Hi. Remember me? I used to write terrible things about wonderful people in this space.
I was going to write a post recapping the month of April, but once I started to delve into the offensive numbers over the past couple of weeks, I thought it deserved its own post.
The Sox offense still sits near the top of the league in runs scored and R/G, but they've recently been unable to produce the big innings we began to get used to in the first two weeks. Heck, they've been unable to get the key hit and produce many 1-run innings lately. So I decided to jump into the numbers using the essentially arbitrary day of April 15th as a pivot point.What happened? As a team, the Sox hit .249/.345/.436 in the season's first 2+ weeks, and have hit .236/.325/.395 since. That's a marked decline, but it's compounded when you dig deeper.
- Against lefties: .250/.373/.455 before Tax Day, .184/.292/.276 after
- Sox right-handed hitters: .243/.340/.411 before Tax Day, .233/.308/.387 after. This split is quite troubling when you realize that Carlos Quentin has hit .356/.500/.778 since that arbitrary date. It should also be no surprise that he's only managed 8 RBIs over that stretch, as AJ Pierzynski has posted a .224/.255/.306 line in front of him.
- Bases Loaded: (Extremely small sample size warning) .600/.647/1.400 before Tax Day, .077/.263/.077 after. That .263 OBP is nearly all Quentin getting HBP.
- RISP: .309/.387/.553 before Tax Day, .257/.377/.390 after. It's interesting to me that the OBP is nearly the same. They've had nearly the same number of big inning opportunities, they've just been terribly unsuccessful at cashing in their chips. If the Sox didn't have a similarly dismal RISP hitting record last season, I'd actually take the high OBP and number of run-scoring opportunities as a good thing.
The offense isn't clicking right now. It hasn't really hummed since July '06. I'd be on Greg Walker Job Watch again if I wasn't convinced he has a renewable contract until 2012 like the rest of the staff.
Perhaps the best illustration of why there's not reason to panic... yet. Over the last week, the White Sox player with the most hits (other than Quentin) is... Brian Anderson. The rest of the offense, if healthy --which is key-- will not continue to hit for such a low average.