The Red Sox are currently in the middle of what is possibly the turning point of the season. So far, it does not seem to be going well for Boston. The Red Sox dropped 3 out of 4 to Toronto and 2 out of 3 to Tampa Bay. But, the Red Sox have shown signs that this may just be one long slump.
Great Pitching Spoiled
In their series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Red Sox could not ask for better pitching. While the Jays offense did light up in 2 out of the 4 games, that’s pretty much inevitable with their line-up. Looking at the double-header games on August 7th specifically, Red Sox pitching held the explosive Toronto line up to just one run in both games. Of course though, one of those runs was a Marcus Semien walk-off home run.
These type of outings by Boston’s starting pitching are exactly what the team needs down the stretch. The Red Sox pitchers would then need run support, which they unfortunately were not consistently getting. Even when the Red Sox won the second game on August 7th, the Blue Jays had plenty of opportunities to steal the game. The Red Sox only scored 3 runs total that day and had their pitchers to thank for coming away with a win.
Great Offense Spoiled
While Boston’s hurlers had had great outings so far in this stretch, they’ve also been the ones to spoil
games. Several times in both the Toronto and Tampa Bay series, the Red Sox had solid leads, but lost them. One of these losses was rather embarrassing too for the Red Sox. After being up 7 to 2 in the 5th against the Blue Jays on August 8th, the Red Sox would lose 9 to 8.
Losing these type of leads normally does not generate confidence in a team already in a slump. For fans, these blown leads are hard to watch. And they are not exactly fun for the players either. When the offense does all they can to win a game, nothing hurts more than the defense letting it all slip away.
Consistency Is What’s Needed
What has been absent from this stretch so far is consistency from the Red Sox. For example, on August 11th, The Red Sox mopped the floor with Tampa Bay, winning 20 to 8. The next day, the Red Sox would lose 8 to 1. Without consistency, there is no way the Red Sox will return to form.
The Red Sox clearly have shown that they are an elite team. Some of these sparks in the team’s play have shown that. Now both sides of the ball have to string performances together. With Chris Sale returning and Kyle Schwarber expected to play soon as well, the Red Sox may be able to get back their consistency.
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