Friday night’s game between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels was postponed due to storms heading up the east coast. Luckily for fans of the MLB, that left the two teams, two of the league’s best franchises playing a day-night doubleheader on Saturday at Fenway Park. The weather was much improved on Saturday and the games that ensued were entertaining.
The Red Sox bullpen was quite shaky, allowing six runs in three innings of work, in the day game and the Boston bats were silent until a ninth inning rally, which allowed the Angels to come away with a 9-5 win. The night game was a different story with Boston having the incredibly hot Clay Buchholz on the mound and with the bats working much better, giving the Red Sox a 7-2 victory.
It was quite obvious that the Red Sox were performing much better at the plate during the nightcap throughout the game, particularly in terms of leaving men on base. In the day game, the Red Sox stranded 14 runners on the base pads while they stranded just 10 during the night game.
The day-night splits for the season actually back up what we saw on Saturday from Red Sox hitters. In 17 day games, the Sox are hitting just .253 as a team with just a .753 team OPS. They are also averaging 4.6 runs per game. In 44 night games, however, the Red Sox are hitting .279 as a team with a .819 OPS while averaging 5.3 runs per game.
There’s no real way to tell why Boston hitters are performing more proficiently in night games through the first third of the season, but it’s definitely something that’s happening. Luckily for the Red Sox, their pitching has been solid in day games, outside of Saturday. However, if their current splits continue for the rest of the season, the Red Sox will definitely be wanting any big game they have played under the lights in the evening.