The Red Sox are stealing bases? Who knew.
Since Aug. 5, Boston's 44 steals leads the American League and yes, that is surprising. Since the All-Star break, Boston leads the major leagues in stolen base percentage at 85.6. The Red Sox have stolen 55 of 65 attempts in that time.
Boston has at least one steal in 19 of its last 21 games. It looks like Pedro Ciriaco has been a big boost there, as he is 15-for-15 in steal attempts since his call-up July 7. He's batting leadoff tonight even though he has just six walks in 65 games and has an OBP of .313 to go with a .294 batting average.
Tonight, the Red Sox face the team that has the AL's highest percentage of throwing out runners.
AL leaders, caught stealing percentage:
.333 - Orioles
.329 - Kansas City
.322 - Toronto
Matt Wieters, at .346, is second in the AL in caught stealing percentage to Kurt Suzuki at .383. I guess we could say Wieters is the active leader since Suzuki is now in the National League with the Nats.
Either way it will be interesting to see how the Sox do if and when they try to run on Wieters and the Orioles this weekend.
Boston enters this series at 68-83 and will have its first losing season since 1997. The Sox just split a four-game series with Tampa Bay, but are just 6-16 since Aug. 27.
Boston is 20 games under the .500 mark this year (42-62) when their opponent starts a right-hander and the O's have one out there tonight in Miguel Gonzalez.
The Sox went 9-20 in August and are 6-12 in September.