The 2016 season started off in the middle of the road. The Red Sox had a solid April, showing off a good bullpen and a great offense that could bail out the mediocre starting staff on any given day or night. David Price and Clay Buchholz were shaky, Joe Kelly was hurt, but Steven Wright was busting through the glass ceiling of knuckleballers, and Rick Porcello looked to be reverting to his 2014 career year form.
Enter May- the best month the Red Sox have had since the days of yore in 2013. They boasted the best offense in the game, as well as having the cojones to delegate Buchholz to the bullpen. David Price was on the right track to be David Price again, Steven Wright showed that his good start to the season was more than only a start. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit safely in 29 games, and half of the team was hitting over .300 on the season, as the Sox continuously pounded their opponents, scoring close to six runs per game.
Sounds like a good season, right?
Well, you are right. At least, you were, until June reared its ugly head.
This month has been reminiscent of 2014 and 2015 for the Sox. In the games the offense hasn’t been anemic, the pitching has failed big time. It’s either been lose 4-0 like yesterday’s series finale with the woebegone Rays, or score seven runs but lose 9-7. It’s honestly pathetic. I’m tired of watching this nonsense. We can talk about firing John Farrell and Carl Willis until the cows come home, but the real issue here is that the players need to play.
In case you’ve missed what’s gone wrong for the Red Sox up to this point, here ya go:
Brock Holt has been on the disabled list since 1996, the just-getting-hot Chris Young landed himself on the DL last week, and Rusney Castillo plays baseball the same way cat food smells. With left field basically being a giant crater, AAAA players like Bryce Brentz are getting their shot at guarding the wall. Carson Smith blew his arm out and is done for the year. Koji Uehara is 538 years old, Junichi Tazawa‘s throwing arm has frequent flyer miles, while Craig Kimbrel‘s has dust collecting on it from lack of use. Hanley Ramirez looks to be getting back on track with his bat, but passed the suck torch to Travis Shaw. Christian Vazquez couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat, while Dustin Pedroia grounds into 45 double plays per game. His defense and demeanor are still second to none. Jackie Bradley Jr. isn’t as rancid as he has been in the past, but his bat has cooled off since his hitting streak ended. Xander Bogaerts has actually played in 756 games this month, which is very impressive, but detrimental to his stamina level. Mookie Betts has been carrying his weight, which isn’t hard, considering he weighs seven pounds. (Wasn’t that a Will Smith movie?) Anyway, David Ortiz is beyond pissed that this is how his final season has evolved. Meanwhile, Sandy Leon is the most exciting player for the Red Sox at this juncture. Kill me, just f#$&*@g kill me.
Don’t get me going on the rotation. I don’t have the strength. Thankfully, sinking ship, Mr. Tippy Tip Pitches, Eduardo Rodriguez has been optioned to Pawtucket. Super!
The Sox look to be well represented at the All Star game in San Diego, with Ortiz, Bradley, Bogaerts and Betts all qualifying to make the team as of yesterday, according to Bleacher Report. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t really matter to me. I want the Red Sox to win games. I don’t really care how many of them are in the All Star game.
That’s not entirely true. I do want them to be well represented in the mid-summer classic, but it definitely takes a backseat to winning games and being in the playoff hunt. With a 200 million dollar payroll, I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.
Oh and a trade, you say? If this team keeps tanking, forget about a trade for a big piece. The Sox will be looking to sell- looking towards next season for what feels like the 75th time in a row. Maybe this year they can get more at the deadline than a piss poor reliever like Ryan Cook.
All I can say is that I’m glad June is over for this team. I’m glad they have today off. I’m glad they won’t be able to piss me off tonight like they did 16 times this month. I’m glad the next time the Red Sox play, it will be a new month.
So as this potential boom or bust season rolls on, and the 2013 dream season grows dimmer and dimmer in our minds and memories, let’s just hope the Sox can turn it around in July, and regain that sweet success they had in the month of May, in order to make a trade that will bolster the pitching staff, and push the Red Sox into the playoffs.
Greg Gisolfi is a staff writer and editor at Monstah-Mash.com. You can follow him on Twitter @GregGisolfi