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Sean Riley, Contributing Writer

Through 38 games this season the Boston Red Sox have struck out 317 times as a team. To really put that into perspective they could potentially break the American League strikeout record of 1,387 for a season. Fortunately the Houston Astros will likely hit that mark before Boston does with there league leading 381 strikeouts already.

The biggest breeze blowing through Fenway Park this year has been off the bat of Mike Napoli and unfortunately that's not about his homeruns. While Napoli is hitting for power and leading the league in extra base hits, he is also leading in strikeouts with 50 through 38 games. Right now he is on pace for 213 K's which would be the third highest in Major League history.
"Me personally, I like to get involved in an at-bat," said Napoli,"The last thing you want to do, especially early in the game, is go in there, swing at the first pitch and get out. There are situations if I face a guy a lot, I'm more likely to swing first pitch. But me personally, I like to get involved."
"We don't have many contact guys," said third baseman Will Middlebrooks. "We have guys who have pop. When you have guys up there who aren't just trying to poke a ball through the four-hole -- but they're hitting it off the wall, hitting it over the wall -- you're going to have your strikeouts."

Don't read this and immediately think the Sox are a homerun or strikeout team because they certainly are not. An I would agree with Middlebrooks' assessment of the hitting on this team, there are not a lot of contact guys on the team. Besides the top of the order, the 4-8 spots in the lineup are guys going up there taking big hacks at that ball. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way but they are power guys and when you have that many in any lineup the strikeouts will come. So we'll continue to feel the breeze in Fenway and hope come September no part of the Red Sox will be in the record books for such an ugly accomplishment.

Sean Riley 5/15/2013 12:21:00 AM Edit
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