Re: It's the pitching, stupid
posted at 4/13/2011 3:28 PM EDT
Actually, it's a combination of many things.
1. Starting pitching has been slow rounding into shape, but Lester was great in two of his three starts and still has yet to win. The Sox have scored just two runs in his last two starts.
2. Youk and Crawford not hitting. Forget about his contract, even if he was paid just $6M, he's batting leadoff and has yet to do anything. Youk is batting cleanup, and both A-Gon and Ortiz have hit well behind him and he still scks so far this year. It's great that his OBP is so high, but the fact is, the Sox need him to hit and drive runs in, not walk.
3. Luck. There has been some fluky things happen. Let's look at last night. The Rays score a run on a slow weak chopper with a guy on third who was able to beat the throw home. A couple of innings later, with a runner on, which could have set up a big inning, A-Gon his a shot up the middle that deflects off the pitcher and to the 2B who throws out A-Gon at first.
4. Not enough players are picking up for the key guys who are struggling. Meaning, when a player like Youk and Crawford are struggling, you would hope that other guys (Salty, Scutaro or Ellsbury) -- the bottom of the order guys will come through. Scutaro did against the Yankees, but for the most part, they're struggling too. And guys like Ortiz or A-Gon, while they've been doing their job, they also haven't been hot enough to carry the team. Or when the starting pitching blows up, the bullpen can't keep it close. That's happened at least twice.
This is how good teams start 2-9. You can't just look at one area.
Sure it's easy to look at the ERA and say it's just the pitching, but look again. The Sox averaged more than five runs a game last year. In 11 games so far, they've reached five runs just four times and scored more than five runs once.
If it's reasonable to suggest that if the Sox scored five runs, they should win, that means the most they should have won so far is just four games. And if it's reasonable to suggest that if the Sox allow four or fewer runs, the most they should have won so far is again, just four games. So in my opinion, the best the Sox could hope to be the way they're playing so far is 4-7.
So let's stop pointing the blame at one spot or one or two players. The Sox are 2-9 because of nothing has come together yet. It's a team failure so far.