This is reality of the not-quite-good-enough Red Sox

Rob Bradford
August 13, 2019 - 9:09 am

They are too talented to fail. Look at what this group did just a few months ago. A run is around the corner.

Waiting ... waiting ... waiting.

It was easy to keep defaulting to what the collection of 2019 Red Sox had done, turning our backs on what they were doing. The idea that they could roll out of bed on Opening Day and win 95 games was still hovering. They just needed a tweak here or a push there. John Henry spoke for the masses when gauging his team's lot in life back in late June, telling WEEI.com, "If we play up to our capabilities we will easily make the playoffs. That’s how I see it."

It was hard to argue considering how many names on the current roster helped secure that World Series trophy. But now it's a time for debate.

The here and now of these Red Sox players aren't as talented as anyone. They are close. They always had the potential to be. But they aren't. That was put on display once again in the Sox' 6-5 walk-off loss to the Indians Monday night. (For a complete recap, click here.)

"It's tough, man," Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts told reporters. "I don't know what to say."

If there was ever a window into the Sox' season it was this one.

For a good five minutes or so it looked like that worm had finally turned thanks to Bogaerts' game-tying double with two outs in the ninth inning. Then, one out and one commercial break later, Carlos Santana takes Marcus Walden deep and the Red Sox found themselves nine games back (in the loss column) of Tampa Bay in the Wild Card standings.

This is after a flurry of to-the-wall fly outs. This is after they fought back from a four-run deficit. This was after seemingly riding out Cleveland's surge with clutch outs from both Darwinzon Hernandez and Walden (who hadn't given up a hit in his last 8 2/3 innings before the decisive homer). No matter. Close, but ...

The pain in this group is obvious. Andrew Cashner's "we will get them next time" postgame presser the other day was not representative of the clubhouse. They wanted to prove bringing back the same team was the right approach. It's been an internal rallying cry throughout. But now it is a hard blueprint to defend.

They are 23-37 against teams over .500, living life just three games above the break-even point themselves.

We can now sing Bill Belichick's tune from the mountain tops: It is what it is.

"I wish I knew," said Bogaerts when asked by reporters how the Red Sox eliminate the bad and focus on whatever good is left lingering. "Try not to think about it as much. I know everyone in this room cares a lot. It's really frustrating and annoying when the results aren't the way you want them to be. Yeah, that's it."

After Eduardo Rodriguez dug the Red Sox an early hole by surrendering a pair of home runs, the Red Sox were able to crawl within one thanks in large part to homers from J.D. Martinez and Jackie Bradley Jr. The Sox dropped to 32-19 when managing two or more homers.