The stat-heads like to tell us that while there are clutch hits, there’s no such thing as a clutch hitter. The Red Sox seem intent on proving this postulate. In April, the entire lineup was filled with clutch hitters. The Sox batted .310 with runners in scoring position and averaged more than five runs a game. In May, however, they’ve collectively turned into Duane Kuiper in those situations, batting just .176, with the result being an anemic 3.8 runs a game. Same hitters, different results. So what gives? “The approach is there,” said hitting coach Greg Colbrunn. “As long as we continue to put ourselves into those type of situations, we’ll be fine. The approach is the same, but when you stop hitting, it gets magnified. You go through stretches where you hit the ball hard and have nothing to show for it.” The Red Sox are clearly in the midst of something offensively as they prepare to open a three-game set at Tampa Bay tonight. They went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in Sunday’s 12-4 loss to the Blue Jays, completing a series in which they went just 3-for-36 with a chance to drive in runs. That’s not to say they didn’t put some good swings on the ball. In Thursday’s 5-3 loss to the Twins, DH David Ortiz went 0-for-5, but scorched the ball three times, including a liner to first to end the game. On Sunday, Dustin Pedroia stepped to the plate with two on in the third and grounded sharply to short for an easy, inning-ending double play.
Consistent approach will help Red Sox weather slump
Boston Herald | May 14