Sox Watch

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Red Sox Monthly WPA Leaders for June

The "WPA Player of the Month" awards for June held little drama. With two walk-off HR and another walk-off single over a 15-day span in June, Big Papi delivered the drama on the field, and easily walks off with the trophy. Second place too was a foregone conclusion, with Papelbon continuing to baffle hitters, despite having two blown saves in the month. The only real drama was for third place, and at the other end of the rankings, to see whether Tavárez or Seánez would emerge as the worst player of the month.

Wakefield and Schilling dueled for the top spot among the starting pitchers. Neither starter gave up more than three earned runs in any of their 11 starts. Schilling's 2.85 ERA beat out Wakefield's 3.38, but Wake held the edge in WPA by a slight margin to take the top honors among the starters. Clement and Johnson both pitched ineffectively in limited time in the month of June, with Johnson's sole start on the last day of the month putting him at the bottom of the rankings.

Papelbon of course led the pack among the relievers. Even his two blown saves didn't hurt him significantly, as he came back to pitch strongly to finish those games (the Red Sox won both games). In distant second place was Javier López, who gave up just one hit and one earned run in his seven appearances in June. And then, of course, we have Tavárez and Seánez. Each of them had one horrible game - Seánez giving up the three-run, go-ahead homer to Jeff Francouer on June 18, and Tavárez coughing up the walk-off grand slam to Jason Kubel to spoil Schilling's gem on June 13. Tavárez was net postiive for the month apart from that game, but that game was so bad (-0.782 WPA) that it earns him the bottom spot for the month, both among relievers and for the team as a whole.

Position Players
The real race among position players was for the #2 spot behind Ortiz. Youkilis, hitting .309 with 4 HR, and Ramirez, also hitting .309 and with 7 HR, were neck and neck. But Youkilis pulled in tons of WPA for his big games on June 2 (2-run HR in the top of the ninth to take a one run lead) and June 26 (RBI single in the bottom of the 12th to tie the game, and then coming around to score the winning run), and he edges out Manny for the runner-up spot. At the other end of the spectrum, Loretta fell off the pace after his Player of the Month award in May, and Varitek, hitting .262 with 2 HR for the month, takes the bottom spot.


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