Much discussion over the last few days revolved around the Yankees Phil Hughes and his pitching problems. The Yankee fan base should be concerned. Could the Yankee pitching issues be worse? Of course, just ask Red Sox Nation. The preseason hype, from myself included, had the Sox winning the AL East and possibly a World Series. The Sox 2-9 record however, indicates something else. What is wrong in Boston? The acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford solidified the dominance of the Red Sox in 2011; at least on paper. Both Gonzalez and Crawford are off to atrociously slow starts. However, at the end of the day, the Red Sox hitters will start hitting again. The problem lies with the rotation.
All the analysts and talking heads such as myself out there agree, without pitching you don’t have a good team. Matsuzaka is Boston’s version of Phil Huges. In 7 innings opposing hitters are batting .412 against him. He currently has an ERA over 12. Let’s not solely blame Matsuzaka. John Lackey has an ERA over 15. Josh Beckett is distinguishing himself as the true ace of the rotation. However, as a Yankee fan I speak from experience. You cannot rely soley on one guy.
I don’t have answers for Boston. I don’t think anyone truly does. Maybe they will turn it around. Maybe they won’t. If the Sox have an absolutely dismal season, I don’t believe manager Terry Francona’s job will be jeopardized. However, someone needs to be blamed right? A team can spend $200 million in payroll. Or they can spend$160 million. The amount of money doesn’t really matter. The players need to play. The manager needs to get each of these guys to fit together. Maybe there are problems in the locker room. Last time I checked, professional athletes have egos.
In the end, Boston needs to right the ship and do it quickly. If not, some birds from Baltimore, and some Bombers from the Bronx will swoop in for the kill.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!
All statistical data from espn.go.com.