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The Last 10: Belated Edition

2012 June 25

Record 7-3: (36-34)

RS: 53; RA: 36 (359, 322)

Offense: .331 wOBA (.336 wOBA)

See The First 50 for a wOBA and FIP primer.

A pairing of players who began the year at Triple-A Pawtucket set the tempo for the Red Sox offense during over the last 10 games; Daniel Nava and Will Middlebrooks.

Against all odds, Daniel Nava continues to perform at a level generally reserved for household names. In his 18 plate appearances, he walked twice and accrued nine hits, including two doubles.

With a minimum of 140 plate appearances on the season, Nava ranks 9th in the majors in batting average (.351) and 3rd in on base percentage (.452). His .423 wOBA is currently tied with Josh Hamilton at .423 for the fifth highest in baseball.

The key to Nava’s success has been his eye at the plate. Where the average batter has swung at 30% of pitches outside the zone, he’s swung at 16.5%. It’s allowed him pile up walks and avoid strikeouts (his walk .875 walk-to-strikeout rate is double the league average), as well as wait for good pitches to hit.

In 25 plate appearances, Middlebrooks reached base by getting hit by a pitch twice and recorded nine hits, including two doubles and two home runs. His .495 wOBA over the last ten games pulls him up to .402 on the season.

After a rough stretch, the offense appears to be coming back to life.

Pitching: 3.58 ERA, 3.10 FIP (4.29, 4.06)

The pitching during the period, 88 innings in total, was as much a team effort as any.

Starters (4.43 ERA, 3.18 FIP) averaged 6.1 innings pitched per start and lasted seven innings in four of the ten starts. They struck out 5.4 batters for each walked; more than double the league average by starting pitchers of 2.42 K/BB.

Relievers (1.44 ERA, 2.91 FIP) permitted just one home run in 25 innings pitched. Closer Alfredo Aceves made five appearances, registering four shutdowns and no meltdowns.

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