The Bill Chuck Files overflow each day with stats, factoids, and observations that are sometimes relevant, sometimes irrelevant, and sometimes simply intriguing. At the start of each Sox series, I will share some of these in my "Nine to Know,” and I hope you will do the same.
Isn’t it funny that the Sox were one-hit by the Rangers Friday, yet they were the team coming out of the game with momentum? The Rangers' spirits were down after the last two David Ortiz at-bats against Yu Darvish and were totally flat on Saturday and Sunday. But the Sox played like a team on a roll and now as they head to Minnesota, home of the 2014 All-Star Game on July 15, we’ll see if the team can maintain the momentum and stay above .500.
Nine to Know: Red Sox (19-18) at Twins (17-19)
1. Twins pitchers have a 4.27 ERA at home with a 1.386 WHIP, while the Sox pitchers on the road have a 3.28 ERA and a 1.171 WHIP.
2. The Twins are only hitting .237 at home, while the Sox are hitting only .222 on the road.
3. SP Preview: Teams have hit .236 against Felix Doubront the first time they face him in a game, .316 the second time through the lineup, and .250 in a reduced number of third times in a game. Jake Peavy has gone deep enough in most games to face batters three times. The first time through the lineup, they have hit .218, the second time just .167, and the third time it rises to .267. Clay Buchholz will start the third game and he has struggled throughout the game. Batters hit .288 the first time up, .411 the second, and .308 the third.
4. The MLB average is 25 errors per team: The Sox have committed 25, the Twins 22. However, using Rtot which looks at the total number runs saved or lost, both teams are unimpressive. The MLB average is +1 and Sox are -16 and the Twins are -14.
5. Both teams have their second basemen leading off. As a leadoff batter, the Twins Brian Dozier is hitting .235 with eight homers, but has a .365 OBP thanks to drawing 27 walks. Dustin Pedroia moved into the leadoff slot on April 24 and the Sox have been 9-6 since. Leading off this season, he’s hitting .282 with two homers and a .385 OBP helped by 13 walks. He’s also slugging .449.
6. Breaking balls are eating Jackie Bradley Jr. alive - he's hitting .077 against hooks. Against sliders, JBJ is 1-for-20 (.050) and has whiffed 11 times. To make matters worse, he’s struck out 17 times in 51 AB against fastballs.
7. Grady Sizemore is hitting .280 this month, but hasn’t homered since April 11, a stretch of 76 PA. During that time he has hit three doubles, a triple, and nine singles.
8. Sox outfielders are hitting .222 (the Twins outfielders have the worst average in the bigs at .217). The Sox don’t have much going on from outfielders in Pawtucket: Daniel Nava is hitting .264, Alex Hassan .250, Bryce Brentz .219, and Corey Brown .202.
I’ll be back when the Tigers come town starting with a great matchup on Friday.