This time last season, the 2013 Red Sox were on a roll. Walk off wins seemed to come at will. Big hits were common. Everyone was healthy. And guys stepped up and did their parts well. The offense was the best in the majors. The Red Sox had 2013 figured out.
2014, however, has figured the Red Sox out. No more Ellsbury to lead off and set the table (although Holt is doing a good job). No more Salty to mesh well with the staff. No more Cy Young resemblance in Clay Buchholz. No. 2014 has definitely figured the Red Sox out.
Victorino has played the same amount of games as a high school baseball team plays in a season. Middlebrooks is joining him on the DL, and was playing terribly even before that. Ben Cherington replaced an all star center fielder with a young rookie who has yet to prove he can hit a baseball at the major league level. Salty now plays with Giancarlo Stanton while Ben decided to replace him with AJ Pierzynski, who has been awful in all phases of the game. The bullpen got worse with the addition of Edward Mujica. The pitching overall has been good, but that hasn’t been enough to make up for a terrible, terrible offense that could possibly go down as the worst in Red Sox history.
After getting swept by the Cubs (one game in which they scored 16 runs), the Red Sox proved furthermore that this is not a championship team. Losing two against the Orioles (by the dreaded offense and particularly awful defensive woes) now has the Red Sox in last place, which seemed impossible the way the Rays had been playing up until recently. Sadly, with only a .231 average with RISP, the Red Sox are next to last, only ahead of the Astros. It’s time to look ahead to 2015.
Prepare your goodbyes for the likes of Stephen Drew, AJ, Jake Peavy, and yes, Koji. Don’t be surprised to see Doubront, Miller, Ross, Breslow, and even Gomes get traded. The magic of 2013 is long gone. It’s time to start figuring out how to get it back for next season. Don’t fret, of course this is disappointing, but we have a talented core and a fantastic farm system. I can assure you that after the horrendous moves Ben made and didn’t make for this season, he will learn from his mistakes. I fully expect a much improved team for 2015. IF the Marlins make Giancarlo Stanton available in the winter, I have a good feeling the Red Sox will make a strong push to get him. With a new haul of prospects coming from trades in the next few days, the Red Sox will have the best chance to acquire him. Stay positive, keep the faith for 2015 and enjoy watching some young guys get their chance in the show for the rest of the year.