Dan Shaughnessy joined Tony Massarotti in studio to talk about the Red Sox struggles of late. Tony feared this would happen last week when the injuries were piling up and the Sox had to face the Rays 5 times before the All-Star Break. The Sox are now 2 games behind the Rays and 4 behind the Yankees. The guys are starting to see a trend in the wrong direction.
After tonight’s game vs. the Rays, the Red Sox will have 3 games to go before the All-Star break and they will all be in Toronto. The Rays will face the Cleveland Indians and the Yankees will face the Seattle Mariners. Mazz and Shaughnessy think the Sox have to go 2-2 over the next 4 games to be in decent shape heading into the break.
Shaughnessy on the Red Sox, “We knew the injuries were going to be a lot to overcome. It looked like they were going to be able to do it. But now you wonder. It’s like they’re on the canvas and you just want the standing count there to get them into the corner before the round is over. Right now, they want to stagger into the All-Star break and not be 5, 6 [games] out again like we talked about in April when we thought maybe they were playing themselves out of it. This is a very dire time for them and in this case a lot of it’s not their fault.”
The one place where injuries have not hurt this team is the bullpen. Tony Mazz and Shaughnessy both feel the need to add another arm in the bullpen because what the Red Sox have now out there is inconsistency.
Tony on the bullpen, “This has been going on all year. Okajima has been terrible all year long. Ramon Ramirez has been terrible all year long. The only truly reliable guy has been Bard. Papelbon has teetered a little but all things considered they’re fine at the closers spot. Meanwhile, Bard’s appearances have been piling up. He’s pitched in basically every other game thus far. Theo has resisted going out and getting bullpen help from the outside. I don’t know what’s been available and it’s hard to make a deal before the end of July often times because many teams believe that they’re in the race. But, if there was anything out there, even remotely decent, available that he has not pulled the trigger on in this stage, in retrospect he probably should have. It may have cost them a game the other night.”
The Sox will try and avoid the sweep tonight as they take on the Rays in Florida. Tim Wakefield gets the start and will face opposite All-Star LHP David Price.