Disproving Boston Red Sox fans’ most foolish complaints

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 15: Principal owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, President & CEO Sam Kennedy, and Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom of the Boston Red Sox address the media during a press conference addressing the departure of manager Alex Cora on January 15, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 15: Principal owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, President & CEO Sam Kennedy, and Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom of the Boston Red Sox address the media during a press conference addressing the departure of manager Alex Cora on January 15, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next
TORONTO, ON – JUNE 28: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a RBI single to tie the game against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on June 28, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – JUNE 28: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a RBI single to tie the game against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on June 28, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

Red Sox can’t beat AL East teams!

This complaint at least has a little cadence. The Red Sox have struggled all year long against their division rivals. They are 1-2 against the Yankees, 2-2 against the Rays, 3-7 against the Blue Jays, and worst of all, 3-5 against the Orioles. The adds up to an ugly 9-16 mark, easily the worst of the four AL East contenders.

I’d be lying if I said that record wasn’t cause for concern, but I do believe it is at least a little misleading. 15 of those 23 games came during Boston’s 10-19 stretch, a period when they weren’t playing well against anybody. And even during that stretch, they played the Yankees tough in all three of those games, held the Blue Jays offense in check, and would have won their series in Tampa Bay if not for a Trevor Story error with two outs in the tenth.

It’s also not as if the Red Sox haven’t beaten good teams this year. They won a series versus the Astros (something even the Yankees couldn’t do). They took a series versus the Cardinals, a likely playoff team this year. They swept the Guardians, a first place team entering the series, in their home ballpark. And while the Mariners and Angels haven’t performed up to expectations this years, both rosters are still ripe with talent, so it should be noted that the Red Sox won 9 of their last 11 games against the two clubs.

All told , it’s far too early to declare that the Red Sox can’t beat their AL East rivals. If anything, this past series against the Blue Jays should give evidence to the contrary. While the first game was essentially a throw-away with callup Connor Seabold starting against Cy Young candidate Kevin Gausman, the Red Sox had a lead going into the ninth inning of the second game , and pulled off a dramatic comeback in the third game. All of that happened with a roster decimated by both Covid-19 restrictions (Tanner Houck, Harren Duran) and injuries (Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Whitlock, Kiké Hernández, Chris Sale, Josh Taylor). Once the Red Sox get all their horses back, which should happen by the end of the month, they shouldn’t have any trouble with AL East teams.