The Red Sox Walk-off Amidst Crunch Time

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa

“19 innings, 6:03 hours, 32 position players, 19 pitchers, over 500 pitches later the Red Sox Walk It Off AGAIN.” 

Oh yes they did.

After a long 19 inning win against Toronto and a Yankees loss, the Red Sox still hold a 3.5 game lead in the AL East with less than 25 games left in the regular season. The win was much needed after getting their nuts kicked in two nights ago in Fenway by the worst team in their division. And before I get into this Sox team, here’s a nice little stat for you, the Red Sox are 12-3 in games that heads into extra innings so we should have those occur more often.

Anyways, it’s September and I still don’t know how I feel about this Red Sox team. They have all the talent that you could ask your ball club to have and they just don’t realize that or they do and they’re just being lazy. You have Mookie Betts who was the runner up for the AL MVP last season and he’s hitting .218 since the All Star break. The team as a whole has been hitting .241 with a .698 OPS after the break. That’s not good (21st among the MLB). That number would be much lower if Nunez and Devers weren’t on this squad. It’s not just Betts, it’s the whole squad; Brock Holt couldn’t hit a ball if it was the size of a watermelon, Hanley has been moved down to 7th in the lineup (has improved), and Xander needs to hit the bench for a while. Those were all All Star players last year.

The pitching is there this season, especially after the All Star break. The Red Sox are ranked 5th with a 3.63 ERA, falling behind Cleveland, Washington, Dodgers, and the Yankees. The starters aren’t as big of an issue as the bullpen has been. There’s been countless games where the bullpen has blown the lead, and the whole game in general, for them this season. Matt Barnes has proved that he’s hot garbage, Addison Reed is subpar, Joe Kelly isn’t the same Joe Kelly before his injury, so we have all these weapons that you see on paper and you ask yourself, “how the hell can you lose a game with these guys in your bullpen?”

I’ve asked that question since late July. I sincerely love our starters, every single one of them, especially Doug freaking Fister. He’s been on a great run of games lately and seems to have found his groove. Overall, I’m satisfied with our starters but the issue is that when our offense can’t even score to help the pitchers out, it’s frustrating to watch that. Wicked frustrating.

With all that being said, I’m not sold on this Red Sox team especially as they head into the Postseason in about a month. The best scenario for the Sox is that the Indians take the #1 seed in the AL and play against the Astros in the first round. The Red Sox would welcome them over the red-hot Indians.

After the first round, it’s all up in the air in my opinion, I don’t think we’re anywhere near the Indians on any aspect of the game whether it’s pitching, hitting or fielding. Let me remind you that the Indians have won 13 straight without Andrew Miller, Danny Salazar, Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis. They’re scary good. I can already see myself getting crucified for these thoughts on the Sox, but I call it how I see it and I don’t see the Sox as the World Series competing team as of right now.

Speaking of getting crucified, today I got called a “fair weather fan” for giving my opinion on the Red Sox by a buddy of mine and I couldn’t help myself but laugh because it’s not true at all. When the Sox are playing well then I’ll come out and say it and cheer them on, but when they are not playing at the level and speed that we’ve all seen that they can play on, you call them out.

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About Gabe Faulkner

Red Sox die-hard. Founder of Sox Sphere. Follow me on Twitter @SoxSphereGabe.
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