Sox took 3 of 4 from the Rays and very well could have had the sweep if it weren't for Ben Zobrist, a cybernetic upgrade from the old Punto model. Still, it was a pretty impressive performance on the weekend. The Rays scored 3 or fewer runs in 3 of the 4 games, while the Sox averaged a full 7 runs per game over the series. How?
- .327/.408/.558 vs. .178/.250/.311*
- 20:25 BB/K vs. 13:31
- .354 BABIP vs. .250
- 12% of PAs ended in BB vs. 8.8%
- .411 estimated wOBA** vs. .269
Yeah. That'll do it. Interestingly, if you plug wOBA back in to get runs above average for the series w/ 160 PA, you get 10 runs above average (or about 7 per game) for the Sox and 10 below for the Rays (about 2 per game).
Gavin took the mound in the series finale and had all of his pitches working, with memorable strike outs of Longoria on a sick bender, as well as Carlos Peña on his little used change-up. 7 K's, no walks and the only damage coming from the aforementioned cyborg. Meanwhile, Floyd's opposite Matt Garza struggled to find the plate and the Sox weren't helping. They took 5 walks to 4 strikeouts and the Sox BABIP'd .438 on the day thanks to line drives and the occasional deep fly. It was never particularly close:
The Rays were down to 25% chance to win by their half of the 3rd and never mounted a significant challenge thereafter.
*I used AB+BB for PA, so OBP will probably be overstated by a bit.
**I ran a quick regression from fangraphs leaderboard in '08 w/ OPS and wOBA. They correlate extremely well (r = .95). The trend line gave me wOBA = .351*OPS + .072.