On Wednesday, I wrote that it was too early to leap off the bandwagon of the 2011 Red Sox. I still believe that—however, alarm bells have started to ring as the 0-6 Sox limp home to Fenway Park to face their hated rival, the New York Yankees.
The vaunted offense of the Sox has disappeared over the last four games.
Jacoby Ellsbury, after looking like he would live up to the hype during the first two games, has vanished at the top of the lineup since Sunday, Kevin Youkilis has forgotten how to hit and the bullpen has looked horrendous.
Dennys Reyes, here’s looking at you.
Yesterday, the Sox lineup wasted an outstanding effort from left hander John Lester who went seven innings, striking out nine and surrendering only three hits.
Today, they hang the star spangled bunting out for Jon Lackey as he takes the hill. Saturday, we get Clay Bucholz. Sunday, Josh Beckett, who hasn’t exactly been a Yankee killer as of late, takes the mound.
There’s an acute possibility the Sox could be 1-8 Monday morning.
Is it time to panic? No. Is it time to start worrying? Yes. Hell yes.
Look, Sox fans can forgive what took place last weekend. Texas is the defending AL champion after all, blessed with solid pitching and a thunderous lineup.
What they cannot forgive is how weakly the Sox went into that good night against the Cleveland Indians, who may well end up being the worst team in the American League when it’s all said in done.
Jason Varitek forgot how to play fundamental, little league baseball; Darnell McDonald forgot how to run the bases; Dennys Reyes forgot to step away from the sundae bar.
The Red Sox simply weren’t ready to come out of the starting gate. It’s enough to make one wonder what exactly they were doing in Fort Meyers for six weeks as the first two series of the regular season are not the place to work out the kinks.
They resemble the San Diego Chargers of the last few years: An immensely talented team who just is not prepared mentally or physically for the start of the regular season.
The Red Sox are placing themselves in a hole, falling perhaps unreasonably behind in the AL East standings in only the first week of the season. Last year, it wasn’t merely the DL list that killed the Sox, it was also their mediocre April in which, though they emerged 11-12, they were already well behind the eventual division winner, Tampa Bay.
Here’s hoping the comforts of home is just what the Red Sox need. Maybe, the bats will come alive in hitter friendly Fenway.
Maybe, Lackey and Beckett will both pitch early season gems. Maybe, I’ll be a millionaire by Saturday.
Is the season over? No. Is it time to start looking forward to the, as of now non-existent, Patriots season? Not yet.
Are we getting there? We are if they keep playing like this.
Try to enjoy Opening Day Sox fans and cross your fingers for “Dirty Water” blaring forth from the loudspeakers three times this weekend.
But bring plenty of blood pressure meds, because as of right now, they’re not looking as good as advertised.