2003 Boston Red Sox Baseball Graphs Review

Following are graphs and commentary regarding the 2003 season of the Boston Red Sox. Questions or comments can be sent to me at dave@baseballgraphs.com.



AL East Standings The American League East Race

The Red Sox had a great year. They didn't fold in the face of a superb Yankee start, and Sox management recognized a problem with the bullpen and moved relatively quickly to fix it. It was a good year for management and players, but it wasn't good enough to overtake the Yankees.

The Sox were tantalizingly close as late as September 6th, but the Yankees went into overdrive, and the Sox couldn't keep up.

Boston was 26-16 in one-run games, though they finished about even with their Pythagorean projection.





Comments How to Read this Graph

The Red Sox had a record offensive year in 2003, as has been documented many places. They led the league with 158 batting Win Shares (Toronto was second with 137 Win Shares.). Fenway was much more of a hitter's park in 2003 than in previous years: the Sox batted .316 at home and .263 on the road. Pete's Win Shares account for this change in park factor during the year.

Move your mouse over this graph to view the status of each team at the season's midpoint (July 1st).


Pitching and Fielding

Fielding Independent Pitching is based on the following formula: (13*HR+3*BB-2*K)/IP. Defense Efficiency Ratio is (Non-catcher putouts/Batted Balls in Play), adjusted for ballpark. Circle sizes in this graph are proportional to the percent of fieldable balls successfully converted into outs by the fielders.
The Red Sox' Pitching and Fielding

It hasn't been mentioned very much, but the Red Sox also had the second-best pitching in the league. True, they allowed over 5 runs a game, but the basic pitching ratios of strikeouts, walks and home runs were all very good. In fact, they led the league in strikeouts, and only two teams gave up less home runs.

There were two problems for the Sox: their fielding was really pretty poor, and they did not pitch well in the clutch. Opposing batters hit .285 with runners in scoring position against the Sox, vs. .263 overall. Much of this disparity occurred in the first half of the year, when the Sox bullpen was truly awful.

And only the Yankees had worse fielding than the Sox. Fenway is a very difficult place for fielders, thanks to the Green Monster. But the Sox' fielders still did not distinguish themselves. It is interesting to note that the two division leaders were the two worst fielding teams in the league. Tells you something, doesn't it?

How to Read this Graph


Red Sox Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .356 .356 .388 .352 .358 .350
SLG .464 .481 .556 .517 .476 .454
FIP 1.04 1.17 0.87 0.67 0.58 0.44
DER .700 .701 .704 .703 .707 .724
The DER stats in this table are based on limited data; the trend between months per team is more valid than the absolute number.
The Red Sox Day-by-Day

The Sox' offense didn't really slump all year, and it outright exploded in late June and early July, including a 25-run outburst against the Marlins. Over eleven consecutive games at the time, the Red Sox scored double digits six times.

The pitching was just as outstanding after the first two months. Pedro was Pedro, of course, but Derek Lowe and Tim Wakefield also had their moments.



Boston Red Sox' Win Shares

Player          Team    Pos     Hit     Field   Pitch   Sum     WS 	
--------	-----	----	----	----	-----	-----	---	
M Ramirez       BOS     OF      25.27   2.32    0.00    27.59   28	
N Garciaparra   BOS     SS      19.22   5.98    0.00    25.19   25	
B Mueller       BOS     3B      19.05   4.46    0.00    23.51   23	
P Martinez      BOS     P       0.00    0.00    19.85   19.85   20	
T Nixon         BOS     OF      17.07   2.28    0.00    19.35   19	
J Damon         BOS     OF      13.21   5.23    0.00    18.44   18	
J Varitek       BOS     C       13.18   3.48    0.00    16.66   17	
K Millar        BOS     1B      13.34   2.43    0.00    15.77   16	
D Ortiz         BOS     DH      14.36   0.72    0.00    15.09   15	
T Walker        BOS     2B      11.62   3.07    0.00    14.69   15	
T Wakefield     BOS     P       0.00    0.00    12.18   12.18   12	
D Lowe          BOS     P       0.00    0.00    11.64   11.64   12	
B Kim           BOS     P       0.00    0.00    10.76   10.76   11	
M Timlin        BOS     P       0.00    0.00    8.07    8.07    8	
J Burkett       BOS     P       0.00    0.00    7.71    7.71    8	
S Hillenbrand   BOS     3B      3.81    1.28    0.00    5.08    5	
A Embree        BOS     P       0.00    0.00    4.90    4.90    5	
B Lyon          BOS     P       0.00    0.00    4.54    4.54    5	
G Kapler        BOS     OF      3.30    0.68    0.00    3.98    4	
C Fossum        BOS     P       0.00    0.00    2.59    2.59    3	
D Mirabelli     BOS     C       1.13    0.99    0.00    2.11    2	
B Arroyo        BOS     P       0.00    0.00    2.03    2.03    2	
D McCarty       BOS     1B      1.85    0.11    0.00    1.96    2	
J Suppan        BOS     P       0.00    0.00    1.75    1.75    2	
D Jackson       BOS     OF      0.00    1.55    0.00    1.55    2	
J Shiell        BOS     P       0.00    0.00    1.44    1.44    1	
J Giambi        BOS     DH      1.08    0.15    0.00    1.23    1	
T Jones         BOS     P       0.00    0.00    1.07    1.07    1	
C Fox           BOS     P       0.00    0.00    1.01    1.01    1	
S Woodard       BOS     P       0.00    0.00    0.84    0.84    1	
L Merloni       BOS     3B      0.22    0.49    0.00    0.71    1	
F Sanchez       BOS     3B      0.00    0.53    0.00    0.53    0	
S Williamson    BOS     P       0.00    0.00    0.40    0.40    0	
B Chen          BOS     P       0.00    0.00    0.29    0.29    0	
R Mendoza       BOS     P       0.00    0.00    0.23    0.23    0	
A Brown         BOS     OF      0.00    0.09    0.00    0.09    0	
A Abad          BOS     1B      0.00    0.06    0.00    0.06    0	
R Rupe          BOS     P       0.00    0.00    0.05    0.05    0	
L Collier       BOS     OF      0.00    0.05    0.00    0.05    0	
B Haselman      BOS     C       0.00    0.01    0.00    0.01    0	
H Almonte       BOS     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
B Howry         BOS     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
R Person        BOS     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
S Sauerbeck     BOS     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
R Seanez        BOS     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
K Tolar         BOS     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
M White         BOS     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	

The Red Sox's Individual Players

When you look at the Sox' Win Shares, you see a lot of great hitters and Pedro Martinez. Manny Ramirez could have a reasonable claim to the MVP and Pedro could say the same for the Cy Young. One of the hottest debates out there is whether Pedro deserves it, based on the number of innings he's pitched. Win Shares says no and ranks him fifth.

Signing Bill Mueller in the offseason may have been the most unlikely brilliant move of the offseason, as he came in second in Win Shares at 3b. The Red Sox also made a good trade during the year, picking up Kim (eleven Win Shares) for the bullpen for Shea Hillenbrand (six). Really, the Sox' bullpen was awful in the first half, though it stabilized in the second.

You can view all American League Win Shares data via the following links:
All Players, Top to Bottom
Players Ranked by Position
Players Fielding WS by Position