3. Lack of Pitching Depth
On the field, the main issue facing Boston is a lack of pitching depth. Again, it would have been nice if somebody had done something about that at the trade deadline, but it’s too late now.
With Chris Sale, Tanner Houck, Garrett Whitlock and Corey Kluber on the IL, the Red Sox are woefully short on pitching depth, especially in the rotation. The team only has four healthy starters at the moment and has been forced to rely on bullpen games to fill in the gaps.
That strategy surprisingly worked during July with all the off days, but it looks a lot less viable in August with fewer rest days and so many tough opponents coming up. A shorthanded rotation puts a lot of stress on the bullpen, and with no downtime to recover there’s a high chance of overuse and diminished effectiveness.
We’ve seen this movie before, too. Another reason for Boston’s recent August struggles is that the team’s best relievers during those years (remember Matt Barnes?) tended to burn out, resulting in avoidable late-game meltdowns and blown saves.
At the end of the day, the Red Sox simply don’t have enough arms to survive their unrelenting schedule. Because of that and the other reasons mentioned above, I think they’ll fall farther behind in the Wild Card race and ultimately miss the playoffs.
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