A few numbers to take note of as the Red Sox prepare to take on the Orioles tonight:
• The Red Sox have not been as good offensively this season as they were last season. The 1.2 runs per game drop-off from last year is the largest decrease in the majors.
• Only one team takes the first pitch more often than the Red Sox (Twins, 20.2 percent). Overall, they swing the bat 43.5 percent of the time, third-lowest in the bigs. Perhaps as a result, they walk at the third-highest rate in the majors and see the second-most pitches per plate appearance.
In 42 games with Napoli, Ortiz is hitting .294 with 12 homers and a .946 OPS. In 18 games without him, Ortiz is hitting .167 with a .612 OPS.
Why is Ortiz so much more effective with Napoli in there? Probably because he’s seen more fastballs and more pitches in the strike zone (see chart).
• Dustin Pedroia’s slugging percentage has decreased each of the last five seasons. He’s slugging a paltry .389 so far this season, on pace to be his worst since 2006 (.303).
• The Orioles have been in 21 one-run games this season, tied for eighth-most in the majors. They are 12-9 in those contests.
In 2012, they were 74-0 when leading after the 8th innings. That number dipped to 68-9 in 2013. This season, they are 23-4 when they have the lead in the eighth inning.