Like an elephant walking onto a glass-covered disco floor wearing tap dance shoes during a moment of silence, the red-hot Red Sox aren't in the business of sneaking up on anyone these days.
Here are some quick stats, streaks and other notable tidbits following Friday's 11-0 win in Baltimore to jumpstart your weekend right.
Boston Red Sox: Team
- The Red Sox are now a league-best 21-10 since May 3rd
- Boston has won or split their last six series (opponents average record during that span: 30-24)
- Since May 3rd, Boston has outscored their opponents 189-134 (6.1 - 4.3 per game average)
- Only the Rays (36) and the Yankees (34) have more wins than the Red Sox's 32
- Boston's "feeble" offense now ranks 2nd in the MLB in runs (305, 5.5/game), 1st in hits (540, 9.6/game), 2nd in doubles (132, 2.4/game), 2nd in home runs (77, 1.4/game), 1st in RBI (293, 5.2/game), 1st in total bases (913, 16.3/game), 3rd in walks (223, 4/game), T-2nd in OBP (.350), 2nd in SLG (.466) and 4th in team batting average (.275) -- all for the most part sans Mike Cameron and the team's biggest stolen base threat, Jacoby Ellsbury.
Boston Red Sox: Individual
- Clay Buchholz- After Friday night's win in Baltimore, Buchholz is now 8-3 with a 2.39 ERA. His 8 wins are second in all of baseball only to Ubaldo Jimenez's 10, and tied for first in the American League with David Price. In his last 5 starts, Clay is 5-0 with a 0.99 ERA (36 1/3 innings pitched, 23 hits, 25 strikeouts, 12 walks, 4 earned runs). Buchholz has not allowed a run in 18 1/3 straight innings following his most recent shutout against Baltimore (the third shutout of his career, the last also coming against the Orioles when he no-hit them in 2007). Buchholz's next start will likely be on the road in Cleveland, which is encouraging considering the fact that Clay has won nine consecutive starts away from Fenway dating back to last August.
- Jon Lester- After earning a win in his May 30th start against Kansas City, in which he threw seven innings of one-run baseball, Lester is now 6-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 2010 after a turbulent start to the season. In his previous eight starts dating back to April 23rd, Lester is 6-0 with a 1.42 ERA (56 2/3 innings, 9 earned runs, 31 hits, 19 walks, 63 strikeouts). His WHIP is 1.13, opponents are hitting just .195 against him and his 77 total strikeouts is tied for sixth in all of Major League Baseball.
- David Ortiz- Big Papi, the American League's player of the month in May, is back in a big way. After hitting just .143 in April, Oritz followed that up by hitting .363 in May, to accompany 10 home runs, 24 runs batted in and an OPS of 1.211. The last time David had a month-long OPS that high was back in September, 2007 -- which was also the last time he finished a season with a .300+ batting average, 35+ home runs and 100+ RBI.
- Daniel Bard- Bard has emerged as one of baseball's most dominant relief pitchers in 2010. To date (27 appearances), he is 1-1 with a 1.91 ERA and a WHIP of 0.85. Through 28 1/3 innings, Bard has allowed 6 earned runs on 15 hits, while striking out 31 and walking just 9 batters. Opponents are hitting .156 off the righty.
- Victor Martinez- After a slow start, Martinez has come on strong as of late. The last ten games, V-Mart is hitting .543 (19-35) with a pair of home runs, eight RBI, nine runs scored and has drawn four walks while striking out just once. Even more impressive is his 2010 success while facing left-handed pitching -- on the year, Martinez is hitting .482 (27-56) and slugging .857 with a .508 OBP.
- Adrian Beltre- Despite seemingly hitting off of one knee half the time, "Yo, Adrian" has been one of the hottest hitters in arguably baseball's hottest lineup. On the season, Beltre leads the Red Sox in batting average (.333), has 70 hits, 7 home runs and 40 RBI -- all to compliment his stellar play at third base despite having to constantly dodge incoming left fielders.
- Kevin Youkilis- Recently referred to as the poster boy for a solid at-bat by Rays manager, Joe Maddon, Youkilis has been incredible all season long. Youk' is hitting .312 (59-189) with 11 home runs, 35 RBI and 48 runs scored. Aside from sporting a .448 on-base percentage and a .587 slugging percentage, Youkilis has even flashed an element of speed not normally seen in his game to counter the absence of Jacoby Ellsbury, recording 3 triples and has still yet to be thrown out attempting a steal (a perfect 1-1).
Other News, Notes
- Originally reported Wednesday, the Chicago White Sox have been in contact with Boston regarding third baseman, Mike Lowell. After Chicago's everyday third baseman Mark Teahan was placed on the disabled list Tuesday with a fractured finger, general manager Ken Williams placed a call to the Red Sox inquiring about Boston's second-string corner infielder. The Angels are also rumored to have shown interest in Lowell as a replacement for injured first baseman, Kendry Morales.
- The schedule forecasts as more than fair for the Red Sox in the upcoming weeks. After finishing the current road stretch with six games against the last place Orioles and Indians, who have a combined record of 35-77, Boston returns to Fenway to begin a nine-game interleague homestand -- inluding three against the Phillies, who were beaten in two of three games by the Red Sox earlier this year in Philadelphia, three against the 21-34 Diamondbacks and the final three versus the Dodgers (which also marks the return of Manny Ramirez to Boston).
- The 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft is just days away (June 7-9). Boston has the 20th pick overall, awarded to them after Atlanta signed Billy Wagner this offseason. Rumors have the Red Sox selecting LSU pitching standout, Anthony Ranaudo, who is expected to command more than any team above Boston is willing to offer. Theo Epstein has always been high on college players with his early-round picks, so there could be a solid level of validity to the rumors. Ranaudo is a big 20-year-old righty, standing at 6'7" and weighing in at 227 lbs. According to reports, his fastball typically sits around 91-93 and can touch 95 on occasion; his changeup is average and sits around the 79-81 mph range. Ranaudo's third pitch is a sharp-biting curveball that, while still considered inconsistent, has been said to show plus potential as a put-away pitch. The one prominent negative in reports is the pitcher's tendency to leave his pitches, namely his fastball, up in the zone too often. Despite that, Ranaudo remains one of the draft's highest regarded hurlers.
- Lastly, to address the elephant in the room -- that same tap dancing one from the first paragraph -- Dustin Pedroia's hit-streak now stands at four games in his pursuit of Joe DiMaggio's once considered untouchable record of 56 consecutive games with a hit. Godspeed, Pedey; just 53 more to go.