Our World Champion Boston Red Sox have knocked out 79 games as of Sunday. I know 81 is the official half way point of the season, but I think we’ve seen enough to pass some along some midterm judgement.
The Sox are a fairly uninspiring 42-37. They are five games over .500 thanks largely to last week, where they won 8 out of 10. They actually have a pretty decent record after that awful April.
The Red Sox PR Department sent out this tweet a couple of days ago:
Since Apr. 29, the Sox have gone 31-19 while leading the AL in runs per game (6.0) and AVG (.278).
Love the spin. And yet here we are, eight games behind the Yankees in the AL East. Boston would not be in the playoffs if the postseason started today.
This baseball club has been worthy of a Robert Stack Unsolved Mysteries episode for most of the year. Cue the spooky music as we try to figure out this club.
They have a high payroll and basically the same guys who won 118 games last year, yet they are below .500 at Fenway. Boston is just 10-16 against the decent clubs in the AL. (Yankees, Astros, Rays, Indians and Twins.)
And what do you make of this?
The Red Sox are (24-25) in games started by their $84.5M dollar rotation
Nathan Eovaldi – (3-1)
Rick Porcello – (9-7)
David Price – (6-7)
Chris Sale – (6-10)
The offense is solid. In fact they have scored almost as many runs as the mighty Yanks.
But the Sox have struggled in about every other aspect of the game at times. And while there have been some bright spots, the bullpen has largely been the dumpster fire we thought it would be.
They have racked up only 16 saves as team. Only the dregs like the Royals and Orioles have fewer. Craig Kimbrel had himself 42 last year. Meanwhile they have blown 15 saves this year.
If all of that doesn’t give you a Popsicle headache, consider this stat of the day:
The Red Sox have lost 7 times when having the lead after the 7th inning. Consider that the next time you are thinking about staying up late to watch the end of a game.
I still think the playoffs as a Wildcard is a real possibility. Of course overcoming an eight game division hole is not impossible. Or is it? Imagine Robert Stack voice reading this fact from from Boston Sports Info:
The Red Sox have trailed the NYY after 73 Games by 7 or more games 42 times in their history, including this year. The Sox have never finished ahead of the NYY in any of the previous 41 years, regardless of where they each finished in the standings.
Perhaps on the 15th anniversary of the 2004 postseason, it’s time for a little more history to be made.