Well, it was certainly an implosion. But, I cringe a bit at the tone usually applied to the word “another.”
Yes, of course, the Sox starters have imploded before. And, Kelly has even imploded before. But, everyone seems to be treating it like a “Here we go again” sort of feel. “We need an ace because these guys keep getting lit up!”
But, that’s not really the case.
Let’s do a little comparison…just for fun. The Houston Astros currently lead the AL with 29 wins. The Red Sox have 21. In the month of May, the Astros have played 23 games, and have given up 104 runs. The Red Sox have played 23 games in May, and given up…104 runs. In the Month of May, the Astros have played 10 games where they’ve given up three or fewer runs. The Sox? 11.
But, wait. It’s not the good games…it’s the bad games. When the Sox are bad, after all, they’re very very bad. Ok. In the month of May the Astros have one game where they have given up at least ten runs. Aha. See? That’s where the difference is. The Astros can control the damage better to keep games within reach. That one game is nothing compared to the Red Sox who have allowed ten runs or more onetime in the month of May.
Wait…once? Just like the Astros?
Really, the numbers of times the two teams have given up a certain number of runs is eerily similar. What does that mean? Probably two things. That the Red Sox woes are really just a matter of timely hitting, and perception.
The timely hitting will come around. It always does. That’s a definite “water finds its level” sort of thing.
The perception we may need to work on. The people calling for an ace need that comfort. People are complaining that the Sox will never go on a run, because one of the starters will blow up at least once every turn of the rotation. That might be true. But, it’s also true of other teams. It’s just usually the #5 starter.
Which is really the problem. People like to think they can count on things. We could count on Pedro winning his starts. The 2015 Sox don’t have that. But, they can probably count on one starter putting up a great start every time through. (No, not a Pedro start…but a great start.) Which is what they’ve had. But, it’s not always the same guy. Conversely, people seem to be willing to accept one guy blowing up every time through…as long as it’s the same guy. “Oh well, Dempster got hammered again.”
But, the Sox are really getting the same thing. 1/5 great starts, 1/5 awful starts. Sure, you never know who’s going to pitch a gem, and you never know who will fall apart. But, in the grand scheme of things, does it matter? Once the Sox find their offense, does it matter who’s pitching the gems and who isn’t? Shouldn’t the Sox be able to handle whichever pitcher it throwing whichever game?
Shouldn’t we be able to live without knowing?