New England Sports React

Sox’ Skid Hits Four

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The frustration is mounting for Jake Peavy and his teammates.

Just when it appeared the Red Sox were turning the corner on a frustrating start to the 2014 season, a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers reared its ugly head.

Detroit, who came in with the best record in the American League, swept Boston in the blink of an eye. The Tigers made the series seem effortless, completely overmatching the Sox with dominant starting pitching and a consistent approach throughout the lineup. From a competitive standpoint, these games were a far cry from last year’s ALCS. The theme of Detroit starters owning Boston hitters remained the same, however. From top to bottom, the Sox appeared lost at the plate, taking swings better suited for tee ball. Even David Ortiz, who came into the weekend scorching hot, was cooled off by the likes of reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, and Anibal Sanchez, who yielded the Sox just two of the three runs they scored in the series.

After last night’s 6-2 loss, Ortiz was noticeably unhappy with his team’s performance over the past few days. “Something’s got to happen,” Ortiz said. “Otherwise, we’re going to be out of [contention] by July if something doesn’t happen, and we’re playing like this.” And he’s absolutely right. While the Sox are still very much alive in the AL East at 20-23 (three games out of first place), they’re not liable to stay in contention if they continue their mediocre play.

It starts with the starting pitching. In order to have the chance to set a tone offensively, the Sox need their starters to go deeper in games. It started in Minnesota, and besides the quality start by Jon Lester Friday against Detroit, Sox pitchers were less than impressive on the mound. It will be up to Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront to right the ship if this pitching staff is to get back on track. Putting pressure on three guys to consistently produce is simply unfair. So step your game up, boys! If they’re not out of games by the second inning, this offense does have a chance to score some runs with regularity. The determining factor is whether or not the team is pressuring themselves too much at the plate. With an attempt to make approaches more consistent and a general gameplan in place, the hitting would likely heat up in the summer sun. Let’s hope we’re in for brighter days, Sox Nation!

-Ryan Hartley

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