The Red Sox are heading to Yankees Stadium for Game 3 of the ALDS tied at 1-1. Give that most objective fans expected a relatively even series that will go five games, this shouldn’t much of a surprise. What also should not be much of a surprise is a major issue the Red Sox have which is rarely discussed. Instead, Red Sox Nation is sticking to the lazy take of the team’s bullpen problems.
Do the Red Sox have a great bullpen? No. Do they have a terrible bullpen? Absolutely not. However, that’s the focus after two games despite the bullpen doing a relatively good job the first games. The bullpen has pitched 11 innings and has given up 5 earned runs. Had it not been for Eduardo Rodriguez having a brain fart and thinking it was batting practice by throwing a meatball right over the plate to the .186 hitting Gary Sanchez, these number would have looked even better and the ball Sanchez hit would have landed by now.
The bullpen is not great, but it’s not the problem with the Boston Red Sox.
The problem the Red Sox have this year is no different than the past two years. Their core of great players do not produce in the playoffs. It starts with the player who will likely be the American League MVP…Mookie Betts.
Betts career postseason batting average is .242. He also has 0 home runs and 0 RBI. That’s right. In three postseasons, Mookie Betts has never driven in a run. This is a player who the Red Sox rely on to spark their offense and just like the past two years, Betts has been invisible.
It doesn’t stop there. Despite is home run last night, Xander Bogaerts is a career .222 postseason hitter. That’s in four postseasons.
Jackie Bradley .167
Eduardo Nunez .167
Mitch Moreland .239
Sandy Leon .217
Who has the best postseason batting average in the Red Sox starting lineup? That would be Ian Kinsler at .289.
In summary, the best offense in baseball in the regular season is not even close to being good enough in the playoffs. Again…
This Yankees pitching staff is very vulnerable. However, this Red Sox team isn’t taking advantage.
Why should we think this is going to change in Games 3 and 4 in New York? Mookie Betts all of the sudden is going to wake up from his playoff nap in the Bronx? Based on what?
The Red Sox problem??? It’s not their bullpen. It’s their offense. The lineup is littered with players who stack their stats against weak teams like the Blue Jays and Orioles. When they face playoff caliber teams like the Yankees and Astros, we see what we’re seeing now. Chasing bad pitches. No plate discipline. No power.
This will end this Red Sox rant for today. Game 3 will be on Monday.
We’ll find out if Mookie finally shows up…
Red Sox in 5.