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Nuggetpalooza: Red Sox futility in nugget form

07.26.12 at 8:47 am ET
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Nuggets on walks futility, triples futility, strikeouts futility, and, well, winning futility:

• On Wednesday, the Red Sox trailed, 5-3, entering the ninth inning and went down in order. Remember opening day? When the Red Sox rallied in the ninth inning in Detroit to hand Jose Valverde his first blown save in over a year? Well, from that day (April 5) through April 10, the Red Sox entered the ninth inning of a road game trailing four times and went 9-for-15 (.600) with four extra-base hits and five RBIs. Since then, they’ve trailed entering the ninth on the road 15 times, and going 8-for-53 (.151), all singles, with ZERO RBIs. Boston is the only team in the majors without at least two RBIs in those situations since April 11.

• Boston hitters took four walks on Tuesday night (two in the ninth inning), snapping a streak of eight straight games with two or fewer walks, the longest such streak in the AL this season and one shy of their longest such streak since 1950, set nearly 36 years ago. Until this past week, they had not gone more than five such games in a row since 1998. Only one other AL team (the Royals) has had even a six-game streak with two or fewer walks this season.

Note this: Including Wednesday night’s single walk (to Jacoby Ellsbury leading off the game), Boston’s offense has collected two or fewer walks in 47 games already this season (and it’s still JULY). During the six-year stretch from 2004 through 2009, the Red Sox NEVER had as many as 47 such games in any entire season.

• From 2002 through 2011, the Red Sox net walks (walks by batters minus walks by pitchers) was +1,314, an average of +131 walks per season. During their championship run from 2004-2007, they averaged +198 net walks per season. This year so far? Minus-12.

Note this: In 42 seasons from 1970-2011, the Red Sox had just eight seasons where they were negative in net walks.

• Ellsbury and Carl Crawford may have something to say about this over the last 64 games this season, but so far the Red Sox have only eight triples in 2012. They’ve had at least 16 triples in each of their 111 previous seasons since 1901.

Note this: The fewest triples in a season since 1900 is 11, by the 1998 Orioles. Nah, it couldn’t happen. Could it?

• As mentioned here earlier in the season, the Red Sox have not had a starting pitcher record 10 or more strikeouts in a game since Jon Lester whiffed 11 last Sept. 6 against the Blue Jays, a streak of 120 games. During that 120-game streak, Red Sox starters have averaged just 4.4 strikeouts per outing.

Note this: In 21 games this month, Red Sox starters have struck out zero or one FIVE times. They also had five such starts in May and have 12 this season (they had 15 last season). The Yankees (with all their starting pitching issues) this season? They’ve had TWO such starts.

• The Red Sox are 0-19 this year when they allow seven or more runs, the only AL team without a win in such a game this season. Boston has not suffered a longer streak of losses in such games since losing 22 in a row during the 1974 and 1975 seasons.

The club record streak (since 1950) is 28 games.

The longest current streak in the majors is 35 straight losses, by the Mets since last August. The Orioles snapped a 63-game streak late last month. The major league record long streak (since 1950) is 70, set by the Reds from 1981 to 1984.

• Through Tuesday, the Red Sox bullpen had thrown 244 innings since May 1, fifth most in the majors, as their starters have averaged just 5.8 innings per start in that span. Also in that time, Sox relievers have put up a major league best 2.29 ERA:

2.29 – Red Sox
2.36 – Reds
2.45 – Pirates
2.65 – Mariners

Note this: Unfortunately, during that same time period, Boston’s starters have posted an ERA of 4.71, ranked seventh highest/worst in the majors. Yankees’ starters since May 1? Well, they’ve put up a major league-best 3.44 ERA.

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