Baseball Thinking

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Road Warriors They Were Not

To the surprise of many, the Red Sox are out of the 2009 playoffs. To others, this was expected. I am the other.

For the umpteenth year in a row, the Sox were the toughest to beat at home. Whenever you win more than 50 games on your home turf, you should make the playoffs. But remember, half the games are on the road during the regular season, and more than half are played on the road during the playoff’s, unless you’re the Yankees. The Red Sox weren’t road warriors, they were road failures.

The Sox wish they could have played as well on the road as the Marlins (44 wins). They want to be the Brewers when it comes to road wins (40). They would die to have the success of the road warrior Braves (46 wins). They dreamed of Indian success (.272) when it comes to the road.

How much does the Green Monster play into the numbers? On the road, the Sox hit .257, were on base at a .340 clip and slugged just .414. At Fenway, they went .286, .365 and slugged .498 at home. Balls hit off the wall at Fenway became routine outs on the road.

It was no surprise, to some, that the Red Sox didn’t make it out of the first round. They were the second worse team in the playoffs, right behind the Twins. Every team playing in October has good pitching, but only a couple have the hitting of a championship team. The Red Sox were not one of those teams.


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