— WBZ Boston News (@cbsboston) August 29, 2017
After Chris Sale got roughed up on Thursday night, I wrote that it was not the time to panic. After the Red Sox got swept by the Orioles I considered panicking, but remembered that the Orioles always play the Sox tough. The Red Sox are just 59-75 against the Orioles since Buck Showalter took over as O’s manager in 2010.
Monday night, Drew Pomeranz left the mound after the sixth inning with the Red Sox trailing the Blue Jays 3-2 and I started to dust off the old Bob Lobel panic button. But then the Red Sox offense sent nine men to the plate in the seventh and put four runs on the board to give Pomeranz a lead and a shot at a win. Everything looked good.
The bullpen got it to Craig Kimbrel who got the job done, but not before giving up a two-run blast to Justin Smoak to make things a lot more interesting. Instead of talking about the Red Sox come-from-behind win today, we’re talking about how they barely hung on to beat the last place Jays.
Because they found a way to hang on and snap their four-game skid, I won’t plug in the panic button just yet. But I’m not putting it away either. Doug Fister has been solid in place of David Price over the last month, and the Sox have won 10 out of Pomeranz’s last 12 starts. But Eduardo Rodriguez is just 3-5 with a 5.08 ERA since coming off the DL and Rick Porcello’s up and down season hit a new low Friday night. It seems like Porcello just can’t catch a break some nights.
I focus on the pitching because it will likely be the pitching that has to carry this team. This offense is like the tide, as Johnny Drama would say. It comes and goes as it pleases.
This team doesn’t have a single hitter with more than 19 home runs and is still dead last in the American League in home runs with just 139. The next closest teams to the Sox in home runs in the AL (Angels, White Sox) have 147 each.
Chris Sale will look to get back on track tonight and Porcello will have a chance to close out his August on a better note tomorrow. Strong performances from those two would position this team well heading into September. The Sox start September in New York with a four-game set against the Yankees this weekend.