Red Sox Monthly WPA Leaders for May
To me, Papelbon stood out as the most notable player of the month, but the stats don't really bear that out. April was actually a better month for him, with ten saves in the month. In May he had nine saves, but he also had his one and only rocky appearance, giving up three hits and a run in an inning of work against the Blue Jays on May 3. Take out this night, and he'd be challenging for the lead.
Papelbon was beat out by Timlin, Manny, and Loretta. Timlin quietly put together an outstanding month, giving up just a single run in ten appearances, often in tough situations. Manny hit .333 for the month, with nine HR. Most importantly, he was a Yankee killer, batting .500 (13 for 26) against the Yankees, with 5 home runs. Top honors go to Loretta, who hit .404 for the month. He too stepped up his game against the Yankees, with a hit in every game to go .469 against New York, also adding three walks and just a single strikeout. The high point of his month came on May 11, going 4-for-6 with 3 RBI, including the game-winning runs in the seventh. That game earned him +0.538 WPA, and cemented his claim as Player of the Month.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Pauley, Schilling, Gonzalez, Mirabelli, and Clement. Pauley appears because of his one start, in which he actually pitched pretty well until giving up four runs in the fifth. Schilling had two bad outings in a row early in the month, and his one good start didn't generate enough positive WPA to offset the bad starts. Gonzo - well, you knew this already. I'm sorry to see Mirabelli on the list - I wanted him to return to Boston with the kind of power he showed in 2004 and 2005. Instead, he hit an anemic .154 for the month, and is still looking for his first homer. At the bottom of the list is Matt Clement, whose 2-2 record for the month disguises a lofty 8.11 ERA.