It Sure Isn’t Pretty

Manager Terry Francona #47 of the Boston Red Sox watches the field be prepared prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians on April 6, 2011 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

Heading into Wednesday night’s game in Cleveland against the Indians, the Boston Red Sox are in a 0-4 hole to start the season.  Is it time to panic? No.  I’m not, Theo Epstein isn’t, neither is Terry Francona.  I’m a little concerned, as I am sure they are to some extent but I am far from seeking out the nearest bridge or high rise.

But with the exception of Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Matt Albers, Bobby Jenks, Dennys Reyes and Tim Wakefield the rest of the team hasn’t done a thing.  Granted teams go through slumps and as I’ve seen from some Boston media if this was say, June or July and they lost 4 straight it would be less noticeable.  But when you start the season that way you are looking at the potential for wide spread panic in the streets of Boston not seen since well Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS.

Looking at the hitting stats of the team two thirds of the starting lineup has failed to hit.  Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting .188; Carl Crawford .133; Kevin Youkilis .182; J.D. Drew .167, Jarrod Saltalamacchia .091 and Marco Scutaro is hitless.

Then thrown in the four bench guys and there is one hit between Darnell McDonald, Mike Cameron, Jed Lowrie and Jason Varitek and that belongs to Lowrie.  It also needs to be said that Tek has yet to get an AB this year but still.

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You want to know what’s even uglier?  How about hitting with runners in scoring position (RISP) and runners left on base (LOB).  In the opening day loss to Texas they were 4 for 12 with RISP and had 5 LOB.  The next night in the massacre they were 0 for 11 with RISP and had 8 LOB. In the Sunday finale they were 1 for 5 with RISP and had 6 LOB and then Tuesday night in Cleveland they were 1 for 2 with RISP and had 5 LOB.  In four games that is 6 for 30 (.200) and 24 runners stranded.  Folks, that’s the population of a small hamlet in Vermont.

Then there’s the pitching.  Reyes (1.2 IP), Jenks and Albers (2 IP each) have been good all with ERA’s of 0.00.  Wakefield has been admirable and has done with what he’s been given and has an ERA of 4.50 in 2 IP.  After that, holy Hannah let’s look at the ERA’s.  The starters Josh Beckett 5.40; Jon Lester 8.44; Clay Buchholz 5.68 and John Lackey a whopping 22.09.  Who would have thought Daisuke Matsuzaka would be the teams stopper?

The bullpen has been just as bad.  Dan Wheeler 13.50 in 1.1 IP; Jonathan Papelbon 9.00 in 1 IP and Daniel Bard actually lowered his ERA last night to 21.60.

This team is better than this, we all know that.  Epstein and Francona and the staff know it too and no one is panicking yet.  But it would be nice to see the bats come alive the last two games in Cleveland so they don’t limp into the home opener Friday afternoon against New York still winless.  Then that has the potential to be ugly.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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