Stats & Info: Ted Williams

The story of the season has been Red Sox domination. It's the difference in the AL East race. With the Yankees traveling to Fenway Park to take on the Red Sox, it's time to break down how the season series has gone so far.

Here are some highlights about the head-to-head series:

• The Yankees will be trying to snap a seven-game losing streak in the series. That’s tied for the third-longest losing streak for the Yankees in the rivalry, behind only a nine-game streak from 2008-09 and a 17-game streak from 1911-12.

• The Yankee starters have struggled, with a 8.18 ERA in the nine games. The losers in the eight losses were mostly the pitchers upon whom they usually rely: Bartolo Colon (twice), CC Sabathia (3 times), Freddy Garcia (twice), A.J. Burnett (once).

• Sabathia is 0-3 with a 6.16 ERA vs the Red Sox this year (he’s 15-2 vs everyone else). In 2010, he was 1-0 with a 3.96 ERA, and in 2009, he was 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA.

• However, the Red Sox pitchers have held them to a .208 batting average with runners in scoring position. In three of the games, they failed to get a hit with runners in scoring position (0-3 on April 10, 0-10 on May 14, 0-7 on June 9), and in another game they got just one hit (1-7 on May 13).

• The Red Sox shut down the Yankee lefties (and when their switch-hitters hit lefty). Red Sox pitchers held Yankees left-handed batters to a .207 BA.

• Yankees were shut out twice in nine games; they have been shut out just three times otherwise.

Notable Yankees mediocrity:

Nick Swisher .188, 8 K
Brett Gardner .167, double and triple
Mark Teixeira .121 (4-33), 11 K, 0 XBH

Notable Red Sox standouts:

Dustin Pedroia: .500 (15-30), 4 doubles, 8 walks
Jacoby Ellsbury .371, 3 SB, 4 doubles
David Ortiz .324, 3 HR, 4 doubles, 9 RBI

• We should note that Pedroia was the AL Player of the Month for July. He led the Majors with 46 hits, the most hits for a Red Sox player during July of any season since 1939, when 3 future Hall of Famers each collected more: Bobby Doerr (52), Ted Williams (48) and Jimmie Foxx (47) (Elias). Pedroia also led Major Leaguers in total bases (81), tied for first in runs (27) and extra-base hits (18), and posted the second-best AVG in the ML at .411 (112 AB).

Derek Jeter: Return to Form?

• Derek Jeter has picked it up after getting his 3,000th hit on July 9. Jeter has four career five-hit games and two of them have come within the last four weeks. His numbers since July 10 are more in line with his career numbers.

The Setup Men: David Robertson and Daniel Bard

• David Robertson has better numbers vs opposite-handed batters (LHB) than same-handed batters (RHB) this year. His .169 BA vs LHB is fourth-best among AL RHP (min. 75 batters faced), while his 43 K vs LHB are the most among RHP relievers.

• He has yet to allow a run on the road in 20 appearances (21 1/3 IP).

• He has yet to allow a HR in 42 1/3 IP (most IP of any AL reliever who hasn’t allowed a HR yet this season).

• Opponents are 1-12 (.083) with 10 K with the bases loaded.

• Daniel Bard has been more effective vs righties this season. His .117 opponent BA vs RHB is the lowest among AL pitchers (min. 75 batters faced).

• Prior to allowing three runs in his last outing on August 1, Bard had made 25 straight scoreless appearances (since May 27), spanning 26 1/3 IP. During the streak, opponents hit .125 vs him, and RHB were 3-40 (.075).

• It was the most consecutive scoreless outings in Red Sox history. It was the longest streak of scoreless IP in a single season by a Red Sox pitcher since Bob Stanley had a 27-inning streak in 1980.

• Yankees are 1-14 (.071) against him this season.

• His opponent BA w/RISP of .133 is fifth-best in AL (min. 50 batters faced).

• He’s pitched on zero days rest 18 times, tied for the most in the AL.

Pujols hits No. 400

August, 26, 2010
PujolsIn the top of the fourth inning of the St. Louis Cardinals' extra-innings loss to the Washington Nationals, Albert Pujols blasted his 400th career home run off of Jordan Zimmermann, who was making his first start of the season for the Washington Nationals after undergoing Tommy John surgery. At 30 years and 222 days old, Pujols is the third-youngest at the time of the milestone of the 47 players in MLB history to reach 400 career home runs.

• He hit No. 400 in his 5,615th career at-bat. According to Elias, that is the fifth-fewest at-bats to 400 home runs all-time. Mark McGwire and Babe Ruth are the only two players to hit No. 400 within their first 5,000 career at-bats.

• Pujols now has a career batting average of .333, 400 home runs and 1,205 RBI. He is one of just five players in major league history with at least 400 home runs, 1,200 RBI and a career batting average of at least .330. Obviously, each of the other four players are enshrined in Cooperstown: Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, and Babe Ruth.

Teixeira joins exclusive list

July, 24, 2010
Mark Teixeira hit his 20th HR of the season, giving him 20+ HR in all 8 of his MLB seasons. He joins a list of 9 other players who have hit at least 20 HR in each of their first 8 MLB seasons.

Royals slow down Yankees

July, 24, 2010
Royals 7, Yankees 4
Despite Mark Teixeira having his 3rd multi-HR game this season, the Yankees lose to the Royals to snap their 3-game win streak. Teixeira has now hit 20+ HR in each of his first 8 seasons. Alex Rodriguez (1-4) was unable to get his 600th HR despite facing Kyle Davies off whom he hit his 500th HR. The Royals win their first home game in their last 6 tries thanks to a Jose Guillen HR. He is batting .368 with 11 HR in 32 day games this season.

Red Sox overcome Rangers running wild

April, 20, 2010
Darnell McDonald was the hero for the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night, getting his first career walk-off hit. It helped overcome a franchise-record nine stolen bases by the Texas Rangers. The last time the Red Sox allowed nine stolen bases in a game was October 3, 1913 at Washington.

The game-winner came after he tied the game with a 2-run HR in the 8th inning. The last time a player hit his first career HR as a Red Sox player in the 8th inning or later to tie or put his team ahead was another Red Sox "immortal": Jonathan Van Every, April 29, 2009 vs Indians.

Another player who came up big in a big spot has had significant more hype around him this season: Atlanta's Jason Heyward. He hit a game-tying HR with two outs in the 9th inning to help the Braves send their game vs the Philadelphia Phillies into extras. Atlanta would eventually win on a Nate McLouth walk-off HR.

Heyward now has 16 RBI in his first 13 games. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that Heyward's RBI total is tied for the most by any player under the age of 21 in his first 13 career games since 1920.

Most RBI in First 13 Career Games
Under Age 21, Since 1920

2010 Jason Heyward, 16
1939 Ted Williams, 16
2003 Jose Reyes, 12
1958 Orlando Cepeda, 11

Maybe the most impressive starting pitcher in the early-evening slate of games on Tuesday was John Danks.

Danks made batters miss 55 percent of his pitches out of the strike zone were swung at by the Tampa Bay Rays. (The MLB average is 31 percent). Danks threw first-pitch strikes on 71 percent of his plate appearances (MLB average is 58 percent. He wasn't automatic, but he was close. 93 percent of his two-strike counts on Tuesday became outs (MLB average is 72 percent).

Nomar Retrospective

March, 10, 2010
After 14 seasons, 1,434 games and more than 6,000 trips to the plate, Nomar Garciaparra called it a career on Wednesday. The longtime infielder is likely to be remembered as one of the more-beloved players in Red Sox history, fitting for a man who appeared in five All-Star Games and earned a pair of batting titles in his eight-plus years in Boston. But Nomar was much more than that. He was an all-time great in many ways.

During Garciaparra’s first eight seasons with the Red Sox, his .323 batting average was the best in the majors among shortstops and his 173 HR and 669 RBI during that span trailed only Alex Rodriguez among those who took the field between second and third base.

It’s also worth noting that only three players with at least 1,500 plate appearances in a Red Sox uniform can claim a better batting average with the BoSox than Nomar’s .332: Ted Williams, Wade Boggs and Tris Speaker. (In case you were wondering, those three players also have something else in common: they all have a plaque in Cooperstown).

When Garciaparra won his second batting crown in 2000, his .372 average wasn’t only the best in the AL that year, it was the third-best by a shortstop since 1900 and the best mark by a righty since the end of World War II (and still is).

It’s fitting that Garciaparra retired as with the Red Sox, because he was never the same player in another uniform. After being dealt by Boston in the middle of the 2004 season, injuries derailed Garciaparra’s final years, limiting him to 468 games and a .288 batting average over his last five-plus MLB seasons. But Garciaparra seems to want to be remembered for his years in Boston, saying on Wednesday that he’s always felt at home in Beantown. Baseball fans would be smart to oblige.