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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

What else is there to say? Let some numbers speak.

There is nothing printable to say about last night, or even the season to date, in a family blog, at least no PG adjectives, so I'll let some numbers speak for me, and a few Sox numbers everest above all the others:

-- 59 unearned runs given up so far in 75 games. The Sox are spotting opponents almost a run a game. That might be okay if this team were last year's slugging, often clutch-hitting Sox but it's not. (There is no debate about whether clutch hitting exists, despite the recent SI article.)
-- 595 LOB vs. 529 so far for opponents. Other than David Ortiz, who on the Sox drives in runs with people on base? In the 9-2 loss to Philadelphia the other day, the Sox had 14 hits, and left 11 on base. That's a good way to win!
-- 5-8. Their record in 1-run games.
-- 17-18. Their away record.
-- .302. That's opponents' batting average against Derek Lowe. Not surpringly, his ERA is 5.47. So much for regaining his form. His career ERA? 3.73, and I wonder what it was at the end of last year, before the flameout this season?
-- 37-37. That's Tampa Bay's record now, just 4 games down in the lost column from the expensive Red Sox, but there is no point in beating the dead horse of Sox salary -- there is a crowd around it now anyway.
-- 41-34 (Minnesota's record); 43-31 (Texas); 42-33 (Oakland); 41-35 (Anaheim). Wild Card? What Wild Card? (apologies to Mr. Mora)
-- 62. Number of Sox errors so far - also perilously close to 1 per game.
-- 743. Total hits so far this season, tops in the AL -- BUT the Yankees have scored 4 more runs on 77 fewer hits.
-- .323. opponents OBP, second only to the Yankees' .319. Combine with errors and it seems that lots of the guys on base for the opponents score.

There are some positive stats, too, of course: .457 (3rd in slugging in AL); 1207 (3rd in total bases); .275 (4th in average but two teams each are tied for 1, 2, 3); 386 RBI (3rd - looks like they are getting runs when it does not matter much, given their record).
Stats: Blah, blah, blah, right? But when you watch or hear the games, you know that they are inconsistent performers at best, apparently unable to concentrate in the field or on the mound at times, and -- this one is impossible to prove -- not into it as a team. Blame the manager (I have). Blame the owners. Blame the GM. Blame Bill James. Blame the players. Take your pick or mix all of them together and make Jambalaya blame. It does not matter, because the one stat -- W/L record -- either gets them in or does not.
Tim