Another two and four week for the Boston Red Sox and that will about do it for this season. This team has gone from frustrating to painful to watch, and the saddest part of it is yet again there is zero accountability for how this team is managed. It doesn’t help when the players aren’t performing to a level anywhere near what is expected of them, but then again with the lack of control at the field level with Bobby Valentine and his cronies and perhaps more importantly the lackadaisical effort at the executive front office level, maybe the players don’t even know what they are supposed to be doing. There is plenty of blame to go around.
The biggest news coming from Landsdowne Street this week happened off the field. First of all, there was a passing of a Red Sox legend and icon. Johnny Pesky, the great #6, passed away last Monday at the Kaplan Family Hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts. The former shortstop, third baseman, and manager of the Red Sox was the one person who lived and breathe Red Sox baseball more than any member of Red Sox Nation and you cannot think about the organization without bringing his name. The right field foul pole at Fenway Park is nicknamed the “Pesky Pole” and it will be the lasting legacy of the man who epitomized what it means to love the Sox. He will be greatly missed.
The second biggest news is the latest Carl Crawford situation. There is a chance that the Red Sox left fielder is a hypochondriac as it has been rumored that he will need Tommy John surgery at some point, even though he was playing as of last night. Crawford is meeting with team personnel today to decide options and to ask the team permission to go ahead and get the surgery, which has already been reported it will be performed tomorrow, so I will have more on that story whenever a decision becomes official. If it happens as planned it’s just another blow for the team who signed Crawford to a 7-year, $142 million contract back in 2010.
Tuesday, August 14: 7-1 loss at Baltimore Orioles (Reynolds goes deep twice to sink Sox)
Wednesday, August 15: 5-3 loss at Orioles (5 run sixth inning does Sox in)
Thursday, August 16: 6-3 win at Orioles (Buchholz pitches well, Sox get to Orioles bullpen)
Friday, August 17: 6-4 loss at New York Yankees (Swisher homers from both sides of plate)
Saturday, August 18: 4-1 win at Yankees (Jon Lester puts in a great performance, A-Gon homers)
Sunday, August 19: 4-1 loss at Yankees (Ichiro homers twice to win series)
59-63 on the year. 13.5 back in the division, 7.5 back in the wildcard. It’s an uphill climb and there is no reason to think that this particular team has that extra gear to get up that hill.
David Ortiz bat was certainly missed this week. The pitching staff did enough to deserve to win at least one more game and break even over the past couple series, but the offense wasn’t there to back them up. Pedro Ciriaco was the only player to hit above .300 this week, so you can see why the production tailed off. Adrian Gonzalez’s power might be coming back though, as half of his 6 hits this week went for extra bases (2 HRs, 1 double). Gonzalez also led the team in RBIs with 5, just one more than Dustin Pedroia (who was also the only other Red Sox player to homer during the past 6 games).
Clay Buchholz was once again the ace of the staff (8 innings, 8 hits, 3 runs, 4 strikeouts). Jon Lester pitched better than he has recently (7 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 4 strikeouts), while Aaron Cook, Josh Beckett and Franklin Morales all pitched decent but not well enough to avoid losses. The bullpen pitched very well this week, allowing just two runs (1 by Mortensen, 1 by Melancon). Pitching wasn’t the problem this week, but there is always room for improvement.
It was a two error week for the Red Sox. Can’t really expect much more than that.
The Week Ahead
The Sox have today off as Johnny Pesky will be laid to rest. Tomorrow the team opens a home-stand with a three-game set with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels have some problems of their own this season, so this could still be an interesting series. Over the weekend the Sox will play four games with the Kansas City Royals at Fenway (Friday-Monday), so those are games the team desperately needs to win if it wants to keep even the most hardcore fans interested in this lackluster year.