Crucial stretch proves deadly to Red Sox
As quickly as the Red Sox hopes for the postseason arose just a week ago, they seem to have disappeared in the midst of a seven-game losing streak. In the first half of the 14-game clash with the Rays and Yankees, things were going better than most could imagine. The Sox took 2 of 3 from the Rays. And 3 of 4 from the Yankees in the first two meetings. The same cannot be said for the second half. They have since failed to even win a game in an awful attempt at a late Wild Card run. As the postseason drifts further away with every loss, the Red Sox may just start planning for offseason acquisitions.
The starting pitching has been appalling
During their seven-game losing streak, Sox starters have a 9.70 ERA, 4.98 xFIP, and a 2.01 WHIP in 34.1 IP. They’ve allowed a .410 BABIP against, and have given up no less than 4 runs in each start. One key player to look at in these past games is Chris Sale. In his two starts against the Yankees, Sale has allowed 14 ER in 9 IP, while hitters slashed .341/.400/.707 off him. Another shock during the seven-game skid is that David Price has lost both his starts as well. Price had been the ace of the staff leading up to these series’. But he too was unable to win either of the game he started throughout the crucial stretch.
One of baseball’s best offenses has failed to show up to the past seven games
The only part of the 2019 season that has resembled 2018 is that the Red Sox offense is the best in baseball. Even after their losing streak, the Red Sox still have the best AVG in baseball (.275), lead the league in runs scored (648), hits (1108), and OBP (.345). But during the past seven games, the offense has gone silent. During the losing streak, the Sox are averaging just two runs per game. And with runners in scoring position, the team as a whole has slashed .169/.250/.220 over the past six days. We all know that this offense can score 19 runs against their division rivals. The mediocrity of their offensive performance as of late is more puzzling than it is concerning.
Two months is a long time
Although hope may seem lost at this point, two months is a long time to gain ground in a tight American League Wild Card race. In order to do this, the Red Sox offense needs to start producing the way we know they can. The starting pitching needs to be the best it’s been in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. If the Red Sox can start playing like themselves soon, the playoffs could be in their sights. But if the pitching staff continues to fail to go deep into games, and the offense can’t be consistent, then it’s going to be a long offseason.