The month of August for the Red Sox has been much like a late summer day in New England: Hot early and midway through, but chilly at the end.
Chilly might be generous as the Sox lost the final game of their series at Cleveland last Thursday and were inexplicably swept by the Orioles at Fenway this past weekend. The Boston offense was mighty pathetic against the O’s as the team scored a combined four total runs in the series and were shutout on Saturday. The pitching has been equally as bad lately as the Sox surrendered 13 runs to the Indians in that aforementioned series finale and followed it up by giving up a whopping 16 runs to Baltimore on Friday night. Saturday wasn’t much better as they gave up seven runs in the shutout loss.
It’s easy to say that it’s a good time that Chris Sale (14-6, 2.88 ERA) gets the ball on Tuesday night in Toronto, but the truth is that the Cy Young candidate has been mediocre this month. He gave up seven earned runs on Aug. 1 at Fenway against Cleveland, allowed four earned runs in a loss to the Yankees on Aug. 19, and allowed six earned runs in just 3.0 innings of work against the Indians in Cleveland last week. To be fair, those stinkers sandwiched two strong outings in the middle of the month by Sale – but the bottom line is that he has not looked like himself this month.
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It’s important that both the lineup and the pitching staff gets back on track this week in Toronto, as looming this weekend for the Sox is a monster four-game series against the Yankees in the Bronx.
Sox manager John Farrell believes this recent bump in the road may wind up being a good thing for his club.
“This is where our team has performed at its best, when we’re faced with some adversity,” Farrell said. “We’ve banded together, we’ve rallied around one another. We have a good challenge ahead of us. I’ve loved the way we’ve responded to challenges throughout this year.”