The Red Sox had baseball’s best record in April but already have as many losses in May as they did all of last month (8). So what gives?
We asked our number crunchers at ESPN Stats & Information to examine some trends and here’s what they came back with:
* The two areas that stand out the most are the team’s situational hitting (BA with RISP) and run prevention. Their average with runners in scoring position in April was .310, third highest in baseball. In May, it’s a paltry .176 (which ranks them 29th). And their team ERA has ballooned by more than a run from April (3.25; fifth-best in baseball) to 4.54 (20th).
* The Red Sox were averaging 5.2 runs per game in April and just 3.8 so far in May.
* One reason for the team’s rise in ERA could be that the defense has taken a step back after a stellar April. Strong defense saved the team 7 runs during April but has cost the team 5 runs in May, according to Baseball Info Solutions’ Defensive Runs Saved metric. Boston already has allowed 7 unearned runs in May after having just five all of April.
* Injuries in the bullpen haven’t helped matters, either. A unit that had a 4.22 ERA in April has a 5.20 ERA in May, which ranks 28th in the majors.
YOUR TURN: What do you think is the biggest problem with the Red Sox? Share your thoughts in the comments section.