Red Sox offense must come around against Tigers before it’s too late

Mike Napoli Red Sox
Mike Napoli, right, is one of the few Red Sox hitters that looks as though he’s coming around. Credit: Getty Images

The Red Sox entered Wednesday night’s Game 3 of the ALCS against the Tigers with a 2-1 series lead despite only scoring seven runs in three games and hitting .133 with 43 strikeouts as a team. After falling to the Tigers 7-3 in Game 4, it appears the lack of hitting may be catching up to them.

Even though the Sox collected 12 hits Wednesday night, matching their total in the first three games, they went 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position, leaving 10 runners on base, which was definitely a factor in the loss, as once again they couldn’t get anything going offensively.

“We had 12 hits tonight (Wednesday) and you leave 10 men on base,” manager John Farrell told reporters. “The one thing when we’ve been in stretches like this, we continually do a very good job of creating opportunities. We did that tonight. We haven’t done it so much in the first three games. But that’s a tip of the hat to the pitching that we’ve been facing.”

Although the Tigers pitching staff is one of the best in the league, the Red Sox offense has dropped off dramatically from the ALDS against the Rays. In the four games against Tampa, as a team the Sox hit .317, scored 26 runs and struck out 33 times. After the first four games against the Tigers, the Sox are hitting .186, well over 100 points lower than against the Rays, having scored just 10 runs, while striking out 53 times. The team is also hitting just .162 with runners in scoring position.

A few individuals have seen significant drop-offs from the previous series. After going 5-for-13 against the Rays, David Ortiz is just 1-for-15 in this series. At the top of the order, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino hit .469 in the ALDS, but are hitting just .226 in this series. In addition, the left side of the infield has struggled the entire postseason, as Stephen Drew and Will Middlebrooks are a combined 7-for-51 (.137).

This doesn’t go along with what took place in the regular season as the Red Sox led all of baseball in runs, averaging 5.27 runs per game, as well as posting the second-best average in the American League, hitting .277 as a team.

With the series now knotted at two, it becomes a best-of-three series with the Sox having to go up against Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander once again, needing to take two-of-three to advance to the World Series. Those three Tigers starters combined to allow just two runs over 21 innings, striking out 35 in the first three games of the series.

Despite taking two-of-three against that trifecta in Games 1 through 3, hitting the way they did is not going to get it done this time around. There is no other way around it – the Red Sox are going to need to hit better.

There are signs that a few players might be coming around, as Ellsbury collected four hits Wednesday night, raising his average from .100 in the series to .333. Mike Napoli also seems to be getting on track, as following his homer on Tuesday he has hits in three of his last six at-bats.

Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @Hannable84


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Putin fields question from U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of intelligence eavesdropping, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question on Thursday during…

Local

Boston hospitals apply lessons learned in Marathon bombings

The bombs at last year's Boston Marathon showcased the city's medical talent but also taught valuable lessons in responding to a mass disaster.

National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

The Word

Lawsuit accuses 'X-Men' director Bryan Singer of raping…

A new lawsuit accuses director Bryan Singer of sexual assault against a minor.

Movies

The Cannes Film Festival announces its 2014 lineup

The lineup of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival was announced this morning, promising the latest from a slew of usual (and some unusual) suspects.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.