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,ï¿½ and I hope you will do the same.
Red Sox (27-32/12-15 on the road) @ Tigers (31-25/14-14 at home)
As the Red Sox head into Detroit for a weekend series, you are looking at two teams that are reeling, each having just been swept. Since the start of play on May 19, the Sox are 7-9 and the Tigers are an AL worst 4-13. The difference is that at the start of play on May 19, the Sox were 20-23 in fourth place and the Tigers were 27-12, the best record in baseball.
Here's something we can be certain of: just like the Sox are not as bad a team as their 10-game losing streak indicated and they are not as good as their seven-game winning streak, the Tigers are not the best team in baseball, nor are they the worst team in the AL, as their recent records suggest. On the other hand, with just beyond a hundred games left in the season, as these two teams are constituted right now, their overall records are accurate reflections of their capabilities.
Nine to Know: Red Sox and Tigers
1. Homering does not do much for the Red Sox this season. They have homered in 35 games but only have a record of 15-20 in those games. The Tigers are 25-13 when they homer.
2. The Sox are 12-15 (.444) on the road, a 99-point drop in winning percentage compared to last season when they were 44-37 (.543). But, donï¿½t blame the pitchers: The staff ERA on the road last year was 4.03; this season itï¿½s 3.85.
3. The Sox are hitting .226 away from Fenway. The infielders are hitting .231 and the outfielders are hitting .203, a major league worst. The Tigers are hitting .279 at Comerica. The infielders are hitting .304 and the outfielders are hitting .271.
4. Cumulatively, the Sox outfield is hitting .214, the worst in baseball. But to their credit, with runners on, they are hitting .254 and .253 w/RISP. The Tigers outfield is hitting .258, overall and with men on, and .245 w/RISP.
5. Jackie Bradley Jr.’s .203 batting avg. is the second worst amongst all outfielders in the majors. In his last 10 games, he’s hitting .229 with one homer, one double, and 10 strikeouts. And that’s an improvement (!?!).
6. Grady Sizemore has now gone 35 games, 133 AB without a homer. He’s hit .195 during that stretch.
7. Daniel Nava has six hits in 45 at bats away from Fenway. That’s a petite .133 BA.
8. In 2012, David Ortiz had a 13.3% strikeout rate. In 2013, it jumped to 14.7%. And this season, it’s up to 15.5%.
9. During Don Zimmer’s tenure as manager from 1976-80, Jim Rice led the Sox with 173 homers. Carl Yastrzemski was next with 102, followed by Fred Lynn with 101. The baseball world is not as much fun after this loss.
Get well soon, Greg Colbrunn.
At the 59-game mark during the Bobby Valentine era, the Red Sox were 29-30 in fifth place, five games out of first.
See you all Monday as the Sox head to Baltimore.