Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Umm… What in the name of John Henry is going on here?

The Red Sox got the memo, right? They know the season started more than two weeks ago? Right?

The popular refrain is to blame Theo and his “Run Prevention” mantra. I was unfortunate enough to be at yesterday’s game, and even heard a “Pitching and Defense” chant break out when the Sox were down 8-0. That’s not really fair. Basically, the team has just been playing like dog poop for a couple weeks. Even if the focus of the team weren’t pitching, you’d imagine that the starting pitchers should go more than four innings without self-destructing. Even if defense weren’t a priority, you’d imagine that a team would have more hits than errors in a game. It’s just been an all around pathetic performance by a good team.

Some of it is the injury bug. I mentioned before the season that the team as constructed was pretty good, there was just less margin for error. If you want to win a game 3-2, you need to score 3. If your team is made up to get exactly 3, it’s trouble when something goes wrong. If the line-up were able to put up 8 runs a game, losing Ellsbury wouldn’t be so bad. At this point, the Sox are down two of their starting outfielders. That’s a big hit. It’s even bigger since neither one was worthy of a DL trip. It’s one thing if you can call up a regular centerfielder from the minors. It’s another thing to have Bill Hall starting in center. So, that’s an issue. You also have two starters struggling mightily. David Ortiz and JD Drew are having a little trouble getting out of their own way right now. Both have shown the ability to shake off slumps like this, but at the moment it’s pretty painful. So, of the 9 starters, the Sox are down to five. You can’t win many games like that. Once they get all nine going, it should be just fine.

Same goes for the pitching. Lester always struggles in April. Lots of pitchers struggle in April. He should pull it together at some point. Lackey had actually been pitching well until yesterday’s implosion. Beckett pitched quite well Friday. Things just weren’t clicking for the team enough to take advantage. Dice-K should be back soon, and that will help. With Clay in the ‘pen, everyone else should settle down. One extra quality are can really make a difference.

Really, the team is right. It’s a 162-game season. Things are in the pits right now. But, water will find it own level. At some point, the Sox are going to put a 10-game run together, and all will be well again.

God, I hope so.

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