Alex Cora pinpoints biggest reason for Red Sox struggles this season

Ryan Hannable
July 16, 2019 - 5:06 pm

It's been a strange season for the Red Sox.

The team currently has scored the most runs in all of baseball, but are nine games out of first place in the American League East and two games out of a competitive Wild Card race. Prior to Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays, manager Alex Cora was asked to pinpoint the biggest reason for the team's struggles and he pointed to one thing: inconsistency.

“To be consistent. Consistent in every aspect. I’ve been saying that all along," he said. "We’ve been consistent at being inconsistent. We see flashes of the team and then it doesn’t happen for a few days. Obviously the fifth starter, we always talk about it, it put us in a bad spot as far as like the bullpen and the usage. A few times you feel limited with them.”

The Red Sox hope the fifth starter issue will be corrected with the addition of Andrew Cashner, but there still is an issue with the bullpen.

Going into Tuesday, the bullpen has an ERA of 4.48, which is 16th in the majors. Left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez was recalled from Triple-A as the team hopes he can help turn things around after transitioning from a starter just a few weeks ago.

The 22-year-old has made several appearances this season, but he's quickly been sent back down to Pawtucket. It could be different this time around.

"I can see it," Cora said. "That's why we made the switch a few days ago. We feel like his stuff will play. He's a guy that even when he makes a mistake with his fastball in the zone it plays. We saw flashes of that in his start against Texas. That first inning was electric. So now it's not about going six or seven. It's about getting that guy out and we'll take it step by step. Just get this guy out and if he does get the next one and the next one and see how he takes it. But stuff-wise we feel like he'll be fine. It's just a matter of keep helping him out and putting him in spots that he's going to be successful." 

Given the time of year, Cora knows the team needs to turn things around quickly.

"We've gotta get better. We've gotta get better," he said. "It's July what? 15th? 16th? So, yeah. We better get better now."

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