Boston Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury must love rainouts.
Since the last game of a four-game set with the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays, originally scheduled for July 25, was called due to weather, Ellsbury has collected six hits in 18 at-bats over the past four games. Boston played Baltimore in a three-game set, and the rained out game against Tampa Bay was made up Monday.
That, however, hasnt quite made up for the 0-for-8 performance Ellsbury had in two games against the Rays. Ellsburys batting average is still above .300, but just barely at .302, and his on-base percentage has dropped five points from last weeks .369 to .364.
He still leads the Majors in stolen bases with 39, and he has increased his lead, while San Diegos Everth Cabrera (36 steals) has struggled in the second half.
Ellsbury will have to try to improve his offense against two American League all-star pitchers, when the Red Sox host the Seattle Mariners for a three-game series, which began Tuesday.
Wednesday, Seattles Hisashi Iwakuma (10-4, 2.98 ERA) is expected to start for the Mariners, and Ellsbury hasnt faced Iwakuma at all during his career. Thursday, the Mariners will trot out ace hurler Felix Hernandez (11-4, 2.39 ERA). Ellsbury is hitting a modest .286 (6 for 21) off Hernandez in his career, but two of the hits have left the ballpark.
Of current Red Sox players, Ellsbury has homered the most off Hernandez. Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz have each taken Hernandez deep once in their careers.
In 97 games, Ellsbury has collected 125 hits, 23 doubles, seven triples and four home runs heading into the series against Seattle.
When the Red Sox played Seattle in mid-July at Safeco Field in Seattle, Ellsbury sat out two games with a sore left wrist, but came back to homer against the Mariners in the pitcher-friendly Puget Sound park.