TORONTO — Wednesday’s 3-1 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays left the Sox at 1-5, one game better than they were after six games last year. The spring training goal of getting off to a good start has not been met.
The Red Sox were tied for first place by May 26 last season, so it's silly to issue any dire predictions. But here's the difference: Going back to September, the Red Sox have lost 25 of their last 33 games.
Right now, this is a franchise in disarray. But nobody is getting fired, or retiring, or fleeing to Chicago. It's up to the people who remained behind to figure this out.
“It’s kind of hard to believe,” Dustin Pedroia said. “But that’s what it is.”
The Red Sox have lost two one-run games and are playing more competitively than they were at this juncture last season. But that means little. The Sox are a team built to win, not try hard.
“You have stretches where you play six games and things don’t go your way. Then you have stretches where you play six games and everything goes your way,” manager Bobby Valentine said. “Six games is a ridiculously small sample size.”
The offense was the problem Wednesday. The Sox had only three hits, all in the third inning. Toronto starter Ricky Romero retired 17 in a row after giving up a run in the third. The Sox were one swing away from taking the lead in the ninth before Sergio Santos slammed the door.
Jon Lester pitched well enough to win most days, giving up three runs on three hits. But as was the case in the season opener against Detroit ace Justin Verlander, the other guy was better.
“It’s the nature of the beast when you go against guys like that. I got outpitched again, plain and simple,” Lester said.
The Sox are off on Thursday and open at home on Friday against the Rays.
What kind of reception does their new manager expect?
“I think we have the greatest fans in the world,” Valentine said. “We’ll find out.”