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Original Issue

The Elias Analyst


The Boston Popless

Can this possibly be right? The lowest-scoring games in the American League are being played by the Boston Red Sox?

Yes, Fenway Park is still the best hitters' park in the league. Yes, Wade Boggs, Ellis Burks and Jack Clark still play for the Sox. And yes, Matt Young is still in the starting rotation. But it's no mirage. In 27 games through last Saturday, the Red Sox had scored a league-low 99 runs and had allowed only 94 runs, also lowest in the league, for an average of 7.15 runs per game.

What's happening here? Is manager Butch Hobson taking his game plan from Princeton basketball coach Pete Carril? The last time the Red Sox finished a season in which they were involved in the American League's lowest-scoring games was 1936. And if you think that's a long time ago, consider that Boston hasn't had the league's lowest ERA since 1913.

But if the Sox's low-scoring games make them the Princeton of baseball, who, then, are the Runnin' Rebels? The answer can be found in Detroit, where the Tigers' home run hitters and home run pitchers have helped generate more than 10 runs a game.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]