Prior to Tuesday’s game versus the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell pointed to the lack of play by Chris Young, the veteran outfielder, who was brought in to hit against left-handers, as proof the team has faced few southpaws thus far this season.
Farrell said the team had played 25 games and faced just two southpaw starters.
However, the few games they have faced left-handers have not ended well for the Red Sox as they fell to 0-3 against southpaws. Against right-handed pitching, things are vastly different.
The Red Sox lead the American League in runs scored at 5.2 per game, but against lefties, they have contributed very little to that run total.
The Red Sox have scored one run versus J.A. Happ the Toronto left-hander in seven innings, no runs versus Drew Smyly of Tampa Bay in eight innings and just one run across eight innings Tuesday night versus Jose Quintana of the White Sox.
In all, that is 2 runs over 23 innings with just 12 total base runners against starting left-handers. Their OPS of .359 against southpaw starters is by far the worst in baseball by nearly 200 points.
Farrell is surprised as the team is heavy stacked with right-handed hitters and that usually makes for success against off-side pitchers.
Against Quintana on Tuesday, the Red Sox faced one of the league’s top pitchers thus far this season. Farrell said that Quintana is a very good pitcher who rarely throws in the middle of the plate and has many different looks he gives hitters.
Quintana before entering Tuesday’s game against Boston was on a streak of 16 straight scoreless innings, which was extended to 20-plus innings before Hanley Ramirez nicked him for a solo homer that was the first home run the left-hander has allowed in his six starts during the first month of the season.
Boston will take one more look at a talented lefty on Wednesday when they face Carlos Rodon from the White Sox. Last season Rodon was a rookie and one of the league’s most touted prospects.
Thus far, this season he is averaging a strikeout per inning pitched and will be tough for the Red Sox with two straight games against southpaws.
After 26 games, Boston is in second place at 15-11 just a half game behind the first place Baltimore Orioles and three games in front of the third place Toronto Blue Jays, but the season is far from over.