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Some Thoughts After Being On The Receiving End Of An Ass Beating By A Team That's On Pace To Win Fewer Than 50 Games

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles

Getting your doors blown off by a team that would be fortunate to reach the 50-win plateau does something to a man. Not a good feeling. For that, I have some thoughts.

• First, a tip of the cap to John Means. The man was an All Star for a reason, and not because the Orioles had to send somebody to Cleveland, as Trey Mancini was also All Star worthy and didn’t get the chance to go. Means held the Red Sox to two earned runs over six innings to earn the victory, marking the fourth time that the lefty has faced Boston this year, allowing two earned runs or fewer in each start. In his 23 innings over four starts, Means has a 2.35 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP against Boston this season. There’s no shame in losing to Means in 2019.

• There is, however, shame in getting your doors blown off by the Orioles by a score of 11-2. There’s even more shame when you have your best starting pitcher on the mound, that being David Price. As it stands now, Price is the only starter in the Red Sox rotation with a sub-four ERA but after allowing six earned runs to the Orioles, he’s knocking on the door now that his ERA shot up to 3.61 from 3.16.

• I’m sure there will be some who will look at the recent rebirth of his feud with Dennis Eckersley as a reason for some sort of lack of focus, but the last time that Price went at it with Eck, he proceeded to to post a 0.90 ERA in three starts before allowing a six-spot to the Rangers, which ultimately placed him on the injured list until September. Maybe it was a lack of focus after another Eckersley incident. We don’t know. We can’t speak for Price. What we do know is that it didn’t impact his performance the last time, his health did.

• This game also served as a reminder that the Red Sox pitching staff can’t depend on the offense to bail them out every single night. There are going to be nights when they only score two runs. While difficult, you can still win those games and your odds are even greater when you have your best starter on the mound. But when Price coughs up six and the bullpen arms behind him tack on another five, then yeah. It’s not going to go well for you.

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• Speaking of the offense, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and JD Martinez went a combined 0-for-11. I can’t say that’s happened many times this season — that trio going hitless — but when it has happened, I can’t imagine the Red Sox have walked away victorious very many times, if ever at all.

• This game reminded me of the loss that the Red Sox took in their four-game series against the Blue Jays prior to this three-game set in Baltimore. I said something like, well, the Red Sox can still take three of four, but it sort of takes the wind out of your sails when you trot out a new starter in Andrew Cashner who had been dominating since the start of June, only to get shelled in a loss by a bad team. Same applies here — the Red Sox can still win this series, but you can’t be losing games to subpar teams when you have your best starter on the mound. You can’t be losing games to the Orioles, period.

• The Red Sox are now tied for the most games back of first place they’ve been all season (11), so the focus now shifts to the Wild Card standings where Boston finds themselves three games back of the second Wild Card spot-holding Oakland A’s with the Tampa Bay Rays in between, who have a two-game lead over the Red Sox. After this Orioles series, the Red Sox have three games in Tampa, four against the Yankees at home, three more against Tampa at home, then four in the Bronx. That’s why taking all three against the Orioles was so important. After this series, the standings could look a LOT different, and that might not be a good thing.