Monday, May 18, 2015

An Even Split On The Road

That was one bizarre road trip the Red Sox just came off of.

They lost the first two games in Toronto by wide margins, right after firing pitching coach Juan Nieves. I was hoping they could split the ten games and not fall into last place to stay in the AL East. I thought after the first resounding defeats we'd see a 2-8 or 1-9 road trip.

Carl Willis took over as pitching coach on the last game in Toronto, and all of a sudden the pitching turned around in a hurry. (Coincidence? Perhaps.)

They beat the Blue Jays that Sunday, then went to Oakland and won the series there, and split four games in Seattle this past weekend, including beating Felix Hernandez on Saturday. They came out of the ten-game road trip 5-5.

The Sox had only one badly pitched game out west, losing the second game in Oakland, 9-2. Rick Porcello pitched two very good games and beat Hernandez. Wade Miley pitched well in Oakland and got a win, pitching 6 2/3 shutout innings. Clay Buchholz was terrific last Friday night, allowing just a run in eight innings in Seattle while striking out 11. Rookie reliever Matt Barnes got two wins out of the pen this past week, and the bullpen overall was excellent.

But what also was on display out west was the Red Sox offense struggling mightily. They were shutout on Sunday, scored just one run on Friday in a loss, and two in wins on Wednesday and Thursday.

Now, you can thank goodness for the excellent pitching this past week, or this would really have been a disasterous trip out west.

The Sox are averaging 3.97 runs per game overall, which ranks them 12th overall in the AL, and have scored two or fewer runs 15 out of 38 games so far in 2015. Pretty feeble.

Once again, they are fortunate the AL East is not a strong division. They sit right now in third place, 3 1/2 games behind New York, at 18-20.

Time to get the bats heated up again. The Sox start a six-game homestand tomorrow with the Rangers and Angels.

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