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Two halves don't make a whole

Posted by David Sabino  July 18, 2013 07:59 AM

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Ellsbury.jpgIn an attempt to further illustrate how different the current Red Sox are from their last-place 2012 brethren, and with the All Star break as a natural break in the season, I decided to take a look at the major league leaders in some main aggregate categories since last year’s midsummer classic and compare them with the Red Sox. While the numbers should look like season totals, few Red Sox, like Jacoby Ellsbury, (above) actually made the grade.

Here are some brief findings in the period from July 9, 2012 through July 17, 2013:

MLB leader: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (226) Sox: Leader: Dustin Pedroia (201, tied for 8th)

Only three other Sox —Jacoby Ellsbury (192), Daniel Nava (108) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (103) have as many as 100 hits during that span for Boston, although newcomers Shane Victorino (142 for three teams), Stephen Drew (113, also for three teams), and Mike Napoli (109) also have been productive.

Home Runs
MLB leaders: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers and Chris Davis, Orioles (56); Red Sox leader: David Ortiz (20).

Incredibly Ortiz is the Sox leading power hitter despite playing in just 82 of the team’s 173 games over that span, due to his Achilles’ injury. Mike Napoli has more (23) but 12 of those came last season for Texas. As an aside, the exiled Adrian Gonzalez shows up on the Red Sox list in seventh-place on the strength of the nine second-half home runs he blasted prior to the blockbuster trade that landed him with the Dodgers.

MLB leader: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (163); Red Sox leader: Dustin Pedroia (88, tied for 40th)

In that timeframe the Sox scored a total of 800 runs which places them sixth overall in the majors and fourth in the American League, the RBIs were just spread around 29 players, with Ortiz (68), Nava (59), Napoli (58), Ellsbury (56), and Saltalamacchia (55) doing the most individual damage.

Stolen Bases
MLB leader: Everth Cabrera, Padres (63); Red Sox leader Jacoby Ellsbury (50, 2nd)

Although the power he displayed in 2011 is virtually invisible, Ellsbury’s biggest asset, his speed, is back in full force, with 36 of those 50 swipes coming in the first half of 2013. Shane Victorino (11 this year for Boston, 31 overall) and Dustin Pedroia (27) also placed in the Top 25.

MLB leader: Max Scherzer, Tigers (21-3 record); Red Sox leader: Clay Buchholz (12-6) and Jon Lester (12-14), both tied for 50th.

The only current member of the Sox higher on the list is Ryan Dempster who has won 13 games since last break, with eight coming for the Cubs and Rangers.

MLB leader: Jim Johnson (58); Red Sox leader: Andrew Bailey, (14, tied for 35th in a 30-team league)

Boston’s post-Papelbon endgame has been a nightmare and this illustrates it. Joel Hanrahan (17 in that span) was supposed to be the answer before he was lost for the year and may never pitch again for the Sox. Koji Uehara (9) and Alfredo Aceves (6) were next. The Sox were tied for last in the AL with Toronto with 34 saves and ranked 29th out of 30 in save percentage, ahead of only Theo Epstein’s Cubs.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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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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