Statistics show plate approach for Red Sox has been off so far in 2014

A.J. Pierzynski
It’s been a sloppy first few weeks to the season for A.J. Pierzynski and the Red Sox offense. Credit: Getty Images

With a 10-12 record going into Thursday and in the cellar of the American League East standings, there is no denying things haven’t started the way the Red Sox wanted them to this season.

They’ve averaged just 3.82 runs per game, 12th in the American League through 22 games — this after leading all of baseball last year, averaging 5.27 runs per game. While a number of things can be pointed to for the drastic drop off, one of the major issues has their plate approach this season compared to last year’s with the team not driving up opposition pitch counts as much as they did last season.

The Sox showed flashes of their former selves when they won four out of five games last week, but that certainly wasn’t the case Tuesday night against Yankees starter Mashahiro Tanaka, as the right-hander pitched into the eighth inning, throwing 105 pitches in the Yankees’ 9-3 rout.

Last week the Sox forced White Sox starter Chris Sale into 127 pitches through seven innings and won the game late. The next night against the Orioles, they forced starter Chris Tillman to throw 122 pitches in five innings. Sunday they took advantage of a tiring Ubaldo Jimenez in the sixth inning for a three-run homer, forcing him from the game after 107 pitches and eventually winning it against the Orioles bullpen.


“I can’t say it’s exactly like it was last October when, seemingly, we were getting no-hit through five innings and we found a way to get into a bullpen in that seventh, eighth inning range,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “We’re just putting up more consistent, tougher at-bats to drive that pitch count up.”

Although the Sox still have a few players, such as Mike Napoli (second in AL, pitches per at-bat), and Xander Bogaerts (13th) grinding out at bats, it isn’t as team-wide as it was last season. After being 13th in the entire AL last season, seeing 4.11 pitches per at-bat, Daniel Nava has seen 3.4 pitches per at-bat in his last two games, possibly trying to do too much as he’s currently hitting just .149 with an on-base percentage of .240 this season and was sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket.

In signing catcher A.J. Pierzynski, the Red Sox knew they were getting the antithesis of their patient plate approach – but the thought was that he might strike a balance, seeing the team first-hand. The catcher has averaged 3.08 pitches per at-bat, has seen just three three ball counts all year and has walked twice.

For the Red Sox to get back to their winning ways they will need to improve on a number of matters, but getting back to last season’s plate approach might be the most important matter at hand.

Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @Hannable84



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Actor Tracy Morgan wasn't wearing seatbelt in June…

By Jonathan Stempel(Reuters) - Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and others in his limousine were not wearing seat belts when their vehicle was struck by…

National

Connected cars: Is AT&T leaving Verizon in its…

By Marina Lopes and Bernie WoodallWASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - Verizon Communications, the No.1 U.S. wireless carrier known for its widespread coverage, is falling behind its biggest…

Local

Grand jury begins hearing evidence in Eric Garner…

A grand jury began hearing evidence Monday relating to the death of Eric Garner while in police custody in July. Garner, 43, of Staten Island,…

Local

Mayor announces plan for solar panels at city…

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the planned installation of 24 new solar panels at city schools on Monday morning. The panels, a $28 million investment,…

Going Out

Taste what Lower Manhattan is cooking at today's…

The Lower Manhattan food scene has changed a lot in three years, which you can taste first hand when the neighborhood's food festival returns. On…

Television

Review: 'Selfie' tries to coast on the charm…

"Selfie" offers cute leads and some good jokes, but focuses too much on a vague distaste for social media.

Movies

Review: Jason Reitman's 'Men, Women & Children' is…

Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children" takes a hysterical and melodramatic look at disconnection in the digital age, turning strong actors into zombies.

Television

TV watch list, Monday, Sept. 29: 'Castle,' 'Mom'…

Tune in for the season premieres of "Castle," "Mom" and "NCIS: Los Angeles."

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

MLB

Joe Girardi not confident David Robertson will return…

David Robertson was as seamless as anyone could be replacing Mariano Rivera as he converted 39 saves, with a 3.08 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony preaches patience with new coach, offense

While star forward Carmelo Anthony said he’s “enthusiastic” and “optimistic” for the upcoming season, he still wants everyone — from within the locker room and…

Education

How to ace your private school interview

Getting ready for a private school interview can be daunting for many, most of whom might never have been in an interview situation before. We’ve…

Education

5 questions parents should ask while visiting private…

It can be hard to know what to look for when searching for a new school for your child. Parents considering several different schools can…

Education

3 ways to save money on college application…

With the average high school student applying to 5 or 6 schools, hefty application and test score fees can add up quickly. We’ve compiled some…

Education

Nap rooms: The latest college campus trend

College is a time filled with new experiences (and lots of schoolwork), leaving little time for students to get a good night’s rest. University of…