Red Sox 5, Rays 8: Ten

Brian Blanco


The Red Sox have now lost 10 straight games.

I am more tempted than you know to just leave it at that.

At this point, the details of each individual loss feel unimportant. Early on, we could talk about what was working and what was not. "There were positive signs from the lineup, so if they can just get a good pitching performance," or "It was a bad start from a good pitcher. Next time will probably be different" actually held some meaning. It helped to identify what the real issues were, and what needed to change for the team to turn the losses into wins.

What can we take from this game? Well, Brandon Workman was...not terrible. He started a lot stronger than he finished, recording two of his three strikeouts in the first inning and allowing seven of his eight baserunners in his last two frames of work. Workman's early-season time as a reliever is too short and too far removed to be considered a reasonable excuse for fading so early, but on the whole, given the performances of some of the other men to "grace" the 2014 rotation, it's hard to complain.

We can also say there were positive signs from the lineup. They produced ten hits and five runs tonight, and didn't simply feast on one inning of weakness as they did on Saturday. They put up the first run, and scored two more to rally back from a 3-1 deficit. Sure, two more came in a ninth inning with the game no longer really in question, but that's still a lot better than what we've been getting from the Red Sox lately.

That being said, who cares? When we've seen the lineup show signs of life before, they've gone right back into hibernation immediately thereafter. When we've received a passable start from a pitcher before, the next one still ended up terrible. And these semi-positive signs from the Red Sox do nothing to change the fact that Craig Breslow was completely terrible in the seventh, giving up five runs in the process of recording two outs, and dooming the Red Sox to a tenth straight loss.

It's often said that good teams find a way to win. Often enough that's just a shorthand way of saying that good teams have so many good pieces likely to contribute that even with many things going wrong they can still put together enough good to offset that.

Well, bad teams find a way to lose. Usually it's because of the parts of the team that are actually bad. But on the rare occasions that the bad parts of the team are not quite as bad as expected, all it takes is for one of the more reliable parts of the team to falter for just one day, and all those rare positives go to waste. It's like how the little-used bench bat comes through once every month. But in reverse.

What it comes down to is that the 2014 Red Sox are a bad team. Maybe that's not entirely fair. Maybe they're a mediocre team suffering injuries that really pushed them over the edge and into the abyss. But does it really matter? The bottom line is the same: loss after loss after loss, and not much reason to expect game 50 to bring change.

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