Boston Red Sox Pitching Has Been a Major Problem

By Paul Mroczka

The 2012 Boston Red Sox prove the old adage that in baseball you can never have enough pitching. For much of the season the Red Sox have been able to score runs and despite the fact that everyone in the organization blames their problems on injuries to key daily players such as Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz, the fact is the real weakness has been on the mound.

Thus far this season Red Sox pitching has allowed 702 runs. The only two teams that have done worse are the two lowest in the standings, the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins. Of the 14 AL teams, Boston is 11th in team ERA, batting average against and saves. That is a dismal performance by the staff.

On offense, they are fourth in runs scored, fifth in batting average and sixth in OBP. Not bad and certainly good enough to make them contenders. That is if they had some solid pitching.

Who’s their best individual starter this season? I’d say it’s Clay Buchholz. Buchholz is 11-6 with a 4.46 ERA. He’s pitched 167.2 innings while starting 25 games. He has 113 Ks and allowed 53 BBs. None of these stats are stellar. In ERA, he is 25th in the league but tops on the team.

The Red Sox have talent on the pitching staff. Buchholz is a quality pitcher as is Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka (who has been injured) and John Lackey (who has been injured). Felix Doubront had a fine first half. But when you come down to it the starting pitching has been overall a shambles and the relief has been very shaky at best.

The Red Sox got some promising pitching prospects in their trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers and they have some good veterans who need to heal. But it would be great if during the offseason they could find a quality closer and a topnotch starter. If the Red Sox can make that happen, 2013 should be a much better year. Right now that’s all the team and the Red Sox fans have to look forward to—next year.

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