It’s not been an ideal start for the Boston Red Sox. With more than 20 losses already on their record this season, they’re in the dregs of the AL East standings, and it’s a bad look for one of baseball’s most recognizable franchises.
As passion for the team is always present and Massachusetts sports betting bonuses and platforms may come to the state this year via a bill that’s already passed the Senate, both those inside and outside the organization hope Boston can turn things around.
So can the Red Sox rebound after a slow start to the season?
Red Sox have proven they can win
Despite its shortcomings, this team has still proved this season that it knows how to win.
Take Boston’s 11-3 win over the Texas Rangers on May 14. The Red Sox had an offensive outburst, scoring double-digit runs and earning their first series win in a month. J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers both hit home runs, giving fans the type of excitement that has been sorely lacking this season.
And in the game prior, a 7-1 win for Boston, Xander Bogaerts made a play that wouldn’t be eye-catching in the scorebook, but helped spark the Red Sox to a four-run burst in the sixth inning, just one of several positive moments for the team that weekend.
“We scored all those runs, but it started with a hustle play (by Xander Bogaerts),” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, according to NESN. “That kid at shortstop, for everything we’ve been going through, he shows up every day, and he plays hard. Broken bat, ground ball to short, he hustled to first and he changed the game with that play.”
In those wins over the Rangers, the Red Sox saw the type of team they know they can be, and the type of success they know they could have before it’s too late this season.
“Nothing has changed,” Cora said after the 11-3 win, according to The Associated Press. “Just we got off to a bad start, and we know where we’re at.”
“We’re getting there,” he added, per the news outlet. “Good at-bats. Bottom of the lineup did an amazing job … Kept the line moving. It was another good one for the offense.”
Martinez, Devers and Bogaerts could be key to Boston’s possible turnaround. They are three of the team’s strongest hitters, and Martinez in particular is a wizard at both smacking hits and otherwise getting on base.
If the Red Sox expect to turn their game around, they will need to focus on consistent, base-to-base offense as much as power hitting, and Martinez can certainly help the cause there.
And Boston certainly has the will to win. Cora even shaved his beard in the hopes it would help his team stop its skid.
“If we win 10 in a row, it’s on me because I should have recognized that before,” Cora said jokingly, according to ESPN.
Turnaround could happen in June
If the Red Sox need a specific opening to help truly gain momentum, it could come in early June.
Boston will face the Oakland Athletics on the road from June 3-5, squaring off against a team that’s also seen its share of disappointments this season.
Oakland has also lost more than 20 games already. Its fans are frustrated, as lack of winning, front office mismanagement and other issues have left them feeling hopeless still early in the season.
“It’s an unfortunate situation for everyone,” infielder Jed Lowrie said, according to The New York Times. “As a pro, as a big leaguer, you have to do your job. We understand there are grievances, but that’s above my pay grade. Hopefully it can get solved. Let’s put it this way: it has to be solved.”
No one series can solve all of a franchise’s woes, but dominating another team can surely help. The Red Sox are a much larger brand and have arguably a more talented roster than the Athletics, so there’s always reason to expect Boston to cruise past Oakland when they meet.
Doing so would not only help Boston’s spot in the standings, but maybe its confidence, too. If the Red Sox haven’t already turned a corner and started winning by then, the opportunity to kick off that process may be given to them on a silver platter once June rolls around.
The MLB season is a long one, with plenty of chances for twists and turns in any team’s story. Whether it’s against the Athletics or at any other point in the campaign, the Red Sox are due for a turnaround, and it just may happen for one of the league’s most storied teams.
Cora won’t have to worry about shaving his beard any more if it does.