Sunday, June 01, 2008

Game 59: I Believe The Offense Has Returned

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 9, Baltimore Orioles 4

Let it be known: the danger is officially over, and the bats are working again. In the six games against Oakland and Seattle, the Sox scored 14 runs and suffered two shutouts. They smashed through that mark some time in the second inning today, their third game against the Orioles, and added five more for good measure. They hit three home runs - two back to back - knocked out some dude named Brian Burres after four innings and made Steve Trachsel wish he'd retired after leaving the Mets. Rumor has it they also found the lost Ark of the Covenant, and secured the coming of the Messiah, but these statements are unsubstantiated and seem to revolve around Manny hitting career dinger 501 and Ellsbury stealing yet another base.

Enough gloating, though; these games were against Baltimore, whose last place AL East record matches their predicted record (not to mention their Pythagorean) all too well. But why win in Baltimore, when the Sox lost three to a Seattle team that's on a course for the worst in the American League? It all seems, oddly enough, to come down to home field advantage: across baseball, teams playing at home are winning over half their games; in the AL East in particular, the home team's advantage jumps to a staggering 65 percent. Although the Orioles are home for these games, as I pointed out this morning (and as many of you no doubt know), Baltimore isn't exactly unfriendly territory for the Red Sox or their fans, who flock to the seats in droves. It isn't exactly Fenway, but it's close enough to perhaps generate the same level of support seen by home teams elsewhere. The statistics match, too: after today, the Sox have a 60 percent winning percentage in Camden Yards in 2008.