2016/ 2017 parallel collapse?
In 2016 the Red Sox were one of the best teams in baseball down the stretch. From August 31st- September 25th, they put together an impressive stretch of winning going 19-5. Amidst this stretch was an 11-game win streak in which all the wins came against division rivals. However, the Sox fell off at the absolute worst time possible. They barely stumbled through the finish line, losing five of their last six, and had a hot date in the ALDS vs the Indians who won 10 of their last 15 games. The Sox were promptly swept by the Indians in three ugly games.
Well, here we are again. The Sox put together a terrific end to the season, going 18-9 from August 28th- September 24th. Unfortunately, the Red Sox have seem to lost all momentum in the first two games of the Blue Jays series. Boston has dropped back to back games 6-4 and 9-4. “…So what? they lost two games, what is the big deal?” Typically a short two-game skid is nothing to sweat over, but these two losses have been particularly concerning. Boston has been outscored by last- place Toronto 15-8 despite throwing their best pitching options (Sale and Pomeranz). Sale surrendered five earned runs, eight hits and four home runs in just five innings of work. Pomeranz was no better as he lasted just two innings while giving up five earned runs and seven hits. Certainly not what #RedSoxNation wants to see from their aces heading into the playoffs. It feels as though one can sense the fear lingering in Boston as fans are afraid this may be the beginning of a collapse similar to last year.
No. It is too early to panic. It would be panic time if we were battling for a wildcard spot and our playoff hopes were in jeopardy. Fortunately, we still hold a three- game lead over the Yankees in the AL East. While it is possible that New York catches us, it is very unlikely. Three games is an enormous amount of ground to cover with just five games remaining on the season. Also, the Sox have responded very well to slumps this year.
Thinking back on the season, two significant slumps come to mind. The first was a stretch lasting from July 5th-July 30th in which Boston lost 14 of 22 games. They bounced back from this rough stretch in a dramatic way, winning 16 of their next 20 games. Then, In late August, Boston lost four straight, one game against Cleveland and a three-game sweep delivered by Baltimore. During this four game skid, the Red Sox were outscored 36-10. This was a tremendously concerning time. Yet again, the team responded positively to the situation, winning 18 of the next 25 games. *This hot stretch actually brought them to the start of the current series vs the Blue Jays* So yes, it has been a very ugly two games for Boston, but lets not overreact. This team has bounced back from slumps multiple times this season, and we can certainly do it again. As I close out this article, Bogaerts just hit a three-run home run to blow the game wide open. Big sigh of relief for Red Sox Nation. Prepare yourself, October. Here come the Sox.
*Follow me on twitter @MLBfromNH (Kevin Civiello)* *Stats up to date as of 9/27/17*P