Basically the Red Sox season seems to be slipping away every day comes down to two reasons. All of the reports of a team with bad chemistry and a disliked Manger are being over blown. Even with Dustin Pedroia’s offensive numbers being down and the lack of power from Adrian Gonzalez, this team still has plenty of fire power. They still score runs in bunches. Yes, the injuries have played a role, but the fill in players seemed to have held their own. We have seen more production out of Daniel Nava and Pedro Ciriaco than we could have ever wished for. John Henry was correct in his statement that managers get more credit for wins and loses then they should. Is Bobby Valentine a perfect fit for this team? Probably not, but you can only blame Bobby V for some of his on field decisions that effected the outcome of the game. So, why are they a below .500 club and on the verge of missing the playoffs?
Reason #2, (yes I am going to do these backwards), is the Red Sox can’t beat bad teams or teams that they should be beating. For example, look at the Oakland A’s and Toronto Blue Jays. Oakland is this years Cinderella team but still a very weak offense and definitely beatable. The Sox record is 1-3. The Blue Jays, now sitting in last place in the AL East is 7-5 against the Sox. After beating the Yankees and Tigers in 4 out of six games the Sox then drop 3 of 4 to the Minnesota Twins. The second worst team in the American league just ahead of the lowly Kansas City Royals, who btw have a 2-1 record this year against the Sox.
The kiss of death is when you hear an unknown or rookie pitcher is facing the Sox on a particular night. That is almost a guaranteed lost. These pitchers always look like the second coming of sandy Koufax facing the Red Sox hitters. The Sox would do better facing Justin Verlander or C.C. Sabathia on a nightly basis.
The number 1 reason for the Sox failures this year is Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. Our so called aces are a combined 10-19. Each of them with a whopping five wins apiece. It is an embarrassment to even use the term Ace when talking about either.
Jon Lester has been better than his record reflects. The problem with Lester is every time he is called upon to get that one big out or one big strike he has failed. God help it if the umpire makes a bad call, then Lester is shot. He lets his emotions get the better of him and it usually spells disaster.
What can I say about Josh Beckett? His first inning troubles continue as he leads the world in the worst first inning ERA. You always have to wonder if the injury prone righty doesn’t have some type of injury. Pitchers tend to lose velocity with age but the drop off in Beckett’s seems extreme. Last year he was hitting 95-96 mph on the radar gun. This year he is lucky if he can hit a consistent 91.
Is this team better off having these two in the starting rotation? I would say yes to Lester and no to Beckett. Lester is still young and no reason he can’t get back to form sometime this season. His record is still going to look horrible by the end of the season , but this is more about team wins than individual wins at this point.
Economics will always be the deciding factor when determining the everyday players. Lester and Beckett make too much money to sit on the bench. Unless, they get Beckett to say he has some sort of season ending injury.
Bottom line is this: if Beckett and Lester who are combined 19-10 are 10-19 instead. Then the Sox have the same amount of wins as the Yankees and two back in the lost column. In other words a Playoff team.
So forget all of the so called “Drama” and lay all the blame on the two arms of their Aces.
Tags: Adrian Gonzalez Bobby Valentine C C.C. Sabathia Daniel Nava Dustin Pedroia Jon Lester Josh Beckett Justin Verlander Kansas City Royals Minnesota Twins Oakland A's Pedro Ciriaco Toronto Blue Jays Yankees