Boston Red Sox: Why it’s time to worry about team’s struggles

Hunter Renfroe #10 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Hunter Renfroe #10 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

With just over two months left in the MLB regular season, it’s safe to say the Boston Red Sox have exceeded expectations this season. Their 64-46 record is good for the fourth best in the American League, and they have led their division for the majority of the season. 18 games over .500 is pretty good for a team that wasn’t expected to have a winning record on the season.

Despite that, the Sox have found themselves in the midst of their worst stretch of baseball this season, and there is no end in sight. They seemingly found their way out with a solid 4-1 win over the Detroit Tigers last night, which snapped a five game losing streak. But they were back to their recent losing ways this afternoon, as they got blown out 8-1 by the lowly Tigers, and ended up on the losing side of the series.

Boston is now just 9-10 to open up the second half of the season, and have lost significant ground the AL East pennant race. They had opened up a pretty solid lead over the second place Tampa Bay Rays, but now sit a game and a half behind them in second place. Boston’s been stumbling for some time now, and they need to get their act together soon if they want to ensure a playoff spot.

But there’s reason to believe that a turnaround may not be on the radar. For starters, the Sox basically did nothing at the trade deadline while they watched every other team in the AL East reload, and now find themselves scrambling for reinforcements after just watching the trade deadline pass. And with many of the players who helped propel this team to a hot start cooling off, it’s safe to say things aren’t looking good for the Sox right now.

Why Boston Red Sox fans should be worried about the team

To put it bluntly, the Sox find themselves where they are because they have received production from spots of their roster they weren’t expecting too. Their starting rotation was really just a cast of misfits that ended up morphing into one of the best rotations in baseball for the first half of the season. That certainly isn’t the case anymore.

More from Chowder and Champions

While the lineup has really relied on production from Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and J.D. Martinez, they have gotten a lot of help from an unexpected group of players. Guys like Kike Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe, and Christian Arroyo have really come out of nowhere to put together some solid seasons of their own.

But as the main part of their lineup has cooled off, so has the lineup as a whole. They have failed to get much of anything going in the second half of the season, and it’s no surprise they have lost a majority of their games so far.

And the bullpen, which has really had a significant turnaround from last season, has looked poor for most of the second half as well. The two guys brought in at the trade deadline (Hansel Robles and Austin Davis), just combined to give up four runs today against the Tigers, which certainly isn’t a good sign. There have been bright spots, such as Phillips Valdez and Garrett Whitlock, but overall the bullpen hasn’t lived up to it’s billing in the second half.

What this all adds up to is a team regressing to the mean. There’s a reason the Boston Red Sox wasn’t expected to be one of the best team’s in baseball this season, and now we are finding out why. They had some players play above their expectations, and now they are regressing back to what they were expected to be.

What makes it all the more mind-boggling is that the front office did virtually nothing at the trade deadline. Kyle Schwarber will probably be a good addition when he hits the field, but Robles and Davis weren’t very effective with their previous teams, and have done nothing to suggest they will be good for the Red Sox either. Not to mention the biggest area of need, starting pitching, was left completely unaddressed at the deadline.

Next. Red Sox need to fix starting rotation. dark

It’s no wonder this team has gone cold, and unless they somehow find their first half form, there’s no reason to believe they will be able to right the ship. Yes they are still in contention for the top seed in the AL East, and depending on how guys like Schwarber, Chris Sale, and Tanner Houck do when they return to Boston, they may be able to win the division.

But for the time being, that seems like wishful thinking. The Boston Red Sox are regressing back to their expected ways right in front of our eyes. They had a shot to bring in reinforcements to help avoid that regression, but they failed to do so. With only limited help on the way, the Sox may be in more trouble than most fans think.