Every so often, I like to take a look at random stats the Sox are putting up, and what they may or may not mean.
- Three members of the Sox starting nine are hitting below .200. I have hope for two of them. Manny Ramirez is batting .191, Coco Crisp is batting .136, and Dustin Pedroia is batting .188. The difference between the hopefuls and the possible hopeless? On-base percentage. Pedroia and Ramirez are on base a full 100 points better than they're hitting (ManRam is at .296, Pedroia an impressive .333), and they tie for the team lead in walks. If they keep showing a good batting eye, the average and slugging will follow. On the other hand, Crisp is last among the regulars in walks and tied for second in strikeouts. No surprise, then, that his OBP is a horrific .191. Not a good sign.
- Three players have an OPS over 1.000 -- Ortiz (duh -- 1.017), Hinske (2.275) and none other than Doug Mirabelli (1.167), who needs to share his off-season regimen with Jason Varitek, who has exactly three more hits, one more RBI, one fewer run and two fewer home runs in 21 more at-bats.
- The Sox have not been caught stealing yet. I consider this one of Francona's strengths as a manager. His teams almost always steal fewer bases but at far more effective percentages. He rarely costs his teams runs with his baserunning decisions.
- Raise your hands if, after three starts, you would have picked Tim Wakefield (1.35) to be not just leading all Sox starters in ERA, but leading the league as well. How good has he been? He's nearly 1.5 runs better than Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has yet to have a non-quality start in the major leagues.
- Finally, Jonathan Papelbon has recorded 11 outs this season -- nine of them by strikeout, for an incredible average of 22 per 9 innings. He's one of four Sox pitchers to average better than a strikeout per inning (obviously the only one to average more than two). The other three: Matsuzaka and Okajima, each with 10.8 per nine, and Beckett, with an even K per inning average.