Red Sox continue playing like the worst team in baseball

John Tomase
April 05, 2019 - 11:05 pm
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After Thursday night's mistake-prone loss in Oakland dropped the Red Sox to 2-6, manager Alex Cora dropped the hammer.

"I pay attention to details," he told reporters. "I love paying attention to details and that's something I took pride in last year, and right now, we're not paying attention to details. So, that's on us. That's on me. . . . I'm accountable, and I expect better things out of the group."

Looks like it's time for a new speech. On Friday night in Arizona, the Red Sox made the same mistakes that have killed them all season, and also added some new ones.

They allowed at least 10 runs for the third time. They surrendered five more home runs, boosting their league-worst total to 23. They let another fly ball fall harmlessly between three outfielders. They failed to start a makeable double play during the four-run fourth that broke a 1-1 tie.

Oh, and they summoned infielder Eduardo Nunez to pitch the eighth, where he yielded a homer.

In short, they once again looked nothing like the team that dominated baseball last year en route to 119 wins and a World Series title. They remain in a fog that's now stretching into its second week, with no reason for optimism that things will change anytime soon.

Their 15-8 loss to the Diamondbacks followed a familiar script. The Red Sox scratched out a run early to take a 1-0 lead, but their starter couldn't make it stand. In this case, it was right-hander Rick Porcello, who allowed 10 hits and seven runs in 4.2 innings. He walked three, struck out five, and allowed two more homers. The next Red Sox starter to keep the ball in the park will be their first.

Defensively, right fielder J.D. Martinez, center fielder Mookie Betts, and second baseman Brock Holt all converged on a bloop off the bat of pitcher Zack Godley in the fourth. A night earlier, Betts and fellow Gold Glover Jackie Bradley Jr. had watched a fly ball drop between them for a game-changing double. This time, the trio gave chase, but the ball found grass in no-man's land. Martinez probably had the clearest path, but Betts was slightly tentative in a moment where he needed to take charge.

That frame also featured a wild pitch that Blake Swihart couldn't corral, as well as Gold Glove first baseman Mitch Moreland boxing a potential inning-ending double-play grounder.

When lefty Brian Johnson followed with horrifically ineffective relief -- he served up a grand slam to Ketel Marte while the Diamondbacks batted around in the sixth -- the rout was on. Nunez entering for the eighth just confirmed what is becoming a familiar refrain.

The Red Sox only lost 20 games last year by at least four runs. That works out to roughly one in eight. They've already lost four out of nine by that margin this year.

They're getting worse, not better, and no one has answers.

If you're the silver linings type, the Red Sox bats awakened over the last two innings. Betts homered and doubled, Moreland homered, and the Red Sox exploded for seven runs.

Related: Tomase: I'm not here to be a fan

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