Red Sox Continue to Push for the Playoffs Despite Recent Struggles


Michael Dwyer

Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts celebrates a three-run home run with teammate Hunter Renfroe en route to a 9-3 victory against the Baltimore Orioles.

Chris Carr, Contributing Writer

With the NFL and college football seasons recently kicking off, and upcoming preseason games in the NHL and NBA, many sports fans have forgotten about the Major League Baseball season. This year’s MLB playoff race is heating up, specifically in the American League, where four teams remain in contention for just two wild-card spots. After a very disappointing series with the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox find themselves tied with the Seattle Mariners for the second wild-card spot, and leading the Toronto Blue Jays by just one game. Meanwhile, the Mariners have been on the rise, coming off of a series sweep against the Oakland A’s, knocking them out of contention. Seattle is on a mission to end the longest current playoff drought in pro sports as they are 9-1 in their last ten games and looking to continue their hot streak in a favorable series against the Los Angeles Angels.

On the other hand, HHS Junior Tommy Barnet believes that the Red Sox, “Are playing their worst baseball at a time where it matters most”. Also, HHS Junior Johnny Dwyer believes that the previous series against the Baltimore Orioles was supposed to “get the Red Sox right for the postseason”. However, Boston disappointed and lost 2 out of 3 against a team with a 52-107 record on the season. The Orioles have had a bad track record for years now, and they currently sit in the basement of the American League East, mostly because of their horrendous pitching staff. The Orioles have the highest earned run average in baseball at 5.77 earned runs per nine innings, and it’s not even close, the 29th ranked Arizona Diamondbacks are only allowing 5.11 earned runs per nine innings. However, the Red Sox offense could not take advantage of the lack of pitching talent and only mustered ten runs across three games. Boston’s pitching staff was solid, also allowing ten runs across the three games, but against a sub-par offense, they should have and need to perform better if they want to do damage in the playoffs. To me though, the problems start offensively. This team does not have much discipline at the plate, and instead, they are being too greedy, seeking home runs with every swing.
To make matters worse, Xander Bogaerts, arguably their best all-around player, is currently in the midst of a 2-23 slump at the plate. Even so, Bogaerts remains motivated to turn it around saying, “I ain’t ready to go home yet”.

Despite their struggles, Boston fans should remain hopeful as the Red Sox travel to Washington to face off against a struggling Nationals team for the final series of the season. Since the trade deadline, The Nationals have been trending downhill, and they currently hold the 5th worst record in baseball. At the deadline, Washington decided to ship off their two best players, Trea Turner and Max Scherzer, to transition into a rebuild. They also traded slugger Kyle Schwarber to the Red Sox at the deadline in exchange for a minor-league pitching prospect. So this will be a revenge series for Schwarber, who returns to his former home ballpark. Overall, this is a must-win series for the Red Sox as the Blue Jays and Mariners also have favorable matchups this weekend. This team needs to pick up some momentum before the playoffs. They can do that by simply winning games. In conclusion, despite their recent struggles, Red Sox fans should remain hopeful as this team pushes towards the playoffs.