BOSTON — The Red Sox aren’t blind to the situation. There’s a shared understanding that things aren’t going well and that changes are possible if the club continues down its current path.
The Red Sox suffered an 8-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, dropping Boston to 1-7 on its 10-game homestand and to 12 games under .500 overall (39-51). It’s hardly where the Red Sox envisioned being at this point in the season, and the team’s ongoing malaise has Boston definitely considering its options with the trade deadline just over three weeks away.
“When we started the homestand, we felt that this 10-game stretch was going to be pivotal to some internal decisions that are to be made,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Tuesday’s loss. “We fully recognize where we are. That doesn’t mean we’re not committed to this year, and we’re always going to remain optimistic — that’s the competitor in all of us. And yet at the same time, this homestand has not been what we anticipated coming off the road trip.”
The Red Sox closed out their recent 10-game road trip that included stops in Oakland, Seattle and New York with back-to-back wins over the Yankees on June 28 and June 29. Boston sat six games below .500 (38-44) at that point, but there was reason to be optimistic, especially given the clustered state of the American League East.
The current homestand has been disastrous, however, and the Red Sox must soon decide whether they’re better off looking ahead and making moves geared toward improving the roster for 2015 and beyond. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said before Tuesday’s game that Boston never will be a true seller, but the optimism within the clubhouse and the front office shouldn’t be mistaken for a false sense of reality.
“We’ve got five days before the break and we have conversations daily on how we may look to improve things and what decisions might stem from that,” Farrell said after Tuesday’s defeat. “Those are ongoing. That won’t wait until after the break.”
“I certainly would have to agree that we’ve made things awfully tough for ourselves from our goals in spring training, and that’s to win the East and get in the playoffs,” added Jake Peavy, who has been the subject of trade rumors. “We’ve made that a huge challenge. I think everyone understands that.”
The Red Sox’s offense has been the biggest problem amid the team’s season-long woes. But it hasn’t been the only issue, and the last week and a half has been proof of that, as losses are piling up in various ways.
“(There’s) not a common thread. The win-loss is the common thread,” Farrell said. “There have been different scenarios that have emerged inside of each one, whether it’s a pitch in a given spot, whether it’s a defensive play that’s contributed. I can’t say there’s one area of our game that has been the root of where things have gone on this homestand.”
This point on the schedule was supposed to be the Red Sox’s golden opportunity to make some hay in the standings before returning from the All-Star break for a crucial stretch in which they play the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays seven times over a 10-game stretch beginning July 21. Instead, it’s turning into a back-breaker.
“The numbers are always stacked against somebody, right?,” catcher David Ross said after Tuesday’s loss.
They’re certainly stacked against these Red Sox right now.