1st Pitch: Red Sox, Mariners struggle on D

Quick Hits: Many teams have placed an increased emphasis on defense in recent years. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty of bad defense out there. Here’s a look at a few teams and player who are struggling defensively:

* The Red Sox have allowed 44 stolen bases this season, more than anyone in baseball, and have thrown out just five would-be base stealers.

* The Mariners have allowed eight passed balls this year, double the amount of the next worst teams (D’Backs and Rockies).

* Daric Barton leads all first basemen with seven errors. He made just one error in 51 games last season.

* Adrian Beltre, who was supposed to be an upgrade over Mike Lowell, is tied for the major league lead with seven errors at third base. Lowell made just nine in 107 games at third last season.

* The Rockies lead the majors with seven errors at second base. Clint Barmes had three, Melvin Mora has two and Eric Young has two.

* Mariners shortstops lead the majors with 11 errors. Jack Wilson has six, Josh Wilson has three and Matt Tuiasosopo chipped in with two.

Today’s Trivia: In honor of his 60th birthday here’s today’s Bobby Valentine-themed trivia question... Who hit the most home runs under Valentine during his time with the Mets and during his time with the Rangers?

Lowest SB Pct Allowed
Min. 12 Attempts

Today’s Leaderboard: Miguel Olivo had an impressive day at the plate on Wednesday, but the real highlight of his season has been his defense. Olivo has gunned down 10 of 19 would-be base stealers this year.

Key Matchups: Carlos Lee’s struggles will likely continue tonight against the Cardinals. In his career against Chris Carpenter, Lee is batting just .206 and has struck out 11 times in 36 plate appearances.

Shin-Soo Choo is a career .318 hitter against Zack Greinke, but lately Greinke has stymied Choo. In his last three games against Greinke, Choo is just one for nine, including a stretch in which he struck out in six consecutive plate appearances.

Trivia Answer:
Mike Piazza hit 170 home runs with Valentine as his manager in New York. Ruben Sierra his 149 under Valentine in Texas.