Boston Red Sox: Why team is headed towards a September swoon

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 04: Rick Porcello
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 04: Rick Porcello /

The  Boston Red Sox 10-4 loss puts them just 2.5 games over the New York Yankees to lead the American League East division. They kickoff the month 1-2 with various similarities to the underachieving laughing stock that were the 2011 team.

Following a fairly disappointing and unsatisfactory 4-game series against the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox carry on their streak of poor play with a 10-4 home loss to the last place Toronto Blue Jays and have lost 8 of their last 12.

Boston entered the Bronx with an opportunity to arguably close out the race with the New York Yankees for 1st place in the American League East.

However after being outscored 24-6 in a span of just 4 days, things have rapidly changed.

It almost feels as though overnight Red Sox nation underwent a transformation with optimism and positivity in the air following the 3-game Blue Jays sweep, to many beginning to question the fate of this team heading into the end of the season.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JULY 6: Manager John Farrell
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JULY 6: Manager John Farrell /

A relevant and certainty crucial comparison yet to receive any noteworthy attention recently is the possibility of the Red Sox heading for a September collapse, much like the one Red Sox nation had to endure back in 2011.

Now with the team just 3 games into September, it may seem as though such a notion is much too early to address.

However considering Boston’s recent on field performance, most notably this past weekend, a question as such should certainly rise if the team has any intentions of clinching the division and making a run at October baseball.

Lets take a deeper look into some indications which deserve recognition.

Hanley’s drop in the order

The Red Sox in general have under performed drastically this season in terms of power.

However the lineups power source and home run leader, Hanley Ramirez has continued to do more harm than good in key at bats with runners on, ultimately leading to his descend in the starting lineup.

In July, Ramirez batted .271 in his typical cleanup spot in the lineup. In August that average took a major 50-point dip at .221, and entering last night’s game it stood at .091 to kickoff September.

Ramirez is also averaging just about 9 RBIs a month with his 52 total in 117 games this season. That’s Ramirez’ lowest in Boston since he played 105 games with 53 RBIs in 2015.

Chris Sale’s disappearance in key games

Chris Sale has undoubtedly been the Red Sox rotation savior, leader, and MVP this season. However when the spotlight shines on him in pivotal games, Sale has failed to deliver.

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His 14.63 ERA against Cleveland, a likely postseason opponent, and 0-3 record against the Yankees have been far from the typical Chris Sale we are accustomed to seeing dominate on the mound.

Reliance of Doug Fister

While the acquisition via waivers of veteran, Doug Fister may pan out to make Dave Dombrowski look like a baseball genius, his reliance should remain a monitored concern.

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The concern with Fister remains with the simple fact that he’s a wild card. His ERA has a taken a significant dip which the Red Sox have certainly benefited from.

Fisters ERA monthly:

  • July: 5.32 (6 games)
  • August: 3.71  (4 games)
  • September: 1.29 (1 game)

Doug Fister is also the only pitcher on Red Sox staff with a playoff win yet his fate in late September and early October remains questionable.

Xander Bogaerts

It’s been a rough season on both ends for 24-year shortstop, Xander Bogaerts to say the least.

Bogaerts’ .269 batting average, 8 home runs, and career-high, 15 errors are just the prime notables that sum up his overall disappointing 2017 season.

His cold streak at the plate and poor defense on the field have carried on for months and are most definitely a crucial concern at this point in the season.

Next: The 5 Greatest Boston Red Sox Shortstops of All-Time

While the team is just 4 days into the month, there is certainly a list of various aspects to monitor which have played into Boston’s current position.