John Farrell: 'We recognize fully where we are in the standings'

July 02, 2014 - 11:24 pm

When the dust finally settled following Wednesday night'€™s slugfest at Fenway Park, the opposing team'€™s box score said it all: 16 runs, 19 hits, four home runs. No, the Red Sox did not face off against the 1927 Yankees and their imposing Murderer'€™s Row lineup. It was the 2014 Chicago Cubs -- the same Cubs who sit 12 1/2 games out of first place in the NL Central. It was the same Cubs who, entering Wednesday'€™s game, were 28th in baseball in runs scored. The same Cubs who had only swept one other team --€“ the lowly Mets -- this season.

Chicago'€™s 16-9 thrashing and subsequent sweep of the Red Sox was just the cherry on top of what has been a frustrating and mostly fruitless 2014 campaign for Boston.

For most of this season, it has been the Red Sox'€™s feeble lineup, ranking 14th in the AL in runs scored (321), that has served as the root cause of the team'€™s struggles. However, that was far from the case Wednesday, as the Sox scored nine runs on 16 hits -- the team'€™s highest run total since scoring 10 runs against the Indians on June 13. But in a frustrating turn for the Sox, it was Boston'€™s pitching, which ranked fourth in the AL in team ERA (3.73) coming in Wednesday'€™s action, that fell apart. Sox starter Brandon Workman, who registered quality starts in two of his last three outings, was rocked by the normally frail Cubs lineup. By the time Workman was pulled from the game after four innings, the lanky 6-foot-5 righty had surrendered five hits and six earned runs. Needing a reprieve, Red Sox manager John Farrell turned to his bullpen --€“ a crew that boasted the second-best ERA (2.93) in the AL behind the Mariners (2.56) before Wednesday. Instead, Boston relievers were lit up for 14 hits and 10 earned runs over six innings of work. "€œIt was a rough night from the mound,"€ Farrell said after the game. "Starting off, Brandon had a difficult time getting the ball down in the strike zone. Any conditions where it'€™s hot and the wind is carrying the ball, we made a number of pitches up in the strike zone that they were able to take advantage of. It just wasn'€™t with Brandon, I felt like if we could get a couple innings out of Felix to stem the tide a little bit, it didn'€™t work out quite as we had hoped." The situation looks bleak for Farrell'€™s squad. Boston is nine games under .500 for the second time this season and is just one game ahead of the Rays for last place in the division. Despite the Red Sox'€™ status, Farrell said that he still has confidence in the team as it looks to crawl out of its deep hole. "The bigger picture is that we'€™re still confident in our guys,"€ Farrell said. "This is a one-game situation where, from the mound, it got away from us. Yet, at the same time, we still have confidence in the guys in our clubhouse. I feel like we do and have done a very good job overall from the mound. From a bigger picture aspect, there'€™s very good pitching and defense inside our building right now, and yet we've got to look to continue to lengthen out our lineup." Farrell added: "There is a full half-season to go here, we recognize fully where we are in the standings and what our record indicates and we've got to continue to work at that."€