In case you haven’t been paying attention, the Red Sox have all but choked away their playoff hopes. On the morning of September 1, the Sox were up 1 1/2 games on the Yanks atop the division and the Rays were nine games behind the Greatest Team Ever™. As of this morning, Boston sits in a deadlock with Tampa for the Wild Card spot with two games remaining. Sure, America’s Blue Collar Heroes™ technically control their own destiny but so do the Rays.
Since the beginning of September the Sox have gone 6-19 and haven’t won consecutive games since a doubleheader against Oakland on August 27. The problem is not the offense — they have scored 135 runs on 250 hits with 28 homers and averaged 5.4 runs per game in 25 September contests — the problem is the pitching.
This month, Boston starters have the worst ERA in the majors (7.26) by a wide margin; the worst WHIP (1.76) in the majors; the worst BB% (10.7) in the majors; the worst WPA (-4.26) in the majors; the sixth lowest WAR (1.5); they’re stranding the fewest amount of runners (57 LOB%) in the majors; the third fewest strikeouts in the AL (102); the second fewest innings pitched in the majors (119); the second most earned runs (96) in the majors; tied for the most runs (109) in the majors; the fourth worst HR/9 (1.44) in the majors; the fourth worst BAA (.296); the worst xFIP (4.60) in the AL and the second worst in the majors; and the second worst — by .01 — FIP (5.15) in the majors.
The bullpen hasn’t been much better this month. It is ranked in the bottom third in the following categories: ERA, FIP, xFIP, WAR, WPA, earned runs, home runs and blown saves…among others.
And I’m loving every minute of it. Jill Seward has some ‘splaining to do.
Here’s another fun fact: over the first 12 games of the season and in September the Sox are 8-29 for a .216 winning percentage, in between they were 81-42 for a .659 winning percentage. I’m not sure what that means but it’s pretty incredible.
I don’t think I’d enjoy this decline as much if not for articles like this in addition to the aforementioned Seward gem and ESPN splooging over the team since before spring training started. Oh, and I can’t forget all those fans who wouldn’t shut up about the team’s 10-2 record against the Yanks earlier this season; without you this post wouldn’t be possible.
Go get ‘em Sox!