For a fan, nothing is more frustrating than you team’s fate being decided by injuries. Regardless of the outcome, it’s impossible to settle with your team’s record if all of the pieces aren’t there. It’s like those dreams where you try to run but move in slow motion, pure frustration.
So for Red Sox fans, it was an enormously annoying first half of the baseball season. Our starting closer was out every game along with Carl Crawford. Jacoby Ellsbury spent most of the year sidelined with injury as well. These injuries, plus a couple more, have doomed the Red Sox to the impossibly close wild card race.
Seven teams are within 1.5 games of each other, but it’s more than battling other teams. For the Sox, it comes down to battling their inner pitching demons. Josh Beckett is 5-7 with a 4.44 ERA, and Jon Lester is 5-7 with a 4.17 ERA. If those two can’t get their act together, Boston won’t be seeing the playoffs. If they can, they’re as dangerous a team as you find in baseball.
For all the injuries and all the bad luck this year’s Sox have encountered, they find themselves in a position to make the playoffs. The irony is that all the injuries aren’t what is going to prevent them from making a postseason run, it’s the dreadful pitching that will. Sure, the return of Andrew Bailey would mean a consistent closer that the Sox so desperately need, but that closer isn’t going to mean much if their aces can’t get it together and manage to produce winning records.
After all of the offseason changes, this Red Sox team seems to be facing the same problems they did last year. Their starting pitching is embarrassing, as is their bullpen, and unfortunately for us fans, there’s no way to blame it on injuries.