Nation STATion: Red Sox four play

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Nation STATion: Red Sox four play

By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com

Stop getting excited; this column is interesting but nowhere near as sexy as its title.

Okay, heres what weve learned so far: if the Sox dont score a least four runs, they are not going to win many games.

Think about that. Even as we keep hearing that this now the new age of the pitcher, for the Sox its still all about their bats. And thats why Adrian Gonzalez was the right fielder Wednesday night. And thats why the Sox will have to be creative in finding a right-handed power hitting corner outfielder without dramatically affecting their already swollen payroll.

Frame of reference time:

Here are some Boston scoring facts:

The Sox have been shutout out seven times this season. Record: 0-7
Including last night, they have scored one run seven times this season. Record: 1-6
They have scored two runs five times this season. Record: 1-4
They have scored three runs six times this season. Record: 2-4Bottom line: When scoring three runs or less, the Sox record is 4-21 (.160).

Here are some Yankee scoring facts:

The Yankees have been shutout out five times this season. Record: 0-5
They have scored one run two times this season. Record: 0-2
They have scored two runs five times this season. Record: 0-5
They have scored three runs 11 times this season. Record: 4-7

Bottom line: When scoring three runs or less, the Yankees record is 4-19 (.173).

Here are some Phillies scoring facts:

The Phils have been shutout out five times this season. Record: 0-5
They have scored one run 10 times this season. Record: 1-9
They have scored two runs 12 times this season. Record: 6-6
They have scored three runs six times this season. Record: 10-7

Bottom line: When scoring three runs or less, the Phillies record is 17-27 (.386).

Here are some Red Sox pitching facts:

The Sox pitchers have thrown 7 shutouts this season. Record: 7-0
They have allowed one run 9 times this season. Record: 8-1
They have allowed two runs 8 times this season. Record: 7-2
They have allowed three runs 14 times this season. Record: 9-5

Bottom line: When allowing three runs or less, the Red Sox record is 31-8 (.794).

Here are some Yankees pitching facts:

The Yankee pitchers have thrown 2 shutouts this season. Record: 2-0
They have allowed one run 7 times this season. Record: 6-1
They have allowed two runs 14 times this season. Record: 12-2
They have allowed three runs 18 times this season. Record: 15-3

Bottom line: When allowing three runs or less, the Yankees record is 35-6 (.853).

Here are some Phillies pitching facts:

The Phils pitchers have thrown 12 shutouts this season. Record: 12-0
They have allowed one run 11 times this season. Record: 11-0
They have allowed two runs 14 times this season. Record: 7-7
They have allowed three runs 10 times this season. Record: 8-2

Bottom line: When allowing three runs or less, the Phillies record is 38-9 (.808).

When scoring three runs or less, the Phillies, with their great pitching, are by far the most successful of the three teams. More worrisome for Boston is that even the Yankees do better than they do in low scoring games.

When allowing three runs or less, the Phillies have thrown 47 games, the Yankees 41, and Boston 39, and the Yankees have the best winning percentage.

These low-scoring games, those games when your bats are being stifled, are the games that championship teams need to win.

Does it matter that the:

Red Sox are 18-0 in games in which they have scored 8 runs?
Yankees are 15-0 in games in which they have scored 8 runs?
Phillies are 11-0 in games in which they have scored 8 runs?

Well, its nice that these teams are undefeated and its certainly nice that these teams are capable of putting together big games. I mean the Orioles are only 7-0 in 8 run games. But on the other hand, those high-scoring kind of games pad hitting stats and delude you into thinking more positively about an offense than you should.

From my perspective, the key games are the four run games.

Let me show you how critical four-run games are:

When the Sox score four runs, their record is 10-7, .588.
When the Sox allow four runs, their record is 4-3, .571.

When the Yankees score four runs, their record is 8-4, .667.
When the Yankees allow four runs, their record is 8-6, .571.

When the Phillies score four runs, their record is 6-1, .857.
When the Phillies allow four runs, their record is 11-5, .688.

Frame of reference time (again):When the White Sox score four runs, their record is 5-6, 455.
When the White Sox allow four runs, their record is 5-9, .357.

Overall, the Red Sox are 45-34, .570. In four-run games they are 14-10, .583.
Overall, the Yankees are 47-31, .603. In four-run games they are 16-10, .615.
Overall, the Phillies are 51-30, .630. In four-run games they are 17-6, .739.
Overall, the White Sox are 39-42, .481. In four-run games they are 10-15, .400.
Clearly, in these cases, the better these teams do when scoring four or allowing four, the better their overall record seems to be. Scoring thresholds vary for different teams but for at least for these teams, four-play is sexy.

Quotes, notes and stars: Pedroia was focused on winning, not streak

Quotes, notes and stars: Pedroia was focused on winning, not streak

BOSTON -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 8-3 win over the Royals:

QUOTES

“I hadn’t really thought about it. Trying to win games. It’s late in the year . . . I don’t really have time to sit back and pat myself on the back for anything. We’re trying to win as a team.” - Dustin Pedroia on the importance of the 11-for-11 stretch in his career.

“It’s fun. It’s why you go to work in December, January, February. It’s all the work you put in up to this point. It feels good to go out there and get the results you expect to get, especially against a team like [the Royals] who is hot as they are right now.” - David Price on pitching meaningful games with a playoff-like atmosphere.

“Yeah, yeah we [knew about the streak] . . .  It was an awesome roll and it was fun to see . . . Every time I went up to hit, I let Salvador Perez know.” - Xander Bogaerts on Dustin Pedroia’s 11-for-11 streak.

“I think we’ve been able to handle velocity very well. We’ve got good bat-speed in out lineup, and we’re able to handle that.” - John Farrell on the offense thriving against good pitching.

 

NOTES

* David Ortiz played in his 1,000th game at Fenway Park, becoming the fifth player to do so.

* Ortiz also became the first player ever to play 2,000 games as the designated hitter.

* Mookie Betts scored his 100th run of the season off his 29th home run of the year, joining Fred Lynn, Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams as the only players to reach 100 runs before turning 24.

* The Red Sox hit back-to-back home runs for the fourth time this season with Betts and Hanley Ramirez going yard in the fifth.

* With his 2-for-4 day at the plate, Jackie Bradley Jr. improved to 34-for-94 (.362) batting ninth.

 

STARS

1) Dustin Pedroia

Pedroia finished 4-for-5, extending his streak to 11 hits in 11 at-bats, finishing one shy of tying the MLB record.

2) David Price

Price logged his fourth straight quality start with his six-inning, two-run start. He also dropped his ERA below 4.00 for the first time since his Opening Day start with Boston.

3) Salvador Perez

Perez finished 2-for-3 with two home runs. Saturday marked only the second multi-home run game of his career.

First impressions: Price, Pedroia lead Red Sox to 8-3 win over Royals

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First impressions: Price, Pedroia lead Red Sox to 8-3 win over Royals

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals:

 

David Price has found a groove.

Price finally brought his ERA below 4.00.

He’d been about that mark since his second start of the season. Twenty-six starts later, he finally reached the mark.

Saturday’s start marked Price’s fourth-straight quality start. Price will soon eclipse the 200-strikeout, reaching 186 K’s with his seven-strikeout performance.

Although the lefty hasn’t been at his best throughout much of the year, he’s caught fire of late.

Possibly at the most important part of the season, too.

 

Dustin Pedroia just missed making history, can’t buy an out.

Boston’s second baseman entered Saturday with seven hits in his last seven at-bats. He stretched that streak to 11-for-11 with a 4-for-4 game.

He had the chance to go 12-for-12 in the eighth, but weakly grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

He’s also the first Red Sox player with three straight four-hit games at Fenway Park since 1913.

Boston’s second baseman continues to prove that his struggles in recent years were directly related to injuries, not diminishing performance.

 

The offense passed a big test.

It might’ve appeared that Danny Duffy was a middle-of-the-road pitcher with the way Red Sox hitters tattooed him in Saturday’s win.

But the right only had one loss in 19 starts, with a 2.66 ERA (2.61 as a starter).

Between the long balls and Dustin Pedroia’s incessant ways of late, they ballooned his ERA to 3.01.

A respectable number, still, but a jump of nearly a half of a run.

 

Sandy Leon’s in a minor cold spell.

Possibly the greatest story of Boston’s 2016 offense, Leon hasn’t had too many struggles along the way.

But after finishing 0-for-4 Saturday night, he’s only 2-for-21 (.095) in his last five games.

Saturday also marked only the third time all season where he was held hitless in back-to-back games.

These things happen to everyone, but it was starting to look like Leon didn’t fall under the category of “everyone.”