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Does this count as a slump?

It’s not very often that we talk about the Red Sox losing two games in a row.

Philadelphia Phillies v Boston Red Sox
Ian Kinsler had a chance to become instantly beloved in Red Sox Nation, but couldn’t get the tying run home from second.
Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Ian Kinsler stood inside the batters’ box at Fenway Park on Monday night, staring down Cleveland’s Cody Allen on the mound. The Red Sox trailed the Indians 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth. Mookie Betts had just scored to make it a one-run game, and the tying run – Mitch Moreland – stood on second base.

As Sox fans, we are still getting used to Kinsler, our temporary second base rental picked up at the trade deadline, but if he could drill a base hit and bring that tying run home, no more would need to be said. We would instantly love him like he’s always been one of us. Fenway Park would’ve gone berserk. The crowd would’ve started ripping off chants of “DUSTIN WHO?? DUSTIN WHO??”

(OK, that last part was a joke.)

But Kinsler missed his pitch and got under the ball, sending a measly little pop up out to left field. Game over. Indians 5, Red Sox 4. That brought Boston’s record to 88-38 – you know, just a mere 50 games over .500 – and we said something that we haven’t really had to say very often in 2018: “Dang, the Red Sox just lost two games in a row.”

It’s been almost a month since that last happened. The Red Sox have only lost multiple games in a row on 10 occasions this season, and haven’t lost more than three straight (that skid came all the way back in April). For the most part, the 2018 Red Sox haven’t really given us any losing streaks to worry about. They’ve been very good about bouncing back after losses. This team has the ability to rebound after a tough defeat as well as any team in the history of baseball. That’s just one of the 1,563 things that I love about this Sox team.

So with that being said … now that the Red Sox have lost back-to-back games (the Rays on Sunday, Indians on Monday), does this mean they are in a slump? Can we classify this as a “losing streak”?

As far as the 2018 Red Sox go, I’d say definitely. Ever since the All-Star break, this team couldn’t have been more on fire. This is the first time they’ve lost two games in a row since July 24 and 26, losing at Baltimore and then at home to Minnesota. Since then, they’ve reeled off sweeps of the Yankees and the Orioles, taken two out of three against the Blue Jays and Rays, among other teams.

This might be considered a slump for this Sox team, but a team can’t really be going through a real slump until it starts losing series, and the Red Sox haven’t actually lost a series since they dropped two of three at Yankee Stadium at the end of June. So, there’s that.

Monday’s night loss to the Indians was frustrating, seeing as how nobody was able to come through at the plate when they needed to and Rick Porcello gave up some key home runs after looking so sharp at the start. Still, it’s hard to really be upset about anything right now. As I mentioned earlier, the Red Sox are 50 games above .500, are cruising to the postseason, and, barring some freaky Armageddon-like implosion, their third straight AL East title (I had to throw that part in there for jinxing purposes).

So, I say it’s time to just sit back, relax, and ride this “slump” out.