The Boston Red Sox’s sinking ship is beginning to take on more water. And it has nothing to do with Mother Nature’s tricks, which forced a doubleheader Monday at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
The Red Sox, losers of five straight, were swept away by the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend. The Halos absolutely pummeled the Sox, capping the four-game beatdown with two convincing victories in Monday’s twin bill.
It’s hard to draw positives from the Red Sox’s performance against the Angels. It was a lopsided series that magnified just how far Boston is from being the club it aspired to be this season.
The Sox left The Big A sitting nine games under .500 (42-51) and nine games back of the division-leading New York Yankees in the American League East. The Angels, meanwhile, own a 52-40 record and a two-game lead over the Houston Astros in the AL West.
Let’s run down some notes from Monday.
— The Red Sox are tied with the Seattle Mariners for the worst record in the American League.
Forget the growing deficit the Red Sox face in relation to the division-leading Yankees. They’re four games behind the fourth-place Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East.
— The Red Sox failed to score in 33 of 36 innings against the Angels. They never held a lead.
Boston owns the third-worst run differential (minus-61) in baseball, ahead of only the Chicago White Sox (minus-77) and the Philadelphia Phillies (minus-152) entering Tuesday.
— This isn’t a good stat.
Boston allowed 7 R in an inning an MLB-leading 4th time this season (2nd time vs LAA). In prev. 2 seasons, BOS allowed 7 in 1 inning 3 times—
ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 20, 2015
— Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval contributed to Monday’s woes with a pair of defensive miscues in Game 1 of the doubleheader.
Daniel Robertston hit a line drive over Ramirez’s head as part of the Angels’ seven-run second inning against Eduardo Rodriguez. Ramirez basically froze and never recovered. It was a bad play.
“It looked like he got turned around on it,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Anaheim. “It looked like, if he gets a decent break on it, it’s possibly a catchable ball. It ends up going over his head.”
Sandoval was charged with an error two innings later when he failed to glove a sharp ground ball hit by Albert Pujols. It was a rocket, no doubt, but it was a play Sandoval needed to make, especially with two outs. The Angels ended up scoring four runs in the inning to open an 11-1 lead.
Ramirez has made an impact at the plate this season, but he’s been terrible, for the most part, in left field. Sandoval has underachieved in both areas despite occasional glimpses of improvement.
Perhaps it’s too early to pass judgment on either player’s Red Sox tenure. We’re just 93 games into Year 1. But the organization likely expected more when it shelled out nearly $200 million.
— Steven Wright, like Rodriguez in Game 1, suffered from a disastrous inning in Game 2. The Angels scored four runs in the third to take a 5-0 lead. It stemmed from a lack of control.
“When you have two outs and you have two-out walks, I kind of shot myself in the foot,” Wright told reporters. “If I had been able to limit that inning, I would have been able to go deeper and give us a chance to win.”
Too much movement, perhaps? Oh, the perils of a knuckleballer.
— The Red Sox’s biggest positive Monday likely occurred in Norfolk, Va., where outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. smacked two home runs for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Bradley is hitting .315 with nine home runs, 27 RBIs and a .389 on-base percentage in 64 games with the PawSox this season. He has two multihomer games in his last four contests.
“Jackie’s tearing up Triple A. I’ve got a lot of scouts telling me this guy is a player that a lot of clubs don’t have,” Bradley’s agent, Scott Boras, told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier last week. “He’s an extraordinary defender.
“Certainly the Red Sox know that if they don’t have that opening, you know that he’s going to be a commodity in demand. There really aren’t that many players, particularly with that one tool of defense. Jackie can lead off and really be a fine major leaguer for a long time.”
It’ll be interesting to see if/how Bradley fits into the Red Sox’s second-half plans or if Boston will consider trading him in the right deal. He’s never been able to take advantage of his major league opportunities, at least offensively, so it’s difficult to put too much stock into his Triple-A performance, however encouraging it might be for someone with so much defensive upside.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images