On the day the Boston Red Sox received their 2018 championship rings, their pitching staff struggled to shut down a mediocre Blue Jays’ lineup. After a two-run third and a three-run fourth inning, Boston was trailing 5-2.
Mookie Betts capped a two run sixth for Boston with a solo shot over the Green Monster to close within one of Toronto.
Getting reacquainted with the Monster. pic.twitter.com/qf3KLj5zRm
— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 9, 2019
The fact that the starting staff has consistently struggled to keep runs off of the board is troubling. Velocity has been down across the starting staff through the first two weeks, but the entire unit has struggled with command as well.
For example, in Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays, Chris Sale kept the ball up in the zone to the first batters he faced in the third inning and that led to the first run crossing the plate. Let’s take a look at the Billy McKinney at bat that advanced the go-ahead run to second.
It’s not just this game that Sale has struggled with his command in the early going, it’s every start he’s been in.
Sale isn’t Boston’s only starter struggling with this, it’s all of them. Don’t believe me?
Let’s take a look at Rick Porcello’s heatmap.
It’s the same story across the board for the defending world champs. Boston’s starting staff has lost its command and opposing lineups are punishing them — the Sox are giving up 5.82 earned runs per game, that’s not including unearned runs.
There aren’t too many offenses in baseball that are going to be able to consistently dig out of a six-run per start deficit created by your starting staff. The starting staff is basically burying the offense in an avalanche of runs and it’s a major reason why the Red Sox have started this season 3-9 this season.