The Boston Red Sox Are Falling Apart
Tuesday May 8, 2012
Ryan Ritchey: The Boston Red Sox since last September have been a team that has been falling apart. Ever since the report that pitchers were drinking in the clubhouse (and eating fried chicken), the team hasn’t been the same. After the season, Theo Epstein decided not to bring back Terry Francona… and then left the Red Sox himself. With this being said, the Sox had several holes to fill. First the general manager. This hole was filled by none other than Ben Cherington. Cherington had a lot of pressure placed on him to perform and to win. His first big job was to hire a manager to get the job done. He went and got Bobby Valentine. Bobby Valentine in my opinion was not a good hire for the Red Sox and judging by the Red Sox current record, most would agree.
You can put the blame on many people for the Red Sox woes this early in the season. Not only is it the fault of the manager, but it also goes on the players as they are the ones that play the game. Dustin Pedroia is one of the hardest working players in the league and doesn’t take a day off so it can’t fall on his shoulders (or Big Papi’s). But many of the Red Sox hitters need to be accountable. Mostly though, you could blame the pitching. In my opinion it is the pitching that is causing this down fall for Boston.
Josh Beckett has the best ERA from any starter in the rotation and he is 30th in the American League with a 4.45 ERA. With that number alone, you aren’t going to win many games. The Red Sox have a great offense but giving up that many runs per start you aren’t going to get many wins. Even when the starters throw a decent game, the bullpen usually ends up giving up runs on many nights and losing the game. If the Red Sox are going to do anything this season, Cherington better go find some pitching or it is going to be a long season for Red Sox Nation.
Another big reason the Red Sox are playing like they are is Adrian Gonzalez. Epstein went out and got Gonzalez from San Diego thinking he would be the best hitter in the American League. He was that player for one season but that is no longer the case. We are a little over a month into the season and Gonzalez only has 2 home runs and 16 RBI. For a power guy like Gonzalez, those numbers are subpar to say the least. His power numbers are down and he hasn’t been showing up in big games against the Rays and Yankees as he did last year. Not only are his power numbers down, his average is a “whopping” .270.
The lone bright spot for the Sox in the past couple days has been Will Middlebrooks. He has played four games and is hitting .381 with 3 homers and 9 RBI. This might just be a quick start for a young kid that is excited to be in the league, or this could be what people should expect for a long time. We will never know until he hits a drought. His first home run as a big league player by the way was a grand slam against the Orioles on Sunday.
This all begs the question: do the Red Sox make the playoffs? I don’t see the Sox playing in October this year. Even with the injury to Mariano Rivera the Yankees have a replacement in Robertson. The Red Sox don’t have a replacement for Buchholz who has given up at least 5 earned runs in every start this season. Or Andrew Bailey. The Red Sox still have time to fix their issues, but they need to do something fairly quickly. Otherwise, the team could find themselves sitting at home come October.
Ryan Ritchey is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports. I am a high school senior, play second base and plan on studying sports journalism in college. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since freshman year. You can reach me on Twitter (@Ryan13Ritchey)
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Posted on May 8, 2012, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis and tagged adrian gonzalez, AL East, baseball, ben cherington, bobby valentine, boston red sox, clay buchholz, josh beckett, mlb, offense, pitching, red sox, theo epstein. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.