Red Sox: One stat particularly telling in losses

Will Middlebrooks and David Ortiz are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to one particular category. (Getty Images)
Will Middlebrooks and David Ortiz are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to one particular category. (Getty Images)

For the majority of the season, and even during the Red Sox’ stretch where they lost six of seven games in the first week of May it was hard to pinpoint where the team was going wrong in losses.

Their pitching was still fairly consistent, only allowing more than five runs three times in that seven-game span. Their offense was still performing well, still at or near the top of the AL in average, on-base percentage, and runs per game – so, where was the team going wrong?

The team has now played just over 50 games this season and it has become apparent what the biggest key to their success is – the ability to perform with runners in scoring position (RISP).

With the team hitting .373 with RISP in wins, compared to just .177 in losses, the just under .200 point difference is clearly an indication of just how important the stat is. A perfect example came in Saturday’s come-from-behind win over the Indians when they scored four runs in the eighth inning to win, 7-4. Boston went 3-for-5 with RISP in that inning alone, which enabled it to come away with the win. Back when the team went 2-9 over an 11-game stretch things weren’t clicking and frustration was setting in as during that span the team was 4-for-40 with RISP at one point.

“We continued to create many opportunities, and that two-out base hit or with runners in scoring position has been elusive,” said manager John Farrell during the stretch.

Going into Monday, David Ortiz led the way hitting .378 with RISP, followed by Mike Carp at .375 and Daniel Nava at .362. On the other end of the spectrum is Will Middlebrooks, a lowly .143, with Jarrod Saltalamachhia not much better at .167.

 When looking for a true barometer of just how clutch a player is, there is no better stat than RISP with two outs, the equivalent of a third down in football. Here is where the team really struggles, having five regulars hitting below .250, including Jacoby Ellsbury and Saltalamacchia each at .200, as well as Middlebrooks – a horrid .105. It should be noted Stephen Drew is hitting .412 in this situation, by far the best on the team.

Batters in the middle of their lineup will need to start hitting in these situations as when the games start to mean more you cannot afford to fail to capitalize on scoring opportunities on a consistent basis. As the second full month of the season wraps up, teams’ identities start to come out and with the Red Sox the biggest difference for them between winning and losing is hitting in the clutch.

Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox walk off with…

Red Sox pick up first walk off win of 2014

MLB

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at…

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at 11 a.m.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.