OK, I let the latest disaster sink in overnight. Now it's time to rant.
I begin it on this disgraceful stat:
The Boston Red Sox have allowed the most total runs in the American League this year.
Let me repeat that: The Red Sox have allowed the most runs of any team in the AL in 2010. (An average of 5.43 per game.) More than Baltimore, Chicago or Kansas City.
Totally and completely unacceptable.
The pitching in a word, blows. Sorry to put it in such graphic terms, but it fits. This was supposed to be the strength of this club, but it is currently strangling them right now. There seems to be no one right now Terry Francona can completely count on. Even Jon Lester, who looked like he was kicking it into another gear after struggling out of the gate, was partially responsible for the flame out in Detroit last Saturday. This was supposed to be the one area the Sox could count on this year.
And count me in the group that hopes Daisuke Matsuzaka is on another team next year. Hang last night on him, putting his club in a 5-0 hole before the first inning ended. He got torched in the opening frame, in an important game against your main division rival. He tantalized us with that game against Toronto last week, thinking the "real" Dice-K was back. I'm through counting on this guy.
And Papelbon? Flat fastballs to guys like Slappy and even to Marcus Thames ain't getting the job done. I know it was just his first blown save since last July. But when the offense picks the pitching staff up after falling into such a hole, YOU HAVE TO SLAM THE DOOR AND PUT THE GAME INTO THE "W" COLUMN. End of story.
Two truly backbreaking losses in three days. The mettle of the Nation is really being tested now.
And where is John Farrell in this whole thing? Listen, I am not calling him to be fired or anything. I've always liked him as the pitching coach, and I certainly can't come up with a better alternative to him right now. But this struggling pitching staff is on his watch, and with so much expected of it, eyes will now be turned toward him for answers.
The offensive numbers continue to be impressive. The Red Sox are second in the AL in runs (behind New York), second in RBI, first in hits, third in doubles, fourth in OBP, second in SLG, and second in total bases. They've really picked it up, and those people who bother to pay attention know that another bat is not what the Red Sox need right now.
And now some truly gruesome pitching numbers:
The Sox are last in the AL in ERA, earned runs allowed, and total runs allowed; 10th in walks allowed and 11th in quality starts.
Again, totally and completely unacceptable.
BTW, is it any coincidence that both Tampa Bay and New York are at the top of the division and are 1-2 in the AL in ERA, and most other pitching stats?
We've reached the quarter pole of the season and the hole is getting deeper again. The Sox trail Tampa Bay by 8 1/2 games. You can hang it on the pitching, which has been the albatross of this team. It has to get turned around and now. No more excuses. No more "it's just May and only 39 games have been played."
It's beginning to get late awfully early in Boston right now.
And why is a possible rainout tonight not the most unwelcome news for the Red Sox right now?