Had Valentine still been the skipper of this 2014 edition of the Red Sox, he’d have said the same thing following Wednesday night’s 16-9 loss to the Chicago Cubs, who finished a sweep at Fenway Park. Of the six times they were swept this season through 85 games of baseball, this one was the ugliest, with Chicago entering the series in the basement of the NL at 34-46.
Everything that could go wrong for the Red Sox over the three days did go wrong. They ran into a pitcher who had everything working for him Monday night in Jake Arrieta and nearly got no-hit. They couldn’t get anything going offensively and take advantage of Edwin Jackson on Tuesday night. On Wednesday night, they finally got some offense, but the pitching surrendered 16 runs on 19 hits.
To add insult to injury, it came after a stretch that gave fans a reason to be optimistic about Boston’s chances in 2014, winning three of four against opponents the team is vying for playoff spots with. They had taken two of three from New York over the weekend. The Red Sox were just six games back in the AL East, where the Toronto Blue Jays and Yankees were scuffling and the Baltimore Orioles weren’t playing great baseball.
Entering a 16-game stretch in which they’d play 13 of those games at home while playing average-to-subpar opponents like the Cubs, Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals, taking advantage of that schedule would land Boston right back into the middle of the race.
Unfortunately, the Red Sox are an average-to-subpar ball club themselves. That’s what they’ve shown us all season. That’s what they showed us over the last three days. The White Sox look at Boston on the schedule the same way Boston looks at the White Sox — games they should win.
It’s what has become a cold reality of the 2014 season in which the Red Sox have gone 38-47 through the first 85 games. The season looks more and more like a lost proposition as the year goes by. The time has come to accept the fact there will be no October baseball played on Yawkey Way and begin looking to 2015.