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.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.