Nation Station: Numbers of problems

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Nation Station: Numbers of problems

By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com

Wednesday night proved to be the third-best day of the Sox young season.

They were rained out.

They have a very depressing 2-9 record and I will tell you what is worse: the 2-9 record is well deserved.

Sadly, I have put together 50 stats that when assembled helps explain the Sox awful start.

Word of warning: Dont read these near open windows.

Heres the breakdown on the Sox breakdown:

Batting

1. As a team, the Sox are hitting .230, tied with the Oakland As . . . who analysts say dont have enough hitting to win their division.

2. They have scored 40 runs, tied with the Seattle Mariners who last year scored fewer runs than any team in baseball.

3. They have stolen a total of four bases, all in losses. As my father used to say, You cant steal first base.

4. Right-handed pitchers against Sox righty batters - .225, one homer, 10 RBI. Youk is hitting .136 with 10 walks

5. Right-handed pitchers against Sox lefty batters - .239, four homers, 18 RBI. Carl Crawford is hitting .167. Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting .179.

6. Left-handed pitchers against Sox righty batters - .194, one homer, four RBI. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek are a combined 0-for13.

7. Left-handed pitchers against Sox lefty batters - .254, one homer, eight RBI. Carl Crawford is hitting .125 with no extra-base hits.
8. On the road the Sox are hitting .181 with four homers and 16 RBI.

9. In the nine Sox losses, they are hitting .203.

10. Catchers are hitting .139.

11. The outfield is hitting .190.

12. The first batter of the game is hitting .000.

13. Leading off innings, Sox batters are hitting .200. - Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting .083. Carl Crawford is hitting .100.

14. When Boston batters are ahead in the count, they are hitting .231.

15. When Boston batters are behind in the count, they are hitting .184. Kevin Youkilis is 0-for-10.

16. The Sox are 20-for-104 with runners in scoring position, a .192 average with 28 RBI.

17. The Sox have only scored one run in each of the 5th, 6th, and the 9th innings.

18. The Sox are moving station-to-station. Of the nine times that a runner has been on first when a double is hit, they have scored twice. Of the 12 times a runner has been on second when a single is hit, they have scored six times.

19. Sox pinch-hitters are 0-for-6.

20. Of the 30 plate appearances for the Sox with a runner on third and less than two outs, the runner has scored 11 times. That 37 is the worst in the AL

21. Jacoby Ellsbury (.189), Kevin Youkilis (.182), Marco Scutaro (.172), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.154), and Carl Crawford (.152) are all hitting under .200 only the Mariners have as many.

Pitching

22. The Sox are last in all of baseball with a 6.77 ERA.

23. They have surrendered 70 earned runs; no other team has surrendered more than 59.

24. They are last in all of baseball surrendering 21 homers.

25. Batters are hitting .275 against Sox pitching.

26. Starters are 2-7 with a 6.83 ERA.

27. Relievers are 0-2 with a 6.69 ERA.

28. The .894 OPS against the Sox is the worst in baseball.

29. The .355 OBP against Sox pitching is the worst in the AL.

30. Sox starters are tied for last with the Twins with only three Quality Starts.

31. Sox starters are averaging 5.3 innings per start, only the Yankees 5.1 is worse
in the AL.

32. Sox relievers have made 31 appearances and have entered the game trailing 24 times and tied twice.

33. Sox pitchers have given up 100 hits, and 50 have gone for extra bases.

34. Sox pitchers have dished out eight four-pitch walks, but only two intentional walks.

35. John Lackey has a 15.86 ERA.

36. Daisuke Matsuzaka. Enough said.

37. Righties are hitting .429 against John Lackey and Dan Wheeler and .291 against all the righties on the staff.

38. Lefties are hitting .538 against Dan Wheeler, .414 against Dice-K, .375 against Daniel Bard, and .275 against all the righties on the staff.

39. Batters are hitting .279 against Sox pitchers at Fenway with seven homers and .270 with 14 homers against them on the road.

40. Sox pitchers have a 6.40 home ERA and a 7.13 road ERA

41. Righties are hitting .275 against Sox pitchers, but then again lefties are hitting .275 against Sox pitchers.

42. In their two wins, Sox pitchers have a 4.15 ERA. In no-decisions, their ERA is 5.24. In their nine losses, the ERA is (get something to hold on to) 9.96.

43. The first two batters in opposing team lineups are hitting .330 with a 1.115 OPS.

44. Batters 7-9, the bottom of the opposing team lineups, are hitting .327 with a 1.017 OPS.

45. With runners in scoring position, batters are hitting .333 against Sox pitchers.

46. With runners on base, batters are hitting .329 against Sox pitchers.

47. In innings four through six, Sox pitchers have given up 36 runs on 46 hits and batters are hitting .329

48. On pitches 76-100 batters are hitting .347 against Sox pitchers.

49. Jarrod Saltalamacchia has a pitchercatcher ERA of 8.06.

50. The Sox have scored 40 runs and allowed 72 runs, the minus-32 run differential is the worst in baseball.

Honestly, the next column will have some good news in it even if I have to dishonestly make it up.

Drellich: Hanley Ramirez has to improve or Red Sox need to try others

Drellich: Hanley Ramirez has to improve or Red Sox need to try others

BOSTON — It doesn’t really matter what’s holding Hanley Ramirez back: his health, his desire to play through injuries, neither, both. The Red Sox need him to hit better as the designated hitter, or give someone else a chance in his place.

Tuesday is June 27. From May 27 on, Ramirez is hitting .202 with a .216 on-base percentage and .369 slugging percentage.

Putting Ramirez on the disabled list so that he can heal up, or at least attempt to, would be reasonable. If you can’t hit well — if you can’t even be in the lineup, as has been the case the last two days — you're hampering the roster.

Ramirez was out of the lineup for a second straight game on Tuesday because of his left knee, which was hit by a pitch Sunday. He’s been bothered by his shoulders all season.

“He’s improved today. He’s responding to treatment,” manager John Farrell said Tuesday of Ramirez’s knee. “He’s still going through some work right now. Would get a bat in his hand here shortly to determine if he’s available to pinch hit tonight. Prior to yesterday’s game, day to day, and still in that status, but he is improving.”

The route to better production doesn’t matter. As long as the Sox get some, be it from Ramirez or somewhere else. Flat-out benching Ramirez in favor of Chris Young or Sam Travis or both for a time should be on the table.

When it comes to lineups vs. lefties, Farrell might be thinking the same way. 

Farrell was asked Tuesday if he’d consider playing someone at DH other than Ramirez for performance reasons.

“I wouldn’t rule it out,” Farrell said. “Where he was so good against left-handed pitching last year, that’s been still a work in progress, for lack of a better way to describe it. So we’re always looking to put the best combination on the field.”

A right-handed hitter, Ramirez is just 5-for-35 (.143) vs. lefties this season, after hitting .346 against them a year ago.

On the flip side: in the final three months of the 2016 season, Ramirez hit .300 with a .379 OBP and .608 slugging percentage overall. That’s from the start of July through the end of the regular season vs. all pitchers.

“You know, the one thing you can’t completely turn away from is what Hanley did last year,” Farrell said. “While I know that’s last year, we’re still working to get some increased performance from him. I think he’s still a key member in our lineup. The presence he provides, the impact that he’s capable of. And yet, we’re still working to get there.”

Farrell said the team hasn’t been able to pinpoint a particular reason for Ramirez’s struggles vs. southpaws.

“No,” Farrell said. “There’s been extensive video review. There’s been extensive conversations with him. There’s been stretches, short stretches, where he’s I think shown the approach at the plate and the all field ability to drive the baseball. That’s been hit and miss a little bit. So, we’re just trying to gain a consistency that he’s been known for.”

Mitch Moreland's been playing with a fractured big toe in his left foot. After he homered and had another impactful night Monday, Farrell made some comments that are hard to read as anything but a message to Ramirez.

“In [Moreland's] most recent stretch, he’s been able to get on top of some fastballs that have been at the top of the strike zone or above for some power obviously,” Farrell said. “But I think the way he’s gone about it given the physical condition he’s in, is a strong message to the remainder of this team.”

Asked about that comment a day later, Farrell shot down the idea he was trying to reach Ramirez or anyone else with that remark about playing hurt.

“No,” Farrell said Tuesday. “I respect the question, but that was to highlight a guy who has been dealing with a broken toe, continues to perform at a high level and to compliment Mitch for the way he’s gone about it.”

It doesn't matter why Ramirez isn't producing, at a certain point. Either he is or he isn't. If not, they need to be willing to give someone else an extended look, whether it lands Ramirez on the DL or simply the bench.

Farrell suspended one game for last week's run-in with umpire

Farrell suspended one game for last week's run-in with umpire

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell has been suspended one game because of Saturday night's scream-fest with umpire Bill Miller, when Farrell objected to a balk call made on Fernando Abad that led to an Angels run in the seventh inning.

Farrell is to serve the suspension on Tuesday night. He has also been fined.

Farrell and the umpire couldn't have been much closer to each other's face, and some contact was made.

"There was contact made, yes. I didn't bump him though," Farrell said a day later. "The tip of my finger touched his shirt."

Miller has ejected Farrell three times, more than any other umpire.

"No, honestly I didn't even know that, someone's brought to my attention that it's been the third time," Farrell said Sunday when asked if that history played in. "I don't have a tote board of who's done what and how many times