The Boston Red Sox might have hit a low point Wednesday night, allowing a season-high 16 runs and being swept by the lowly Chicago Cubs.
The Red Sox now have a 38-47 record and sit 8 1/2 games back in the American League East. There’s not a lot of reason for optimism, and general manager Ben Cherington still is looking for answers.
“It’s sort of a combination of frustrated, disappointed and yet still very optimistic about where we’re going,” Cherington said Thursday morning on WEEI. “I think this series against the Cubs was a little bit of a microcosm of our season. Some of what’s happening, we can point to and explain and say, ‘OK, this part of the team needs to improve and this part’s not working.’
“Some of it’s just hard to explain.”
The disappointment is made even worse by the expectations placed on the team entering the season. Coming off a 2013 World Series win, few expected the Red Sox to be among the AL’s worst teams.
“We know this is not where we want to be,” Cherington added. “It’s going to get better. … So we’re just focused on that, and everyone’s on board trying to do the same thing.”
Although pitching was the problem Wednesday night, the Red Sox’s offense has been a real issue all season long. Boston ranks 25th in Major League Baseball in runs scored, thanks in large part to a .230 batting average with runners in scoring position (24th in baseball).
“It’s going to ebb and flow a little bit, our performances with runners in scoring position, every team does that year in and year out, even within a season,” Cherington said. “There’s certainly times when our at-bats, they just don’t look like Red Sox at-bats.”
The silver lining for the Red Sox is that although they’re in fourth place in the American League East, no team in the division seems ready to run away with things. Technically, there’s still time left to make a move. However, Cherington and the rest of the front office have to decide very soon whether they’re buyers or sellers heading into the July 31 trade deadline.