It's been better than a week since the trade deadline, and longer still since the Red Sox were, essentially, lame ducks in the American League. When a team finds themselves in such a position, attention tends to shift away from the scoreboard and towards the players who, ideally, will be helping the team rise from the depths in the seasons to come.
So far, though, not even those players have been giving Red Sox fans much to be excited about.
Six games into August, the Red Sox as a team have a 68 wRC+ on the month. Simply put, the kids haven't been cutting it. Jackie Bradley is 0-for-the-month, Xander Bogaerts is little better at .136/.130/.227. Will Middlebrooks' return has mostly brought more of the same from him, and Brock Holt is in a slump so bad that it actually threatens to completely undo his hot start, which is saying quite a bit. Christian Vazquez is the only one who has much of anything going for him with his .400 OBP, but even that is diminished somewhat by the .267 SLG.
And then there's the pitching. Not much needs to be said there other than that Brandon Workman's five-inning, four-run performance against the Cardinals on Thursday was the first time a Red Sox starter had struck out more batters than he walked since Jon Lester managed it in his final start with the team. Even when the results are decent--and often enough they aren't--the actual pitching is concerning at best.
It's just been a short stretch of games, but for a team that's seen plenty of bad starts already this year, having just one more thing go wrong seems excessive, to say the least.
So now the Red Sox head west, to a part of the country which usually gives them enough trouble to begin with, in need of about half-a-dozen turnarounds. And said turnarounds will need to come against a team which has proven as good as the Red Sox are bad this season. Better, even.
There's fewer than 50 games left in this season, which is good news for Red Sox fans who would probably rather the whole thing be done with sooner rather than later. But if the team does as little with the next 48 as they've done with their last six, eight, ten games, the Sox will be heading into the offseason with a grim outlook indeed.
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