The Red Sox's offense is clicking on all cylinders, and has been able able to get them back into games that they have no business being in (ex., Friday night vs. the Blue Jays). Through 4 games, the Boston Red Sox have been able to amass 28 runs against Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman and R.A. Dickey. Not bad, right?
Unfortunately, the way Boston is currently playing is not a winning brand of baseball. Sure, they may be able to put together a great month or two, but at some point the offense is going to hit a lull. The offense is not going to be able to score six or seven runs 162 games, and it is borderline psychotic to believe anything else or rely on them to do so.
If the past has taught us one thing, it is that pitching wins championships. Having an ace is awesome, but it does not matter if the rest of your rotation is absolute garbage. Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, and Jon Lester and John Lackey have taught us that, once you get into the playoffs, a 1-2 punch is needed to put pressure on the opposing team.
After David Price's masterful Opening Day performance, Clay Buchholz was set to face off against Carlos Carrasco in what ended up being the rubber game. Buchholz was reportedly focusing on a new workout regimen that highlighted his legs in order to increase his durability. As it turned out, Buchholz was not able to get out of the fifth inning, and finished the day pitching 4+ innings and allowing 5 earned runs. While the Red Sox offense got them back into this game, they were not able to secure a victory.
But not to worry, Friday night "Machine Gun" Joe Kelly took the rubber against Toronto's ace, Marcus Stroman. Kelly looked decent his first two innings, but imploded in the third after hitting Kevin Pillar in the head with a pitch. Noticeably shaken, Kelly threw a meatball to reigning MVP Josh Donaldson and allowed a grand slam. Kelly would finished the day pitching 3+ innings, and allowing 7 earned runs.
Fortunately, the Red Sox were able to win these past two games against the reigning AL East Division Champions because of the dominant performance of the bullpen. While using only Koji Uehara more than once, Boston's bullpen threw nine shutout innings, allowing just two hits.
To be fair, Rick Porcello went out today and pitched good, if not great. In 6 innings, Porcello gave up seven hits and four earned runs, while striking out seven and walking only one. These numbers may not jump off the page, but aside from two terribly thrown off-speed pitches to Jose Bautista, Toronto was not able to figure out Porcello. After a pressing couple of games for the bullpen, Porcello and Robbie Ross Jr. were able to give give them the day off and prepare for a series sweep on Sunday afternoon.
So, what is Boston to do now?
It has become increasingly obvious to many, if not most, that the Boston Red Sox need another quality arm in the rotation. My personal preference is a power right-hander, perhaps Sonny Gray or Jose Fernandez. Both of these names have been rumored with the Red Sox and, while the price would hurt our farm system, Boston has the assets to pull it off.
I have a hard time imagining Dave Dombrowski standing pat after seeing these first four games, regardless of Boston's overall record.