CLEVELAND — It would be nice to point to one person or one position and say the Red Sox will be fine if they solve that problem.
When a $161 million team starts 0-6, it goes way beyond that. The Sox are hitting .181 and have scored only 16 runs. They are 7 of 44 (.159) with runners in scoring position. The pitching, until today, has been suspect.
Two things were confounding in this game:
• When Daniel Bard came out to start the bottom of the eighth inning, he walked No. 9 hitter Adam Everett on five pitches. A backup who started his first game of the year, Everett hit .185 last season. You can’t walk anybody there, never mind Adam Everett.
• Terry Francona also said he expected a squeeze with Asdrubal Cabrera at the plate but was worried that a pitch out would lead to a walk. “If we elect to pitch out and we don’t get the exact pitch, then we’ve got first and third and we’re in worse shape,” he said.
Is their confidence in Bard that shaky?
Here are some sobering facts: Since 1900, only two 0-6 teams — the 1974 Pirates and 1995 Reds — have made the playoffs. Neither advanced to the World Series. Not one American League team that started 0-6 has finished the season in better than third place. To win 95 games, the Red Sox would have to win 61 percent of their remaining games.
It would be silly to say the season is over with 156 games left. But if this streaks gets to nine or 10 games, that’s a hole with no escape. The Yankees are coming in this weekend and would love to add to the misery of their rivals.
Today was the first day that the clubhouse seemed deflated. Losing 1-0 on a squeeze bunt is one thing. But then the game ended when Darnell McDonald slipped rounding second. It’s just bizarre.
“Right now we’re just not living right,” Jon Lester said. “I don’t know what’s going on. We’re going to continue to show up every day and play hard and we did that today. Everybody that played in that game today busted their ass on that field. It’s not like we’re not trying. We’ve got to keep grinding it out.”
Dustin Pedroia wondered what kind of reception he would receive at home tonight
“This is our lives. We’re going to get home right now and my wife’s going to look at me and say ‘[Expletive], you’re 0-6. You guys stink.’ We all bring this [expletive] home with us, man. We care. We’ll figure it out. We have to. We don’t want to let anyone down. That’s it.
“We’ll figure it out. We’re going to win a lot more games than we’re going to lose, I’ll tell you that. We’re not going to be 0-162.”
We’re not going to be 0-162. On April 7, the goals sure have changed a lot from April 1.