You want to run with the big boys, you've got to show up and make a statement.
The Boston Red Sox surely didn't do that this past weekend.
Crap starting pitching doomed this team. (12 of the last 14 home games the starters have allowed runs in the first inning.) Pedro Ciriaco gave the club a nice boost on offense, but how can you count on him? You don't pitch, you can't win. Very simple.
This team needed to go on a huge run, like in 2004 when they won 20 of 25 in mid-August that brought them out of a mediocre stretch and put them securely in the Wild Card driver's seat. Every time it appears it might be happening, poof. (I thought it might have been happening when the team went out to the West Coast on the last trip. I'll say no more.)
The Red Sox finish the first half at 43-43. Yeah, I know, lots of injuries. But guys who've been counted on to perform at a high level (Adrian Gonzalez, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett) have simply not gotten the job done. Optimists out there will point to the fact the Sox are only 2 1/2 back in the Wild Car race, and of course, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia and Andrew Bailey will be back shortly.
But honestly, can you picture this team making it to the World Series this year?
No, neither can I.
43-43. Reminds of another year when the Sox underperformed and were 43-42 at the break: 1988. And management took the drastic step of firing the manager during the break, namely John McNamara. (The REAL reason the Red Sox lost the 1986 World Series, but don't get me started on that subject.) And Walpole Joe Morgan took over, the Sox won 24 straight games at home (still an MLB record), and won the AL East.
I certainly don't expect Bobby Valentine to get canned right now. I'm not overly impressed by him as an in-game manager, and of course, all of this is not on his head.
Dropping more games at home (and especially to your closest division rival) doesn't fill me with a ton of optimism for the second half. By July 31 (just three weeks away), it will be interesting to see what the Red Sox will do. Will they make a big trade, like they did in 2004, and bring some hope back? I honestly wouldn't bet on it. I have no idea who to trade for. I don't get paid to make those decisions.
So, how many days until pitchers and catchers report to Ft. Myers for 2013?