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.
Are you sitting down? I know that this may come as a shock to you: but as a result of the Orioles sweep of the Red Sox, the defending World Series champions are officially eliminated from the postseason.
It’s fitting that it is Baltimore (who has a magic number of 8) that finished off the last-place Red Sox, after all they were the team that eliminated the September 2011 Sox, and they are the team that set the tone for this season in the first game of the year on March 31. In case you have forgotten, the O’s defeated Boston, 2-1, despite an Ultra Quality Start from Jon Lester.
In that game, the Sox left 12 runners on base and were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. And that, my friends, set the tone for this season’s lack of clutch hitting that has also seen an absence of clutch pitching, defense, base running, and managerial creativity.
Meanwhile, in Detroit, with first place on the line, the Royals behind Big Game James Shields, one of the many fantasies for Red Sox Nation for the 2015 season, defeated the Tigers, 3-0.
Boston Red Sox 63-83 (32-39 on the road, 36-61 against teams .500 or better) @ Kansas City Royals 80-64 (38-33 at home, 41-42 against teams .500 or better)
Nine to Know: Failing in the clutch
1. It’s good that David Ortiz has hit 21 of his homers when the Sox were within two runs in the game. It’s not good that from the 7th inning on this season, Big Papi has hit .224 with just three homers.
2. The Royals have Big Game James, while the Sox have Oy Vey Clay Buchholz who has made 24 starts this season, with eight against postseason contenders (Milwaukee, Baltimore, Oakland, Atlanta, Seattle, Kansas City and the Angels twice). In those eight games he has a 3-2 record with a 7.48 ERA, 1.685 WHIP, and .313 BAA.
3. Here is your shocking Dustin Pedroia stat of the year: with two outs and runners in scoring position, Pedey hit .111, with just nine RBI. He hit .268 with 25 RBI last season.
4. Burke Badenhop has inherited 58 runners this season and 16 have scored. Is allowing 28% inherited runners clutch? Like Badenhop, the Cards’ Seth Maness inherited 58 runners last season; he allowed seven to score, a clutch 11% rate. This season Maness has a taxing 30% IRS rate.
5. I’m impressed that with runners in scoring position that Yoenis Cespedes, with the Sox, is hitting .372. I’m also impressed that Will Middlebrooks is hitting .300.
6. I’m depressed that with runners in scoring position that Mike Napoli is hitting .170. I’m also depressed that Xander Bogaerts is hitting .145.
7. I’m not done with the lost season of Xander Bogaerts. Don’t be fooled by his 11 homers, four have been hit when the score in the game is four runs or greater and seven have been hit in games the Sox lost.
8. Speaking about Sox losses: Allen Craig has already played in 11 of them and hit all of .063 in those games. That makes Stephen Drew’s .136 look robust and Daniel Nava’s .202 look like an All-Star.
9. As a team, the Sox have a clutch .315 BA with the sacks loaded. David Ortiz is hitting a wow .625. On the other hander Xander, is 0-for-7 and Brock Holt is 0-for-8 with four strikeouts.
See you Tuesday when the Sox face the clutch Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates in Pittsburgh.