Boston Red Sox Fail Their First Test of 2013

By Jonathan Cullen
Joel Hanrahan
Winslow Townson-USA Today Sports

The series against the Baltimore Orioles was certainly an eye opener for the Boston Red Sox. Now they know how they will need to execute if they want to win the division. Playing a New York Yankees team that is obviously feeling the effects of missing so many key players and beating up a Toronto Blue Jays squad that has yet to gel really didn’t give the Red Sox a good indication of what they needed to do to win.

Baltimore exposed a lot of flaws, but the good news for the Red Sox is that everything looks like it is repairable and they are still expecting David Ortiz to return soon.

Mon: 5-27 with two BB and four Ks with 124 pitches seen.

Wed: 5-30 with four BB and seven Ks with 134 pitches seen.

Thurs: 8-35 with two BB and nine Ks with 153 pitches seen.

Three game total: 18 for 92 giving the team a .196 batting average in the series. The patience disappeared, combining for only eight walks and 20 strikeouts against the Orioles’ pitching staff.

Three games and the Red Sox combined to score 10 runs against the Orioles’ pitching staff. Until closer Joel Hanrahan blew the ninth-inning save on Wednesday, the Red Sox looked positioned to take the first two games of the series.

The bullpen, even with the off days built in, is starting to feel the strain of having the starters pitch only five innings in their starts. John Lackey, Ryan Dempster and Alfredo Aceves have all lasted five innings in their most recent starts, hardly a formula for success for any team, even one with a great bullpen like the Red Sox.

Hopefully Boston will get Ortiz back from his injury rehab assignment within the next week to help support the offense. Batting Ortiz in the middle of the lineup can only help all of those numbers.

The Red Sox have another test coming this weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays; hopefully they have learned their lesson going into this four-game series.

Jon can be reached: Twitter: jcullen71, Rant Sports: Jonathan  CullenGoogle Plus: Jonathan  Cullen

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