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Nuggetpalooza: Friday Red Sox Nuggets

06.03.11 at 11:10 am ET
By

Start your weekend with a big dose of Red Sox nuggets:

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* – Dustin Pedroia currently leads the majors in on-base percentage against left-handed pitchers (min. 50 plate appearances):

.500 – Dustin Pedroia, BOS
.491 – Matt Kemp, LAD
.491 – Joey Votto, CIN

Can you guess the last Red Sox player to lead the majors in OBP vs. lefties (min. 125 PA vs LHP)? Answer at bottom.

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* – The Red Sox have allowed seven or more runs in each of their last three games. It’s the first time that they’ve allowed that many in three straight at Fenway since September 28-30, 2009. They haven’t given up 7+ in four straight at the Fens since 2006 and the club record is six such games in a row. That happened in June of that World Series year, 1975.

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* – In the next week or so, David Ortiz will likely break the Red Sox record for the longest streak of games with four or more at-bats without getting four hits in a game. From 1967-1970, Rico Petrocelli had 4+ AB in 298 games for the Red Sox and never collected four hits in any of them. Ortiz is currently at 294 (from September, 2007 through Wednesday).

Note this: The major league record for this (since ’50) is 558 games, set by Baltimore’s Brooks Robinson from 1965-1970. The longest streak post-2000 is 481 games, from May, 2003 through his retirement in May, 2010 by Ken Griffey, Jr.

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* – Before the season, you saw here that opponents went just 1-for-28 on “clutch” ground balls (two outs, runners in scoring position) against Clay Buchholz in 2010. Some of you commented at the time that it was just another reason to expect a big-time regression for Buchholz in 2011. Well, the regression has somewhat taken place, but not because of clutch grounders. In 2011, opponents are 1-for-9.

The one that’s taken a hit on clutch grounders has been Tim Wakefield, as opponents are 3-for-4 with five RBI on those two-out grounders with RISP this season. He allowed only seven RBI on clutch grounders in 2009 and 2010 combined.

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* – Through Sunday, the Red Sox led the American League in “squanders” (three or more baserunners in an inning but no RBI) with 16:

16 – Red Sox
14 – Angels
13 – Blue Jays

The Indians have just four squanders this season, one since April 21. They’ve had at least one RBI in 48 of the last 49 innings in which they’ve put three or more runners on base. By contrast, Boston has gone RBI-less five times in their last 49 innings of 3+ baserunners.

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* – The Red Sox homered in 10 consecutive games from May 19 through May 29, tied with Colorado for the longest streak in the majors this season.  The Sox have at least one extra-base hit in their last 46 home games dating back to last August, the longest current streak in the majors.

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* – So far this season, the Red Sox have had a runner on third base with less than two outs 139 times, and they’ve scored him just 39 percent of the time, the lowest percentage in the majors:

39% – Red Sox
43% – Mets
46% – Braves

The Indians (61 percent) lead the majors in this category, one year after posting the worst mark in the league (44 percent). One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the Red Sox’ 139 opportunities is the most in the majors.

Among individuals, David Ortiz (15 percent; 3-of-15) and Kevin Youkilis (25 percent; 4-of-16) rank worst and second worst in the majors (min. 15 opportunities). Ortiz was terrible at this last year as well, ranking last at just 32 percent (11-of-34). Leading the majors is Philadelphia’s Placido Polanco, who has successfully driven in 12 of the 16 runners from third with less than two outs (75 percent). Honorable mention goes to Seattle’s Brendan Ryan, who is 12-of-12 but doesn’t meet the minimum.

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* – Boston has had 10 or more at-bats against left-handed pitchers in 20 different games this season, tied (with the Rangers) for the second most in the majors (Angels, 22). In six of those 20 games, their OPS against lefties has been under .500, tied for the most in the majors (with the Giants, Mariners, and Nationals).

Note this: The Yankees have had 18 such games against lefties and they’ve put up a .600+ OPS in all but one of them. The last time the Yankees posted a sub-.500 OPS against LHP (min. 10 AB) was last September 25, when Boston’s Jon Lester tossed seven innings of two-hit ball at them in Fenway.

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* – Carl Crawford’s month of May:

vs LHP – Non Fastball: 0-for-17, 3 walks, 1 strikeout
vs LHP – Fastball: 1-for-13, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

vs RHP – Non Fastball: 16-for-42 (.381) with 7 extra-base hits (2 HR)
vs RHP – Fastball: 16-for-38 (.421) with 4 extra-base hits (1 HR)

In April, he hit .167 against lefties and .148 against righties. For the season, Crawford’s .106 average against lefties is the lowest in the majors (min. 50 AB vs LHP).

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Trivia answer: The last Red Sox player to lead the majors in OBP vs. left-handed pitchers was Dwight Evans, who put up a .462 in 1984.

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