Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Victorino's outburst powers Red Sox
By ESPN Stats & Information
Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports
Shane Victorino hit the 100th and 101st home runs of his career Tuesday.
On the night he hit his 100th career home run, Shane Victorino had the most productive night at the plate of his career.
Victorino reached base five times, scoring four runs and driving in another seven to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 13-2 win Tuesday over the Baltimore Orioles.
According to Elias, Victorino is the first player in Red Sox history to go 3-for-3 or better with at least two homers, four runs scored and seven RBI in a game. Only one other player had a game like that over the last ten years: Josh Hamilton at Baltimore on May 8, 2012 (5-for-5, 4 HR, 4 R, 8 RBI).
Switching it up
While all three of Victorino’s hits Tuesday came versus three Orioles left-handers, the handedness of the pitcher hasn’t been as notable as which way Victorino has batted this month.
After spending the first nine-plus seasons of his MLB career as a switch hitter, Victorino began batting almost exclusively right-handed on August 4 due to a left leg injury that prevents him from hitting from the left side. Since the move, Victorino is hitting .302/.388/.523 with four home runs in 21 games; he was hitting .289/.333/.424 with only seven home runs in 78 games prior to the switch.
He’s come to the plate 44 times as a right-handed hitter versus right-handed pitching since August 4 and is hitting .289/.386/.500 with two home runs; he’s hitting only .275/.318/.391 with three home runs as a lefty in 228 PA versus right-handed pitching this season.
Flying under the radar
While Victorino had a breakout game Tuesday, he’s quietly put together a highly productive first season for the Red Sox.
Entering Tuesday, Victorino has been worth 4.8 Wins Above Replacement this year, the second highest total of his career and the third highest this season of any American League outfielder.
While Victorino had a big game Tuesday offensively, most of his value has been on defense, as he’s is tied for 6th in MLB this season with 23 Defensive Runs Saved.