Red Sox star Xander Bogaerts is feeling the pressure
To say this season has begun in the absolute worst way possible wouldn’t be stretching the truth by any means. The Red Sox crushed the Orioles on Opening Day to the tune of a 13-2 scoreline, but since, the team has only posted 10 runs in three straight losses. Boston’s offense has been one of the best in the league over the last few seasons and this year should’ve been no different, but something is off.
“It’s rough, bro, to be honest,” Bogaerts said. “It’s tough. It’s not just one run. It’s a couple runs. They just find a way to add on some more before we can find a way to get something going. They separate pretty quick by a couple of runs and it gets tough.”
The star infielder hit the nail right on the head, it’s not as if Boston needs to come back from a run or maybe two, its a handful. Outside of Nathan Eovaldi, no Red Sox starter has been effective so far in 2020. Yes, I know the season just started and we’re not even a full week in, but there are only 60 games to work with and no time for ineffective pitching.
Being 1-3 this quickly, and in a division that has the Yankees, Rays, Nationals, and Braves, is about as bad as things could be right now.
Boston’s offense has been so good in year’s past because their hitters show patience at the plate and don’t try to do too much. They wait for their pitches and just try to put it in play. Whether that hit is a single or a moon-bomb, the job was accomplished. However, since the pitching has been so atrocious, the Red Sox hitters aren’t able to play their game and be as selective, the urgency is already off the charts.
Normally there’d be plenty of time to get on a hot streak and mount a comeback in the standings, but not in 2020. Boston’s pitching is the main culprit in why Boston’s offense is struggling so much four games into the season.
“We’ve got our guys that haven’t been swinging the way we know we can. That’s going to change because this team is built so good offensively,” Bogaerts added. “We proved that we can come back. We’re capable of doing that. But if you’ve got to score eight, nine, or 10 runs every game, honestly it’s a little tough.”
Bogey is spot on when he talks about the constant need to score runs, not to win the game, but to simply be competitive. With their starters giving up free passes around the bases left and right, the Red Sox have found themselves in the hole multiple times before even stepping up to the plate.
I can’t even begin to imagine that level of stress. It’s your job to put runs on the board, but you’re already starting well behind the eight-ball. So not only do you have to produce an offense to win but you have to do it with weights around your ankles. It’s ridiculous and we shouldn’t even be talking about this being an issue, but here we are.
The Red Sox have had a few bright spots in their lineup as newcomers Jose Peraza and Kevin Pillar have been lighting up the basepaths, while Mitch Moreland, J.D. Martinez, and Jackie Bradley Jr. have been white-hot. But the rest of the lineup has been colder than a mother-in-law’s embrace, Bogey included.
The offense will eventually get going just as they had on Opening Day, but it won’t be pretty or easy. I can’t imagine too many scenarios where they aren’t working from behind to get back into the game. It’s tough to see the frustration and downright exhaustion as Xander talks about the sputtering offense, the lone positive the Red Sox had going into 2020.
I’m not going to sugarcoat things and make it seem like the Red Sox will all of a sudden get things figured out and right the ship. This very well may be the course we’re going to be on for the next 56 games, and it’s going to be miserable. I want to give these guys the benefit of the doubt, but at some point, it’s going to feel like a lost cause and we may see them start to shut it down. Hopefully, it doesn’t get to that level of failure, but if this offense doesn’t wake up, it may be inevitable.