Nation STATion: One run at a time

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Nation STATion: One run at a time

By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com

Its a long season and when you spend as much time looking under the covers at stats, you begin to focus on certain things. Lately, Ive been thinking about the importance of just one run, and been thinking about some one-run "games."

For example, the home run with no one on base is a one-run homer. The Sox this year have hit a total of 141 homers and 86 have come with the bases empty. The most significant of these solo homers was Jacoby Ellsburys on August 3 against Cleveland, when he hit the only walkoff homer of the season for Boston.

Here are the Sox soloists:
Jacoby Ellsbury 14 solo homers
Adrian Gonzalez 13 solo homers
Dustin Pedroia - 12
David Ortiz - 12
Jarrod Saltalamacchia - 8
Josh Reddick - 4
Jason Varitek - 4
Carl Crawford - 4
Kevin Youkilis - 4
Mike Cameron - 3
J.D. Drew - 3
Darnell McDonald - 2
Marco Scutaro - 2
Yamaico Navarro 1

Just so you dont take homers with runners on base for granted, as of last night the San Francisco Giants have hit 19 straight solo home runs, which ties the major league record set by the deadball 1914 Philadelphia Phillies. Their last homer with a runner on base was on July 6.

Homers are one means of scoring one run but there are many others from sac flies to a grounder when there is a runner on third and less than two outs. Admittedly its not easy to drive in a run, but it is easier to pick up an RBI when a runner is in scoring position. Thats why I like to exclude home runs and then see how many times a batter has driven in a run when there is only one runner on base and that runner is on first. So far this season the Sox have driven in a runner from first 25 times.

Here are the guys whove done it multiple times this season:
Adrian Gonzalez four times with two doubles and two triples.
David Ortiz four times with four doubles.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia three times with three doubles.
Kevin Youkilis three times with two doubles and a triple.
Carl Crawford twice with two doubles, one a walkoff.
Dustin Pedroia twice with two doubles.

Now to pull this off you need a combination of a well-hit ball, a good read by the runner on first, and good coaching at third. Interestingly, the runner has only been Ellsbury once and surprisingly Gonzo three times. Carl Crawford has done it three times, so has Youk. 'Tek and Reddick have done it twice each, but you know who has done it most frequently, dont you?

The Muddy Chicken, Dustin Pedroia, has scored from first six times this season and what makes it even more delicious is that four of the times there were less than two outs, so he wasnt off at contact.

Pitchers are part of my one run games as well. Sox pitchers have given up 107 homers this season and while a pitcher never wants to give up a gopher ball its at least better when its a solo shot and Sox pitchers have given up 67 of them.

Heres a look at how Sox pitchers have done limiting the damage of a homer:
Jon Lester has given up 16 homers, 14 have been solos.
Tim Wakefield has given up 18, 12 solo
John Lackey 1510
Clay Buchholz 108
Josh Beckett 126
Alfredo Aceves 65
Daniel Bard 54
Matt Albers all 3 gophers were solos.
Daisuke Matsuzaka 42
Andrew Miller 52
Jonathan Papelbon 31
Franklin Morales has given up two homers, neither a solo while Bobby Jenks, Felix Doubront, and Kyle Weiland each gave up one homer and each had at least one runner on.

Heres another version of my one-run game: scoring one run in a game. The Sox have scored one run 10 times and have won two of the games. The Sox pitchers have allowed just one run 11 times and have won 10 of the games.

Then theres the one run in an inning variation.

On 173 occasions this season, the Sox have scored exactly one run in an inning.

Heres the breakdown:
1st inning: 18 times they have scored one run
2nd inning: 20 times they have scored one run
3rd: 22 times they have scored one run
4th: 22 times they have scored one run
5th: 14 times they have scored one run
6th: 18 times they have scored one run
7th: 22 times they have scored one run
8th: 17 times they have scored one run
9th: 15 times they have scored one run
10th: 1 time they have scored one run
11th: 2 times they have scored one run
12th: Have not scored one run in this inning
13th: Have not scored one run in this inning
14th: 1 time they have scored one run
15th: Have not scored one run in this inning
16th: 1 time they have scored one run

On 164 occasions this season, the Sox have allowed exactly one run in an inning.

Heres the breakdown:
1st inning: 19 times they have allowed one run
2nd inning: 14 times they have allowed one run
3rd: 14 times they have allowed one run
4th: 19 times they have allowed one run
5th: 22 times they have allowed one run
6th: 20 times they have allowed one run
7th: 20 times they have allowed one run
8th: 17 times they have allowed one run
9th: 17 times they have allowed one run
10th: 1 time they have allowed one run
11th: 1 time they have allowed one run
12th: Have not allowed one run in this inning
13th: Have not allowed one run in this inning
14th: Have not allowed one run in this inning
15th: Have not allowed one run in this inning
16th: Have not allowed one run in this inning

The one-run games that everybody else tracks are more ordinary, more mundane and more simplistic: the Sox are 16-11 in one-run games outscoring the opposition, 94-89.

I like to think Nation STATion can have fun with even one run. The more you know, the more you understand about the game, and the more you appreciate your team.

See you next week.

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

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Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”

Kennedy in pursuit of Drake for concert at Fenway

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Kennedy in pursuit of Drake for concert at Fenway

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Quick, if you could have one artist perform at Fenway Park, who would it be?

Florida Georgia Line or Carrie Underwood?

Kanye West?

Maybe a little throwback with Eminem?

Let’s stick to artists who go by one name actually. Red Sox President Sam Kennedy seems to think that’s a good idea.

“We’ve been approaching Drake, this year, we would love to have Drake come,” Kennedy said at Red Sox Winter Weekend. “We understand he’s not doing a big summer tour, but that’s an example of someone we’ve proactively gone out after.

“We’d love to have him come to Fenway Park, given his popularity.

Fenway will already play host to New Kids on the Block with Paula Abdul and Boysz II Men, James Taylor and Billy Joel, with the possibility of adding more.

“I’m not a huge music person,” Kennedy said. “We’ve tried to bring in as many different types of acts as we can to appeal to different demographics. The reality is with the baseball schedule, with the way it lays out, we’re sort of at the mercy of the touring and who’s out.

“We love having these events in Boston. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for Fenway . . . The city has been a very supportive partner in bringing events into town.”

From what Kennedy and his staff have gathered, it appears Drake is looking to do one-off shows instead of a tour. That’s just enough for the ever-persistent Red Sox President to keep working on bringing in the superstar.

“We’re not gonna give up,” Kennedy said.