Sunday, October 22, 2006
The Sox offense was not as impressive in 2006 as compared to the last three seasons; it was just good and little unlucky. The Olde Towne Team ranked sixth in runs scored, twelfth in BA, second in OBP, and seventh in SLG. The near last place finish in batting average with an okay rank in strikeouts and a good line drive percentage demonstrates that the Sox were a bit unlucky. They hit’em where they were. The 2006 offense was solid. It was not going to carry the team, but it wasn’t a weakness either.
The lack of run prevention was the downfall of the 2006 Red Sox. The Sox ranked 11th in the A.L. Run prevention has two components: pitching and defense. Former Red Sox Consultant, Voros McCracken developed Defense Independent Pitching Statistics (DIPS) that, for the most part, separated the performance of the pitcher from the fielders. Every pitcher has control over strikeouts, walks and homeruns and nearly all pitchers have very little control over the outcome once the ball is put into play. With that in mind, the Sox ranked fourth in strikeouts, ninth in walks, and eighth in homeruns allowed. The pitching was probably slightly below average, but not one of worst third in the A.L. like their run allowed ranking.
As for the defense, it is tough to measure an individual fielder’s performance, although as a team, Defensive Efficiency works well. Defensive Efficiency is the rate at which balls put into play or everything other than strikeouts, walks, homeruns, and the insignificant hit by pitch are converted into outs. It is all about the fielders. The Red Sox were 12th in Defensive Efficiency. The Sox were one of the worst teams not only in the A.L, but in both leagues.
It is clear that the highly touted Sox defense was overrated. Errors or fielding percentage alone is a terrible measure of defense. The Sox poor glove work contributed more to the awful run prevention than the slightly below average pitching.