A week ago, the Boston Red Sox had just won the first three games of a four-game series against the New York Yankees. Finally, things appeared to be looking up for the reigning World Series Champions as they put together one of their best and most sustained, consistent performances of the season. It looked like they were on their way to becoming a true Wild Card contender.
But over the course of the last week, things went south, as they so often have for the 2019 Red Sox. They dropped the final game of their series against the Yankees. Amidst a sweep by the Tampa Bay Rays, the Sox elected not to make any trades to bolster their team during the MLB trade deadline.
And now, they have dropped three of their first four games against the Yankees, including another woeful performance from Chris Sale, after which he was ejected, to kick-off Saturday's doubleheader. The seven-game losing streak has plummetted the team in the Wild Card standings, and they now trail the Rays by 5.5 games in their quest to make the playoffs.
After Saturday's losses, Red Sox manager Alex Cora continued to search for answers. But as he continued to point out, the team simply needs to get a better effort from their starting rotation if the team is going to make any sort of playoff push.
"We’ve been talking about it all the time," Cora said, per Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe. "They know it. These guys, like I’ve been saying all along, they understand that this team was built around the rotation. They haven’t been effective. There’s no hiding."
The starting rotation has certainly been an Achilles heel over the course of the season. But during the seven-game losing streak, the starters have combined to posted an absurd 9.79 ERA during the streak. Even an offense as good as that of the Red Sox, the top-scoring team in the MLB, can't keep pace with that.
Though Cora expressed hope that the rotation could turn things around, he did acknowledge how poorly the team has been playing of late.
"It’s not good right now," said Cora, per Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe. "We’re not playing good baseball. It seems like it has flip-flopped from last year. We’ve got to get better."
The need to get better has been a common theme in Red Sox press conferences this year. It remains to be seen if they will be able to figure out how to do that before it's too late.
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