The Boston Red Sox are mired in a frustrating three-game losing streak. Not to worry, these slumps happen to every contender.
Every contender deals with losing streaks. Teams are considered elite if they win about sixty percent of their grueling 162 game schedule. That means teams can lose 60-70+ games over the course of a season and still remain in the playoff mix. Which is why we can’t get bent out of shape over the Boston Red Sox losing three in a row.
Yes, it’s frustrating to see the Red Sox drop the first two games of their series with the Cleveland Indians, a potential playoff opponent. It stings a bit more when those losses were at Fenway Park. The feeling is intensified on the heels of Sunday’s loss when they were shutout by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Boston’s powerful offense has scored a mere seven runs over their three-game losing streak. Mookie Betts is in a 2-for-17 slump. J.D. Martinez hasn’t homered during this losing streak. Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi were roughed up by the Indians lineup. Clearly, the sky is falling!
Well, maybe not. A three-game losing streak is hardly a reason to panic. It’s so common in baseball that it’s actually remarkable that this team hasn’t scuffled through more of these skids. This is only the second time this season that Boston has lost three consecutive games and the first time it’s happened since April 21-24. They have not been swept in a series of 3+ games all season.
A three-game slump is as bad as it’s been for this team. The closest they have come to spiraling further than that was when the dropped four of five between June 15-20.
The Red Sox haven’t even suffered consecutive losses all that often. They’ve lost at least two in a row on only 10 occasions this year. That’s… really good! Especially when you compare it to the other American League contenders.
Only the New York Yankees have fewer consecutive losses on their schedule this year. They’ve lost at least two in a row on nine occasions. One of those was a three-game losing streak. Another was a five-game streak that included the series in which the Red Sox swept them in four games at Fenway.
Take a look at the other AL playoff teams. All of them have endured tougher stretches than the one Boston is currently going through and those slumps have come more frequently.
|Team||2+ Games||3 Games||4 Games||5 Games||Lost 4 of 5||Lost 5 of 6|
Cleveland is adding to our pain by handing the Red Sox the two more recent losses in this current streak but they’ve had their own troubles this season. None of these contenders have lost consecutive games more often than the Indians. They are also the only team with multiple four-game losing streaks.
A pair of three-game losing streaks doesn’t seem so bad when you realize the defending champion Houston Astros have done that twice as many times. The Astros are also the only contender with multiple five-game losing streaks.
The scorching A’s have rallied back to tie Houston at the top of the AL West but their season started ice cold. Oakland dropped eight of their first 12 games this season, including one stretch where they lost four out of five. They also lost five out of six in May.
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As you can see, these brief slumps happen to everyone. Three games is merely a blip on the radar. Let’s put it this way. The Red Sox took two out of three against the Rays last weekend before dropping the first two against the Indians. If Boston lost Friday’s game instead of Sunday’s they would be in the exact same spot they are in now. Only if it was three losses in five games instead of three in a row, would we even be talking about this?
The Red Sox still own the best record in baseball with an eight-game lead over the Yankees in the division. They are still on pace for 112 wins, so this three-game losing streak hasn’t diverted the course of shattering the single-season franchise record for wins.
Boston still has two more games against Cleveland in this series. They should win at least one of them. A split would be fine. A sweep would be annoying yet hardly devastating. Next up is an opportunity to pad their record with games against the Rays, Marlins, and White Sox.
This team is going to be fine. Relax! Sit back and continue to enjoy what may arguably go down as the greatest season in franchise history.