The Boston Red Sox have one of the best lineups on paper, but it tends to live and die with the success or failures or Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts.
It was a tough night at Fenway Park last night as the Red Sox dropped a very winnable game to the Tampa Bay Rays. It was a painful game to watch especially after Boston had zero trouble scoring any runs in Kansas City. Last night they ran into a white-hot Rays team that wasn’t going to give up a single inch.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
Boston was without the big bat of J.D. Martinez as he is getting some rest due to back spasms that removed him from Thursday’s game. They also got little or no production from the rest of the roster, which is where the issue forms. It feels like this team has become too dependent on the bats of certain individuals to get them out of trouble. Most recently the bats have been in the hands of Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts.
Both men have been swinging a hot bat and have been what seems like the lifeblood of this offense. But when they’re not on it looks as if the rest of the squad can’t get the job done without them. The Red Sox didn’t record a hit until the 6th inning last night, it was abysmal. Granted, Yonny Chirinos was pitching an absolute gem, but this team shouldn’t get squandered like that.
In last night’s affair, Raffy went 0-4 with 3K and Bogey was 2-4 with an RBI. Bogaerts at least did some work at the plate while Devers was colder than a Summer Ale fresh from the ice chest. It was a similar story the day before in KC when Bogey was 1-4 with a run and Devers 1-3 with 2-RBI.
Now, you may be saying “that doesn’t sound awful,” and in the grand scheme it isn’t, but when you’re 6 games back, you need more than one hit or one RBI here and there. It was a terrible night all around though as Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Eduardo Nunez all struggled to get even a glimpse of offense going. Once again, when Devers and Bogey aren’t cracking ’em it seems like nobody is.
Just look at times when the offense is firing on all cylinders, everyone is pitching in and Bogey, as well as Raffy, tend to be at the center of the action. As of now, Devers and Bogaerts are the only members of the Red Sox everyday roster that are above .300, (.311 and .301 respectively.) They’re the ones that get things going on a daily basis. Even when one isn’t on their game the other tends to step up.
There is a lot of baseball left in this season and this weekend alone can make or break this title defense for the Red Sox. They’re going to need their entire lineup to wake up and become self-sufficient. It’s one thing to use the energy of these guys to spark everybody else but it’s completely different to solely rely on them.
I’m not saying anyone is taking any at-bats off or isn’t giving their all. It’s clear when you see a Benny or Mookie furious with themselves after a poor at-bat. But Raffy and Bogey are on fire at this point in the season and whatever they’re doing is working. Try and figure it out, sit and talk with them, hell just try and get any of whatever they’re doing.
This weekend against the Rays is a major opportunity to fully reset this season for the Red Sox. If they can win the series then they will find themselves within striking distance of the Yankees. Boston will not only need Devers and Bogaets to perform but everyone else needs to step up as well if they want a shot at October. They have the right mix of talent and hard work, it’s time to put the equation together and get some results.