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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Monday, April 15, 2019

We Can Be Concerned Now

There are still 145 games to go in the 2019 season so nothing is certain but unlike 2018 when every test was passed with flying colors the Sox have failed their first test of 2019.  After a gloomy season-opening road trip the Sox returned home and laid a fairly decisive egg.  They went 3-3 against two pretty bad baseball teams and were frankly fortunate to get out of there with the split.  The problems that existed on the road trip remain in place with the rotation showing small signs of success but it’s one step forward one step back at best.

For all the talk about the pitching the offense is not exactly covering itself in glory.  Only five players sport an OPS+ over 100 and if it weren’t for Mitch Moreland this team could very easily be sitting at 1-16 or 2-15 which is outrageously bad.  The only piece of good news so far is that we are talking about 10% of the season, not half the season but the reality is that the Sox are 6-11 not because of dumb luck but because they have played absolutely crummy baseball.  Fundamental mistakes have been legion and suddenly the Sox are staring at an important five game road trip through New York and Tampa.  A 1-4 or 0-5 road trip wouldn’t be a death knell for the season but it would put the Sox in a spot where the margin for error, at least regarding the division title, would be kaput.

So where is the good news?  Well first, this looks even worse compared to the prism of last year.  It is important that we all recognize just how outrageous last year was.  A sub-.500 month is not unusual for playoff teams, heck the 2017 World Series champion Astros won 99 games and they went 11-17 in August, so it is far too early to say the Sox cannot get to the mid-90s win total that the division is likely to require (if not more).  One thing about this Red Sox team is we know what we fundamentally have here.  This is effectively the same team the Sox have had the last four years so if we take out the first 17 games for each group and append the final 145 games to this year’s 6-11 start the Sox would finish;

2016 model: 91-71
2017 model: 89-73
2018 model: 99-63

The talent is here but it is time for the Sox to put it together.  When I was 16 Tim Raines famously missed all of spring training and the month of April due to collusion.  Raines arrived on May 2 at Shea Stadium and suited up for the Expos against the defending World Champion Mets and future Cy Young winner David Cone and destroyed the idea that spring training mattered going 4 for 5 with a triple and a grand slam on national television when that mattered.  This year’s Sox team is undoing Raines’ work.  Famously “easing into the season” the Sox have looked completely unprepared for the season and any further stumbles will put them in a place where no matter how talented they are (and they ARE very very talented) it will take a Herculean effort to climb the heights they should be expected to reach.

Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: April 15, 2019 at 03:33 PM | 58 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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