If you watched any Boston Red Sox baseball this weekend in their three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers , well, quite frankly, I’m terribly sorry.
The Brewers walked away from Fenway Park without a scratch, busting out the brooms and sweeping a lifeless Boston team away in convincing fashion. I get it, this was a mere 3 games out of 162. Every team will face their struggles. But to be the defending champs and come out this flat for the first series at Fenway was disheartening to say the least.
It was a bad brand of baseball all around. In total, Boston made 5 errors in the series, went 3-for-19 with RISP, and allowed the Brewers to hammer out 40 hits — 13 of them allowed by Clay Buchholz alone. They led for exactly 0 innings out of the 29 that were played, and struck out 27 times over the course of the series.
At no point last season did the Red Sox lose more than 3 games in a row, and yet through just the first week of April in 2014, they could already end that streak with a loss at Texas tomorrow night. For those of you who expected Boston to come screaming out of the gate with the same hunger and energy as a season ago, they’ve severely disappointed.
Is it a World Series hangover? I doubt it. That seems like a low hanging fruit type of response for people in the media to latch on to, especially after a series like this one. Anytime a team wins it all, they are expected to come out and run through their first few opponents, otherwise everybody considers it a “hangover.”
Listen, it’s not a hangover. Do you really think the spark plug Dustin Pedroia would let that happen? There’s a lot of new faces in new roles right now. It might take a little time to get things rolling, but it’s not because winning it all last year has consumed them, it’s because it isn’t 2013 anymore and a brand new season with new players might require an adjustment period.
Adjustments for who you ask? Well, Grady Sizemore is seeing his first major league action since 2011. Both Edward Mujica and Burke Badenhop are trying to settle into new roles after being signed in the offseason. Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are young talents attempting to make a name for themselves. A.J. Pierzynski is now the face behind the plate handling a totally different pitching staff. Andrew Miller is finding his way back after missing a good chunk of last season with a foot injury. And John Farrell is trying to manage all of this at the same time. Get it?
If the Red Sox maintain this style of play into May, then fine, I will hop on board with the hangover train. But until then, let’s just allow the champs to do their thing without gasping at every loss.