Red Sox Lose Seventh Straight Game

The Red Sox continued their losing ways last night, dropping their seventh consecutive game with a 4-2 loss to the Houston Astros. It marked their eighth loss in the last ten games, and further cemented their position in the cellar of the American League.

Since the All-Star break, the Sox have been outscored 34-9, and they have a batting Red Sox Astros July 2015average of an anemic .192. They have one home run in this period, while giving up thirteen. The Sox were shut out in the first two games of this trip, and haven’t even scored in consecutive innings yet. Their four total runs in the series against the Angels were their fewest in a series of four or more games since 1965.  Yes, that’s 50 years.

Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia, who are supposed to be table-setters, can’t even get a seat at the table.  They are a combined 2 for 42.  Betts is 1 for 20, and didn’t even play last night, while Pedroia finally snapped an 0 for 20 drought in the most recent loss.

Also in the throes of repair at the plate is the $19,750,000 per year outfielder Hanley Ramirez. He is 2 for 21 in the last six, with a team-high seven strikeouts.

How about the starting pitching staff?  They haven’t reminded anybody of Cy Young. Since the break, they are 0-5 with an ERA of 7.31. One upside from the pitchers is that Wade Miley had a solid outing last time out, not giving up a hit through six innings. He’ll try to snap this season-high team losing streak tonight.

Miley actually had a perfect game going through 5 1/3 innings against the Angels and ended up allowing just two hits and one walk in seven innings…but still took a no decision.

Where things go from here is anybody’s guess.  We haven’t mentioned Clay Buchholz getting a platelet-rich-plasma injection into his right elbow. Who knows when he’ll be back, but don’t look for him for at least a few weeks, and if by late August the Sox are 20 games out, or 25, is it even worth it to bring him back?

Red Sox Season On The Brink Of Extinction

After a terrible first half of the Major League season, the Boston Red Sox have not started their second half the way they wanted.  The Sox were swept this past weekend by the Los Angeles Angels, including dropping both games of a double-header.  And now, Sox fans are starting to realize that this season may already be over.

The Sox went into the All-Star break with a little bit of momentum.  Though they hadRed Sox dropped two of three games against the hated New York Yankees directly before the break, they were still playing probably their best baseball of the season.  Before the series against the Yankees, they had won nine of 13 games, and were actually starting to make a small push toward the Wild Card, but now those dreams have quickly been wiped away.

As of yesterday afternoon, the Sox were nine games out of first place in the American League East, and 8.5 games out of a Wild Card spot, heading into a series against the Houston Astros.  The team does not seem to be playing with any sense of urgency, and that is really the only way that a team in their position will have a chance of saving their season.

Throughout the season, there have been few things that have been seen as positive for the team.  Eduardo Rodriguez was showing some signs of being a future ace for the team.  But after having a great couple starts to begin his career, his results have fallen a large amount.  In his most recent start, he gave up six hits and seven earned runs in only 1.2 innings pitched against the Angels.

Even the bigger names on the team have not been delivering.  David Ortiz has only a .236 batting average, and a .327 on base percentage, both are well below his career averages.  And Clay Buchholz has not pitched well all season, and is now on the DL with a right flexor strain.

So far, the only good thing that can be taken out of this season is the play of Brock Holt.  Holt earned his first All-Star selection, and has been solid all season long.  He also is the only player in the league that has hit for the cycle this season.

For all of us Red Sox fans, I think it is finally time to face the reality that our team just isn’t that good this season.  There have been times that they have showed some promise, but just like Sox teams of the past, that is just their way of playing with our heads.  So if for some reason the Sox start playing a bit better over a week or two period, I would say to not get your hopes up, because their play will probably start going back down at some point soon.

A Deep Red Sox Lineup is Farrell’s Biggest Weapon

Red Sox lineup

As Boston pounded Philadelphia on Opening Day, churning out eight runs on nine hits, baseball fans were reminded how, despite incessant worries of porous pitching and overcrowded outfields, the Red Sox have a stacked lineup this year that will be extremely difficult to navigate.

Red Sox LineupThree of the first four hitters, namely Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez, combined for seven hits, five home runs and eight RBI, largely off Cole Hamels, one of the premier starting pitchers in baseball. Such a profound offensive barrage sent shock waves reverberating through the American League.

Meanwhile, David Ortiz, playing first base in a National League park, and newcomer Pablo Sandoval, making his Red Sox debut, went hitless and registered six strikeouts between them. The fact that the Sox hammered the Phillies despite two key guys struggling shows just how deep the Boston lineup is, and how frightening it will become when all of the aforementioned hitters, plus Mike Napoli, find their groove.

The hypothetical top six of Betts, Pedroia, Ortiz, Ramirez, Sandoval and Napoli is quite possibly the most fearsome in all of baseball. It forces a pitcher to deal with a wide array of threats, from the speed and dynamism of Mookie to the switch-hitting and raw power of Pablo; from the patience and hunger of Pedroia to the experience and production of Ortiz. Even Hamels, an elite ace, struggled out of the gate on Opening Day, when faced with the prospect of running Boston’s offensive gauntlet, causing many people to sit up and take notice.

This year, the Red Sox’ lineup will wear down a lot of pitchers and, judging by the early results, collect a lot of big hits. Following a dismal 2014 season, during which Boston lurked near the bottom of every offensive category, it will be a welcome relief for fans to finally have hitters to believe in and rely upon.

It must also be a pleasant change for manager John Farrell, who now has the luxurious ability to mix and match his lineup. For instance, if Ortiz struggles to hit for average, Ramirez could easily move up in the order, just as Pedroia could move down to be replaced in the two hole by Shane Victorino or Xander Bogaerts, further lengthening Boston’s attack.

Certainly, the Red Sox stand out as an offensive force in the American League East, and, if healthy and consistent, the string of prolific hitters atop their lineup could negate the lack of pitching depth to make Boston a serious contender, especially playing their home games at hitter-friendly Fenway.

Regardless of how the season ends, be it with celebrations or commiserations, Sox fans can rest assured that the start was explosive, exciting and entertaining. For the first time in a long while, Boston was back in the baseball spotlight, garnering positive attention for an offensive onslaught rather than negative criticism for hitting profligacy.

Quite frankly, Ben Cherington couldn’t have dreamed it up better.