Nation STATion: Red Sox Nine to Know

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Nation STATion: Red Sox Nine to Know

By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com

Things are starting to feel better around the Nation but every time you say that the Sox lose a couple of games. Take a look at the standings today and it at least feels a little normal with the top three teams in the AL East the Yanks, Rays, and Sox and there are only four games separating the three teams.

Lets take a peak under the hood heres your Sox Nine to Know:

1. The Sox are not the Pittsburgh Pirates, the .500 mark is not a milestone, its a mill stone. It is simply not where this team wants to be, yet moving beyond it this season has been a real pain.

The Sox are 6-6 against the East.
The Sox are 8-8 against the West.
The Sox are 2-4 against the Central.
They are 11-11 against right-hand pitchers.
They are 5-7 against left-hand pitchers.
They are 10-9 at home.
They are 6-8 on the road.
They are 1-1 in extra innings.
They are 2-5 in one-run games.
They were 2-8 after 10 games.
They were 9-11 after 20 games.
They were 4-16 after 30 games.
They are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
They are 12-8 in their last 20 games.
They are 16-14 in their last 30 games.

Oh, and by the way, the Pittsburgh Pirates are 17-17.

2. Jacoby Ellsbury has a 17-game hitting streak, which is the current longest active streak in the American League. In May 2009 Jacoby had a 22-game streak, which is his longest.

Sox hitting streaks of at least 20 games since 2000

3. Ellsbury stole his 10th base of the season yesterday to lead the team. This is the third time he has had 10 in a season. He led the AL in 2008 and led the majors in 2009.

Here are Ellsburys career totals of steals by year:

Who led the Sox in steals in 2010? (Answer below)

4. Carl Crawford looks like he is finally over the Mendoza line for good sitting at .211 this morning. His numbers are still pretty puny but just remember he hit .155 in April. He is hitting .387 this month and we are starting to see his unique combination of speed and power.

In fact, there are only two active players with over 200 doubles, 100 triples and 100 homers, and weve been honored to see both play at home in Fenway:

5. David Ortiz is having a pretty good season (.292, four homers, 16 RBI) in large part thanks to his success against lefties. Against righties he is hitting .263 with two homers and 11 RBI. Versus lefties he is hitting .364 with two homers and five RBI.

6. Clay Buchholz in his last two games looks much more like the pitcher we saw in 2010. Hes 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA, a .233 batting average against, and a 1.160 WHIP. His overall numbers are still not very good: 3-3, 4.19 ERA, .289 BAA, and a 1.629 WHIP.

7. It is really hard to say anything positive about John Lackey thus far this season. On an inconsistent starting five, he is the weakest link.

Check out these pitchers with at least five starts by worst WHIP:

Lackey is has the sixth worst WHIP and Buchholz is still at number 13. Lackey is also tied for the second worst ERA on the list and third worst BAA of the group.

8. Catchers in the AL are only hitting .221 as a group, so clearly expectations dont run high at the position. But Jarrod Saltalamacchia is not hitting close to his listed weight of 235 at .203 and Jason Varitek is hitting an anorexic .128. Only the Twins have catchers hitting below the Sox Salty-Tek combo and Minnesota has an excuse with the great Joe Mauer on the DL.

AL catchers by team:

9. Finally, heres another reason why we love Jon Lester

Check out his decreasing WHIP each season:

Okay, thats your Nine to Know, now go and show off how much more you know about the Sox than your friends and then you can tell them that you learned all this at Nation STATion.

BTW: the Red Sox 2010 leader in stolen bases was Ryan Kalish with 10.

Stats and tables provided by Baseball-Reference.com.

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.