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Nuggetpalooza: Red hot stat nuggets for the Red (hot) Sox

04.27.12 at 9:34 am ET
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Lots of stuff going on with the suddenly hot Red Sox, who have won four straight. Here are a few things I noticed that you might not have:

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* – David Ortiz is has nine hits in his last 10 at bats (with two walks) during the first three innings of games since April 17. For the season, he is a scorching 16-for-22 (.727) during innings one through three, easily the league leader (min. 15 such AB):

.727 – David Ortiz, BOS
.556 – Derek Jeter, NYY
.529 – Nate Schierholz, SF

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* – The Red Sox have hit 23 home runs this season (in 18 games), one more than they hit during all of April last season (in 26 games). With four April games remaining, there is an outside chance that they could hit 30 for the first time since 2003. The April club record of 38 was set in 1997 (25 games).

Note this: The major league record for April home runs is, get this, 55, set by the 2000 Cardinals. They homered in 23 of their 25 April games that season and hit three or more dingers in nine of those. Just for good measure, they hit four more bombs in their first May game, giving them 59 homers in their first 26 games.

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* – Boston’s bullpen has now allowed 41 earned runs in 54.1 innings so far this season, good for an AL worst 6.79 ERA. Here are the bullpen ERA’s broken down by starting pitcher:

Daniel Bard – 3.37 (2 ER/5.1 IP)
Clay Buchholz – 4.11 (7 ER/15.1 IP)
Josh Beckett – 5.79 (6 ER/9.1 IP)
Felix Doubront – 8.36 (13 ER/14 IP)
Jon Lester – 11.32 (13 ER/10.1 IP)

Note this: The 11.32 ERA put up by Red Sox relievers in Lester’s starts is the worst in the majors behind any starter this season (min. 10 relief innings), with Tampa Bay’s David Price (10.64) and the Angels’ Dan Haren (9.26) also not getting much help.

Note this too: Three MLB pitchers have had “perfect” bullpen work behind them this season (min. 10+ innings of relief in their starts): Colorado’s Juan Nicasio (12.1 IP), Baltimore’s Tommy Hunter (10.1 IP), and Cincinnati’s Mike Leake (10 IP).

One last thing: In 2011, Red Sox relievers tossed 93.2 innings in relief of Beckett to the tune of a 1.72 ERA, the lowest behind any starter in the majors (min. 60 relief IP):

1.72 – Josh Beckett, BOS
1.89 – Chad Billingsley, LAD
1.98 – Tommy Hanson, ATL
2.11 – Jair Jurrjens, ATL

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* – Tuesday and Wednesday marked the fourth time in Mike Aviles’ career that he has homered in back-to-back games. The third such occurrence, if you recall, was less than two weeks ago, on the 14th and 15th of April. Curiously, the other two times that he went deep in consecutive games also came in the same month as he homered in 2010 on September 13th and 14th, and then again on the 17th and 18th while a member of the Royals.

Note this: Aviles’ slugging percentage is now .944 against the Twins while a member of the Red Sox. Beware the small sample, but it’s the highest career mark by a Red Sox batter against the Twins since 1974 (min. 20 plate appearances):

.944 – Mike Aviles (20 PA)
.717 – Carl Everett (64 PA)
.700 – Damon Buford (43 PA)
.682 – Fred Lynn (271 PA)

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* – The 15-pitch atbat by Adrian Gonzalez on Wednesday is the longest in the majors so far this season. The last time that a Red Sox batter had a longer plate appearance was back in 1990, when Mike Marshall fanned on the 16th pitch from the White Sox‘ Jack McDowell.

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* – So far in 2012, Boston’s “Big Three” (Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz) have faced 41 full counts. They’ve allowed seven hits, struck out five, and walked 16. That’s a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 0.313. Last season, they struck out 75 and walked 83 on 3-and-2 counts, a ratio of 0.904. The MLB average ratio on full counts last year was 0.817 and it’s 0.845 so far this season. Here are the full count breakdowns for each this season:

Lester – 2K, 7BB
Beckett – 3K, 6BB
Buchholz – 0K, 3BB (and 2 HR)

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* – The Red Sox enter Friday’s game in Chicago having rapped out 10 or more hits in six straight games. They had a seven game streak last season but haven’t had one of eight games since 2003.

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Have a great weekend!

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