This weekend the struggling Boston Red Sox swept the Baltimore Orioles in a quick homestand. Though the Orioles’ struggles are far deeper than the Boston’s, it was a nice way to boost the confidence within the Red Sox dugout. Today is a much-needed, and deserved, rest day for Boston as they get ready for an important series against the Yankees in New York. The weekend also included adding a player clearing through waivers. The Red Sox announced Sunday that infielder Travis Shaw is back in Boston.
Red Sox Recent Struggles
Since the trade deadline, the Red Sox have been struggling across the board. Boston has gone just 5-5 in their last 10 games.
Eduardo Rodriguez has been one of the few pitchers that were improving since the July 30th trade deadline. Prior to the weekend homestand, the pitching staff has allowed 72 runs in the 12 games after the trade deadline.
Since the start of August, manager Alex Cora has made some major changes with the pitching staff. Sending both Martin Perez and Garrett Richards to the bullpen. Cora also brought Tanner Houck up from Worcester to make a start.
While the pitching had been less than stellar, the bats had pulled a disappearing act as well. Before the Orioles series, the Red Sox were averaging less than 5 runs per game. The lineup only scored 5 or more runs on just three occasions before the Orioles series. The Red Sox have been really struggling with runners in scoring position, especially with the bases loaded. The team left 90 men on base in the 12 games between the trade deadline and the start of the Orioles series. The top of the order, especially, had the most frustrations. Totaling for just 7 home runs despite all the lineup shake-ups by Cora.
Three Game Win Streak
The Red Sox defeated the Orioles in each of the 3 games played this weekend. The Pitching came alive again. After the weekend, the pitching staff totaled an ERA of just 1.33, pitchers only allowing just 5 runs and struck out 33 batters. The Red Sox bats came alive again, especially the top of the order. Scoring 30 runs on 37 hits and striking out just 12 times in the 3 game series.
Leaving runners on base is an ongoing issue, still leaving 20 runners behind in the 3 game series against Baltimore. Though, it was nice to see the bats at work again for the Red Sox. The top of the order has found their confidence, once again, and has become red hot again. Boston has led the league in doubles all season, they added another 9 to their impressive season total over the course of the weekend. Coincidentally, the Red Sox added another 9 home runs.
Chris Sale Returns
Chris Sale returned to the mound after missing all of the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery. It was almost like an extra rehab start for the 6’6” pitcher. Sale was locked in from the start, striking out 8 and only allowing 2 runs in 5 innings. The one blip he had in his first start back was a series of back-to-back home runs in the top of the third. It wasn’t too much of a stressor on the team as the Sox were ahead by an additional 4 runs.
At the end of the day, it’s not time to count the Red Sox down and out. Every team struggles at some point or another. Baseball has an incredibly long season, there are bound to be some struggles. It just is frustrating when the pitching and the batting are both hitting cold streaks at the same time. However, it’s great when the tandem is hot. Hopefully, we’ve bounced back after whatever the beginning of the month was and have entered a hot streak.
(featured photo by author)
-Jess Donahue (@jldx392)
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