They’re 6-1. They have the best record in Major League Baseball. The Boston Red Sox are off to a great start and they have won a lot of close games late…against the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins. Every game counts and every team has to “play the schedule”. The Red Sox have done that and they earned the wins they were supposed to against two of the worst teams in baseball. 6-1 is 6-1. It’s not easy to win 6 of 7 games in MLB no matter who you’re playing. With that said, a major flaw with this team is starting to show sign of exposure. It was a similar flaw that the team had in its five previous seasons.
Is it actually possible that Alex Cora is a worse manager than John Farrell? The answer is yes. When the Red Sox moved on from Farrell, there was no outcry in Red Sox Nation even though the team had won back-to-back division titles. The team had talent, but they had no energy and they lacked leadership. Cora was brought in to connect with the players and also bring a leadership presence to the team. What we didn’t know when the Red Sox hired Cora was how he would be with game strategy. Well, we’re starting to find out.
On Opening Day, Cora watched Joe Kelly walk three batters in the 8th inning with a 4-0 lead. In a situation where there was a high demand for strikes, Cora watched this happen and the team eventually lost 6-4. The following night, David Price cruised through seven innings with just 76 pitches. He didn’t give up a run. After watching the disaster happen the ay before, Cora decided to go to the bullpen in the 8th. The Sox ended up winning that game, but the message was clear. Adjustments game to game were not the priority.
Most importantly, the biggest concern is the fact the Cora gave a day off to Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez, and Rafael Devers in the first six games of the season. Keep in mind that we’re not even close to being in the grind of a full MLB season. This is week one. In Betts case, he was rested on Tuesday Night. One day before two of the next three days being scheduled day off. It almost cost the Red Sox the game as Martinez couldn’t make a play in right field that Betts would have made with ease. It’s going to be very interesting to see if this resting approach continues. Obviously, it’s important to keep the bench players fresh. However, under no circumstance, should Brock Holt be starting two games in a row with a fully healthy infield. Holt batted .200 last year and his bat has been invisible again so far this season.
All is well in Red Sox Nation today. But, this team again has a big problem at the top. Yes, it’s still early, but we can only hope there’s improvement. For the Red Sox to win, they need their best players to play. That means Chris Sale and David Price need to be able to throw 100+ pitches. Not 76. That means that Mookie Betts name needs to be in the lineup…daily.
This team is very talented. It would be a shame if they didn’t maximize their full potential.
6-1. Rays. Marlins.
Yankees are in town next week. The Red Sox star players will be ready…if they’re in the lineup.