Red Sox

This stat paints bleak picture for Red Sox's 2019 postseason hopes

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USA TODAY Sports

This stat paints bleak picture for Red Sox's 2019 postseason hopes

The Boston Red Sox did not benefit from a change of scenery in Tuesday's home opener at Fenway Park, falling 7-5 to the Toronto Blue Jays.

The loss drops the Red Sox to 3-9 on the season, and they now are alone in last place in the American League East division.

There's still a lot of time -- 150 games, to be exact -- for the Red Sox to turn around their season and make a push for the playoffs. That said, the history of teams that start out 3-9 and recover to make the MLB postseason is not very good, as the the stat below from The Boston Globe's Alex Speier illustrates.

The Red Sox certainly have the talent of a playoff team. This roster, minus Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly, won a franchise-record 108 regular season games and the World Series just last year. 

For the Sox to show immediate improvements, the starting pitching has to taken a significant step forward.

Complicating matters has been the performance of Red Sox ace Chris Sale, who gave up seven hits and five earned runs over four innings versus the Blue Jays on Tuesday for his third loss in as many starts. The most concerning stat surrounding Sale might be his batting average against. Opponents hit just .169 against him in 2018, and that number is up to an astounding .462 this year.

It's still hard to envision the Red Sox not earning a postseason berth, even if it's one of the wild-card spots. But time is running out for the Sox to recover from this early-season slump.

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Highlights from the Red Sox' 7-4 win over the Rays

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USA Today Sports Images

Highlights from the Red Sox' 7-4 win over the Rays

FINAL SCORE:  Red Sox 7, Rays 4

IN BRIEF: Christian Vazquez's three-run home run in the first inning proved to be the big knock of the game for the Red Sox as they avoided a 3-0 hole in their series with the Rays Sunday. 

BOX SCORE

RED SOX RECORD: 81-74

HIGHLIGHTS

1st inning

J.D. Martinez singled to right, Devers scored (1-0 BOS)
Christian Vazquez smacked a three-run home run to left, Martinez and Bogaerts scored (4-0 BOS)

Tommy Pham grounded into a double play, Wendle came around to score (4-1 BOS)

2nd inning

Kevin Kiermaier singled to center, Lowe scored (4-2 BOS)

THE BEST KIND OF DOUBLE PLAY

3rd inning

Joey Wendle hit a solo home run to left (4-3 BOS)

4th inning

Martinez walked, Bradley Jr. scored (5-3 BOS)
Rafael Devers scored on a wild pitch from Andrew Kittredge (6-3 BOS)

7th inning

Martinez scored on throwing error by Wendle (7-3 BOS)

9th inning

McKay blasted a solo home run (7-4 BOS)

UP NEXT:
@Rangers, Tuesday, 8:05 p.m., NESN
@Rangers, Wednesday, 8:05 p.m., NESN
@Rangers, Thursday, 2:05 p.m., NESN

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Report: Red Sox front office perceived as 'miserable place to work'

Report: Red Sox front office perceived as 'miserable place to work'

With Dave Dombrowski out as Red Sox president of baseball operations, who will be the team's next general manager? 

It seems like a desirable job: the team consistently has one of the top payrolls in the league, and the franchise has won four World Series titles in the last 16 seasons. But it's not that simple. Not even close.

The last two men in charge of baseball operations — Ben Cherington and Dombrowski — were shown the door quickly after winning championships, and those moves are painting the Red Sox in a very bad light, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

These decisions loosely frame the industry perception of the Red Sox as a chaotic company, a miserable place to work. Boston owner John Henry needs to understand this, because it is why some of the people he'd probably love to consider as possible replacements for Dombrowski privately dismiss the idea out of hand.

Olney writes that some potential candidates have no interest in working for Henry, because they "doubt he'd have the patience to back his next general manager through the difficult crossroads ahead." That includes the impending free agency of Mookie Betts, a potential opt-out from J.D. Martinez, and an expensive rotation fraught with injuries, among other issues.

The key to a successful leadership transition in the front office might be Sam Kennedy, who has been the team's president for four years following the departure of Larry Lucchino. As Olney explains:  

A wide-held view in other front offices is that the highly respected and well-liked Red Sox president Sam Kennedy stands as a thin buffer between the team devolving to the level of the Mets, the team generally regarded by rival executives as baseball's model for dysfunction. "If Sam ever walked away," said one official, "the whole thing would be a complete mess."

From a 108-win season and a World Series to the possibility of becoming a complete mess, it's amazing how quickly the tide has turned for the Red Sox.

TOMASE: Why Theo Epstein could be the man for the job>>>>>

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