Tide Turning for Worse for Red Sox After Crushing Losses

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Tide Turning for Worse for Red Sox After Crushing Losses Yikes.

Following another shutout loss in the Bronx, that seems to be the only appropriate reaction.

Yikes.

But is it time to call it quits on the season? Is a trio of losses (with perhaps a fourth on the way) to the Yankees enough to come to that conclusion?

That depends on who you ask.

There is, as always, reason to believe. There are, however, just as many reasons to give up and get ready for football season.

Here are just a few.

The Sox are still alive: The past five days have been a disaster for the Red Sox. However, they still hold a one-game lead for the wild card, thanks to a Texas loss on Saturday.

Obviously, if the Sox continue to lose every single game, that won't matter. But they'll win. Every team goes through losing streaks, and every team comes out of them.

The Red Sox are no different. In 2004, they lost five straight in May. In 2007, they lost four consecutive games on three separate occasions, the last two coming at the end of August and in mid-September. Those teams snapped out of it, and there's reason to believe this team can, too.

The season is over: The offense has been pathetic. The Red Sox haven't been able to score a run in their last 24 innings. David Ortiz looks like he did in April, Jason Bay can't muster the hamstring strength to step onto the field, J.D. Drew is just 2-for-13 in August and newcomer Casey Kotchman has impossibly struck out five times in nine at-bats since joining the Red Sox.

The Sox are still alive: Josh Beckett and Jon Lester have been monsters of late. The two have combined to go 10-2 since June 20 with a 2.08 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 121 1/3 innings. Of course, they can't pitch every night, and as Friday night proved, their starts can't be marked as automatic wins.

But if the Brewers made the playoffs in 2008 riding CC Sabathia, the Sox should be happy to have two aces to count on down the stretch.

The season is over: The rest of the rotation is in shambles. John Smoltz is done (for now, at least), Clay Buchholz has been shaky, Tim Wakefield can't feel his leg and Brad Penny has hardly tasted the seventh inning all year.

For the Sox to make the playoffs, this group is going to have to offer something. Given the circumstances, that's a lot to ask.

The Sox are still alive: With Saturday's press conference behind him, Ortiz could have a clear head. True, it didn't look that way on Saturday, when he went 0-3 with two strikeouts, but the game started just hours after he addressed the media. Once he gets out of New York and returns to Fenway, things could turn around for Big Papi.

After all, his last at-bat there was a memorable one.

Tide Turning for Worse for Red Sox After Crushing LossesThe season is over: How a team with a $121 million payroll doesn't have a shortstop is truly unexplainable. How Jed Lowrie lost feeling in his arm on a check swing is equally as difficult to understand.

The addition of some guy named Chris Woodward (and his subsequent insertion into Friday night's extra-inning game) only looks bad for the Red Sox. Nick Green's been OK, but the Sox probably need a bona fide shortstop if they want to win the World Series. Given what's available on waivers, they won't be getting one.

The Sox are still alive: They've been here before, and Terry Francona has steered the ship out of trouble. Many fans have called for his head the past few days, especially after he chose to pitch to Evan Longoria with first base open in the 13th inning Tuesday night in Tampa. Anyone who's spent more than two minutes in Boston, however, knows he'd have gotten slammed for walking him, too.

The fact is that Francona is the perfect man for the job. He's proven it before, and he has the opportunity to do so again over the next two months.Will he get the Red Sox where they need to be come Oct. 4?

It's certainly too soon to tell.

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