This weekend caused everyone associated with the Boston Red Sox to shake their head in embarrassment. The Sox rolled into Baltimore after a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays looking to end their road trip strong and travel back to Boston with an above .500 record. The series could not have been worse for the Sox who were swept away by the lowly 7-18 Orioles. The Sox have now lost 4 straight against their division rivals, accounting for more than half of the team’s total wins in 2010. After playing with energy in Toronto, the Sox played flat in Baltimore and are sinking faster than the Titanic.
Sitting at 11-14, the 4th place Sox have dropped 2 games back of the Blue Jays and 7 games back of the division leading Tampa Bay Rays. The Sox allowed 20 runs in the 3-games series against an Orioles team that has scored 90 runs on the season and averages 3.6 runs per game (6.7 average in the series). With 2 of the 3 loses this weekend being 10th inning walk-offs, the Sox didn’t just lose, they were demoralized. Now is the perfect time to step back and regroup, but it will not get any easier with the team injuries and the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees coming to town.
With Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron still out of the Sox lineup and now a quad injury to Jeremy Hermida, the Sox outfield is in shambles. Now, with the apparent groin injury to Kevin Youkilis, the Sox are looking at a tough time to turn around their disappointing season. Not everything was lost in the Baltimore series this weekend, we did see signs of life from David Ortiz on Saturday and a strong start for Josh Beckett on Sunday. It seems no matter what the circumstance, the Sox can’t turn individual successes into team victories.
With the chance to gain confidence and gather momentum against a weak team lost, the Sox will now face a tougher challenge in the upcoming home stand. They begin with 4 games against ALDS foe the Los Angeles Angels and then division rival New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays will come into Boston for 3 games each. The Sox will have to not only play better than they are now, but will have to raise their game to a new level if they want to have a chance at winning any of the upcoming 3 series’. This next stretch could determine if the Sox are in serious trouble and need to make a move, or if they have fight left in them and can power their way into the division race.
Now that May has begun, there are 137 games remaining. With the Sox reaching rock bottom by getting swept by the Orioles this weekend, the only direction they can go is up. I think.