To say that the Boston Red Sox have been struggling sicne the All Star Break, would be putting it very lightly. The Sox failed to make any major moves at the trade deadline, other the the acqusition of Kyle Schwarber, and it is starting to show. Since the break, the Red Sox are 14-16, with three of those wins coming against the Baltimore Orioles.
What is the main cause of the Red Sox struggles? Is it their offense? Is it their pitching? Is it managerial decisions by Alex Cora? The offense hasn't been anything to write home about. Since the All Star Game, the Sox are averaging about 4.9 runs a game (145 total runs in 30 games). Not all that great considering that number is inflated by a 20 run outburst versus Tampa Bay and a 16 run showing versus Baltimore. The Sox pitching staff hasn't been great either. In fact, the are also allowing about 4.9 runs per game. Garrett Whitlock has been arguably their best reliever, posting a 4-2 record with a 1.72 ERA, but even he has struggled lately having allowed 4 earned runs in his last 3 2/3 IP. Matt Barnes, who is supposed to be the lockdown guy for Boston, has taken 2 losses in his last 3 appearances.
Right before the trade deadline, Boston acquired Kyle Schwarber from the Nationals in exchange for Aldo Ramirez. Since the trade, Schwarber has only played in three games for the Sox, going 3 for 9 with 0 homeruns and 0 RBI's. Granted, when Schwarber was traded over, he was on the IL with a bad hamstring. Does Schwarber have the ability to be a difference maker in Boston?
There are going to be plenty of opportunities for the Red Sox to clinch the American League East divison title. After their doubleheader with the Yankees on Tuesday, they will still have 4 games against their biggest rival, as well as another 7 versues Tampa Bay. Now that it appears Chris Sale and Schwarber are both back and healthy, it looks like they are going to make a real push at the crown. Expect this AL East race to be as tight as it has ever bee.
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