Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Red Sox - June Audit

The season started with the expectation that the three best teams in the American League were all in the East, and the three would be battling for two playoff spots. The month of June saw expectations met on the field.


June arrived with the New York Yankees in first place, Boston 1/2 a game back, and the Rays 5 1/2 out. It ends with Boston up by 2 1/2 over New York and 4 over the Rays. So Tampa was 1 game better than Boston in June, and 4 games better than the Yankees.

AL East - End of May vs. end of June
Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%

NYY 29210.58-- 2832630.533

BOS 29220.5690.52672360.556

TOR 29240.5471.52702410.552

TBR 25280.4725.52942600.556

BAL 23280.4516.52502880.436







For the season, the Red Sox have the best record in the American League and the second-best Pythagorean record, behind the Rays. Tampa has significantly underperformed its Pythagorean.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 7/1/2009


Tampa Bay5.64(1)4.51(5)0.601(1)46314235-4


New York5.53(2)4.8(10)0.565(3)423343321





Los Angeles5.08(5)4.84(12)0.523(8)383541323






Kansas City4.05(13)4.82(11)0.421(14)314332421

For the month of June, as for the season as a whole, Tampa put up the best Pythagorean, followed by the Red Sox and Yankees. Unlike the rest of the season, their actual record pretty much matched their Pythagorean record.

AL Pythagorean - June


Tampa Bay5.69(1)3.42(2)0.717(1)1971970


New York5.38(3)3.92(5)0.641(3)1791511-2

Los Angeles5.69(1)4.62(10)0.595(4)15111792










Kansas City3.69(14)5(13)0.365(14)91710161

  • I know that Toronto still looks like they are in the race. I still don't buy it.

  • All three of the AL East competitors have played more games on the road than at home.

    AL East - Home v. Road
    Games PlayedGames Remaining



    NY Yankees36404541

    Tampa Bay39404241

  • The most frustrating loss for the Red Sox, before last night, came on June 18, as they trailed Florida 2-1 after 5 1/2 innings when the rains came in a game that was never resumed. June 30 was pain of an entirely different sort, though it was related to the rains once more. John Smoltz was pitching very well when rain stopped the game after 4 1/2. When play resumed an hour and a half later, the bullpens came in, and for one night, the dominant Boston 'pen ... wasn't, losing a game that they led 10-1 after 6 1/2 innings.


This table contains some standard offensive numbers and a couple of more advanced metrics. The last two columns are Bill James' Runs Created, and Runs Created per 25 outs, an estimate of how many runs per game a lineup would score with nine hitters performing the way that hitter performed. (The fact that it can end up negative is, indeed, an indicators that these are estimates.)

The Red Sox scored 138 runs in June over 26 games, an average of 5.31 runs per game. That makes June the best offensive month of the season thus far for Boston. Boston has had the 3rd best offense in the AL for the season, and it was 4th best in the AL in June.

Red Sox Offense - June, 2009

David Ortiz 2422751324407181201801011.320.409.6531.06218.5548.6

Jacoby Ellsbury 2322801125123119210120012.313.391.488.87917.2587.4

J.D. Drew 2120721421423121712020001.292.433.528.96117.1528.2

Kevin Youkilis 2625901722614141932631003.244.393.467.86016.9725.9

Jason Bay 25251001223314201012701022.230.301.400.70111.7823.6

Dustin Pedroia 252510816247001490861001.

Jason Varitek 2020641215701101211300012.234.359.391.7509.4524.5

Nick Green 252173121740311421800014.233.288.411.6987.5613.1

Rocco Baldelli 15730710002550400002.333.429.533.9626.1226.9

Mark Kotsay 17842313101220601000.310.341.405.7465.5304.6

Mike Lowell 191768514102680601012.206.286.309.5955.3582.3

Julio Lugo 1162679200330810110.346.400.423.8235.0196.5

George Kottaras 962356400320500010.261.308.435.7423.3184.6

Jeff Bailey 11433010010000000.750.8001.2502.0502.7167.4

Josh Beckett 52511001100300000.200.200.8001.0001.046.0

Tim Wakefield 51201000000100000.500.500.5001.000.4111.1

Hideki Okajima 130100000000000000.

Ramon Ramirez 100100000000100000.

Daisuke Matsuzaka 41200000000000000.

John Smoltz 21200000000200000.

Jon Lester 52300000000200200.

Brad Penny 52500000000000000.


  • The big individual story for the month of June is clearly the resurrection of David Ortiz. There's no way that he can put together a productive season, but if what he did in June represents his actual performance level now, then he's going to have just a bad season, and he'll be a strong asset from now 'til the end of the year.

  • Jacoby Ellsbury has thrived down in the bottom third of the order. Which is just fine and dandy with me. I keep hear people talking about how the Red Sox best lineup has Ellsbury at the top, and I don't agree. I think that he's more valuable in the 7th spot. Speed is relatively more valuable when the following hitters are relatively less likely move runners. Likewise, On-Base Percentage is relatively more valuable when the following hitters are relatively more likely to move runners. (By move runners, I don't mean "bunt" - I mean draw walks and get hits and get extra-base hits.) A fast runner can score with fewer subsequent hits - at the bottom of the order, there are likely to be fewer subsequent hits. The object of the lineup construction isn't to maximize Ellsbury's runs scored, but the team's runs scored, and I think their better off with the higher OBP guys (Pedroia, Drew) in the first couple of spots, and Ellsbury down low.

  • Pedroia had a rotten month (.222/.282/.287/.569). So did Jason Bay (.230/.301/.400/.701). And Nick Green (.233/.288/.411/.698). And Mike Lowell (.206/.286/.309/.595).

  • Youkilis finally had a down month (.244/.393/.467/.860). His plate discipline is so good, however, that he's able to keep his OBP at a very good level while only hitting .244.

  • And people are still talking about what a disappointment J.D. Drew (.292/.433/.528/.961) is, and what an awful contract he had. Do I think that the Sox would love to have more HR from Drew? Sure. But since a 3-month "adjustment" period (with a hospitalized child), he's been an extremely productive hitter in Boston, and I bet that they're happy to have him. They should be.


The Red Sox allowed 96 runs in June for an average of 3.69 runs per game. This was 4th in the AL for the month. For the season, they're allowing 4.31 runs per game, which is second in the AL behind Seattle.

For June, 88 of the 96 runs were earned, for a staff ERA of 3.44. The starters compiled a 3.27 ERA - the bullpen's was 3.82.

Red Sox Pitching - June, 2009

Josh Beckett 55410135.672510614351.51.818.75

Jon Lester 55310034237726401.85.856.67

Brad Penny 55120028.33281110310213.181.342.10

Tim Wakefield 55400031.3334121215123.451.242.40

John Smoltz 220100910660276.001.333.50

Daisuke Matsuzaka 44120018.6731161648197.712.092.38


Manny Delcarmen 100100099440554.001.561.00

Jonathan Papelbon 1301060121111169.751.421.50

Takashi Saito 11021009.676441693.721.241.50

Daniel Bard 10000101098607105.401.601.43

Hideki Okajima 130100012127723125.251.254.00

Justin Masterson 90000012.33127614154.381.303.75

Ramon Ramirez 100000087333373.381.252.33



  • Matsuzaka struggled and went to the DL. Smoltz came off of his rehab assignment, made his first appearance in the Majors in a year, and struggled mightily in his first inning of work. Other than that, the starting pitching was outstanding.
    • Josh Beckett allowed exactly 0 earned runs in 4 of his 5 starts on the month.

    • Jon Lester allowed 3 runs once, 2 runs once, 1 run twice and 0 runs once.

    • Those two combined to strike out 75 batters while walking 10.

    • Brad Penny seems to have found himself, coming back from injury, making 5 starts with a 3.18 ERA.

    • Wakefield recovered from his May struggles, to post a 3.45 ERA in 5 starts.

  • The bullpen ERA jumped by over a full run in the last 2 innings of the month. Through 71 innings in June, the bullpen allowed 21 earned runs for a 2.66 ERA. In the last two innings, they allowed 10, raising the bullpen ERA for the month to 3.82.

  • Papelbon is not pitching the way he has in the past. He's allowing more baserunners, more walks and fewer strikeouts. But he's still getting the job done the vast majority of the time. One can speculate that, "wow, he really knows how to bear down and get those last outs." Or one can say, "hmm, maybe that job really doesn't need to be as specialized as it has become - most pitchers pitch most innings without allowing two runs."

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