This time last week, things were looking so, so good for the Boston Red Sox.
Now, they’re looking so, so bad.
Story of the season, right?
With their 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Friday night in the Bronx, Boston now has fallen in five straight games, two to the Yankees and three to the Tampa Bay Rays. For a team that is looking to remain in the wild card conversation, such a poor run of form is nothing short of, well, devastating.
Jamming the knife even deeper is the fact that the Red Sox haven’t had such sustained struggles in four years. This is the first time since July of 2015 that the Red Sox have lost five-plus straight games — though in the 2015 stretch it was eight straight defeats for Boston. Drawing comparisons to the 2015 squad is by no means a good thing, though it does underscore how successful the Red Sox have been since beginning their run as American League East champions in 2016.
All of this, of course, comes after the Sox had won five of their previous six games, in turn positioning themselves to make the wild card theirs to lose. Now, Boston sits four games out of the second wild card spot with three more contests this weekend against the Yankees.
By no means is this year’s group reminiscent of the 2015 team, but if they remain unable to straighten things out, their fate will be the same: a missed postseason berth.
Here are some other notes from Friday’s Red Sox-Yankees game:
— Eduardo Rodriguez didn’t necessarily have a bad outing, rather a bad inning that slapped a pretty big black eye on his night.
After allowing a single and two walks to begin the bottom of the first inning, Rodriguez gave up a one-out grand slam to Gleyber Torres. It was the only runs the Yankees would score, but it was enough. Rodriguez had struggled with command the entire inning, but he did show decent resolve in the aftermath, throwing 5 2/3 scoreless innings following the first stanza.
Rodriguez has been the beneficiary of some good run support this season, but he didn’t get it Friday. And if not for his slow start, the conversation right now might be a little different.
— The Red Sox managed just three hits all night.
J.D. Martinez smacked his 24th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning. After that, the bats went quiet, with Martinez, Andrew Benintendi and Christian Vazquez accounting for Boston’s only hits.
— Saturday will be a twinbill at Yankee Stadium, with Chris Sale set to get the ball for the Sox in the matinee. Brian Johnson then will be activated off the injured list and will serve as a starter for the nightcap.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images