• Red Sox Problem Is Starting Pitching

    Posted by on August 18th, 2012 · Comments (9)

    Via the Boston Herald -

    Go ahead and blame the Red Sox’ train wreck of a season on an injury epidemic that has put 25 players on the disabled list.

    After all, that’s the most common explanation provided by most players and manager Bobby Valentine.

    But another matchup between the fast-fading Red Sox and the front-running New York Yankees brings the real problem into 20/20 focus.

    It’s all about the pitching.

    In the latest not-nearly-good-enough start by a Red Sox pitcher, Franklin Morales allowed four solo home runs in 51⁄3 innings last night in a 6-4 loss at Yankee Stadium. In all, the Yankees went deep five times, burying the Red Sox even deeper in both the American League East and the wild card standings.

    Jon Lester and Josh Beckett have been the poster boys for underachieving pitching. But as a group, Red Sox starters have a 4.84 ERA, fourth-worst in the AL and better than only the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins, each of whom are bound for losing records.

    Is it any wonder the Sox, at 58-62, have won as many as four games in a row only once since the middle of June? Even if the players got along so well with Valentine that they all held hands during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” a winning streak isn’t sustainable without better pitching.

    “When you talk about the pitching,” Valentine said, “the only thing it has kind of stressed us on is we’ve played, I think, an abnormal amount of games where we’ve been behind early. I think it stresses the offense, and our offense has been challenged at times.”

    Wasn’t it just like a year and a half ago where everyone thought the Red Sox were the best team in baseball because they had so much quality starting pitching? Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Beckett and Dice-K were their five “horses,’ if I recall correctly, back at the start of 2011. And, they were backed up by Alfredo Aceves, Tim Wakefield, Michael Bowden and Andrew Miller.

    It’s amazing how south this group went, in a hurry.

    Comments on Red Sox Problem Is Starting Pitching

    1. Raf
      August 18th, 2012 | 8:38 am

      Yep, I remember. Crowned world champs before the 2011 season started. Had a good 1st half, then we all know what happened.

      Injury and ineffectiveness will doom a staff. I think Lester will bounce back, same with Beckett (who has alternated good with bad years). Buchholz should be fine. Don’t know about Lackey and Matsuzaka. I would think the former would be better than the latter, but coming back at 34 after missing a year with TJS, I dunno. Morales seems to be pretty solid. That has the makings of a decent staff.

    2. Corey
      August 18th, 2012 | 9:41 am

      I take personal responsibility (or credit) for wrecking Lester. Every year my fantasy team ruins someones career. Last year it was Hanley, this year it was Lester (and possibly Neftali Feliz).

    3. FakeGeneMichaels
      August 18th, 2012 | 10:31 am

      Corey wrote:

      I take personal responsibility (or credit) for wrecking Lester. Every year my fantasy team ruins someones career. Last year it was Hanley, this year it was Lester (and possibly Neftali Feliz).

      Any chance of picking up some of the Devil Rays pitchers off the wire?. Why stop?..
      Steve, I guess there was never really a curse.. They are just a horrible team. Individually they may have superstar stats, but collectively as a team, well 58-62 says it all.

    4. August 18th, 2012 | 11:01 am

      That was the best T-shirt that I saw after 2004:

      Hey, Red Sox. I guess there was never a curse and you just sucked all those years.

    5. FakeGeneMichaels
      August 18th, 2012 | 11:14 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      That was the best T-shirt that I saw after 2004:Hey, Red Sox. I guess there was never a curse and you just sucked all those years.

      I wanted to say that but wasnt sure if the word SUCKED was permitted on this site. I still have my Tee-shirt and wear it only during the playoffs.. which reminds me, its almost time to bring it out!.

    6. Corey
      August 18th, 2012 | 12:18 pm

      FakeGeneMichaels wrote:

      Any chance of picking up some of the Devil Rays pitchers off the wire?. Why stop?..

      I drafted and have Matt Moore, who had a crappy first half. He’s turned it on recently, though.

    7. Corey
      August 18th, 2012 | 12:24 pm

      For kicks, here’s my fantasy team at the moment (1st place in a pay league):

      Active Batters
      Montero, Miguel(C) ARI
      Santana, Carlos(1B,C) CLE
      Walker, Neil(2B) PIT
      Jones, Chipper(3B) ATL
      Rutledge, Josh(SS) COL
      Cespedes, Yoenis(OF) OAK
      Jennings, Desmond(OF) TB
      Trout, Mike(OF) LAA
      Cruz, Nelson(OF) TEX

      Bench
      Morales, Kendrys(1B) LAA
      Upton, Justin(OF) ARI

      Active Pitchers
      Buehrle, Mark(SP) MIA
      Harvey, Matt(SP) NYM
      Hernandez, Felix(SP) SEA
      Lester, Jon(SP) BOS
      Jackson, Edwin(SP) WAS
      Fiers, Mike(RP,SP) MIL
      Moore, Matt(RP,SP) TB
      Bench
      Cobb, Alex(SP) TB
      Volquez, Edinson(SP) SD
      Garcia, Jaime(SP) STL (I)
      Marcum, Shaun(SP) MIL (I)
      Street, Huston(RP) SD (I) (DL slot)

      Yup, no Yanks.

    8. FakeGeneMichaels
      August 18th, 2012 | 12:32 pm

      Corey wrote:

      I drafted and have Matt Moore, who had a crappy first half. He’s turned it on recently, though.

      Well heres to hoping your jinx like ownership continues or lets hope the laws of diminishing return occur sooner rather than later..

    9. FakeGeneMichaels
      August 18th, 2012 | 12:53 pm

      Solid Lineup IMO.. I had Trout until two weeks ago and then I traded him for Trumbo and Ethier.. My line up had no HR’s or RBI’s. I know, stupid move but I am only three points out of first place and dead last in points for HR and RBI’s. My rotation has Jackson, Cobb too, Fiers I had but I simply didnt trust his stats about 4 weeks ago.. Sabermetrics were posting up alarming changes in his xFIP and tERA and FIP. I watched him pitch one night and when I seem him topping only 88mph of his FB, I got the message loud and clear.. DANGER!! I think his last start he did get roughed up pretty bad. Not sure if Justin Ruggiano is available in your league, I picked him up about three weeks ago on wire and has been very solid.. He +RCC was even better than Trouts, but was a part time player until Logan went down.. surprisely, he has held his own and his +RCC is still very high at 165 with now signs of that about to change. Now is playing full time and batting in front of Stanton could add more value in runs if you need them. Good luck the rest of the way.

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