Even before they fell behind 8-0 to the Rays in their Patriots Day affair, the Red Sox were off to their worst start since 1996. At 4-8, Boston entered the week in fourth place in the American League East, 5 games out of first.
"We're not doing a lot of things well right now," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said on Sunday after his team lost its fourth consecutive game.
Inded, the Red Sox' starters have a 4.39 ERA, ranking 10th in the American League. Their offense, once their most reliable weapon, has been slow to get going, having scored just 48 runs in their first 12 games. Two of their most needed bats have yet to wake up; J.D. Drew is hitting just .132 and David Ortiz is at .171, and the pair has just one home run and four RBIs combined.
Perhaps even more alarming has been the defense. After focusing on run prevention in the offseason by adding defensive stalwarts like Mike Cameron in center field, Adrian Beltre at third and Marco Scutaro at shortstop, the Red Sox were expected to be among the best defensive teams in the majors. Instead, they rank third in the AL with nine errors, three of them already by Scutaro.
What is the Red Sox biggest problem right now and what should they do to fix it? Can they recover or will this be their first season since 2006 without a playoff berth or even 1997 without a winning record?