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2011 MLB season in review: Boston Red Sox


Even though this team won 90 games, they will forever be remembered for the historic collapse in September. They went 7-20 in that month, choked away a playoff birth, and got their manger and general manger fired for lack of a better word. They dominated the New York Yankees beating them 12 of 18 times. However, a 6-12 record against the Tampa Bay Rays, and barely better than .500 against the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles gave them a misleading 48-34 record against their division. They also went 10-8 in inter-league play. 

Why this team fell apart down the stretch is better left to someone who was actually in the locker room. We have all heard the stories about this or that, and since I do not usually write about hat kind of stuff, I will leave it up to everyone to decide for themselves why this team fell apart. I will say this, when a team wins what happens in the locker room and off the field doesn't matter as much. When a team goes 7-20 in one month people start to pay attention. 

The offense was able to score 875 runs on 1,600 hits. That was the most hits in the American League and the team batting average was second best at .280. They hit 203 home runs, which was third best, and did not strike out all that often. They also drew a ton of walks. The only offensive category they were not in the top three of the AL was stolen bases were they ranked ninth. The lineup looks to have done its job, and does not help us explain away the epic collapse in September. 

The pitching staff did give up 737 runs, on 1,366 hits. That was the third most hits given up by an AL team. The staff ERA was 4.20 and that was the sixth worst mark in their league. Their walks to strike outs ratio does not look out of line, but it seems when throwing strikes they were unable to fool many hitters. The rotation needs work, especially in the back end where they look to be particularly weak. Since they will not be without Jonathan Pabblebon the bullpen will also need some attention. 

When we look at the game logs for September we see an offense that went a little cold. They would stand up now and then and score 10 or more runs, but on many of those occasions the pitching staff would be particularly bad. However, nothing in the numbers fully explains why they went 7-20 in the final month of the season. That means that is was something else. 

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