Xander Bogaerts and the Red Sox are desperately searching for answers. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts can't get over Red Sox' terrible luck: 'Are you kidding me? It's weird'

Mike Petraglia
May 21, 2015 - 7:41 pm

The way things are going for the Red Sox they can't win for losing, even when they try to do the right thing to end their misery with runners on base. If there's one play that sums up the perfect storm of bad luck and bad execution of the Red Sox with runners in scoring position this season it's what happened to Xander Bogaerts in the fifth inning of Thursday's latest anemic loss, 3-1, to the Rangers at Fenway. With one out, Xander Bogaerts worked a walk. Then with Daniel Nava up, he took off for second base. Nava swung and hit it right into the hole vacated by the second baseman covering the bag. One problem: The right foot of Bogaerts. Namely, the bottom of his cleat. The ball grazed it just enough to change direction and by rule, instead of first and third with one out, Bogaerts was immediately out and Nava given credit for a single. Sandy Leon struck out swinging to end the inning and the Red Sox still trailed, 3-1. When things go bad. "I guess you could say that," Bogaerts lamented. "Again another tough loss tonight. Probably the play there when I tried to steal and that ball hit me. That was probably the game-changer. I never was aware that ball even touched me until when I came back down [in dugout tunnel] and I saw it on the video monitor. It just scratched the bottom of my cleat or something like that. I didn't know that ball hit me at all. "I could've bet anything I never felt that ball touched me at all. I was pretty surprised they called me out because I didn't feel anything. But when you look at the video, you see the deflection of the ball but I had no clue that ball touched me at all." Bogaerts at least maintained his sense of humor and perspective when asked how for answers to how the Red Sox can break out of a 5-for-53 slump with runners in scoring position. "If the ball stops hitting us," Bogaerts said. "That was first and third right there. The baseball field is so big. What are the chances the ball is going to hit me on the bottom of my cleat? Are you kidding me? It's weird." The Red Sox are now batting a measly .234 with runners on. Only Seattle (.232) and Cincinnati (.228) are worse in MLB. Put runners on and it's even worse. The Red Sox are batting .199 in such cases and only the hapless Reds are worse at .189. Certainly, no one could've imagined this for a team that had such an offensive overhaul in the offseason. At 19-22, it's all leading to equal parts surprise and frustration. "Both. I don't think anyone saw the offense like the way it is right now," Bogaerts said. "Frustrated, obviously, because you hit the ball hard so many times and it's right at someone. And today, it's right at me. I don't even know how the ball hit me, still." Bogaerts is actually one of the few Red Sox with a respectable average at .260 and a decent mark (.276) with runners in scoring position. Does he have any answers? "You have a lot of great players, a lot of guys with great track records, All-Star caliber guys," Bogaerts said. "We just keep coming in here and working every day and trusting in ourselves, trusting in our hitting coaches. Even the pitchers are doing a great job. Just keep competing. "I really don't think we're pressing hard at all. [Wednesday] we had so many hard hit balls. Today, I guess you can't say the same but I don't think we're pressing at all."