Friday, July 24, 2009

Hit Like a Girl Volume 3-Slumping Sox

It has been a busy week in Red Sox Nation. We designated Lugo for assignment and will be shipping him off to the Cardinals (good riddance), Wakefield went on the DL for back issues (as per usual), and we called Buchholz up from the minors (after last week’s start against the Blue Jays, why wouldn’t we?!).

Now, I usually don’t succumb to the typical sports fan negativity. I even managed to hold off until Wednesday night after Buchholz’s “start” before I said, “we’re doomed.” Then I mentally smacked myself because, Christ, do sports fans really need to be this over dramatic?

Yes, absolutely.

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re a Red Sox fan, so go ahead and start pulling your hair out now, because what would baseball season be without the usual thoughts of doom and stress about how the Sox are playing? What would any Boston sports season be without doom and misery, really? To the Sox credit though, we have had some major changes. Or maybe it’s that we need some major changes. Either one works, so take your pick. I refuse to take back what I wrote in last week’s column about not wanting Roy Halladay for the Sox. We will never get him. Besides, we need more than pitching as it seems the majority of our starters have forgotten how to swing a bat.

We went into the All-Star break as number one in the American League. We came out looking like the Kansas City Royals.

OK, maybe not that bad, but pretty bad.

I was hopeful for the Buchholz start Wednesday. I thought, “This is just what we need!” and “Buchholz is ready to kick some ass!” However, the Sox plan for redemption didn’t seem to work out Wednesday night. To be honest, I think it’s far too much pressure for one pitcher to take on, especially someone as young as Buchholz, fresh from a stint in the minors. However, as I’ve said before and I’ll say again: we have a solid pitching staff. The issue is that we have absolutely no offensive support. It’s this lack of runs in combination with the pressure a pitcher feels to get the win that did Buchholz in Wednesday night against the Rangers. It’s called a slump for a reason, people! No, this doesn’t mean you can stop pulling your hair out, but ease up just a smidge. The Sox have a lot to work out right now between changes in the lineup and the loss of Lugo who, regardless of what fans like to say, was a huge part of the organization (editor's note:He also protected JD Drew from the wrath of the fans).

So, I’ll continue to be optimistic for the Red Sox. After all, we did get rid of Lugo and that must be a sign of something good to come. Like more offense. Please?

Samantha Lewis is the author of "Hit Like a Girl". She is the Creative Director of Northshore Editorial in Salem, MA and can be followed on Twitter.



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