So…I rarely re-post old blogs…except when it shows how awesome my blog is…..LOL….on April 16th….I predicted that on Mother’s Day that Sox would be 14-18…….I was damn close…the Sox are still below mediocre 16-18. For the most part the Sox have played inconsistant baseball. The have continued to under perform and under achieve. The Sox have managed a split with the terrible Twins…and go for a RARE series win. To date the Sox have won 3 series on the year…..if you haven’t noticed the calender says May 9th 2011, and the Sox are 35 games into the season.
Maybe now Red Sox Nation is starting to understand just how bad and dire the situation really is. Maybe this is just not a bad start….maybe this is going to be how it goes for the 2011 Boston Red Sox. One thing is CRYSTAL CLEAR….the Sox have given us NO reason to think otherwise.
Last night’s game was what have started to expect from this year’s team. Clay Buchholz was again pretty shakey…and never ever got command of his pitches. Yet somehow in the 5th inning the Sox were leading 3-0, of course it could have been more if they hadn’t left so many on base….but again that’s what we have come to expect. Buchy of course imploded in the 5th allowing 2 runs to socre. He started the 6th walk, single…and from there it really got bad. Bobby Jenks gave up a career high 4 runs in the 7th. Of course why wouldnt’t Jenks give up a career high in runs for an inning. The rest of bullpen looked good, however the damage was done. This Sox team has only one win when giving up more than 5 wins.
The offense had another dreadful night, or maybe what will turn out to be the norm for 2011…who knows. The $300 million dollar trio of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez went 0 for EFFING 9 last night, a quite astounding feat considering thier supposed talent levels. As frustrating as iut has been with Carl Crawford….it has been equally so with 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez. He after all was the one who was to bring balance to the force. He has whiffed on that along with everthing else. Gonzalez has gone hitless in 6 of the last 10 games the Sox has played….and he has managed only one homerun…or he is tied with Darnell Mcdonald in homers. Like Crawford new Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez has been downright dreadful in a Red Sox uniform, the only difference between them at this point, is Gonzalez got a few meaningless hits in Texas to give himself a .244 batting average.
So with all that being said, the soxhave to lace em up again today and try to end thier current 3 game slide behind the last guy that got em a win, Josh Beckett. The situation has gotten quite serious, and those good at math and baseball history understand that. IF the Red Sox were to play .600 ball the next 20 games…a stretch that would take then to May 7th, thier record would be 14-18….meaning even .600 ball all the ways Mother’s day weekend
So the Red Sox finally got a game versus the Baltimore Orioles…it wasn’t pretty…but a win is a win. The Sox got a rare complete win, where the offense/defense/pitching/bullpen all appeared to be on the page…a refreshing change.
For awhile last night it looked like the same ole Sox, with only Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez contributing. The Sox left alot of men on base early, and you had the feeling the Sox would let this one slip away late. However that was not the case, as the offense got to Orioles reliever Jim Johnson late, and provided Jon Lester the margin he had been looking for all night. Lester, who started slow this season…has looked good as of late, and last he night he was filthy. The O’s manged only 4 hits in 8 innings off of Jon Lester, scoring two runs. For the record, Jon Lester has NEVER lost to the lowly O’s.
Adrian Gonzalez who still trail all of baseball in homeruns…did finally have a game he could be proud off. Gonzalez drove in 2 runs on three hits, two of which were doubles. Suddenly hot Jacoby Ellsbury also had a 3-5 night as well, scoring two runs and driving a pair. Even “the catcher” got involved in the offense with a rare hit..and even more rare..an RBI. The Sox offense still has a long way to go, they still hit for JACK **** with runners in scoring positon, but last night there were signs of hope.
The silver lining to last nights game was the Sox finished a 9 game road trip that included 2 west coast stops, with a 6-3 record. If the Sox can continue that pace on the road…”maybe’ they can get or stay in the race for the AL East. It seems obvious at this point, the wild-card team will not come from the AL East…but maybe 92/93 wins will be all it takes to win the AL EAST.
Next up are the Seattle Mariners….the Sox will face King Felix…which is a bummer…but the homestand is a long one..so maybe the Sox can finally wind up on the right side of .500 in 2011.
So another day…another lost game…another day of excuses why the Sox let another game slip away. This time the game turned on a simple play in the outfield, followed by YET ANOTHER IMPLOSION by Daniel Bard.
The Sox wasted a pretty good outing by Josh Beckett last night…in large part because Jacoby Ellsbury botched a ball in the outfield. The play clearly rattled Beckett, and from there things got nasty quick. To that point in the game…it is worth noting that the Sox had done exactly JACK SQUAT offensively. It seems on this latest losing streak, the Sox hitters have reverted back to thier crappy ways….not taking pitches…not hitting with runners on base. It was a gross display for 8 of the 9 innings last night. Of course the Sox still would be playing if David Ortiz would take a class on how to slide…instead we got his Jeremy Giambi impression at home plate.
Our old buddy Daniel Bard let this game slip away in the 8th when he failed to keep the momentum the Sox gained in the top of inning scoring 4 runs going. Bard from the start(as is usually the case in a tie game) looked shakey. I will give him credit for limiting the damage he caused to just one run. Bard has now blown 4 saves and been the losing pitcher in 3 of those games, rightfully so. For those that clamored for Bard to be the default closer please raise your hands. Closers use their mental toughness in those situations as much as they use thier STUFF. It is crystal clear that Danial Bard’s mental STUFF is pure crap. This kid has single handedly caused 3 of the Sox 13 loses…a staggering number this early in.
It may be too early to say it…but I think it is time someone takes the fall for the Sox making the same mistakes night in and night out. If that person is the pitching coach, hitting coach…or dare I say Terry Francona…so be it. This team has been plagued by the same mistakes all year…and it’s the “braintrust” responsibility to fix those things. Buckle up Red Sox Nation it’s going to be a bumpy ride this season.
Maybe Theo Epstein needed to save his win one for me speech until last night. One thing is for sure, the lifeless Red Sox could have used something last night. From start to finish it was a boring game that featured 4 of the 5 runs being scored on sac-fly outs….American League baseball at it’s best.
So I guess it’s safe to say…Clay Buchholz is having some problems this season. Buchholz who has never handled success well, looks to be a victim of his own legend. In most of his starts including last night, Buchholz has pitched very poorly, pitched from behind, and for the most part, pitched away from contact…pitching to contact has been his strength. Buchholz found himself in too many hitters counts last night, and the hapless O’s tee’d off Buchy like they were at the Downtown Driving Range. The O’s had 12 hits, but it felt like more, especially since the vaunted Sox offense never got anything going either. Buchholz really got lucky last night, the game could have gotten out of hand a lot earlier, he was able to minimize most of the damage….with that being said…he killed the Sox chances of continuing thier winning ways last night.
The offense last night returned to a few of thier bad habits, mainly not scoring…hitting not taking pitches (2 walks)..and leaving runners in scoring position. The dynamic duo of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford combined to go 1-8 last night. To make matters worse, superstar dud first baseman Adrian Gonzalez left bases loaded last night when the game was in doubt. I have said it before, and I will say it again….for a guy that was supposed to be a great hitters with runners on….Gonzalez looks as average as his other million buddy Carl Crawford. The $300 million twins were not alone in thier failures last night, the Sox alltogether only managed a total of 6 hits. By the way….this is the same Orioles team that the Yankees just carved up over the weekend.
It looks as though boy genius Theo Epstein’s left handed line experiment maybe the stone that sinks the 2011 season. The Sox, mainly Crawford and Gonzalez continue to struggle versus left handed hitting, something that wasn’t supposed to happen. We told in the off-season that these bums could hit left-handed hitting. Stands to reason I guess…we were also told Coco Crisp would be a suitable replacement for Johnny Damon…we were also told that JD Drew could hit lefties and play a gold glove caliber right field….that all proved to be false….and I’m sure the legend of Adrian Gonzalez may well be proven to false as well.
The last time I posted a Red Sox line up I did it for a Clay Buchholz start…and I also predicted victory …..so today i am going to make two for two…..
Here is tonight’s winning line up….
RED SOX (10-11)
Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz (1-2, 5.31)
Pitching: LHP Zach Britton (3-1, 3.16)
Game time: 7:05 p.m.
So it appears that the Red Sox “may” be back. The Sox have climbed to a mediocre 10-11, a far cry from where they were a week prior. It seems that .500 is in sight…..or is it.
If the Sox truly want to right this ship, then they need to dispatch of Buck’s Boy’s in Baltimore this week. The Sox have the right guys on the mound (hell the last two times through the rotation they have all been the right guys). The Sox seem to be swinging the bats a little better, although at some point Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez are going to need to pull thier weight….or at the very least thier salaries. The bullpen also seems to have rounded into shape, with the exception of Bobby Jenks, who so far seems to be a bit a of an enigma on the mound.
So with all that being said, what’s the problem right? The O’s have not played well of late…they have had thier brains pounded in by the Yankee’s in six meeting this year…so now it’s the Red Sox turn right? On paper it would look as though the Sox would have the Orioles dominated, however since the O’s hired Buck Showalter, the Sox have dropped 5 of six to Baltimore…and last year split the season series with the hapless O’s. As we have learned from this season…and something Yankee’s fan’s already know…games are not played on paper.
If the Sox are going to take the next step…that next step has to be…in Baltimore. They need to take the series from the O’s, they need to finish what they started in Oakland. The Sox played poorly against AL East teams last year, and so far this year they are 5-4 vs thier AL East foes. Obviously teams like Tampa and the Yanks are going to be tough…but if the Sox are going to get back into the Hunt for October….they need to dispatch of weak sisters like the O’s.
Lets hope the Sox play hard on get away day. The Sox have mixed up thier line-up a bit today, something that is becoming the norm.
Here is Clay Buchholz’s winning line up for today
RED SOX (5-11)
Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz (0-2, 6.60).
Pitching: LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-0, 0.47)
Game time: 3:35 p.m.