Boston got a 4-1 win in Toronto in the first game of the second half but have mustered only nine runs in their last five games and dropped five straight. The Sox fell out of first in the AL East, and now stand two games back of the surging Yankees.
As a team, the Red Sox are batting below .200 since the break. The Red Sox have averaged six hits in six games. How can this team fall so flat? Is hitting (or lack thereof) really contagious?
The front office is clearly concerned, trading for Pittsburgh’s Adam LaRoche in response to the recent team-wide slump. But is the left-handed first baseman really the offensive answer the Sox need?
LaRoche batted .247 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs in 87 games for the Pirates this season. Those numbers aren’t great, but some would argue that LaRoche is notorious for picking up in the second half. He also hits righties pretty well.
There is also the question of where to put LaRoche into the lineup. If Mike Lowell’s troublesome hip gets worse again, that problem is solved – move Kevin Youkilis to third and start LaRoche at first. But as Lowell told me, if he’s healthy and hitting well, he expects to play.
There is no question the Sox need a big bat in the lineup. The offense just hasn’t had a lot of pop. But once again, who would you take out of the lineup? This is an offense that is capable of being strong — without the addition of LaRoche – so I would argue the best answer would be to see this group of Red Sox turn it around and hit like we know they can.