Against elite, Red Sox bats have held their own

Mike Napoli and the Red Sox have gotten the better of some of the AL's top hurlers early this season. (Getty Images)
Mike Napoli and the Red Sox have gotten the better of some of the AL’s top hurlers early this season. (Getty Images)

Although the Red Sox were stymied by right-hander Yu Darvish Sunday in Texas (14 strikeouts), Boston has actually done quite well against opposing aces. In fact, Sunday was the first time the Sox have lost when facing an opposing ace this season.

Obviously, the classification of an ace is different from person to person, but in most eyes the Red Sox have gone up against four top hurlers this season – CC Sabathia (April 1), R.A. Dickey (April 7), David Price (April 13) and Darvish (May 5).

In those four starts the Red Sox have gone 3-1, with a combined run differential of 24-7, and the pitchers have a combined ERA of 5.56.
Price and Darvish were the only ones to make it into the sixth inning as the Sox got Dickey and Sabathia out of the game after just 4 2/3 and 5 innings respectively.

Patience at the plate has been the key to getting past opposing aces.

“Our overall offensive approach has been outstanding,” manager John Farrell said last week. “Guys aren’t afraid to pass the baton onto the next guy. They’ll take their walks in key spots. We’ve had good situational hitting. Most importantly, we’ve driven the pitch counts up of starters and have gotten into the bullpen.”

When you’re going up against the best of the best, aside from putting runs on the board, the team’s next goal is to be able to get that pitcher out of the game as fast as possible. Besides scoring runs, driving up pitch counts is the next best thing.

In the season opener in the New York, Red Sox hitters worked four walks off of Sabathia, which forced him out of the game after the fifth inning after throwing 102 pitches. The Red Sox went on to score four runs off of Yankees relievers in their 8-2 win.

 A few weeks later, they forced Tampa’s Price from the game after six innings and 106 pitches in a game eventually won on a walk-off single from Shane Victorino in the tenth inning.

The success the Red Sox have had going up against some of the league’s best arms has played some role in the team being tied for the best record in baseball entering play Monday night, and their patient offensive approach has been a big reason why.

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



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…