September Suckitude

When was the last time you can recall a title contender playing this bad down the home stretch?  The Red Sox are in the midst of one of baseball’s biggest September implosions and while I only speak for myself, it is very embarrassing to be a Red Sox fan today.

Don’t go taking that sentence out of context.  I still hope that they hold one and lock up the wild card spot.  Once you are in it’s a clean slate and I still will match the talent on Boston against any of the other three AL teams.  Getting there just seems to be the issue. 

One Sept. 1st, exactly three weeks ago, the Sox were a 1/2 game up on the Yanks, 9 up on the Rays and 9 1/2 up on the Angels.  They go .500 for the month and they are already in.  Since that point they have won FIVE games and the AL East is gone while the Rays and Angels sit just 2 1/2 out.  What the hell happened???

Well, for one thing, injuries caught up to us.  Youk is down.  Lackey seems to have his head lodged up his ass, Buchholz is still hurtin’ and god damn how much you miss Dice-K?  Second, the Sox are to inconsistent in scoring runs.  Take a look at their September scores.  In four out of the five wins, they have scored 12 or more runs.  In their losses they have scored an average of 3.5 runs a game.  So in five wins they have scored 62 runs and just 56 in their 16 losses.  That run differential is way to large.  Funny, it’s something I wrote about just last year.

Yes, they have the best offense in the league but it is way to inconsistent.  Know, there are a lot of reasons for this, #1 and #1a or the lack of JD Drew and Carl Crawford.  Laugh if you must about JD, but the guy got on base and scored runs from the bottom of the lineup and Carl has not had a Carl type year.  Those are two huge cogs that have not produced at an all-star level.  This puts much more pressure on Reddick, Salty and Scutaro who are frankly role players thrust into bigger roles that they can’t fill.

These offensive problems, along with bad starts and an even worse bullpen have made this a September to forget in the Back Bay.  Bard has been brutal, Albers is awful, Pabelbon: paltry at best.  The only legitimate pen guy is Aceves who may be on the verge of burning out.  Bard has four losses this month himself.  Not a great stat for your setup guy. 

With all that being said, the team is still in the driver’s seat.  They have 3 games against the Yanks and three against the o’s.  If they go 2-4 in these six games, both LA and Tampa have to go 5-2 to get a three-way tie.  The Rays have four games against the Yanks and three against the Blue Jays, not an easy task.  The Angels have 1 against the Blue Jays and three a piece against the A’s and Rangers.  A much easier road than the Rays but those three against the Rangers could be a tough go. 

If you were to tell me that the Sox would be 5-16 during the last month and still be 2 1/2 up for a play-off spot I’d call you crazy.  Considering all that has gone wrong we still have hope.  It’s nice to see the players feeling the heat a bit.  Makes you think they care a bit.  I know Fenway is nervous.  I was there Saturday and you could feel the uneasiness in the crowd.  I still like the odds and am scared as to what could happen if the Sox blow this (Theo to the Cubs??). 

If they do hold on into October history os on their side.  In 2000, the Yanks lost 15 of 18 to close the season and still went on to beat the Mets in the World Series.

So here’s to holding out hope!



3 Responses to “September Suckitude”

  1. Also, in 2005 the Cardinals limped in to the playoffs and won it all. And scuturo has been playing extremely well through this whole sox slump, lets just hope he continues it.

  2. Hope has vanished! I need to speak to you about Peter when you have a minute. Do you have an email address that I can send you a message?

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