fashion for Sox pitchers this season; Jon Lester struck out 11 Angels on May 3, and Josh Beckett struck out 10 Yankees on April 10, and that is it.

On Tuesday, Brian McCann of the Braves hit a pinch-hit homer with two down in the 9th to send their game into extra innings (he won it with a walkoff homer in the 11th). The Sox have no pinch-hit homers this season although they had two last season from Bill Hall and Darnell McDonald. In McDonalds game, last April 20, he came close to McCanns feat. He hit a game-tying two run pinch-homer in the 8th and then a walkoff single in the 9th.

Kevin Youkilis hit a stunning .404 last season against lefties with a career high eight homers. After last night, hes up to .286 against lefties this season and tied with Jed Lowrie with three homers against lefties.

Speaking of Lowrie, Jed has an amazing .444 average against lefties with three homers and 14 RBI. However, the switch-hitter against righties is only hitting .250 with no homers and four RBI.

So, in case you were wondering thats how it works.

If there is something you are wondering about, send me an email at walkoffs.gmail.com and Ill see if I can find the answer for you.

Data provided by www.baseball-reference.com.

Red Sox recall Sam Travis, send Velázquez back to Pawtucket

Red Sox recall Sam Travis, send Velázquez back to Pawtucket

BOSTON -- On the list of Red Sox problems, finding a platoon partner for Mitch Moreland at first base isn't high on the list. But the others -- third base, fifth starter -- aren't solvable at the moment, so the Sox turned to one they think they can solve.

Today they recalled Sam Travis from Pawtucket, most likely to provide relief for Moreland against left-handed pitching. Travis' path to the majors was delayed by a knee injury that cost him a good chunk of the 2016 season -- otherwise, odds are good he'd have been here by now -- but he signaled his readiness by recovering from a 5-for-36 start with a sizzling .344 average in 90 at-bats since April 22 that includes six doubles and three home runs. His OPS in that span is .909.

Most importantly, Travis crushes left-handed pitching. He's hit .358 (93-for-260) against them in his professional career, and is .414 (12-for-29) against them this year. 

Hector Velázquez was sent back to the PawSox to make room for Travis, ensuring another roster move later this week. After Kyle Kendrick's failed attempt to take control of the fifth spot in the starting rotation, Velázquez was called up and given a shot in Oakland last Thursday night. He allowed six earned runs over five innings, failing the test. And thus the search for a fifth starter -- at least until David Price returns -- continues.

Price will make a rehab start in Pawtucket tomorrow and could return to Boston after that, but the Sox will need a pitcher for Saturday's game against Seattle. Even if Price is cleared to return to Boston, he won't be able to pitch Saturday on two days' rest.

Rosenthal: 'Some' Sox players question Farrell's leadership, game management

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Rosenthal: 'Some' Sox players question Farrell's leadership, game management

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal ignited a local firestorm when he made a seemingly off-hand comment a few days ago that he "wouldn't be surprised" if the Red Sox fired John Farrell this year. (He quickly added he also "wouldn't be surprised" if Farrell stayed on and led the team to the A.L. East title this year, but that got scant mention.)

Today, however, Rosenthal expounded on Farrell and the Sox in a lengthy column on foxsports.com. While acknowledging the team's injuries and beyond-the-manager's-control inconsistencies (in the starting rotation and with the offense), he also ominously added, "The excuses for the Sox, though, go only so far — all teams deal with injuries, and not all of them boast $200 million payrolls. Other issues also have emerged under Farrell . . . "

Farrell, even when he won the 2013 World Series as a rookie manager, was not popular in all corners of the clubhouse. Some players, but not all, believe that he does not stand up for them strongly enough to the media when the team is struggling, sources say. Some also question Farrell’s game management, talk that exists in virtually every clubhouse, some more than others.

And then he mentioned two leadership problems:

The first occurred during the Red Sox’s prolonged dispute with the Orioles’ Manny Machado. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, after Matt Barnes threw at Machado’s head, shouted across the field to Machado, 'it wasn’t me,' then told reporters that it was 'definitely a mishandled situation,' without mentioning Barnes or Farrell by name . . . 

The second incident occurred last Saturday, when Farrell engaged in a heated exchange with left-hander Drew Pomeranz in the dugout . . . [Pomeranz's] willingness to publicly challenge Farrell, in an exchange captured by television cameras, offered another indication that the manager and some of his players are not always on the same page.

Hmm.

Farrell addressed the "hot seat" issue Tuesday in an interview with MLB Network Radio.

Rosenthal's piece comes at a time when some of Farrell's harshest local critics are more or less giving him a pass, instead blaming Dave Dombrowski's flawed roster construction for the Sox' early season struggles , , , 

But there has been speculation hereabouts on whether or not Farrell has control of the clubhouse . . . 

Now that Rosenthal has weighed in, that sort of talk should increase.

In the end, Rosenthal makes no prediction on Farrell's future other than to conclude "If Dombrowski senses a change is necessary, he’ll make a change." 

But one prediction that can be made: The should-Farrell-be-fired? debate, which raged at unrealistic levels last year when the Red Sox won the division, isn't going to end anytime soon.