I don’t know.
Honestly, I have no idea how to help the Red Sox win at this point. As of this writing, they have lost 10 straight games and are just sucking some serious balls. Stephen King tweeted it best, saying “It’s likes watching one of your good friends, normally sober, get drunk and puke on his shoes”.
How does a team who won the 2013 World Series (with ease, I might add) just bomb this badly? There are usually a few things you are able to pin-point that can explain the reason for the slump, but with the Red Sox, it’s more than a few things. Let’s make a list! In no particular order…
1) Offense – As of today (May 26), only ONE player is hitting above .300 and that is Brock Holt, who has only played in 15 games. The next closest is Xander Bogaerts with an average of .284. It is also worth noting that David Ortiz is the only person who has more than 6 home runs this year, which is astonishing considering how lethal the Sox offense was last year.
2) Pitching – In the last 7 games, the collective ERA is 5.29 and Opponent’s Batting Average is .297. Let that sink in: Boston’s opponents are hitting nearly .300 against them. That’s insane. There have been plenty of quality starts from these pitchers, just not in the last 10 games. Clay Buchholz has done a complete 180 from last year. In 2013, he was a likely Cy Young candidate for most of the year. In 2014, he looks like he should be pitching in AA. In the last 7 games, only one starter has made it to 7 innings, John Lackey. That means that the bullpen is bearing the brunt of the load, which is just not acceptable.
3) Injuries – Okay, so Felix Doubront, Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, and Will Middlebrooks are all on the DL. Napoli is making $16 million and Victorino is making $13 million, and we should not forget that Napoli still has his dreadful beard. The beard doesn’t have much to do with anything, but I just wanted to point that out. Obviously, all of these are bad news bears for the Sox.
4) Departures – Okay, so we can’t fault Boston for losing some players, but it needs to be taken into account. Clearly the biggest loss comes in one of my new favorite Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury was the best lead-off hitter on planet earth last year, and that has been a real trouble spot all year for the Sox. The defense he provided in center field for the Sox is far better than what Jackie Bradley Jr. had been able to supply this year. They also don’t have Ryan Dempster pitching for them this year, probably because he would be bored without an A-Rod to plunk (that’s my theory, anyway). They also lost catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Marlins in free agency.
As you can see, the Red Sox have more problems than they know what to do with. If I am a team in the AL East, I’ve got to be pretty happy. I would also be looking at this and seeing exactly what their weaknesses are and how the team can use it against them. You also have to be cautious because they are the Red Sox and they can turn things around pretty quickly if they want to. However, Dustin Pedroia shaved his beard and that is a sure sign that things are not going well. If you gotta ditch the beard to get your Boston mojo going again, you know things are bad. Hey! Maybe if they shave Mike Napoli’s beard, they will go all the way again! On second thought, let’s not do that. This Yankees fan is very happy with the sudden spiral of the Boston Red Sox…