William Cuevas

Jim Young/USA Today Sports

In case you haven't noticed, nothing has been easy for Red Sox recently

John Tomase
September 02, 2018 - 8:02 pm

Here's what would be nice: a blowout.

The Red Sox have been the best team in baseball for months now, but a recent rough patch has clouded their postseason future. On Sunday, they lost an 8-0 series finale to the White Sox, leaving them with a split of the four games and dropping them to 6-8 in their last 14 games.

While questions abound about the viability of the rotation and bullpen come October, for now, the Red Sox could stem the bleeding with something easy. Just consider their last nine games.

Since beating the Indians 7-0 on Aug. 23, the Red Sox have lost five of nine. In that span, they've won exactly one game that qualifies as easy -- a 6-1 victory over the White Sox on Friday. Otherwise, they've either lost -- getting swept by the Rays last week -- or struggled to win.

On Tuesday, Craig Kimbrel blew a save vs. the Marlins before the Red Sox prevailed on a walk-off error. On Wednesday, they trailed before an 11-run eruption in the seventh led them to victory over Miami. On Thursday, the fell behind the White Sox 4-0 before rallying to take a 4-4 tie into the ninth and scoring five runs in a 9-4 victory.

On Sunday, they never had a chance. Starter Brian Johnson put them in an immediate 2-0 hole after one that grew to 4-0 after two. Relievers Bobby Poyner and William Cuevas failed to stop the bleeding -- the latter leaving with heat exhaustion -- and the 55-win White Sox cruised to an easy victory.

The Red Sox could use a few of those themselves as they navigate September en route to what they expect will be home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Easy victories allow manager Alex Cora to rest his bullpen as well as his regulars. They also take less out of a team than perpetual comebacks.

On Sunday, they never had a chance. They'll need to play better over three games against the NL East-leading Braves that kick off on Monday.