Red Sox Respond To Losing Three Of Four To The Yankees By Getting Blown Out By The Last Place Blue Jays
It was a 4-homer, 10-run show at Fenway last night!
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 5, 2017
Here on September 5, the Red Sox have a 99.5% chance of making the postseason, and a 80.9% chance of winning the American League East, according to FanGraphs. But does it feel like it?
I’m not asking because I personally feel one way or the other. I’m asking how you feel right now. Do those odds accurately capture how you feel about the Boston Red Sox and their postseason chances as of today? Less than a week ago, the Red Sox were five and a half games up in the division with a chance to put a bow on their second consecutive division title. That lead is now down to two and a half games after losing three of four in the Bronx, and following that up by coming back to Fenway Park and getting their doors blown off by a last place Blue Jays team.
On Monday, I described that New York series as the Yankees playing like a team that knew they had to win that series, while the Red Sox played like a team that had already clinched the division. Let me expand on that Red Sox part — they’re playing lifeless, uninspired, unmotivated, and complacent baseball. I don’t see any fight in this team right now. I really don’t. The only emotion that I saw in that game last night was when Fernando Abad struck out Raffy Lopez to end the 8th inning to keep it a three-run game, which Matt Barnes promptly torpedoed into a 10-4 blowout loss.
You try not to fall into a habit of overreacting, right? We all understand that it’s a long season, 162 games, and all that other cliche bullshit. And for the most part, those cliches are right. It is a long season. You can’t get too high or too low throughout the ebbs and flows of a season. But it’s September now. Think of this as a mini season. The Red Sox have 24 games remaining on their schedule, and a 2.5 game lead in the division. If this were May or June and people were losing their minds over the team’s performance, THEN you can say things like “it’s long season” and “it’s still early”, but it’s not still early, and it’s not a long season from this point forward. It’s a 24-game sprint to the finish line, and the Red Sox are apparently running with cement shoes on.
Boston has lost 8 of their last 12 games, and they’re hitting .219 with a .660 OPS as a team. Only the Giants have been a worse hitting team over that span, and San Francisco is a half-game away from having the worst record in the majors. Break it down even further, and the Red Sox are hitting .173 with a .558 OPS with runners in scoring position over this stretch, too. The Red Sox, as a staff, have a 5.63 ERA, which is fourth worst in the majors. Red Sox starters have an awful 5.43 ERA, while Red Sox relievers have been even worse, posting a 6.50 ERA, second worst in the majors. They are sucking on all cylinders right now.
They have literally picked the worst time of the entire season to collectively play absolute dog shit baseball. And you know what? I still think the Red Sox win this division. I do. I just fear that we’re in for a repeat of last year, where they’re good enough to make it there, but not good enough to avoid a dick-stomping at the hands of the Cleveland Indians, who have now won 12 straight games and have plenty of reinforcements on the way.
How many times have we said that “something has to change” with this team this year? Seriously. The Red Sox have clicked for these little spurts, and those spurts have been good enough to keep them in first place for 78 days this season, but when a World Series title is the goal, how can you feel good about achieving that goal when they’re 138 games into the season and they’re playing their worst baseball of the year?
I dunno. I guess I just expected this team to rise to the occasion and smell blood in the water in the Bronx. If you wanna coast at the end of the year, which is how they’ve been playing, then handle your business first. Instead of handling their business in that Yankee series, they instead just welcomed them right back into the pennant race (again), and now they have to deal with the consequences that come from that.
The consequences being a more high pressure environment to play in down the stretch, an uneasy and possibly even pissed off fan base, and the hot take spewers on TV, radio and print breathing down their necks with topics like — Are they the new 2011 Red Sox? Is there a true leader on this team? Is this team choking? Will the Red Sox even make the postseason? I can just see it now.
So, for your sake, Red Sox, and for the sake of the sanity of your fans, please get your heads out of your asses. We don’t watch every single night and commit a minimum of three hours a night to watching this team just so that we can watch you piss away a division title in the last few weeks of the season. That is not what we signed up for. There’s no point in mentioning players by name who need to perform better. Everybody sucks right now. Everybody in that clubhouse can perform better than they have been over this stretch. Don’t fuck this up.
Final score: Blue Jays 10, Red Sox 4