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You'd look like this too if seven runs per game in support still isn't enough.
The Boston Red Sox were picked by more than a few major publications as the World Series favorites—not just to make it, but to win it all.
Just by definition, should they fail to make the playoffs, it'd be a huge disappointment. But they had such a terrible April—thanks in part to the Texas Rangers—that many Boston fans wrote them off.
In April, they came whimpering out of the gates at 0-8. And well, that's not good. The first eight games can hardly define the season, since 154 games are left, right?
After their 0-8 start the Red Sox won 11 of their next 18 and finished the month of April with an 11-15 record. Then they warmed up in direct proportion to the summer's sizzling heat streak.
From May through the end of August, the Red Sox went 72-37. "Now we're talking," BoSox fans thought—or did the? It's a pretty cynical bunch (hey, you go 86 years in between World Series Championships and see what it does for your sense of optimism).
Thus far in September, the Red Sox have gone an abysmal 5-16 to give new life to last year's AL East champions, the Tampa Bay Rays, and a fleeting glimpse of a chance for the Los Angeles Angels too.
The 2011 season for the Boston Red Sox can be looked at on a month-to-month basis much like a bookshelf. For mystery fans, the bookends would be the dreadful dredge of Janet Evanovich (pick any Plum book, doesn't matter)—this represents September. And the other horrendous bookend a Kinky Friedman mystery of choice (that's September).
But in between you get some real classics. June (16-9) it's James M. Cain—Double Indemnity. And as for July, whoa buddy, great stuff! At 20-6, it's certainly a first edition copy of Charles Willeford's Burnt Orange Heresy to adorn the centerpiece of a lovely collection. And August is pretty solid too (17-12)—easily worthy of a hardcover edition of David Goodis' The Burglar (with a slightly chipped dust cover).
Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia have been amazing this year for the Sox—as has Adrian Gonzalez. Big-time free-agent signing Carl Crawford—well, not so much. He's been playing like a bottom-of-the-order player, making a superstar salary.
Injuries have certainly played their part too. And of course, there's always the worst big league starting pitcher of the year (if not the decade):
John Lackey. Wow, he's just plain awful.
Sure, just like every other sympathetic journalist out there, I respect his "non-baseball" issues. But, you know, on a certain level you have to produce. He's making just south of $16 million a year and based on his god-awful ERA, he needs seven runs of support to win? Ugh.
Yet still, with all of that drama, trauma and just plain bad luck, it'd be an unbelievable letdown to fail to make the postseason in 2011 for the Red Sox.