Carl Crawford had a pretty bad April, his first month with the Red Sox. A .155 batting average (just 15 hits in 97 at-bats). An embarrassingly low on-base percentage of .204. Just five extra-base hits in 24 games (four doubles, one home run). Seventeen strikeouts compared to just five walks. But chances are you already know those numbers. The good news Sox fans -- and Crawford and the Red Sox -- was his .177 BABIP.â†µ
Yes, that's still a very low number, but BABIP -- batting average on balls in play -- is a measurement of "how many of a batter's balls in play go for hits" (via FanGraphs). Both elite defenders and bad luck can contribute to a low BABIP. And at .252, Crawford's is low (the MLB average is around .290 to .310; Crawford's career average is .329). So eventually, some of those line drives will start finding the outfield grass, as opposed to the defender's glove. And early indications in May are that Crawford's luck is already beginning to change.â†µ
His BABIP for the first nine games (6-3 Red Sox record) in May is .464. His OPS is .878 (it was .431 in April). But perhaps the biggest indication that Crawford is turning the proverbial corner -- at least for his own confidence and sanity -- is his two walk-off hits in the month of May.â†µ
First it was his single up the middle against Seattle on May 1 in the bottom of the ninth, and then on Monday night, he delivered the winning run again, sending a long fly off the wall in left to score Jose iglesias from first with one out in the bottom of the 11th.â†µ
Yes, this was essentially one big post to say: go watch the video of Carl Crawford's walk-off winner at MLB.com.