Tough Times

Each time the Red Sox get to within a game of .500, they blow is and find a way to remain sub-.500.

In trying to find a silver lining in an otherwise forgettable start to the season, it is nice to see Adrian Gonzalez show his opposite field power. In the 2 game mini-series just completed in Toronto, he hit 3 HRs to left field. It is amazing the amount of power he can generate to all fields.

David Ortiz has 6 home runs and he too has been using the whole field. I’ve seen more hits to left for him this year than I can recall in year’s past (I understand my memory is quite likely shoddy, but that’s the impression I have).

Jacoby Ellsbury is having a nice bounce-back season.

Josh Beckett has been other-worldly and has forced me to do a 180 on my feelings about him (as a player…not a person). 2011 is year one of a four year deal at $17mm a clip and I really thought we’d be flushing money down the drain.

Jonathan Papelbon has also found his magic and has looked very good (2 bb/19 K in 14.2 IP).

There have been some other nice performances too, but as a whole, this club still stinks.

2011:
Offense: .256/.333/.400/.733
Pitching: 4.40 ERA/1.34 WHIP

2010:
Offense: .268/.339/.451/.790
Pitching: 4.20/1.361

2009:
Offense: .270/.352/.454/.806
Pitching: 4.35/1.409

So while the pitching isn’t terrible compared to years prior, the offense is terrible. Guys like Kevin Youkilis (.850 OPS vs. past 3-year average of approx .965 OPS), Dustin Pedroia (.672 OPS), Carl Crawford (.558 OPS but definitely swinging a hot bat now), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.517 OPS), Jason Varitek (.453 OPS) and Marco Scutaro (.625 OPS) all need to do more and do it soon.

The Red Sox have yet to score 10 runs in a game. The Yankees have done it 4 times, The Orioles have done it 2 times, the Rays have done it 2 times, and the Blue Jays have done it twice.

I mean come on!

There is certainly something missing from this squad. HOFer Peter Gammons recently said in an interview that the Red Sox are missing a “personality chip.” Whatever it is, it needs to be fixed.

Lastly, shortstop of the future, Jose Iglesias, is here today taking the place of injured Marco Scutaro. While his fielding might be slick, he needs a ton of work with the bat. He has been swinging at everything and doesn’t seem to have any pitch recognition. Not so much what kind of pitch, but whether it’ll he a ball or a strike. He literally swings at everything. Let’s hope he can go back down to Pawtucket and learn a few things before we see him again. He needs more seasoning.