This week at BP Boston I followed up on the piece I wrote last week about the slow pace of the Red Sox offense. Within that article I touched on the fact that while the Red Sox are really slow between pitches, they tend to put the ball in play; the Red Sox have the lowest strikeout rate in baseball. In the high-strikeout era that we are amidst this is no small feat. This got me (and my editor at BP Boston) wondering about how a high-contact team like the Red Sox, who rely on stringing together hits to generate offense, fares against the big, bad strikeout machines of the league. Typically players and teams beat up on the finesse guys (who tend to not strike many batters out) and do their best to stay alive against the power guys (who get a lot of strikeouts). This is true for the Red Sox this year, but the difference in their performance against the two opposing pitcher types is smaller than many other teams. Basically, to this point in the season they have taken a smaller penalty against the power pitchers, which is likely due to their heavy-contact approach. This is an interesting aspect of this year’s group and could have positive ramifications come playoff time, as the number of innings given to power pitchers tends to be higher in October. But October is a long-way away, and this offense still needs to ratchet things up a notch if they are even going to be a participant in the 2017 postseason.
Head over to BP Boston to read the whole deal: Hitting for Contact in the Strikeout Era