Boston Red Sox bats have found the freezer the last couple games. Is this a warning sign?
The Red Sox have put up just 4 runs of offense in the last three games. The last two games against the Blue Jays set some warning flags. Losing 2 – 0, following that by winning 4 – 1 thanks to a Mookie Betts bases clearing double and then going on to lose 2 – 0 to the O’s in the first game of a three game series. The question remains, where have the Sox bats gone? Do the Sox miss David Ortiz and his leadership right now? I think you could say yes if we only took that streak into consideration. Craig Kimbrel made up for his solo home run blunder by striking out five over two innings.
The Sox leader in home runs is Pablo Sandoval with three and tied with the team lead in runs knocked in. Mitch Moreland is leading the league with doubles but still only has one jack this season. It’s as if the power has been completely zapped from the Red Sox. People are going to make their own assumptions but if you watch the games, these guys are missing home runs by inches. Moreland missed a few home runs because of the wind.
We also have to keep in mind that the Sox had been dealt a blow to start the season as they lost multiple players who went down with the flu. It’s possible that some of their players haven’t fully gotten over that. The adjustment period is almost over and you better believe that Farrell is almost done giving rope. If the Sox can’t make the necessary changes and soon, we can expect to see some moves especially at the hot corner.
As far as pitching goes, Francisco Liriano was on it from the word go, going 5 1/3 innings and struck out six batters scattering just four hits and one walk allowed. The Sox didn’t even manage an extra base hit. We can’t be counting on Mitchy two-bags to get doubles every at bat and we can’t expect someone to come up clutch in the 10th inning like Mookie did on Thursday night. The Sox need to find their stride and they need to find it fast. This wasn’t on Rick Porcello as the Panda committed yet another error this year and Moreland followed that up with his first error on the season. While the Sox wouldn’t have allowed three runs that inning, they still would have allowed at least one and since they got no offense it wouldn’t have made any difference.
The following night, Chris Sale had his best performance of 2017 and still once again is left without the victory because his team cannot produce even a run of offense. If I’m Sale at this point, I’m happy to be in Boston but annoyed that my team can’t average a run of support when I start. Sale has only received three runs of support in four starts in Boston. Kimbrel in comparison received three runs of offense in the top of the 10th inning alone. Sad right? In fairness, had Kimbrel not blown the save, Sale would have ended up with his second victory on the year with just one lone run of support.
To recap, when I mean he pitched his best game so far I mean he got 13 K’s and allowed just four hits and one walk throwing 102 pitches over eight innings. The complete lack of run support is slowly starting to hurt this team. At least Mitchy two-bags got another double in that game. While Kimbrel gave up the solo blast to blow the save, he came back in the 10th inning and struck out the side winning the contest for the Sox. Thank goodness for Mookie-Time. Following night? No offense once again as the Sox fall 2 – 0.
The Sox have been shut out in two of the last three games. The only reason they didn’t lose the middle game was because Chris Sale is well Chris Sale. Did they miss playing at Fenway? Was this just a fluke? I really hope so. The Red Sox should not be getting shut out by the Blue Jays, maybe they let the foot off the gas? Whatever the case, John Farrell needs to get the fire under his guys and quick because losing by way of the shutout to teams that are 3 – 11 is completely unacceptable. The Jays are now 4 – 12 to start the season which is good for the worst record in the league.
Errors and bad luck are part of the game, everyone knows that. Not getting 2-3 runs of offense a game minimum is simply put not going to put wins on the board. There is no way. You cannot expect three Chris Sale-esque performances in a row. The starting pitchers outside of Sale and Porcello need to take a step back and refocus. There’s no need to go for the strike out every time. The starters need to save their pitches and focus on getting outs. Drew Pomeranz threw 60 of his 102 pitches for strikes. That’s great if he hadn’t only pitched 5 1/3 innings. While the rest of his line would suggest that he didn’t do poorly, just two runs on five hits, walking two, and striking out four, he still needs to be able to have his pitches allow him to go farther.
All in all, the Red Sox need to get their situations in order. There are two more games before they get a much needed day of rest after 17 straight games played. Going into tonight, the Sox are 8 – 7 in their last 15 games. Steven Wright takes on Jayson Aquino in Baltimore in the second game of a three game series.
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