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Red Sox 2012 - Going, Going...Gone!

I was really hoping to not write this. In fact, I even waited a few days after the Sox won their first game of the 2012 season in Toronto a few days ago. But since then things have not gone well. We’re only one week into the 2012 baseball season and already Red Sox fans are having that déjà vu feeling. Memories of their start to the 2011 season when they lost their first six games and ten of their first twelve are giving Red Sox fans a very unsettled feeling as they begin the 2012 season. Granted, they did start the season on the road against the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers, who are considered the favorites in the American League Central division. And on the bright side, the Red Sox did get very good starts from John Lester to no avail, and Felix Doubront. But overall the pitching has not been very good so far. What’s even more troubling to me is the inconsistent offense this early in the year and the impact that injuries are already having on the team.

Fenway Park

Fenway Park

Final 2012 American League East Standings

EastWLPCTGB

New York

95

67

.586

-

Baltimore

93

69

.574

2

Tampa Bay

90

72

.556

5

Toronto

73

89

.451

22

Boston

69

93

.426

26

Let’s start with the injuries. Losing Andrew Bailey to a thumb injury really hurts the Red Sox bullpen. Without their designated closer until at least the all-star break the Sox have moved Alfredo Aceves into the closer position and this disrupts the entire bullpen. It looks like Mark Melancon will close when Aceves is not available but that is not the problem. Aceves was one of those pitchers who could come into any situation and perform. Without him I’m not sure they have anyone else in the bullpen that can fill the multiple roles that Aceves filled.

Kevin Youkilis and Carl Crawford

Kevin Youkilis and Carl Crawford

The latest on Carl Crawford is that he will not be in the lineup until May. Crawford suffered a setback early in March to his injured thumb and is just now starting to hit off of a tee. Ryan Sweeney has filled in admirably for Crawford but for the Red Sox to remain contenders in 2012 they will need a healthy Crawford back in left field. And they need the Carl Crawford of his former Tampa Bay days, the same Carl Crawford who used to kill the Red Sox, not the Crawford of his 2011 performance in Boston.

The Good Old Days!

The good old days?

The good old days?

To say that the Red Sox pitching staff has been disappointing so far is an understatement. They are sporting an era of over 6.0 and have given up 38 runs in just six games. They need to get a few good starts here soon to right this ship or they may find themselves in the same early season hole like last year. Monday night’s game (4/9/12) in Toronto (RS win 4-2) was a start but the Red Sox need to do this consistently. Felix Doubront, Scott Atchinson and Alfredo Aceves were brilliant in the Sox’s lone win and the Sox will need more performances like this going forward.

The offensive numbers so far are a little deceiving. The Red Sox ‘s 13 – 12 loss on Sunday in Detroit where they blew a ninth inning lead but still scored 12 runs has saved their offensive stats so far. In six games this season the Red Sox have scored only 22 runs and 12 of them came in that one game. Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury are off to a slow start this year, which is not helping matters, but hopefully they can turn things around now that they are heading home for a nine game home stand.

The Red Sox finished up their series in Toronto with a lack luster 3 – 1 loss and now head home where they will face the Tampa Bay Rays, the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees. Hopefully a little home cooking will heat up the Red Sox offense and get them back on track. It's not time to panic yet and with the next nine games within the friendly confines of Fenway Park I'm sure they'll turn things around.

Other Baseball Hubs by the Author

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© 2012 Bill De Giulio

Comments

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 24, 2012:

Yes, I agree. They are looking like a defeated team already. Last night certainly helped so maybe that will be the start of something good. The injuries are killing them also. Losing Bailey, Ellsbury, Crawford, not good this early in the season. My fear is that sooner of later one of the starters will go down with an injury, either Beckett, Lester or Buckholz.

David from Idaho on April 24, 2012:

I thought the Red Sox were going to win the East but the Bailey injury made me start questioning my prediction. After watching the bullpen implode against the Yankees (of all teams) I'm openly wondering how they can get out of this tailspin. They remind me of how they looked at the end of 2011 when they stumbled to the finish line.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 21, 2012:

This bullpen is a mess. This is hard to watch.

Odessit on April 14, 2012:

I wonder if Johnny could have been an upgrade over McDonald. Shift Ross to center and put Johnny in left. Maybe give up some defense, but he could still stroke it into the right porch i bet.

I also wonder if Carl's wrist was not the issue all along, just didn’t get discovered through the physical. He is too darn good to have a year like the last one, which is why no one will be surprised when he comes back and tears it up.

The Sox are deep to absorb JE being out for 6-8, but the back end of the bullpen is a suspect at best.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 14, 2012:

Just read the update on Ellsbury and yeah, it's not good. Has there been a bigger dissapointment than Crawford? Even when he was healthy last season he just wasn't the same old Crawford. It will help to get him back but I'm sure the Red Sox are already looking for an outfielder and making plans to be without Ellsbury for a while. Manny and Johnny, those were definitely the good old days.

Odessit on April 14, 2012:

Terrible news about Ellsbury, reminded me when Jeter had the same injury back in the beginning of '03. Hopefully you guys can get your outfield back sooner than later (looking at you Crawford.) Just to think Johnny and Manny used to roam where Ross and McDonald are roaming now...

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 14, 2012:

You are correct Odessit, despite being sweep in Tampa the Yankees have been impressive. In fact they now find themselves tied for first palce in the AL East. No one is dismissing the Rays either, they have a good team and will be in mix all season. I guess there's just something about that Red Sox - Yankee rivalry that makes Red Sox fans take solace in the struggles of the Yankees. Perhaps it has been passed down through our DNA as you mentioned. Or, maybe it's just natural to root for your team and against their rivals. Whatever it is, it makes for great banter between fans.

Odessit on April 14, 2012:

Only the Red Sox fans can be consoled by a loss of another team. I guess after a century long obsession with the Yankees and their winning, DNA takes over. Its not intentional, just natural at this point for the Red Sox fans to see baseball through Yankee losing rather than Red Sox winning.

The Rays are sweeping teams with their youngest and dangerous rotation, but the Red Sox fan is just noticing the Yankee's 3 losses. BTW, after the 0-3 start, the Yankees are 4-0. So much for the early struggles...

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 13, 2012:

Thanks Shuck. Yes there is consolation here in the fact that the Yankees are also struggling. Hopefully the Sox get a good start this afternoon from Beckett. Appreciate the comments.

shuck72 from Seattle on April 12, 2012:

Great report on the status of the team, thanks. I have been a lifelong Red Sox fan. At least the Yankees are struggling early too.