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Monday Nuggetpalooza!

08.29.11 at 11:20 am ET
By

Here and there with the Red Sox:

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* – Dustin Pedroia leads the majors with a .386 average against left-handed pitchers. He has a chance to be the first Red Sox player to lead the majors in that category since, well, Victor Martinez did it LAST SEASON with a .400 average against portsiders. In the 38 seasons since they began tracking the stat in 1974, the MLB leader in batting vs. lefties has never come from the same team two seasons in a row.

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* – David Ortiz is gunning for his 9th consecutive season with 54+ RBI at home (he has 45 so far). No AL player since 1950 has had more than eight such seasons in a row (Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada). Ortiz would also join Rodriguez (12), Frank Thomas (9) and Rafael Palmeiro (9) as the only AL players with nine or more such seasons in their career (since 1950).

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* – The Red Sox are 9-for-9 on steals of third base this season. They would be only the 4th AL team since 1950 to steal third 9+ times without being caught, joining the 1994 Orioles (13-for-13), 1980 Royals (11-for-11) and 2003 Athletics (9-for-9).

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* – Josh Beckett has allowed at least one home run in seven straight starts, the longest such streak of his career. Since 2000, two Red Sox pitchers have endured longer streaks: Tim Wakefield (9) last year and David Cone (8) in 2001. No Red Sox starter has had a 10-game streak since Roger Clemens in 1986; amazingly, he went 9-0 with a 2.64 ERA during the 10-game streak despite the home runs.

The club record is 12 straight, held by Earl Wilson in 1964-65. Here are the three longest such streaks in major league history:

20 – Bert Blyleven, 1986-87
19 – Curt Young, 1987
15 – Ramon Ortiz, 2005
15 – Mark Leiter, 1996

Yes, number two on that list is Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young.

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* – The Red Sox won by 11 runs in Beckett’s last start on Wednesday. Each of Beckett’s previous five starts turned out to be one-run games and eight of the previous nine were decided by one or two runs. For the season, 16 of Beckett’s 25 starts have been decided by one or two runs (64%), the second highest percentage in the AL (min. 25 starts):

65% – Dan Haren, LAA
64% – Josh Beckett, BOS
60% – Fausto Carmona, CLE

Note this: the Red Sox have won 11 of the 16 one or two-run games started by Beckett (69%). Among AL starters with 10 or more such starts this season, only one has had his team win a larger percentage of those starts: Texas’ Matt Harrison. The Rangers have won eight of his ten starts that were decided by two runs or less.

Note this too: Only four of John Lackey‘s 22 starts have been decided by two runs or less (18%).

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* – Adrian Gonzalez, with 22 three-hit (or more) games this season, has a shot at the all-time Red Sox record of 28, held by Wade Boggs (1988). Actually, Boggs owns the top three such seasons, with 26 in 1985 and 24 in 1983. Johnny Pesky also had 24 in 1946.

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* – No Red Sox batter since 1995 has come to bat over 250 times in a season without a three-hit game, but J.D. Drew has 271 plate appearances without one this season. He is one of only four major leaguers with 250+ PA and no three-hit games this season, joining Houston’s Chris Johnson, Detroit’s Brandon Inge (who has been sent down this season) and Jack Cust (out of baseball currently).

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* – During the month of August, opposing left-handed relievers have inherited 14 Red Sox baserunners and allowed only one of them to score (7 percent). Prior to that, 19-of-80 inherited Red Sox runners had scored against lefty relievers (24%).

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* – Just noticed this: The two Chicago teams, Cubs and White Sox, are the only teams that have not hit a grand slam this season. Which brings me to this: The Red Sox have hit only one granny this year, putting in jeopardy their streak of 30 consecutive seasons with two or more slams (every season starting in 1981). Of course, the Red Sox have ALLOWED 2+ grand slams in each of the last 23 seasons, tied with the Blue Jays for the third longest such streak, behind the Tigers and Royals, each with 30.

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* – Tim Wakefield has allowed four batters to reach on “dropped third strikes” this season, tied with the Mets’ R.A. Dickey (a fellow knuckleballer) for the major league lead. In his career, he’s allowed 50 such batters to reach on strikeouts, the major league record (since 1974):

50 – Tim Wakefield
38 – Charlie Hough
33 – Phil Niekro

Note this: Dennis Eckersley fanned 771 the most ever by a Red Sox pitcher without allowing any batter to reach on a “dropped third strike”. Daisuke Matsuzaka (568) ranks fourth and Jonathan Papelbon (492) ranks fifth on that list.

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* – Entering Sunday, here are the AL leaders in team OPS allowed over the last seven days:

.603 – Orioles
.623 – Rays
.649 – Red Sox

And here are the trailers:

1.022 – A’s
.999 – Yankees
.964 – Rangers

Note this: Yankees’ starters put up a 3.62 ERA before the All-Star break, but it’s been a much worse 4.80 since.

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* – Boston hitters have forced opposing pitchers into a 3-and-0 hole at least once in 121 of their 133 games this year (91.0%), the highest percentage in the majors. By contrast, the Orioles offense has never found themselves in a 3-and-0 count in THIRTY-NINE different games. On the bump, Yankee pitchers have had 36 different games this season in which their pitchers never fell behind 3-and-0, while the Blue Jays, Royals, and Rockies have had only 14 such games this season.

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* – Fewest Line Drives Allowed Per Game (AL, 2011):

4.46 – Red Sox
4.58 – Angels
4.82 – Rangers

Note this: The Indians (5.55) are allowing the most line drives per game in the AL, followed by the White Sox (5.46), Blue Jays (5.33), and the Yankees (5.32).

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Have a good week everybody!

Read More: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield
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