This past week has been an eventful one for the team in pinstripes. Mariano Rivera is now the all-time saves leader and the Yankees are the AL East Champions for the first time since 2009. Now, the Boston Red Sox are coming into the Bronx for a three game series in games they have to win. With Russell Martin setting the tone for this week, I expect New York to come out with their A lineups to try to knock Boston out and hand them the worst collapse in the history of baseball. Today, we have a collaboration with Derek Stykalo of BoSoxInjection.com to ask him about the Red Sox. You can also view the podcast on page two!
1. What has been the biggest factor in the Red Sox freefall since September 2nd? Is it the pitching or the offense that is to blame the most?
While the offense has been sporadic for most of the month, it’s the pitching that is the main reason for this freefall. Everyone from Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon to Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey have had their share of being terrible on the mound. Lackey more so than others, but your reliable guys like Beckett and Lester have also taken turns in serving up disaster outings, leading to a tough loss for the club. Bard went through a week’s stretch where he couldn’t throw a strike if his career depended on it and essentially cost the Red Sox three games. The starting pitching has been beat up as of late, but John Lackey can’t even give his team five innings of decent work. DECENT. He’s been absolutely awful and makes most Red Sox fans, if not all, sick to their stomach knowing he could start another game this year.
2. How much of a factor was the loss on September 1st when the Yankees came back in Fenway a factor in this freefall?
I think that loss to the Yankees was the start of the freefall. They had all the confidence in the world going into that series and losing that final game of the series to New York was huge. It proved that this club was vulnerable and suddenly the pitching went for a crap. Now we have to go into Yankee Stadium against a confident Yankee team and a fragile Red Sox club fighting for their lives. Would a win back on Sept. 1st changed the way the month would’ve unfolded? Maybe not entirely, but it certainly would’ve helped their confidence level and right now they don’t have any.
3. Being in New York, I saw the Mets collapse first hand and the bulk of those September stretches were home games. How huge is it for Boston that their last six games are away from home and from their panicking media/fans?
It can only be a good thing for this club to get away from the hot stove market of Boston. Right now the media is so down on this club they’re not even looking at the positives. It’s become a game of “who can we blame now.” This team needs to get away from that and just go have fun. The nice thing about being on the road is you’re with your teammates every day, all day. From the hotel to the bus ride to the ballpark to meals before and after the game; it’s you and your teammates and right now they need to lean on each other and straighten things out. Throw in a little team bonding event and the final six games on the road is a blessing in my mind.