February 15, 2019

MLB Story
By Gethin Coolbaugh, The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: May 15, 2016 10:31:12 PM


Red Sox's slugging compensates for rotation woes

BOSTON -- A prolific offensive stretch for the Boston Red Sox is masking deeper concerns about the team's rotation.
Boston's bats lit up the scoreboard during a 6-1 seven-game homestand, scoring 73 runs.
Meanwhile, Red Sox starters surrendered 28 runs -- an average of four per game -- during the homestand.
"An offense as we're operating at right now, yeah -- it can cover up some miscues in some other areas," Red Sox manager John Farrell said after his team's 10-9 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday.
Boston's starting rotation ranks 23rd among the 30 major league teams in ERA (4.81 over 217 innings).
Among the team's starters, David Price, Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly and Sean O'Sullivan have ERAs higher than 6.00.
Price and Buchholz have been the worst offenders. Price, whom Boston signed to a mammoth $217 deal over the offseason, has an ERA that sits at 6.00 over eight starts. Buchholz's ERA is 6.11 after giving up five runs in his eighth start Saturday.
On Sunday, Houston got to O'Sullivan for six runs (five earned) in 4 1/3 innings, leaving O'Sullivan with a 7.94 ERA.
"We've got areas to improve upon. We're working at that," Farrell said. "While we're in a little bit of a state of flux in the rotation, working to get a couple guys back, Sean O'Sullivan steps in, he makes a couple starts -- we win both games."
Only Rick Porcello (3.11) and Steven Wright (2.36) have respectable ERAs.
By contrast, the Boston bullpen boasts the seventh-best mark in the majors at 3.24.
The pitching problems may not be a major issue this week when Boston plays a three-game series against a Kansas City Royals team that ranked fifth to last in the majors in runs scored (131).
The Royals, who ended a 30-year drought by winning the franchise's second World Series title last season, are batting .254 as a team.
In winning 16 of their last 21 games, the Red Sox have averaged just under seven runs per game.
As long as the offense continues on its record pace, Boston won't be too worried.
In the postseason, where pitching wins championships, that might change


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