Boston Red Sox: Time is running out to save the season

J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox 2021 season has currently turned into a roller coaster with so many ups and downs that it’s tough to figure out where this team stands. Just when you think they have finally figured things out again, they find a new way to lose in spectacular fashion.

Let’s take a recent stretch of baseball in which Boston has gone 4-4. They managed to sweep the hapless Baltimore Orioles, only to follow that up by losing three games to the New York Yankees in a span of two days. They followed that up with a clean 6-0 victory over the Texas Rangers, but then played arguably their ugliest game of the season the next night, and ended up losing 10-1 to the Rangers.

After being a pillar of consistency throughout the first half of the season, the Red Sox have somehow turned into one of the most inconsistent teams in the league. They can’t seem to find solid footing, and time is running out to do so.

Getting swept by the Yankees could end up being the moment we look back on at the season’s end that turned the tides fully against the Sox. They had already relinquished first place to the Tampa Bay Rays, and then proceeded to let the Yankees step all over them and push them out of a wild card spot. Now the Red Sox find themselves on the outside looking in in the wild card race, just a few weeks after holding a commanding lead a top the AL East.

Will the Boston Red Sox be able to find their way into the playoffs?

It’s almost mind-boggling to be discussing this, but the Red Sox may not even end up in the playoffs by the season’s end. This being the same team that some, myself included, were labeling as a potential World Series contender just a few months back. But that’s how good this team was in the first half of the season; they consistently found ways to win games that they are now finding ways to lose.

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It’s fair to wonder whether they can find a way back into a playoff spot. The AL East is probably lost by now, as they sit six and a half games behind the Rays, and would have to pass the Yankees in the process too, which seems quite unlikely. And although they are just half of a game behind the Oakland Athletics for the second wild card spot, the position they find themselves in is a lot worse than is was a few months back.

Now that they are officially out of the playoff picture for the time being, the Boston Red Sox are going to have to win their way back into the playoffs. Time is running out to do that, and with the way things have gone recently for this team, it doesn’t seem very likely to happen.

In fairness, Boston has 21 games left against opponents whose record is under .500, although six of those come against the Cleveland Indians who are just a game under the threshold. That means they will have a good shot to beat up against some lighter opponents and work their way back into a playoff spot. Then again, the Rangers are one of those teams under .500, and they just smoked the Sox last night, which isn’t exactly a great sign.

But things need to change, and soon. The lineup is running dangerously hot or cold, as it feels like they are either scoring double digit runs or none at this point. The pitching has been quite hit or miss as well, and just when it seems like they have found their way, something like Eduardo Rodriguez failing to make it out of the fourth against the Rangers happens.

The problem is the change that was expected to rejuvenate this team has already come and gone for the most part. Chris Sale and Kyle Schwarber were expected to be the two big pieces to come in and be the spark this team needs, and while they have both been great, this team looks no different than they did before their return. Maybe Christian Arroyo and Danny Santana are those spark plugs, but there’s not much help on the way after them.

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With all that being said, things certainly don’t look good for the Boston Red Sox. Yet while time is running out, there still is more than a month for things to change. For as quickly as things have gone sour in Boston, they could just as quickly brighten up if the team can find their old mojo. If not however, the offseason will be upon us much quicker than originally expected.