The Boston Red Sox lose 3 – 0 to Yankees, offense a major concern?
The Boston Red Sox entered the 2017 campaign with arguably the best 1-2-3 punch in the starting rotation. Bringing reigning Cy Young Award winning Rick Porcello back with David Price was just the start. The Sox added lefty Chris Sale at a hefty price during the off-season further strengthening their pitching staff. The Sox should be able to walk right through most of the competition. You’d think that right?
The Sox haven’t been able to get anything going really. Their longest win streak on the year is four games. Again, you’d think the Sox would be better than their 11 – 8 record so far to date right? So what’s going on? Well it’s not the pitching. That much is certain. Yes, Price isn’t playing right now but that can’t be the main reason for their lack of wins. It comes down to the offense.
Porcello for example has gotten 0 runs of support the last two outings. He has allowed just a couple of earned runs. In his last two starts, RP has pitched 13 2/3rd’s innings allowing six runs with only two earned. He’s also allowed 11 hits, five walks and 14 K’s. Porcello, before tonight’s action, was 1 – 2. Last season, Porcello didn’t get his 2nd loss until May 17th. Porcello lost his 3rd game tonight. It’s not for lack of trying either. Last season? Porcello didn’t lose his third game until August 3rd. See a problem? Porcello will be lucky to win 12 – 14 games in 2017 unless someone jump starts this offense.
Sale is the other big deal pitcher. In four starts, he has allowed just three runs on 15 hits in just 29 2/3rd’s innings adding six walks and 42 strike outs. He’s also allowed just one home run so far this season. Sale has struck out 10 or more in three straight starts. Want more? He’s also sporting a 0.91 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. His record should be 3 – 0 or maybe even 4 – 0 record right? How about a 1 – 1 record. Just unfair. How do you explain that? Simple. The Sox need to score runs.
It’s almost as if the Sox need David Ortiz to do what Kevin Garnett did for the Celtics. Get the fire in the belly. The Red Sox need Big Papi to send a motivational video to his former squad to ignite the boys from Bean Town. There’s no fire right now, there’s no energy, there’s no passion. The Sox are not getting it done. What’s missing precisely?
Before tonight’s action the Sox were 1st in the AL with a .279 batting average and 1st with a .344 on base percentage. How about the other hitting metrics? The Sox are 9th in slugging with a .380 average and an OPS ranking 6th with a .734 average. Where are they failing? Okay, little fun quiz.
What do the Boston Red Sox and Eric Thames have in common?
They each have 11 home runs on the season.
That’s 18 less than the Rangers who rank 1st in the AL. The league average is 22. That’s half which is unacceptable. Heck, even former Red Sox 3rd basemen Travis Shaw has had a productive 2017 mashing five home runs this season. How much do you think the Red Sox are kicking themselves after sending him to Milwaukee for Tyler Thornburg who imploded during Spring Training and is now currently on the DL.
The 183 hits rank 2nd only to the Rays who have played 22 games this season. Of those hits only 48 went for extra bases. 135 singles this year which leads the AL. 255 total bases which is good for only 11th in the AL as well. Singles are great but singles are not going to win ball games. I’ve always been fascinated by statistics and they tell the picture. You know you’re in trouble in the home run department offensively when your team leader is Pablo Sandoval. The Panda? Leader?
Okay maybe we’re being a bit harsh to the poor guy but let’s be serious here, our home run leader only has three homers? Only two other teams have a team leader with three being the Blue Jays (Kevin Pillar) and Pirates (David Freese). Just to really hammer it on home, Madison Bumgarner has two home runs on the season and he’s a pitcher. That’s how bad the Sox have been at hitting home runs.
If they can get that part of their game going, the Sox will undoubtedly be a better ball club. Right now, the way it’s going, they need to improve and fast. Maybe Big Papi can come in to work with the team and give them some advice and much needed pointers. You can’t blame John Farrell yet but it will definitely be his fault if the Sox can’t make adjustments to hit home runs all season long. The Sox will look to take on the Yankees twice more before facing off against the Cubs for three games and then the Orioles for four all at Fenway.
Photo Credit – Jim Rogash – Getty Images