The Red Sox can't get any momentum going by stringing together wins. In fact, they can’t even get momentum going within games.
A perfect example came in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Orioles with Rick Porcello on the mound. Trailing, 2-0, the Sox responded with a run in the third to make it a 2-1 game, but then Porcello allowed a run in the bottom half of the inning, so it went back to a two-run game.
The Red Sox scored again in the top of the sixth, making it a 3-2 game, but once again Porcello struggled in the bottom half, this time allowing two runs, making it a 5-2 game and thus ending all hopes for a comeback.
This has been a reoccurring theme for Porcello, as in his last five “shutdown” innings, he’s allowed runs in four of them. Overall for the season, in 19 “shutdown” innings Porcello has allowed runs nine times (47.4 percent). That's an extremely demoralizing stat for an offense.
"I honestly think I need to stop making so much of a big deal about it,'' Porcello told reporters after the game. "(And) just go out and continue to pitch like I have been pitching. Every time we put up a run or whatnot, you start pressing to go out and put up a zero and it ends up working against you.''
Up until their three-game sweep of the A’s last weekend, the Red Sox hadn’t won three straight games since the first week of the season. Not having a three-game win streak in over two months is the definition of having no momentum.
Even after their best game of the season, Sunday’s come-from-behind 7-4 win, they followed it up by scoring zero runs in a 1-0 loss to Baltimore, spoiling another dominant Eduardo Rodriguez start. The blame can be directed in many different directions – David Ortiz’s slow start, Mike Napoli’s issues at the plate, Pablo Sandoval’s miscues in the field and the starting rotation’s issues to open the year. It all adds up to the team’s failure to sustain any momentum.
Take a look at the Blue Jays. Just over a week ago they were seven games below .500, but are in the midst of an eight-game winning streak to now all of a sudden find themselves a game over .500 and right back in the thick of the division race. Toronto has its fair share of issues, but it has been able to work through them and keep it's momentum going, unlike the team in Boston.