Can't score runs? Getting shutdown by mediocre pitching? First place to look is the lineup. Specifically the top of the lineup.
Typical Red Sox lineup
1.) Ellsbury .296/.357/.426 --- K% 13.5 BB% 7.8 --- ISO .130
2.) Victorino .280/.332/.403 --- K% 11.4 BB% 5.4 --- ISO .123
3.) Pedroia .293/.374/.405 --- K% 11.0 BB% 11.2 --- ISO .112
4.) Ortiz .324/.405/.580 --- K% 13.3 BB% 12.4 --- ISO .256
5.) Nava .289/.374/.426 --- K% 17.6 BB% 9.5 --- ISO .137
6.) Napoli .245/.335/.436 --- K% 34.0 BB% 10.8 --- ISO .191
7.) Drew .248/.332/.426 --- K% 25.8 BB% 11.3 --- ISO .179
8.) Saltalamaccia .267/.336/.453 --- K% 31.4 BB% 9.5 --- ISO .186
9.) Middlebrooks .208/.250/.398 --- K% 27.4 BB% 4.6 --- ISO .190
Problem#1 - Victorino is batting 2nd. He rarely walks. He has to hit his way on base. Players like him are prone to slumps. Victorino is currently in a 4/26 slump. His slash is .154/.267/.192. When he does get on base at least twice, the Sox score more than 3 runs. When he doesn't, the team struggles. The team shouldn't have to put themselves in this position. Victorino needs to be dropped to the bottom 3rd of the lineup.
Problem#2 - Pedroia is batting 3rd. I like Pedroia. He's good with the glove and is an elite on base guy. He's just not a middle of the lineup slugger, especially on the road. Move him back to 2nd, where he belongs.
Additionally, Ortiz should bat 3rd. Why not give your best hitter more plate appearances.
Nava should bat cleanup. Imagine having an opposing starter facing off against Ellsbury, Pedroia, and Ortiz. That 1-3 will accelerate pitch counts and increase the likelihood of bringing in a middle reliever. Moreover, Nava will frequently have PAs with men on base. Against the Jays last night, he had 2 doubles with no one on base.
That Victorino continues to bat 2nd is on Farrell. If I could see this, so can he. Any manager can look good when their players are performing well (and follow Bobby Valentine). Heck, Grady Little was 6 outs from leading the Red Sox to their first WS in 17 years. Yet firing Little and hiring Terry made the biggest difference in the world. Like Farrell, Grady didn't put his best OBP guys at the top of his lineup. In 2003, rookie Hideki Matsui and his 16 HRs had more RBI than Manny Ramirez.
When the team traded for Peavy, the Sox stopped playing with house money and went into win-now mode. The honeymoon is over for Farrell. Will he fix the top of his lineup or will he remain stubborn and unwilling to change?
Will Cherrington call up Butler and Assad from Pawtucket, before 9/1? They're hitting well and are in their mid-20s. What's the deal there?