Who would have thought that the Baltimore Orioles would be ahead of the Boston Red Sox at any point this season?
There should no bigger indictment of the season for Fenway’s (least) finest, who sit dead last in the American League East after reeling off a 3-10 record in their last 13 games.
A damning indictment, considering blame for the porous start can be spread across all facets of the game.
An offense that was supposed to rake, after beating the cover off baseballs last season, owns a harrowing .228 batting average and farcically ranks 26th in the league in OPS, at .626.
Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and JD Martinez have played well, but haven’t received any semblance of help. Alex Verdugo, Kiké Hernandez, and Trevor Story have all skidded out of the starting block, Jackie Bradley Jr. still cannot hit a beach ball, and the play of Bobby Dalbec has fans clamoring for him to take the 50-minute drive down I-90 to Polar Park.
The offense has provided more than five runs just once since April 19 – not ideal for the part of the team assigned to do the heavy lifting, supplementing a makeshift pitching staff.
Starting pitching has offered a respite, with Michael Wacha undergoing a career resurgence and Nathan Eovaldi continuing to pitch admirably. Rich Hill has supplied Alex Cora with some strong innings and Garrett Whitlock’s adroit demeanor has translated well to the opener role, providing shutdown stuff whenever that the former Rule 5 Draft Pick is deployed.
With that being said, the bullpen desperately needs him.
After blowing a lead Wednesday night to the Angels, there had been 20 blown saves in the ninth on throughout Major League Baseball this season.
The Red Sox have seven of those.
In fact, the Red Sox have converted just five of 12 possible save opportunities, aiding an abysmal 0-5 record in extra innings.
Not exactly ingredients to a winning formula, not to mention for a team trying to keep pace in the gauntlet that is the AL East.
The hodgepodge group of relievers have painted a harrowing picture, sporting a 4.42 ERA, sixth-worst in the league.
Matt Barnes, assigned to face the Halos’ three-headed monster consisting of red-hot Taylor Ward and generational players in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in the tenth inning Wednesday night, appeared doomed like a roast entering a meat-grinder.
Cora has mixed and matched combinations on the back-end, but a team with a payroll over $200 million still lacks a closer. The bullpen continues to be an unremitting headache for Chaim Bloom, as inconsistent outings and a general lack of talent continue to plague the team.
The Red Sox are in the bottom seven teams in the league in terms of runs scored (92) and dead last in the American League in runs allowed (112), owning a -20 run differential that sores the eyes of Red Sox Nation.
Thankfully for Chaim Bloom and company, the season is early. Maybe the team needs room to improve and overcome the growing pains, but something is clearly not right. The team that rode the laundry cart all the way to American League final just seven months ago remains a distant memory.
Something needs to change, with a franchise altering offseason looming on the horizon.