A couple of interesting notes, observations, and stats that I’ve picked up on over the course of the week for the Boston Red Sox.
Let’s get into it.
The injury bug has bitten
It started with Shane Victorino. He hurt his hamstring in his final inning of play in the last game of spring training.
Then it got Will Middlebrooks, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list after straining his calf while running sprints in the outfield of all things.
And now, it has reached the two most important players on the Sox’ roster for the 2014 season: Dustin Pedroia and Koji Uehara.
When Edward Mujica began warming in the bullpen in the 8th inning with the Red Sox holding a 4-2 lead in Friday night’s victory against the New York Yankees, everybody was wondering the same thing: Where’s Koji? Well, it turns out Uehara was dealing with shoulder stiffness and was unavailable to pitch. There’s not much word on how serious it is, but he threw a session earlier today and reports say that the Red Sox were encouraged by the results, so for now we’ll have to wait and see.
As for Pedroia, his situation his far more scary. Pedey was a late scratch from tonight’s game with a sore left wrist that has apparently plagued him over the last couple games. Again, there’s no word on the seriousness of the injury, but Pedroia played through a torn ligament for almost the entirety of 2013, so for him to say something his wrong is a bad sign.
Hopefully, neither are serious, but injuries are the one thing that can kill a season before it even starts.
Errors, errors, and more errors
The Red Sox can’t seem to put together a clean game.
Boston is the 11th worst fielding team in the Majors with 8 errors through 12 games and it has definitely impacted the win/loss column.
Just the other night against Texas, I watched Jonathan Herrera air mail a throw over Pedroia’s head by about 35 feet, followed up by a careless passed ball allowed by A.J. Pierzynski that let the runners move up, which eliminated any chance of a double play.
That kind of series of mistakes are what’s weighing the Red Sox down in the early parts of the season, and to me, it stands out as the biggest difference between this year and last year’s club.
Doubront gets wild
Felix Doubront’s line against Texas on Tuesday night: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO.
Here’s how it played out in the top of the 3rd: Doubront gave up a home run to lead off the inning to Robinson Chirinos, got Josh Wilson to ground out, allowed a single off the bat of Shin-Soo Choo, struck out Elvis Andrus, then proceeded to allow the next six hitters to reach base safely before being removed by John Farrell.
It’s hard to really understand what happened to him out there. He was cruising along through 2 innings when all of sudden, everything blew up. He walked a couple batters, couple of hits fell in, and some calls didn’t go his way, but none of those things are excusable reasons to completely go into self-destruct mode.
17 double plays
That’s four more than any other team in MLB has grounded into.
Whether it’s a bad approach, or just plain bad luck, that number is WAY to high through just 12 games. At one point between Tuesday and Wednesday, the Sox had grounded, or hit into 7 double plays in 10 innings.
Jackie Bradley Jr. helmet falls
I like to end this segment on a trivial little thing I picked up on throughout the week. Last week we wowed at the sight of Boston’s World Series Rings. This time around, I’ve dug a bit deeper and have noticed the resistance of JBJ’s helmet to stay on his head.
I have no idea how to explain this, I can’t recall somebody losing their helmet as often as JBJ does by simply just swinging and missing at a pitch, or coasting into second with a double. The only other person who comes to mind is Coco Crisp, but he has a complete fro going, so I could at least somewhat see why his helmet constantly topples off of his head. But JBJ’s hair is braided, doesn’t add up.
Whatever the reason, it’s grown on me and I might start a count.
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