Saturday, September 24, 2011

Breaking Down a Meltdown

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The Boston Red Sox lost tonight for the 17th time in 22 games this month as they continue to do everything in their power to keep Tampa Bay in the Wild Card race. What is going on in Beantown? Simply put, it's a lack of starting pitching. Or just pitching in general. Boston is now 1-17 in games this month where they score fewer than 12 runs. Try to wrap your head around that. Boston starters, and it's all of them - not just John Lackey, have been dreadful. In the month of September the Sox rotation has just 3 quality starts (6+ innings, 3 or fewer earned runs - highlighted below in red) and they have combined for a record of 4-11 with an ERA of 7.34. TEN times the starters haven't even gotten through the 5th inning!

Looking for Bright Spots? Good luck. Here's how the individuals break down:

Boston has 5 games left in the regular season, a doubleheader tomorrow in New York and then three games on the road in Baltimore. Tomorrow it's going to be Wakefield and Lackey going for Boston, with Beckett slated to pitch Monday and Bedard on Tuesday. If somehow, the race hasn't been clinched by Wednesday, now you're likely looking at Jon Lester on short rest with the season on the line. Though I guess you could argue that the short rest might not be a factor considering his start today lasted less than 3 innings. It's just a mess and really an unbelievable turn of events for a team who was a game and a half up on the Yankees atop the AL East starting play on September 1st. Oh and by the way, the Rays won tonight against Toronto so the Sox lead over Tampa is now just a game and a half. It is conceivable that at the end of the day tomorrow, if the Sox are swept and the Rays win again, that there will be a TIE in the AL Wild Card Standings.

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