Friday, July 3, 2009

Record Pursuits

Since there was no game last night, I figured I would take a look at some Boston single-season and career marks and see where any current players stand in relation. A lot of times a mark will sneak up on you. I know a lot of people that didn't realize Papelbon was on the verge of tying and breaking Bob Stanley's all-time saves record. So consider this a public service.

Single-Season On-Base Percentage

The top ten list features only one name: Ted Williams. The all-time mark for Boston is .553, which Williams set in 1941. But the #10 mark is .479, and that is why I mention this list. Kevin Youkilis is currently posting a .439 OBP. He has a little work to do in the second-half of the year, but cracking the top 10 is definitely within his reach. And to be the only other person mentioned on a list with Ted Williams is quite the accomplishment.

Career RBI

David Ortiz is already ninth all-time in this category, with 767 RBI for the Sox. However, he is only six RBI behind Rico Petrocelli and 21 RBI behind Jimmy Foxx. As long as he continues to play at his current level, he should end the season seventh all-time for RBI. The next step would be cracking Manny's 868.

Single-Season Strikeouts

Jason Bay, for all his production so far in 2009, also tends to strike out quite a few times. He already leads the Sox with 76 strikeouts, and that's with 10 games to go before the break. He is projected to strike out 160 times in 2009. If that's the case, he will be third all-time in Boston history, trailing only Butch Hobson (162 Ks in 1977) and Mark Bellhorn (177 Ks in 2004).

Single-Season and All-Time Stolen Bases

Jacoby Ellsbury is going to dominate this category within a handful of years. He already has 33 stolen bases in 2009 and is projected to steal 71. Even if he came in at 60 (which is a very easy level for him to reach, in my opinion), he will take the single-season record from Tommy Harper (54 SB in 1973). As for all-time, 60 stolen bases would give Ellsbury 119 for his career, making him seventh all-time in Boston history. He would be ahead of Tommy Harper by 12 and behind Freddy Parent by 10. FYI, the all-time leader is Harry Hooper, who stole 300 bases for the Sox over his career. At his current pace, Ellsbury should take over the top spot within four years.

All-Time Wins

It's a testament to Tim Wakefield that he comes back year after year and slowly grinds away at multiple records in Boston. Wakes is currently third all-time in wins with 174. That puts him only 18 wins behind Cy Young and Clemens, both of whom hold the top spot with 192 wins. If Wakes can keep pitching like he is right now, then it's almost a certainty that he will take over the top spot in 2010. That would be a wondrous and remarkable accomplishment.

Single-Season Strikeouts per 9 IP

Jon Lester, after a shaky start, has been dominating the opposition. And he has been fanning more than a few batters each time he takes the mound. His current K/9 ratio is 10.33, which would make him eighth on the list. That would place him in some good company; the two most common names in the top 10 are Pedro Martinez and Dick Radatz.

Single-Season and All-Time Saves

As we know, Papelbon is now the all-time saves leader for Boston. And that number is going to balloon in the years ahead. But he still has the single-season mark to pursue. He's currently projected for 42 saves, which would tie Paps with Derek Lowe for the second-best single-season mark. But with a little work, I think Paps could get to 46 and at least tie Tom Gordon.

All-Time Innings Pitched

Tim Wakefield is currently third all-time with 2676.3 innings pitched with the Sox. He trails Cy Young (2728.3) and Roger Clemens (2776). Wakes stands a decent shot of passing Young this year (52.1 innings pitched the rest of the way would do it). And he should pass Clemens before the All-Star break in 2010. Hell, there is an outside shot Wakes can do it this year. With less than 100 innings separating him and Clemens, if he stays healthy and can go deep in games, Wakes could grab the top spot this September.

All-Time Games Started

Time Wakefield will assume the all-time leader mantle in this category tonight when he starts against the Mariners. It will be his 383rd game started, one more than Roger Clemens' 382 games. As far as I am concerned, the more records that the Roid Rocket gets taken away from him, the better.

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