Friday, June 2, 2023
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MLB Preview: Boston Red Sox (26-24) at Arizona Diamondbacks (29-21)

BOSTON RED SOX NOTES:

STATE OF THE SOX: The Red Sox have lost 4 consecutive games following a 4-game winning streak from 4/29-5/6. They have been outscored 20-4 in the last 4 games, after outscoring opponents 31-10 in the previous 4. The current losing streak ties the Sox’ longest of the season (also 4/10-13 and 5/12-15)…Their last losing streak of 5+ games was from 9/21-26/22 (6 games).

STAND BY ME: The Red Sox (26-24, .520) rank 4th in the AL East and are 2.5 games back from the AL’s 3rd Wild Card spot. The Sox’ record would rank T-1st in the AL Central and 2nd in the NL East and NL Central…They would hold the NL’s 2nd Wild Card spot.

AL WILD CARD STANDINGS
Rk. Team W-L Pct. GB

  1. Baltimore 33-17 .660 +4.5
  2. New York-AL 30-22 .577 +0.5
  3. Houston 28-21 .571 –
  • Los Angeles-AL 28-23 .549 -1.0
  • Boston 26-24 .520 -2.5
  • Seattle 26-24 .520 -2.5

SOX AND SNAKES: The Red Sox are 13-8 all-time against the Diamondbacks, including 3-3 at Chase Field. The teams last met from 4/5-7/2019, when the Sox visited Chase Field for a 3-game series and went 1-2… Boston’s only other visit to Chase Field was a 3-game series victory from 6/8-10/2007 (2-1). Since the start of 2007, the Red Sox are 13-5 vs. ARI.

WILD WEST: Since Interleague play began in 1997, the Red Sox are 63-42 against NL West opponents…They are 43-23 vs. the NL West since the start of 2010. The Red Sox are 27-24 all-time at NL West ballparks, including 7-2 in their last 9 games at the venues.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: The Red Sox are in a stretch in which 17 of 23 games from 5/5-6/1 are against NL teams (2-1 at PHI, 1-1 at ATL, 0-3 vs. STL, 2-1 at SD, 3 games at ARI, 3 games vs. CIN). The Red Sox are an MLB-best 295-205 (.590) all time in Interleague play.

ROAD TRIPPING: The Red Sox are 2-4 so far on their 9-game, 11-day road trip to SD (2-1), LAA (0-3), and ARI (3 G). The trip is tied for the Sox’ longest of the season by days…It is their 2nd-longest trip of the season by games played (10 games in 11 days from 8/14-24).

SERIES BUSINESS: After being swept in the 3-game series at LAA from Mon.-Wed., the Sox are 10-5-1 in series play… They are 8-3-1 in their last 12 series and 5-2-1 in their last 8. 4 of the Red Sox’ 5 series losses have been sweeps (0-3 vs. PIT, 0-4 at TB, 0-3 vs. STL, 0-3 at LAA). The Sox have alternated series results on the road (W, L, W, L, W, T, W, L): 3-0 at DET, 0-4 at TB, 2-1 at MIL, 1-2 at BAL, 2-1 at PHI, 1-1 at ATL, 2-1 at SD, 0-3 at LAA.

TOUGH TEST: The Red Sox are tied with OAK for 2nd in MLB in strength of schedule, trailing only TOR. The Red Sox are 17-18 (.486) against teams with a .500 winning percentage or better…Their 17 wins are tied for 4th most in MLB (TB-20, BAL-18. NYY-18). After the current series at ARI (29-21), 5 of the Sox’ following 9 series (though 6/29) are against opponents with a record currently below .500.

AMERICA’S MOST BELOVED: Fenway Park was named 2023 Sports Facility of the Year at Sports Business Journal’s annual Sports Business Awards. The venue hosted 438 events in 2022, and became the first 2-time host of the NHL Winter Classic…It also became MLB’s first carbon-neutral ballpark.

UPS AND DOWNS: The Red Sox are 13-10 in their last 23 games, since 4/29…That span includes the Sox’ 2 longest winning streaks of the season (8 games, 4/29-5/6 and 4 games, 5/15-20) and 2 season-high-tying 4-game losing streaks (5/12-15 and 5/21-present). The Sox have been held to 4 runs and 5 XBH in their last 41 offensive innings, after scoring 31 runs with 19 XBH in their previous 34 offensive innings.

RED SOX OFFENSE
Dates Record AVG OPS Runs/Game
3/30-4/13 5-8 .235 .731 5.5
4/14-5/6 16-6 .295 .840 6.2
5/7-present 5-10 .235 .679 3.7

PITCHING IN: Red Sox pitchers have allowed 4 ER or fewer in 7 of their last 8 games, posting a 3.31 ERA and .193 opponent AVG in that span (68.0 IP, 25 ER, 48-for-249). In that 8-game span, Sox relievers have posted a 2.73 ERA and .163 opponent AVG (8 ER/26.1 IP, 15-for-92). On Wednesday at LAA, the Sox snapped a streak of 7 straight games with 4 ER or fewer allowed, their longest such streak since 6/19-26/22 (also 7).

START ME UP: Red Sox starting pitchers have tossed at least 5.0 innings in 24 of their last 27 games…They have allowed 2 runs or fewer over 5.0+ IP in 5 of the last 7 games. Sox starters posted a 3.55 ERA in the last 12 games (28 ER/71.0 IP), after entering that span with a 6.09 ERA. The Sox are 11-3 when their starter tosses 6.0+ innings.

HELP IS ON THE WAY: Garrett Whitlock is scheduled to return from the 15-Day IL to start tomorrow…He allowed 1 R in 8.2 IP over 2 rehab starts for Triple-A Worcester, most recently throwing 4.2 scoreless innings on Sunday vs. Lehigh Valley (4 H, BB, 4 SO). Christian Arroyo is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with the WooSox tonight at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Yu Chang is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment for Double-A Portland tonight vs. New Hampshire.

RUNNIN’ RED SOX: The Red Sox have been successful in 30 of their 35 stolen base attempts (85.7%)…They are tied with CWS for the best SB% in the AL and 2nd best in MLB (ATL-87.5%, 35-for-40). The Sox ranked 22nd in MLB with a 72.2 SB% in 2022.

SLUGGING SOX: The Red Sox rank in MLB’s top 5 in runs scored (5th, 262) and doubles (2nd, 108). The Red Sox have scored 5+ runs in 27 games, tied for 5th most in MLB (TB-32, LAD-31, BAL-30, TEX-29).

RED SOX OFFENSIVE RANKINGS
Stat AL Rank
262 runs 3rd
447 hits 5th
108 doubles 1st
170 XBH T-2nd
20.3 SO% 2nd
Stat AL Rank
.262 AVG 4th
.332 OBP 4th
.433 SLG 3rd
.765 OPS 3rd
107 wRC+ T-5th

SOX STRIKEOUTS: Red Sox batters have struck out 387 times, 2nd fewest in the AL and 4th fewest in MLB. The Sox struck out 10+ times in each of their 6 games vs. TB and ATL (11.2 SO/game) but have done so just 5 times in their other 44 games (7.3 SO/game).

DON’T START WITH US: Starting pitchers have completed at least 6.0 innings in just 11 starts against the Red Sox this season, fewest of any team in MLB…They have done so in 7 of the Sox’ last 15 games, compared to 4 of their first 35. Starters have lasted fewer than 4.0 innings in 13 starts vs. BOS this season, most in MLB. Starting pitchers are 17-17 with a 5.66 ERA vs. BOS (right-handed starters: 5.10 ERA; left-handers: 6.88).

TONIGHT’S STARTER: 41 CHRIS SALE – LHP
W-L ERA G GS IP ER HR BB SO WHIP AVG
2023 4-2 5.01 9 9 50.1 28 8 13 62 1.17 .238

CAREER 118-77 3.09 332 252 1728.1 593 186 400 2126 1.05 .220
Has a 3.05 ERA in his last 6 starts (38.1 IP, 13 ER, 28 H, 3 HR, 43 SO), after recording an 11.25 ERA in his first 3 (12.0 IP, 15 ER, 18 H, 5 HR). Earned the win on Saturday night at SD (7.0 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 8 SO). The Red Sox are 6-3 in his starts. Has thrown 6.0+ innings in each of his last 4 starts (3-0, 2.30 ERA, 32 SO, 3 BB). Has 4 BB in his last 5 starts (32.1 IP), after issuing 9 BB in his first 4 (18.0 IP). 33 out of his 62 SO this season have been recorded with a slider (.164 BAA, 9-for-55). Owns the Modern Era’s highest SO/9.0 IP rate (11.10) (min. 1,000 IP).

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS NOTES:

HERE’S THE STORY
♦ The D-backs’ 29 wins are the third most in the NL, behind the Dodgers (31) and Braves (31)

♦ Arizona is 5-3 vs. AL opponents this season and have won 2 of its 3 series vs. AL teams.

♦ The D-backs have won 7 of their last 11 home games.

♦ The D-backs are second in the NL West (23 days in/tied for fi rst place from April 2-30).

♦ Arizona has won 4 straight series and 8 of its last 10.

ROSTER MOVES
♦ The D-backs made the following roster moves:

  • Recalled OF Jake McCarthy from Triple-A Reno.
  • Optioned OF Dominic Fletcher to Reno yesterday.

NEW HOME FOR D-BACKS’ SPANISH RADIO
♦ Starting today, D-backs’ live radio game broadcasts in Spanish will air on Latino Mix 100.3 FM KQMR Radio, Phoenix’s #1 Spanish contemporary hit radio station.

♦ The D-backs have produced live play-by-play radio coverage in Spanish since their inception in 1998, with Univision for the last 7 seasons as the flagship home, and feature Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Oscar Soria with former MLB pitcher Rodrigo López and long-time colleague Richard Saenz.

FACING THE ’SOX
♦ The D-backs face off with the Red Sox @ Chase Field for only the third time in team history.

♦ Arizona went 2-1 in its last series @ Chase Field from April 5-7, 2019 and 1-2 in their first series from June 8-10, 2007.

♦ Manager Torey Lovullo was Boston’s bench coach from 2013-16 and the Red Sox’ Triple-A manager in 2010.

THROUGH THE FIRST 50
♦ The D-backs’ 29-21 record is tied for the fifth-best start to a season through their first 50 games (also: 2006, ’05, 1999) and best since 2017.

2000: 32-18 record (.640) – finished 85-77 | 2002: 31-19 record (.620) – finished 98-64 [NL West Champs] | 2017: 31-9 record (.620) – finished 93-69 [Wild Card Champs] | 2008: 30-20 record (.600) – finished 82-80 |

2023: 29-21 record (.580)

♦ In seasons where the D-backs made a postseason appearance, they had 26+ wins through the fi rst 50 games.

HOME SWEET HOME
♦ The D-backs’ .284 average and .351 OBP as a team at home is best in the NL and third in MLB, behind the Red Sox (.296 AVG/.361 OBP) and Rangers (.285 AVG/.353 OBP).

SNAKES VS. LEFTIES
♦ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is hitting .358 (19-for-53) vs. lefties , the sixth highest in MLB this season.

♦ Christian Walker is hitting .306 (15-for-49) vs. lefties, which is fourth among MLB first basemen.

♦ Gabriel Moreno is hitting .417 (20-for-48)/1.088 OPS vs. lefties with 5 doubles, 2 homers and 8 RBI)… since May 8 (11 games), is batting .615 (8-for-13) vs. lefties, the highest in MLB (min. 15 PA), ahead of Anthony Rizzo/NYY (.563).

OH, LOURDES! HE’S AT 16
♦ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is riding a career-high 16-game hitting streak (since May 3), the longest active streak in the Majors and tied for third longest this season (also: Masataka Yoshida/BOS), behind Mauricio Dubón/HOU (20), Bryson Stott/ PHI (17)… in the span, is batting .387 (26-for-65)/1.304 OPS.

  • His streak is the longest by a D-back this season and tied for third longest by a D-back since 2013 (also: Ketel Marte from May 16-June 4, 2022 ).

♦ Gurriel ranks among Major League leaders in average (7th, .317), slugging pct. (8th, .557) and OPS (9th, .929).

KETEL LOOKING TO CONTINUE
♦ Ketel Marte’s career-best 24-game on-base streak (since April 26) is tied for the longest active streak in the Majors ( also: Byron Buxton/MIN ) and tied for fourth longest by a D-back since 2014 (also: Josh Rojas from Aug. 1-28, 2022)…in the span, is hitting .290 AVG/.373 OBP with 1 double, 2 triples, 4 homers, 12 walks and 2 HBP.

STARTING PITCHER – RHP BRANDON PFAADT ♦ #32
AT A GLANCE: Entered this season as the D-backs’ No. 4 prospect by The Athletic (No. 38 overall) and MLB Pipeline (No.
59 overall).

  • D-backs’ fi fth-round pick in the 2020 draft out of Bellarmine University (2018-20), their second-highest pick behind Todd Wellemeyer (4th round, 2000).
  • The D-backs’ 2022 Minor League Pitcher of the Year led the organization in wins, ERA and strikeouts…went 11-7 with a 3.83 ERA (71 ER in 167.0 IP), 218 strikeouts and 1.16 WHIP in 29 starts at Double-A Amarillo and Triple-A Reno.

LAST START : Did not factor in the decision in the D-backs win on May 20 @ PIT…surrendered all 3 runs on a bases-loaded triple to Ke’Bryan Hayes in the third…of his 6 hits, the triple was the only extra-base hit allowed.

LAST 2 STARTS: In his last 2 starts, has a 3.48 ERA (4 ER in 10.1 IP) while limiting lefties to a .182 average (4-for-22) and righties to a .200 average (3-for-16).

TEAM WINS: The D-backs are 3-1 in his 4 starts.

ATTACKING EARLY: Has a .167 average (4-for-24) with 0 walks and 9 strikeouts when he gets ahead in the count.

VS. RED SOX: Is making his first career start vs. Red Sox.

  • Fourth youngest (24-223) D-backs starter to face the Red Sox, behind Randall Delgado (23-174) in 2013, Archie Bradley (24-003) in 2016, Patrick Corbin (24-015) in 2013.
  • Seventh starter to face the Red Sox @ Chase Field (also: Zack Godley, Merrill Kelly and Luke Weaver in 2019; Doug Davis, Randy Johnson and Micah Owings in 2007).
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