Perception isn’t total reality for ‘bully’ Red Sox

Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Andrew Bailey celebrate a victory over the Houston Astros earlier this season. (Getty Images)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Andrew Bailey celebrate a victory over the Houston Astros earlier this season. (Getty Images)

There has been a perception with the Red Sox this season that they have only beat average-to-bad teams and not any of the top teams that baseball has to offer. In reality, this is a misconception as 10 of the first 15 series’ Boston has played this season have been against teams with winning records. In fact, in those games against teams with below-.500 records they are only 10-7, compared to 17-12 against teams with above-.500 records.

In 12 games against first or second place teams in the American League, the Red Sox are 6-6, being outscored 55-58 in those games, but those numbers include a three-game sweep at the hands of the Texas Rangers, in which they were outscored 16-4. Things haven’t been much different at the plate for the Sox against top competition when compared to cellar-dwellars as in those 12 games they are hitting .256, compared to .262 overall this year.

Boston has a chance to further its campaign as an AL buzz saw beginning Thursday when it welcomes the AL Central leading Cleveland Indians to Fenway Park for a four-game set. Although much of the talk will be surrounding the return of Indians manager Terry Francona to Boston, this is a big series for the teams on the field. With the start of the Red Sox series the Indians begin a brutal stretch with eight of their next nine series’ against first or second place teams.

The series will provide Sox hurlers with a chance to prove themselves against one of the best hitting teams in the American League. Going into Wednesday the Indians are second in the AL in runs per game with 4.98 and lead all of baseball with 60 home runs. It will be a good test for the backend of the Sox’ rotation as aside from Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz starters have a combined 5.40 ERA in their last six outings.

Follow Metro Red Sox writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…