What the Boston Red Sox Need

Josh Beckett Starter Boston Red Sox
Good news-- starting pitcher may eclipse Youk in BA!
The Red Sox are in an odd state. The team has the second-best batting average and number of runs scored in the AL and yet Boston can’t seem to win games. You can blame the pitching to a degree. But there’s also something troubling about the hitting. Part of it is inconsistency and another part has to do with the fact that just a handful of batters are doing most of the work. Here’s how both areas shape up.

Boston Pitching

This is clearly a major problem. Red Sox pitchers are near the bottom in the league in ERA (4.30/12th ) and BAA (.256. 10th ). Beckett’s ERA, which is 4.14, is best amongst starters. The ace thus far is Felix Doubront (7 W, 3L, 81 SO, 4.17 ERA). Buchholz, who as of late has come on strong is 7-2. Along with Beckett, Lester and Bard have also struggled as starters.

There’s still time to fix things, but that old adage starts to ring in my ears when I look at the Red Sox present pitching stats—“You can never have enough pitching.” And aren’t we all starting to miss Tim Wakefield these days? I know I am. He did many things for the pitching staff that went unheralded. Right now, we’re in the wake of not having Wake.

Red Sox Hitters

David Ortiz is the Red Sox hitter. Okay, right now there is one more of note; it’s the unlikely Scott Podsednik, a rookie who has played in 19 games since May 22nd . He’s hitting .387 with 7 RBI. But where is everyone else? They are sort of nonexistent. Thank God Big Papi is performing in a BIG way with 16 HRs, 43 RBI and a .311 BA. Of the starters who have played in 50 games or more this season, Dustin Pedroia is next in batting average at .268.

As a team, Boston is second only to Texas in the AL in RBI (31), Runs (330) and BA (.267). And they are a double-producing machine, as they lead the AL with 162. But the team from Boston is lacking when it comes to individual performers and that means that they lack consistency. It’s amazing that Ortiz is doing what he is doing since there’s so much opportunity to pitch around the guy.

Beckett and Youk

Here’s an interesting stat—pitcher Josh Beckett is hitting .200 while Kevin Youkilis is at .215. Over the years, Youk has tended to be a .290 hitter (give or take), which means his present average hugely hurts the Sox offensive output. Something needs to happen with Youk and soon.

So, the solution is simple pitch better and hit better. Okay Bobby, now you know what to do, fix it. Come on, Valentine, make these Red Sox into contenders! (Please?)

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