Friday, July 5, 2013

Day 96: For the Red Sox, There's No Place Like Home

What a difference a year makes! Last season I dreaded writing about the Red Sox. It was so... not fun. Finding new ways to say they sucked proved challenging. Recapping games often made me want to poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick... because that would be less painful. A root canal without novocaine would probably have been more fun than witnessing that Valentine-piloted shit show.

But this season is much more fun. I pinch myself to confirm that I, in fact, am not dreaming. But I'm also careful not to get too excited and jinx the whole shebang. I hate that my superstitious side doesn't let me have more fun. Jerk.

The latest nine-game homestand gives a glimpse into how well this team plays in friendly Fenway. Just like Dorothy says as she clicks her heels together—there's no place like home. They finished 8-1 after finishing a sweep of the San Diego Padres. The team averaged .349 at the plate with 12.1 hits and 5.7 runs per game. The Sox had 30 doubles and if you don't feel like doing the math, that comes out to 3.3 per game which is probably why the on base percentage hovered right around .400.

This got me wondering, as we approach the All-Star break, how they have fared at home since the season started. The answer? Pretty damn good. The Red Sox lead the Major Leagues in wins (31), doubles (127) and runs batted in (239). They also stand #2 behind the Detroit Tigers in total hits at home (464) and team batting average (.293).

Well then I just had to find out how they stood overall—home and away—in MLB. Again, they're #1 or tied for #1 in wins (tied with 53), doubles (197) and runs batted in (434). And again, second behind the Tigers in hits (834) and team average (.278).

When this season commenced, a big concern with the 2013 roster was their power. With the off-season signings, could they maintain the home run potential they had enjoyed in the past? Well... they're not great, but they don't totally suck either. They rank 11th overall with 89 and 12th at home with 44. But what they lack in power, they certainly make up for in timely hitting and base running smarts.

Now on to the West Coast and lots of late starts that I won't get to see. I would love nothing more than to head into the break holding on to that top spot in the AL East.

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