Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell on thin ice after havoc in late innings once again. Errors plague team committing three in the same inning. Manny Machado takes his time rounding the bases.
There’s only one word that describes how the Red Sox have made their fans feel and that’s frustrated. There’s only one word that describes how they look when on the field playing defense and that’s confused. The Sox haven’t always been known for having the best defense but they certainly haven’t been known for having the worst defense either. Booing fans isn’t a good sign. So what’s going on? It’s simply not that simple.
The Sox lack of offense has been alarming but mix in the fact that every time there’s a ground ball it might get thrown around the infield or poorly handled is scary. The team looks like they lack fire. They lack the drive to be the best. They’re playing boring baseball and it’s showing. Is this a lack of leadership or a lack of not having a Terry Francona type of guy calling the shots.
I’ll go down saying that Tito was the best manager the Sox have had in a long time. I still think that if he came back to Boston, he’d make them winners again. He wouldn’t be dealing with this Manny Machado mumbo jumbo happening, he’d let him know once and for all, this isn’t how we play the game. John Farrell doesn’t have a solid grasp on the team and that’s obvious now with their lack of team play.
The pitching hasn’t been an issue. Why? Well, the Red Sox have a pitching coach as their manager. He has a better idea of when pitchers are done or near the end on the night. The starters have been averaging quality starts more often than not. With David Price coming back, it’ll be good news for the bullpen and will be great for the team but the lack of power from their leaders is very disconcerting.
Lack of Offense
Hanley Ramirez has had a couple of towering shots in the last two games against the Cubs including a 469 foot jack to deep left over the monster. Team leaders Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts are still looking for their first home run this season. Chris Young joins them as he has no homers either. There is a clear missing presence in the club house. Did David Ortiz leaving the Sox leave them with no heart? No question, Big Papi was the leader on the team over the last decade. After 2004, there were no doubts.
Which hitter has the most to prove going forward? It’s a tie between HanRam and Pablo Sandoval who’s currently on the DL. Pablo Sandoval was leading the team in home runs before being put on the shelf. Year 3 of the the 5 year Panda Project hasn’t been really great but it’s certainly better than what happened in year 2 after a basic no show sidelined him for the season. Where do we go from here? They need to find a bat now or this season will continue to slip away.
Defense is below sub par
This is the second time in the last three games that the Sox have committed four errors in the same game. Also they’ve been cursed with multiple errors in the same inning as well. The Sox have committed 10 errors in the last four games. Flags are up. Mitch Moreland has two and Marco Hernandez has three making up half of the teams errors in the last four games. That’s simply put, unacceptable.
Apologies to Rick Porcello
Two words that the team needs to say to Porcello after tonights game against the Orioles. ‘I’m sorry.’ Miscue after miscue, mistake after mistake, this is someone who went 22-4 all of last season. He’s had 5 of his 6 starts as quality starts yet he only has one victory on the season. I’d be frustrated, I can only imagine what’s going through his mind. Last season, Porcello lost his 4th game last season on September 14th against ironically enough the Orioles. He now sports a 1 – 4 record with a 4.46 ERA adding 39 K’s in 36 1/3rd innings. Porcello also never lost back to back games last year, he’s three in a row this season.
What the Sox need
Year three of the Panda Project hasn’t worked out. After this season we’ve still got to deal with it for the team. Hernandez isn’t the answer which was made evident tonight with two big errors again. That’s three for him in the last four games. The Sox need to get a 3rd baseman. They need to look to get one soon. Perhaps Brock Holt can man the hot corner as that has been the issue plaguing the team all season. Anything at this point would be better than what they’ve got now. Farrell is defending his guys but there comes a point where a change needs to be made at 3rd.
Rumors were swirling earlier this summer that the Sox were going to try and get Todd Frazier from the Sox. His value has plummeted as he’s only got three home runs and 10 RBI’s to go along with a .186 batting average. Given that the White Sox have already bled the Red Sox for their top two prospects, I’d say it won’t happen. They’ll definitely keep their eyes on someone to bolster the offense and defense.
The Sox still have three more games against the O’s. Game 2 of the series features former Sox pitcher Wade Miley against Sox ace Chris Sale. Sale will go after just his second win on the season as the Sox starter has averaged over 7 1/3rd innings pitched and 10.4 K’s per start. Sale looks to become the second Sox starter with 2 wins on the year.
Photo Credit – Elise Amendola – AP Photo