Nation Station: Numbers of problems


Nation Station: Numbers of problems

By Bill Chuck
Special to

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:


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.


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.

NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945


NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.