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.
Boston has World Cup Fever, if you call 99.9 a fever.
Well at least in the sweep of the Twins, the Red Sox played as if these were soccer games sweeping 1-nil, 2-1, and then again 2-1 yesterday in overtime.
And David Ortiz, whose 340-foot homer tied the game in 10th yesterday, deserves a Yellow Card for his on-going whining about the error call, as opposed to a hit, he received on a ground ball he hit to Joe Mauer yesterday. He indicated his displeasure to the official scorer faster than it took him to circle the bases on his homer.
The Sox scored five runs in the three games against the Twins, but who needs hitting when your pitching holds the opponent to two runs?
If the Sox can do to the A’s what they did to the Twins, it might be time to start warming up your vuvuzelas
Nine to Know: Red Sox (34-38/14-19 on the road) @ Oakland A’s (44-28/21-14 at home)
1. Yesterday, the Sox became just the third team this season to get just three hits with two homers. In May, the Brewers lost to Cincinnati, 6-2, and the A’s lost to the White Sox, 4-2. This is only the fourth time in Sox history that they did this, losing the three previous times in 1968 to the Twins, in 1971 to the Tribe, and in 2011 to the Rays.
2. This was the 21st time since 1914 that the Sox scored two runs on solo homers and won the game. It was the third time that they won in walkoff fashion: in 1953 the Sox beat the Yankees on a Billy Goodman homer and they did it again in 1962 when they beat the Tigers on a Frank Malzone homer before a Fenway crowd of 2,110.
3. Mike Napoli now has three career walkoff homers, one for the Rangers and two for the Red Sox. Both of Nap’s Boston walkoffs have been in extra-innings, the first was last season in the 11th inning against Adam Warren of the Yankees. These are the only extra-inning homers of his career. It was also Boston’s first walkoff homer since Napoli’s last one.
4. David Ortiz has 447 homers, 389 with Boston and 58 for the Twins. He has now hit 42 homers that have tied games, and nine in extra innings. Papi is two career homers behind Vladimir Guerrero and Jeff Bagwell and five behind Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time HR list. He is still 63 homers behind Yaz for second on the all-time Sox HR list.
5. Koji Uehara has now allowed 35 homers in his career: 18 for the Orioles, nine for Texas and eight for the Red Sox. Yesterday’s 10th inning homer to Chris Parmelee was just the second extra-inning homer Koji has allowed in his career. The first was an 11th inning walkoff he gave up to Adam Lind of the Jays when he pitched for the Orioles in 2011.
6. The Sox staff held the Twins to a .121 BA in the three-game sweep, allowing just 11 hits including three doubles and one homer. The starters, John Lackey, Jon Lester, and Rubby De La Rosa, each threw a Quality Start and had a .113 BAA permitting eight hits, walking five, striking out 18, while allowing just one earned run.
7. Using the Game Score metric developed by Bill James to determine the effectiveness of a pitcher in a given game, the nine scoreless innings thrown by Lackey yesterday was the second best game of his career. His 89 Game Score yesterday is only exceeded by the one-hit 10-strikeout shutout of the A’s Lackey threw for the Angels on 7/7/06.
8. Jon Lester’s one-hit eight-inning, 15-strikeout blanking of the A’s on May 3 is the Red Sox highest Game Score of the season. His 93 is tied with Johnny Cueto for the fifth best of the season. Clayton Kershaw’s near perfect game last night earned him a 102 GSc, the highest of the season and the second highest all-time in a nine-inning game.
9. The story of a near .500 team: So far this month, the Sox are 8-9, scoring 51 runs and allowing 55. In the 17 games in June, the Sox are hitting .234 with 10 homers, 51 walks, and 134 strikeouts. The pitchers have a 3.01 ERA, a 1.123 WHIP, a .235 batting average against and have allowed 14 homers, 38 walks, and have struck out 134 batters.
See you Monday as the Sox head to Seattle to play the Sounders, er, the Mariners.