Yankees and Red Sox playoffs: The AL East in shambles

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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The Fall of the House of Farrell

Boston has been beaten and bullied out of Houston while suffering twin 8-2 defeats (prior to Sunday’s win). At least the Yankees are in a fight; the Red Sox are taking an old fashioned prison yard beat-down.

They are suffering more because their problems have been both expected, and not. Manager John Farrell, for instance, has seemingly made his own managing mistakes during his tenure and is even more criticized than Girardi, normally; Joe is clearly wearing that crown today, though.

But while Girardi could very well survive until at least next season, I get the sense from Boston that Farrell will not be back after another early ALDS exit, having been swept last year by Cleveland. It is a feeling the Yankees might soon share.

And that’s in part because Farrell was supposed to be Boston’s pitching guru but his best four starters from the last two postseasons have pitched poorly. The Revered Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe recapped it this way:

"Let’s pause for a moment here and talk about The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse who have started Games 1 and 2 of the Division Series for Boston in 2016 and 2017. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death, but we know Boston’s Horsebleep Horsemen to be Porcello, Price, Sale and Pomeranz. Against Cleveland last year and Houston this year, they have put the Sox behind in every game. They are 0-4 with a 13.81 ERA as playoff starters in the two seasons. In 14⅔ innings, they have surrendered 22 runs on 26 hits and five walks. They have yielded nine home runs. It is astoundingly bad work by good pitchers."

The Sweet Bird of Youth

And it was Farrell’s decision to play Eduardo Nunez and that was managing out of desperation. When the managers first big decision immediately crumples to the ground, confidence, plans and schemes tend to be negatively affected.

One predictable aspect to Boston’s beatdown, however, is the dearth of home runs. Not by the Astros, mind you. Right now, Red Sox pitching is Houston’s batting practice warm-up for the next, and first real, Astros series.

And each soul-crushing, series-winning moon shot is a reminder that the Sox have hit none in the first two games. Boston did not hit home runs during the regular season and now that bad habit is killing them in the post.

But had you told Boston fans that Farrell might be an impediment and the team would not hit for power, they would not have been surprised. So many other issues, however, would have been shocking.