The latest example of that came when the Sox returned home after a 6-1 road trip to take on Oakland and Baltimore. The results at home were drastically different than the previous road trip, with Boston going 1-5 on its most recent homestand.
The Red Sox are back on the road for three with the Royals (including a win on Monday) before returning home once again. The key to finding the elusive consistency, Don Orsillo says, starts with the starting pitching.
He covers that and more in his mailbag this week.
How many home runs do you think David Ortiz will get this season?
– Ryan Teixeira
I think David will end up over his normal amount this year. Everyone points to 30 as a number you should expect. If he continues to do what he has done so far, I think we are close to expecting more along the lines of 40. He is playing for his future and is off to an incredible start. His power is reminiscent of the 54-home run season. I don't think there is any question that his weight loss is a large contributing factor to his power surge.
Consistency. Where is it and how does this Sox team get a barrel of it?
I thought it was materializing in the trip to Minnesota and Chicago. It just did not carry over at home. It has been very disappointing. I think the area the consistency is at its worst is the starting pitching. If you do not get good starts, it seems it does not matter how well the offense performs, and soon the bullpen will be totally taxed, and guys will be tired when you do get good starts. So that area somehow has to improve, and quickly.
Why are the Red Sox in such a bad spot right now? They ended bad last year, and they seem to have rolled over.
– Pamelia Xandria
It has that feeling. The difference last year is that you had played great baseball during the season and you were waiting for them to flip the switch and return to their earlier success. The team last year, in my mind, was the best in baseball for four months. This team has yet to show that they can be among the the league's best and have yet to display that at any point. Injuries to Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis and Andrew Bailey to me are the biggest issues as to why they are where they are.
Do you have any hobbies when you're not commentating Red Sox games?
– Matt LaMontagne
I do, but they are mainly done during the offseason because of our daily schedule and all of our travel. I love to fish and have since I was a kid — mainly freshwater. Bass fishing is the most relaxing thing I think I do. A close second may surprise some. I love to cook and rarely eat out during the offseason. I love cooking all kinds of food and experimenting with recipes. I am a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain and get many of my recipes and ideas from places he has visited on the Travel Channel.
What kind of music do you enjoy listening to? What is your go-to album?
– Gary Cullen
Dave Matthews, Dave Matthews and more Dave Matthews. Live or studio. With the Dave Matthews Band or alone with Tim Reynolds. All good and all the time.
The Sox do not seem to have a new captain since Jason Varitek retired. What is the process in selecting a captain, and who would you favor in that role?
– Rob A.
That is a manager/general manager decision, and many teams do not have one or need one. There have been many years the Red Sox have gone without one. It is much different than the captaincy in a sport like hockey. However, if there was ever a guy who does both lead by example on the field and off, it would Dustin Pedroia for me. I am not sure what Bobby Valentine thinks about captains, but for me Dustin is sort of already the captain — title or not.