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9/10 Online Seats Game Thread: Go Westward, Young Ones

Boston Red Sox (78-62) @ Oakland Athletics (69-70)   Clay Buchholz (15-6, 2.25) @ Trevor Cahill (15-6, 2.27) 10:05 PM EDT | Oakland Coliseum (Oakland, Cal.) TV: NESN RADIO: WEEI 850, SBN 1150   GAME NOTES: What happens when two young pitchers with an identical record, and almost identical ERA’s square off? Pitchers duel anyone? […]

9/4 Online Seats Game Thread: Hurricane Double Header (Part 1)

Chicago White Sox (73-60) @ Boston Red Sox (76-58)   John Danks (12-9, 3.65) @ Clay Buchholz (15-5, 2.21) 1:05 PM EDT | Fenway Park (Boston, Mass) TV: NESN RADIO: WEEI 850, SBN 1150   GAME NOTES: Hurricane Earl huffed and puffed, but just a few hours after he failed to blow the house down, […]

The Replacement Brigade: Eric Patterson, Angel Sanchez, et al

June 26, 2010 - San Francisco, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02225557 Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia watches the game on his crutches from the dugout against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California, USA, 26 June 2010. Pedroia injured his foot during Friday nights game against the Giants.

It’s been another harrowing week for the Red Sox as yet another key starter has gone down to injury.

With Dustin Pedroia sustaining a broken foot, the second baseman is expected to miss an estimated six weeks – forcing the Sox to scramble for a replacement due to their lack of infield depth.

Elaborating on Pedroia’s importance would be superfluous. The former AL MVP is among the three most indispensible Red Sox on the active roster next to Kevin Youkilis and Jon Lester – if not the most important of the three. Considering the absence of any semblance of a Major Leaguer middle infielder in Boston’s stead, he is as good as irreplaceable.

Still, the length of Pedroia’s injury is nearly as confounding as the injury itself. Assuming he returns along the proposed six-week time line, the Sox are in a purgatory of sorts when it comes to finding a replacement. On the one hand, they could trade for a replacement outside the organization – costing the team prospects in exchange for gaining about a win or two in Pedroia’s absence. On the other, they could tough it out with the inadequate options available.

Looking for Buchholz strikeouts

June 20, 2010 - Boston, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES - epa02213687 Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 20 June 2010.

There are a few reasons why Clay Buchholz has outperformed his FIP and xFIP this season. He has been very lucky so far to currently have 10 wins and a 2.47 ERA. Coming into the season he had only Bill James and the fans projections on Fangraphs calling for an ERA under 4.00, but so far while his ERA has beat all the projections his strikeout rate continues to fall.

In the minors Buchholz showed an elite strikeout ability getting over 12 K/9 in Triple-A, but after his promotion in 2007 his numbers had started to drop. Even after a return to the minors to figure things out he only broke a 10 K/9 for a short stay in Double-A. His K/9 fell to 8.53 in a return to the majors in 2008 and while lower still showed a solid skill for the strikeout.

6/20 Online Seats Game Thread: Dodging the Broom

Prev. Gm:

Los Angeles Dodgers (38-29) @ Boston Red Sox (41-28)

Vincente Padilla (1-1, 6.65) @ Tim Wakefield (2-5, 5.42)

4:10 PM EDT | Fenway Park (Boston, Mass)

TV: FOX RADIO: WEEI 850, SBN 1150

GAME NOTES Not that Vincente Padilla strikes fear into the hearts of Bay Staters, but the Los Angeles Dodgers will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after their loss last night to the Boston Red Sox who will send Tim Wakefield to the mound.

6/9 Online Seats Game Thread: The Masters Take On Masterson

Having taken the last two at Cleveland, the Boston Red Sox bring the fight to their former top prospect, Justin Masterson. Masterson, the feature piece in the Victor Martinez trade, has struggled since the trade with much credit owed to his inability to put down lefties. Clay Buchholz, on the other hand, looks to continue his tremendous start to the season.

Drew Back on Track, A Thing or Two About Numbers, What is Fixable?

MLB: Red Sox vs Orioles MAY 02

Drew Back on Track

No Sox hitter in the past two weeks has been hotter than J.D. Drew. In Boston’s last ten games, he’s batted 17-for-36 with three homers. The eight Ks are a bit unfortunate, but nothing concerning.

Not including last night, his first strike percentage is down to 63.4 from 72.7, his BABIP is up to .329 from .194.

What is particularly exciting about Drew’s performance is the type of contact he’s making. Besides it being hard and consistent, he’s been doing an excellent job of sending the ball the other way on two strikes.

According to MLB.com’s Fenway Park hit chart, Drew has four opposite field singles this season to go along with two doubles. In 2009, he had all of five singles (seven depending on how narrowly or widely you define the left field) and five doubles (up to nine for the width of left field).

In particular, Drew has been serving these opposite field singles with two strikes. Keeping his hands back and serving outside pitches into right field means he’s timing the ball much better than he had been. Lots of hitters in slumps will get ahead of the pitch and roll the ball over to the pull side…

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