Following Friday’s loss at Fenway’s 100 year celebration and Saturday’s historic meltdown against the Yankees, have the Sox finally hit rock bottom?
“You have to hope it is after that Saturday game. To have a 9-0 lead in the sixth inning, and you lose the game by six runs, that’s only happened twice over the last 120 years. It’s just astounding they got their ass kicked after they were ahead 9-0,” said Shaughnessy.
“They did play good teams the first two weeks, and they’re going to play teams that aren’t as good now. They need to take advantage of that and start scoring runs like they know they can do,” said Shaughnessy. “But there is nothing about the team that makes you feel good at this point, or that they’re playoff bound.”
With Sunday’s rain out, there is a little hope for the bullpen in way of Daniel Bard. The team will skip over his spot in the rotation, instead making him available out of the pen during their three-game series against the Twins in Minnesota.
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But if Bard pitches well out of the bullpen, the cries will be that much louder to switch him to a relief role full-time. Is there even a chance we could see him as Boston’s closer soon?
“Anything is possible at this point,” said Shaughnessy, before adding there is one thing the Sox need in order to require a closer though. “To have a closer, you must have a closing situation and they haven’t had many of those. It’s been about the long guys not getting there.”
“For the most part, its been bleeding in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, and a closer doesn’t help you a lot there,” he said. “It’s messy, it’s bloody, and the Twins should get them healthy a little bit. They’re not as bad as 4-10.”
New manager Bobby Valentine had a closed-door meeting with GM Ben Cherington and owners John Henry and Larry Lucchino over the weekend. Is there any chance Valentine could be heading for a quick exit from his new job?
“I don’t think so,” said Shaughnessy. “Lucchino is the guy who brought him here, and Lucchino would be the guy — John could over-rule and say ‘I want to fire the manager’ (but) I don’t think that’s going to happen at this point. You’re two weeks into it, I’m not really seeing it.”
So how much of the 4-10 start should fall on Valentine?
“Very little,” said Shaughnessy. “It’s closer to none. You have (Franklin) Morales, some of the bullpen things, truly the Youkilis thing was dumb. But they have lost 10 of 14 games because of players not performing. Bobby is the easy target, he’s the one making the pitching changes — and there have been a lot of them in the middle of the innings when he goes out there and gets booed walking back in. It’s very easy to blame him.”
“It should go more on the players; Josh Beckett, Jon Lester,” said Shaughnessy. “Some of those stinko- starts they’ve had, those are the guys that should be hearing it. They failed you in September, they’re failing you again now, and that’s what they can’t have.”