The Boston Red Sox were unable to handle the Baltimore Orioles at all this weekend, as the O’s came left town Sunday taking all three games at Fenway. The two teams battled through 17 innings on Sunday, using eight pitchers apiece and closing things out with position players on the mound.

The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham joined Toucher & Rich Monday morning to discuss the terrible performances by the Sox over the weekend, namely Clay Buchholz and Adrian Gonzalez.

There were not many bright spots for the Sox this weekend with the expectation of Andrew Miller retiring the four batters he faced and rookie Will Middlebrooks’ fielding and hitting. What’s the ceiling on Middlebrooks?

“Well this was the guy who was the top prospect in their organization, so long-term this is a guy they probably look at as an All-Star caliber player. You still have a long way to go he’s still a young guy, but I think he’s going to be a guy who’s going to give them a lot to think about with Kevin Youkilis, in terms of his picking up his option next year.”

Starter Clay Buchholz has struggled to start the season after returning from a back injury that sidelined him for the majority of 2011. How long will the Red Sox stick with him as he struggles to get through three innings?

“It’s to a point where it’s really bad; he’s basically the worst starting pitcher in baseball right now,” said Abraham. “He does have an option to go back to the minors, but I don’t know if it’s quite at that point yet.”

Is the injury from last year still bothering him?

“Clearly something’s wrong. He doesn’t all of a sudden stink; there’s got to be some reason behind it.”

This Sox team battled back to finally get to .500 last week, but things quickly changed as they’re on a five-game skid. Does this feel worse than the start to last season at this point?

“Last year you get the feeling this is a good team that’s just not playing well and eventually they’re going to play well because there’s too many good players. There’s not too many good players right now; there’s Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez and six guys who are maybe starters on a decent team maybe not.”

Adrian Gonzalez’s season has not gone well at all so far either. The first baseman continues to leave runners on base, and on Sunday went 0-for-8. What’s the problem with the Boston slugger?

Plus, at what point is it no longer early in the season and the team has to really start digging itself out of a hole?


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