Prior to the All Star Break, the Boston Red Sox were showing some signs of life. They had won nine of their last fourteen games and were just 6 1/2 games out of first place in the American League East. In the last series, against the red hot Yankees, the Sox had lost two of three games but had won four consecutive series before that.
Despite the fact that they were 42-47, in last place, they were only three games out of second place and had been gaining ground on the leaders.
One week after the break ended, the Sox are still in last place but now they are 42-54, 12 games behind the first place Yankees and nine games out of second. In six days, they have lost seven in a row and been outscored 39-13. If you do the math, you will realize that that’s an average of almost six runs per game they have given up while scoring less than two.
All year long Red Sox management and staff have bemoaned the fact that their pitching had been terrible. They unloaded their pitching coach Juan Nieves in May because the staff was not performing. The best pitching staff in the world cannot win consistently with under two runs per game support.
The Sox have a new hitting coach this year in Chili Davis. The veterans on this team, ( with the exception of Dustin Pedroia, and I don’t consider Brock Holt or Xander Bogaerts veterans, ) Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and David Ortiz are all hitting for significantly lower averages than last year. In order, they have dropped 20, 19, 42, 21 and 29 batting average points over last year.
Two other experienced players who have spent most of the year at Pawtucket because of their lack of hitting, Daniel Nava and Alan Craig, dropped from
.270 to .159 and .215 to .135 respectively. The Sox, who hit .277 as a team in 2013, are hitting .253 right now.
Pitching is the name of the game but without effective hitting to back it up pitching can’t do it alone. The Red Sox, in case you haven’t figured it out, need help with their hitting. They obviously are not getting it from their hitting coach. It’s time for a change.