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.

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

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Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.

Offseason just like any other for Bogaerts

Offseason just like any other for Bogaerts

BOSTON -- At first, 2016 seemed like the “Year of Xander.” It turned out to be the “Year of Mookie,” with Bogaerts dropping off a little as the season progressed.

The Red Sox shortstop saw his average peak at .359 on June 12. At that point he’d played in 61 games, hit eight home runs, 20 doubles and knocked in 44 runs. Although Mookie Betts had six more home runs and three more RBI in that same span, Bogaerts had six more doubles and was hitting 69 points higher.

The two were already locks for the All-Star Game and Bogaerts still had the edge in early MVP talk.

Then things took a turn after the very day Bogaerts saw his average peak.

Over the next 61 games, Bogaerts still managed seven homers, but only had six doubles and 27 RBI, watching his average drop to .307 by the end of that stretch. At first glance, .307 doesn’t seem like an issue, but he dropped 52 points after hitting .253 in that span.

And in his remaining 35 games, Bogaerts only hit .248 -- although he did have six homers.

But throughout it all, Bogaerts never seemed fazed by it. With pitchers and catchers reporting in less than a month, Bogaerts still isn’t worried about the peaks and valleys.

“You go through it as a player, the only one’s who don’t go through that are the ones not playing,” Bogaerts told CSNNE.com before the Boston baseball writers' dinner Thursday. “I just gotta know you’re going to be playing good for sometime, you’re going to be playing bad for sometime.

“Just try to a lot more better times than bad times. It’s just a matter of trusting yourself, trusting your abilities and never doubting yourself. Obviously, you get a lot of doubts when you’re playing bad, but you just be even keeled with whatever situation is presented.”

Bogaerts level head is something often noted by coaches and his teammates, carrying through the days he finds himself lunging left and right for pitches. That’s also carried him through the offseason while maintaining the same preparation from past seasons -- along with putting on some weight.

“I don’t know how much I put on, but I feel strong,” Bogaerts said to CSNNE.com “I mean, I look strong in the mirror.

“Hopefully, I’m in a good position when the season comes because I know I’ll lose [the weight].”