When the Red Sox won their seventh straight game last Sunday against Tampa Bay, I thought that they needed a good road trip to keep the momentum going.
3 games in Cleveland, Detroit and Baltimore each. I figured going 5-4 in those games would keep it going. The month of June was going to be important, especially with the Toronto Blue Jays getting hot getting control of the division.
So we get three losses in Cleveland. And now two losses in Detroit. A 5-4 road trip now won't happen.
Once again, the Red Sox are spiraling downward. Jon Lester was awful last night, giving up 5 runs on 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings. A late ninth inning rally wasn't enough. And the old devil of not hitting when it really counts has returned in this five-game losing streak: they are hitting .143 with RISP since last Sunday.
27-34. 10 games behind Toronto in fourth place. At this time last year, the Sox were 37-24, 1 1/2 games up in first place. A full ten game swing over last season.
The Sox certainly have the wherewithal to make a deal. They can take on payroll, and they have the prospects they can move for a hitter (and preferably an outfielder). The biggest thing working against them is the calendar. It says June 8th. But almost no one will make a trade now. Most teams figure they have a decent chance at the playoffs, with so many teams hovering around .500 now. So they will wait until July 31, when teams looking to move players will pull the trigger, and teams looking for an upgrade will gamble by paying a little more. Any deal made now will be extremely expensive in terms of what has to be surrendered. The Sox need help NOW, before this gets markedly worse. They do get Mike Napoli back today, and Shane Victorino will be back in a few weeks.
But it may be too late by July 31. The Sox may actually be sellers rather buyers. It will remain to be seen, and I certainly don't want to speculate now on who they might move should it look hopeless by the end of July.
Some years it just doesn't go right. As Red Sox fans, we've seen that plenty of times in our lifetime. It's been a lot rarer in the 21st century. The team is just too inconsistent this year. And it's getting late awful early in 2014.