The Red Sox fell to four games under .500 (19-23) on Friday with a 12-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park. The defeat moved Boston one step closer to reaching its collective boiling point, although the club is striving to maintain its composure amid a disappointing start to the 2015 season.
“There’s definite frustration,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the loss. “And that’s shared by all in our clubhouse and that work day in and day out with us. We expect more from ourselves. That is a given.
“That’s repeatedly discussed and talked about, and yet in the moment we’ve got to go out and execute more consistently and do a better job all the way around.”
The Red Sox’s biggest issue, as Farrell mentioned, is a lack of execution. Boston’s offense was supposed to run roughshod over opposing pitchers this season, leaving Red Sox starters with little to do beyond providing quality innings. Yet timely hits have been elusive. When the Red Sox’s bats have woken up, like they did in Friday’s loss, their pitching hasn’t been able to supplement the offensive attack.
It’s an ineffective recipe, no doubt. And it’s one that must change or else the Red Sox will find themselves bringing up the rear in the American League East for the second consecutive season and for the third time in four years.
“You’ve got to show up day in and day out and have the right process,” Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “If everybody plays together, then we win. And right now, all aspects of our game aren’t together. So when that happens, you’re not going to win.”
It’s a rather simple concept, really. The Red Sox need to strike some sort of balance. The whole hitting without pitching/pitching without hitting thing isn’t going to yield many wins over the course of a 162-game season, and it’s certainly not going to work as long as Boston keeps digging itself an early hole in the division.
A glass-half-full mindset, like the one portrayed by starter Rick Porcello after Friday’s loss, suggests the Red Sox are weathering their most brutal storm of 2015 and should come out on the other side better because of it once everything finally clicks. But such optimism only can go so far. At some point, the Red Sox need to perform at a higher level across the board. Less talk and more play, as Pedroia put it.
“I think every day guys show up ready to play and win. There’s not a day I show up expecting to lose,” Pedroia said. “I’ve never done it in my life, and neither have the other 24 guys. We’re going to show up (Saturday) and expect to win and play the best we can and build on it.”
The Red Sox have spent the majority of May pointing to bad breaks and emphasizing that their fortunes will turn around. It’s admirable positivity, sure, but it also ignores the stunning reality that Boston has been outscored 85-49 this month and has by far the worst run differential (minus-42) in the American League this season.
Pedroia admitted after Friday’s loss that “everybody’s pissed” about the way they’re performing as a team. The inability to string together consistent performances, let alone wins, will do that to a club’s psyche, especially when there’s plenty of talent up and down the roster.
“We’re definitely frustrated,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. “We know we’re capable of much more.”
The Red Sox entered the season with lofty expectations and haven’t come close to meeting them. As the sample size starts to grow, so, too, does Boston’s dissatisfaction with the status quo.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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