The Red Sox are sitting at 4-10 and the panic button has been hit in Beantown. I know the season is still young but Boston’s slow start paired with their dismal September finish last season should have them very worried. It is never good when the ownership has to give your manager the dreaded “Vote of confidence” after 14 games and the best news you have gotten is that the big Crash Davis in the sky gave you a rain out.
Much of the blame is being put on Bobby Valentine and some of it is deserved but he isn’t playing the game. Baseball relies on strategy and game plan during play less than any other sport. The guys on the field have to perform or the team will lose. It’s not a Bobby V problem. The Sox stunk in September last year under Tito and this team has enough veteran players to quit blaming their manager and take this on themselves.
The pitching is abysmal. The Red Sox rank dead last in team ERA at 6.68 and their bullpen is even worse at 8.64. You can’t win games with pitching like that. Injuries have affected them with closer Andrew Bailey out until July. Mark Melancon got the first shot at the closer spot but was horrible and is now in the minors. Current closer Alfredo Aceves has a ERA of 24.00 and will not be the closer much longer. 5th starter Daniel Bard will end up back in the bullpen soon and that should help the relief but the starters need just as much help. For the Red Sox to have any chance at a being meaningful in September the pitching needs to step up. Where are you at Tim Wakefield?
Injuries to their pitching staff hurt but the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury hurts a lot worse. Coming off a breakout year that saw him go 32/105/.321 and finish 2nd in the AL MVP voting, Ellsbury was supposed to lead these Red Sox but a separated shoulder has shut him down. The Sox have to get Carl Crawford back in the lineup and they need him to play like they are paying him to play if they are going to have a chance to replace Ellsbury’s production. Youkilis needs to get his bat up also.
Is there any hope for the Red Sox?
They are about to start a 7 game road trip but they get the Twins and the White Sox so they should get some wins. If they can keep the soft bats of Minnesota and Chicago in check then they have a chance to get momentum. They can go into May with some momentum and then this veteran roster should be able to continue on and stay hot against the likes of Kansas City, Oakland, Cleveland and Baltimore. This team is in need of a spark and this upcoming road trip could do it. The boos don’t bother you on the road like they do at home.