At this point in time everyone knows the Red Sox struggle to score runs on an almost nightly basis (Ignoring the 9 Runs scored on Wednesday night). What isn’t known by most is why. Below I will show you some stats from last years team, pre-All Star break. Within those stats I hope to show you where this year’s team has gone wrong.
2013- .277AVG/.350 OBP/.443SLG/.793OPS, 934H, 215D, 25T, 98HR’s, 357BB, 73SB’s
2014- .243AVG/.321 OBP/.368SLG/.689OPS, 705H, 151D, 11T, 63HR’s, 303BB,
As you can see there is a drop off across the board but the point I want to extenuate is the severe drop in Doubles and HR’s, along with Stolen Bases. What made the Red Sox offense so successful last year was their ability to get on base yes but it was also their ability to turn a Single into a Double (See Ellsbury, Victorino…) by stealing a base consistently and their ability to stroke the ball with authority; IE a Double or Home Run.
To this point in the season the Sox are 64 Doubles and 35 HR’s behind, along with 46 less Stolen Bases. This is their biggest problem with no relief in sight until players like Shane Victorino, Mike Carp and Will Middlebrooks come back healthy and hitting. Without this occurring this offense will continue to struggle as too much of the team is made up of “Punch & Judy” hitters with little in the way of punch.
They also lack the ability to play “Small Ball” it would seem, which keeps them in this pro-longed slump.
Where did the production go?
Losing Jacoby Ellsbury and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, not adequately replacing them is the main reason for this falter along with injuries to key people that GM Ben Cherington was counting on for production.
2013 Ellsbury (Pre-All Star game)-
.305AVG/.368OBP/.422SLG/.790 OPS, 115H, 21D, 7T, 3HR’s, 34BB, 36SB
2014 Bradley Jr (To date)-
.208AVG/.288OBP/.298SLG/.586 OPS, 51H, 15D, 2T, 1HR, 24BB, 5SB
2013 Salty (Pre-All Star game)-
.266AVG/.341OBP/.453SLG/.795 OPS, 68H, 24D, 8HR’s, 30BB
2014 Pierzynski (To date)-
.257AVG/.290 OBP/.355SLG/.645 OPS, 63H, 10D, 4HR’S, 9BB
As you can see from the above stats there is a significant drop off in Doubles, HR’s and Stolen Bases. This is a huge problem and the main reason for this year’s inability to score Runs.
Not adequately replacing Ellsbury’s and Salty’s production, along with injuries to key players like Victorino are what’s sinking this team and until they can find those Doubles and Home Runs again they will continue to struggle to score runs. I would pray for good health and perhaps a trade for a half decent Outfield bat. Until then, Go Sox!