Red Sox

Nation Station: Numbers of problems

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Nation Station: Numbers of problems

By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com

Wednesday night proved to be the third-best day of the Sox young season.

They were rained out.

They have a very depressing 2-9 record and I will tell you what is worse: the 2-9 record is well deserved.

Sadly, I have put together 50 stats that when assembled helps explain the Sox awful start.

Word of warning: Dont read these near open windows.

Heres the breakdown on the Sox breakdown:

Batting

1. As a team, the Sox are hitting .230, tied with the Oakland As . . . who analysts say dont have enough hitting to win their division.

2. They have scored 40 runs, tied with the Seattle Mariners who last year scored fewer runs than any team in baseball.

3. They have stolen a total of four bases, all in losses. As my father used to say, You cant steal first base.

4. Right-handed pitchers against Sox righty batters - .225, one homer, 10 RBI. Youk is hitting .136 with 10 walks

5. Right-handed pitchers against Sox lefty batters - .239, four homers, 18 RBI. Carl Crawford is hitting .167. Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting .179.

6. Left-handed pitchers against Sox righty batters - .194, one homer, four RBI. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek are a combined 0-for13.

7. Left-handed pitchers against Sox lefty batters - .254, one homer, eight RBI. Carl Crawford is hitting .125 with no extra-base hits.
8. On the road the Sox are hitting .181 with four homers and 16 RBI.

9. In the nine Sox losses, they are hitting .203.

10. Catchers are hitting .139.

11. The outfield is hitting .190.

12. The first batter of the game is hitting .000.

13. Leading off innings, Sox batters are hitting .200. - Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting .083. Carl Crawford is hitting .100.

14. When Boston batters are ahead in the count, they are hitting .231.

15. When Boston batters are behind in the count, they are hitting .184. Kevin Youkilis is 0-for-10.

16. The Sox are 20-for-104 with runners in scoring position, a .192 average with 28 RBI.

17. The Sox have only scored one run in each of the 5th, 6th, and the 9th innings.

18. The Sox are moving station-to-station. Of the nine times that a runner has been on first when a double is hit, they have scored twice. Of the 12 times a runner has been on second when a single is hit, they have scored six times.

19. Sox pinch-hitters are 0-for-6.

20. Of the 30 plate appearances for the Sox with a runner on third and less than two outs, the runner has scored 11 times. That 37 is the worst in the AL

21. Jacoby Ellsbury (.189), Kevin Youkilis (.182), Marco Scutaro (.172), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.154), and Carl Crawford (.152) are all hitting under .200 only the Mariners have as many.

Pitching

22. The Sox are last in all of baseball with a 6.77 ERA.

23. They have surrendered 70 earned runs; no other team has surrendered more than 59.

24. They are last in all of baseball surrendering 21 homers.

25. Batters are hitting .275 against Sox pitching.

26. Starters are 2-7 with a 6.83 ERA.

27. Relievers are 0-2 with a 6.69 ERA.

28. The .894 OPS against the Sox is the worst in baseball.

29. The .355 OBP against Sox pitching is the worst in the AL.

30. Sox starters are tied for last with the Twins with only three Quality Starts.

31. Sox starters are averaging 5.3 innings per start, only the Yankees 5.1 is worse
in the AL.

32. Sox relievers have made 31 appearances and have entered the game trailing 24 times and tied twice.

33. Sox pitchers have given up 100 hits, and 50 have gone for extra bases.

34. Sox pitchers have dished out eight four-pitch walks, but only two intentional walks.

35. John Lackey has a 15.86 ERA.

36. Daisuke Matsuzaka. Enough said.

37. Righties are hitting .429 against John Lackey and Dan Wheeler and .291 against all the righties on the staff.

38. Lefties are hitting .538 against Dan Wheeler, .414 against Dice-K, .375 against Daniel Bard, and .275 against all the righties on the staff.

39. Batters are hitting .279 against Sox pitchers at Fenway with seven homers and .270 with 14 homers against them on the road.

40. Sox pitchers have a 6.40 home ERA and a 7.13 road ERA

41. Righties are hitting .275 against Sox pitchers, but then again lefties are hitting .275 against Sox pitchers.

42. In their two wins, Sox pitchers have a 4.15 ERA. In no-decisions, their ERA is 5.24. In their nine losses, the ERA is (get something to hold on to) 9.96.

43. The first two batters in opposing team lineups are hitting .330 with a 1.115 OPS.

44. Batters 7-9, the bottom of the opposing team lineups, are hitting .327 with a 1.017 OPS.

45. With runners in scoring position, batters are hitting .333 against Sox pitchers.

46. With runners on base, batters are hitting .329 against Sox pitchers.

47. In innings four through six, Sox pitchers have given up 36 runs on 46 hits and batters are hitting .329

48. On pitches 76-100 batters are hitting .347 against Sox pitchers.

49. Jarrod Saltalamacchia has a pitchercatcher ERA of 8.06.

50. The Sox have scored 40 runs and allowed 72 runs, the minus-32 run differential is the worst in baseball.

Honestly, the next column will have some good news in it even if I have to dishonestly make it up.

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

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Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

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