BOSTON (CBS) — There is no way to mince words on the Boston Red Sox. They have been horrible to start the 2019 season.
Maybe some home cooking will help them turn it around?
The defending World Series champs stumble home after a 3-8 road trip to start the season. They salvaged a three-game set with the Diamondbacks on Sunday with a 1-0 win in Phoenix, managing to take just one game in each of their first three series of the season. Their eight losses are tied for the most in baseball, sharing a loss total with the likes of the Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds, both of whom are expected to remain in baseball’s basement throughout the season.
And it’s not just that the Red Sox are losing, but it’s how they are losing.
The Boston starting rotation, which was supposed to be the team’s strength heading into the season, touts an 8.57 ERA — dead last in all of baseball. The opposition is hitting .320 off of their starters, and overall, Red Sox pitchers have coughed up the most homers of any staff to start the season. The Red Sox have been outscored by a major-league-worst 26 runs over their first three series of the year.
On offense, the Boston bats aren’t producing like they did last season, and to make matters worse, the Sox keep running into outs on the base paths. The team has also made several miscues in the field, with Red Sox outfielders letting a popup drop between them on two different occasions during their road trip. It’s not the smart brand of baseball Alex Cora had his team playing all of last season — not even close.
The 3-8 start is the opposite of how the Red Sox started last season, when the eventual champs shot out of the gates to a 17-2 record. The 2018 Red Sox didn’t lose their eighth game of the year until May 1.
The Red Sox are certainly are a team that could use their first of 81 home games right about now, plus the pick-me-up that should come with unveiling another championship banner at Fenway Park on Tuesday. Their season-opening road trip was no easy task, with 11 games in 11 days in three different cities, a 6,600-mile trek from when they left Fort Myers, Florida at the end of Spring Training. Now the Sox play in front of their home crowd for a six-game homestand against the lowly Blue Jays (3-8) and Baltimore Orioles (4-5), a good opportunity to dig themselves out of this early-season hole. After being away for so long to start the year, the Red Sox get to play 16 of their next 21 games at Fenway Park.
Cora hopes that in a few months, they’ll look at their horrendous road trip to start the season as nothing more than a good learning experience.
“We learned a lot on this road trip but now that it’s over, hopefully when we talk a few months from now, we’ll say, you know what? It was a learning experience. It made us better,” the Sox skipper said on Sunday.
Their first chance to turn things around comes Tuesday afternoon, right after the team puts the 2018 season behind them for good.