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Red Sox review: 2012 vs. 2013

Posted by David Sabino  July 1, 2013 11:31 AM

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PapiFlag.jpgThe Red Sox first three months of the 2013 season have been quite memorable and there's no doubting that this is a much more enjoyable squad to watch than the dysfunctional 2012 edition. However with a few exceptions, the team's stats on the morning of July 1, 2013 looked strikingly similar to those the Red Sox had on the corresponding sunrise exactly one year ago.

The current standings show that the Red Sox are in first place in the AL East with the best record in the entire American League. This marks the first time since 2009 that Boston has opened July in the division lead.

But for all of the gains on the basepaths (Jacoby Ellsbury has matched the team's first three-months of 2012 total by himself) and in the starting rotation (significant drop in starters ERA), last year's squad was much stronger out of the bullpen (more converted saves and nearly a full run lower in ERA) and actually had more power in the lineup than the current unit (a 19% decrease in home runs per game).

The 2013 pitching staff strikes out more batters than 2012, but also has walked the most batters in the majors (on the second highest rate of walks per nine innings in '13, fifth best in the AL over the same span of 2012).

So while it seems that this team is so much better than last year's, for the most part, the numbers aren't vastly different. The attitude, hustle and intangibles in John Farrell's first three months on the job are another story altogether.

Here's a head-to-head statistical look at the 2012 and 2013 squads entering July. RedSoxJuly1resize.jpg

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Stats Driven is powered by David Sabino, who over the last two decades has been a source of statistical analysis on the pages of Sports Illustrated, New York Times, and Chicago Tribune. David has written about all seven recent Boston-area championships for Sports Illustrated Presents commemorative issues, was the creator of such long time features as SI’s Player Value Ranking, NBA Player Rating and long running fantasy football and baseball columns.

He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrated’s 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.

Now living in Marblehead, he’s focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.

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