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.
Since June 19, the Red Sox have lost three-of-four to Oakland, two-of-three to Seattle, taken two-of-three from the Yanks, lost three-of-three to the Cubs, and two-of-three to Baltimore. In essence, they are the “B” team that the varsity beats up on.
Like the Miami Marlins, the Sox have played 34 one-run games, the most in the majors. The Fish are 20-14 and the Sox are 15-19, the most one-run losses in the league. If it makes you feel any better, each team is 5-8 in extra-inning games. It shouldn’t make you feel any better.
The Sox have a 21-24 record at Fenway. Last season, at home, they were 53-28. If the “other Sox” sweep them, they will tie last season’s home loss record.
That’s what happens when your caps indicate that you are the “B team.”
Chicago White Sox (42-47, 18-26 on the road) @ Boston Red Sox (39-49, 21-24 at home)
Nine to Know: The Red Sox “B Team” (players with a “B” initial)
1. Xander Bogaerts – Xander has hit .177 with runners on base and if you want to know what pressure feels like: when there is a runner on third, Bogaerts is hitting .107 and with a runner on second, he’s hitting .121.
2. Brock Holt – The average player this season has a .306 batting average for balls in play. For all the batters with at least 240 PA, Holt’s BAbip is a major league-leading .385, an unsustainable number. But let’s enjoy it while we can; he’s hit in 10 of the last 11 games and he plays like he’s a 2013 Red Sox player.
3. Jackie Bradley Jr. – Yesterday, JBJ had two hits and an 11-pitch walk. The trouble is, for the season Jackie has had 38 games without a hit, 29 games with one hit, 10 games with two hits, and two games with three hits. He’s also had 52 games with at least one whiff.
4. Mookie Betts – Welcome to the big leagues kid, where the fastballs are faster and not right down the heart of the plate. Betts is 2-for-13 against fastballs so far but at least he’s making contact. He’s only had two misses in 30 swings.
5. Clay Buchholz – Clay has looked better since he’s recovered from his “knee” injury. In two starts, he has a 3.29 ERA which has dropped his season ERA to 6.22. Buchholz will be 30 in the middle of next month and has only had three seasons in which he has thrown 100 innings (one hundred, not two hundred). In the two games since he’s back, from the 50th pitch on, batters are hitting .333.
6. Burke Badenhop –It looks like the party is coming to an end for our “double B.” From April 21 to June 20, Badenhop appeared in 27 games and had an ERA of 0.00 and a BAA of .208. Absolutely a first-half star for Boston. In six games since then, he has a 13.50 ERA with a .545 BAA. Maybe Ben can deal him before all trade value is lost.
7. Craig Breslow – You don’t need to be the smartest man in baseball to understand that this season’s 5.04 ERA is much worse than last year’s 1.81. One thing to still love about Breslow: this season, he’s inherited eight runners and none of them have scored.
8. Big Papi – Why do I get the feeling that we haven’t heard the end of John Farrell not choosing the undeserving David Ortiz for the All-Star Game? My Spidey Sense is tingling. In the 1st inning, Papi is hitting .218, but in the 3rd inning, he’s hitting .378 with six homers. Did you know that in tie games this season, Ortiz is hitting .187?
9. Below .500 - Through 88 games, the 1959, 1996, 1997, and 2014 Red Sox were 39-49. The 10 games below .500 is well-deserved. They have a -46 run differential. In Sox history, since 1901, there have only been 18 seasons, through 88 games in which they have had a great negative run differential.
See you Friday as the Sox head to Houston and who knows what problems they will encounter.