As a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, it pains me to write this. We have, in the words of Stephen A. Smith, been “…bamboozled, led astray, run amuck…” by the 2018 Red Sox.
This team looked so promising coming into the season. New slugger JD Martinez would bring power to the lineup, David Price coming off an electric postseason would make this rotation one of the scariest in the league, and new manager Alex Cora will finally give Boston another real manager.
Then the season started, and minus the season opener to the Rays which the Sox lost, the team was on fire. Xander Boegarts could finally hit constantly after his wrist injury, the outfield crew looked as good as always, Hanley Ramirez was a formidable force at the plate and solid at first base, and the sophomore duo of Eduardo Nunez and Mitch Moreland were producing beyond our expectations.
Then, like it always happens with the Red Sox, half the team decided they were gonna take a break and it just happened to be the pitching core. Since being no-hit in Oakland on April 21st, the Red Sox pitching staff has given up 2 or fewer runs only twice in 18 games. And I do understand that you can’t expect your pitchers to be near perfect every game, but when your offense puts up 3 or more runs in 16 of those same 18 games, you’d expect a better record than 9-9.
Teams do go through slumps; the problem is, with the Red Sox it is always on one side of the ball. Right now the Red Sox are struggling with pitching, just the other night Chris Sale went 9 innings giving up 3 earned runs and struck out 15 batters. The offense was able to get it into extras than relief came in and blew the game.
It will take a few weeks to work itself out, but by then, the offense will be just as tired from keeping up a high pace to supplement the pitching. They could cool down just as the pitching gets hot. This issue has been the staple of every Red Sox team coached by John Farrell, and we better hope Alex Cora finds a way to break the cycle. With the pieces the Red Sox have, there is no reason they shouldn’t be contenders, but Cora has to get the team in sync and get hot for the Postseason, otherwise, us Red Sox fans will be stuck with the same old ALDS exit that has become far too familiar.