AL East Round-up: Separating the pack edition

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Aug 26, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox left field Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits a single in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox (59-76)

The sea of red in Boston looks more and more like a horror movie.

The team went 3-7 in the last 10 days, capping off with Dustin Pedroia having to be helped off the field with concussion symptoms. He collided with Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe, who was tagging from first base on a flyout to center field and slid into Pedroia trying to make the tag for the out. Forsythe’s “right forearm came up and struck Pedroia in the head,” according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. Manager John Farrell said, “Given where we are with rosters expanding, we don’t necessarily know that this will be a seven-day DL. We’ve got to be sure that every symptom is cleared. This will be a day-to-day situation.”

Considering the Red Sox have no chance of making the playoffs, being 15 games back of the wildcard lead, it would be crazy to see them want to play Pedroia any time soon. He signed a multi-year big contract and plans to be part of any future success with the franchise. Pedroia will, however, be missed now after hitting six RBIs in the last seven days, leading the team in that category.

Run support was not a problem in the losing record recently. The young, talented center fielder Mookie Betts hit 5 RBIs, including 2 home runs for the Red Sox with a .286 batting average. A nice surprise that replaces Ellsbury in the outfield, finally. Yoenis Cespedes and Will Middlebrooks also added to this production train with five RBIs each, making them one of the best teams in terms of runs in the division this week.

What is the problem then, you ask? Ask the starting rotation. Only one starter actually got a win this week. Part of the problem was that the run support was lacking when it was needed. The Red Sox would score a ton of runs in one game and nothing in the next game. Newly-acquired Joe Kelly only gave up two runs, but it was enough to record the loss. Allen Webster’s problem, on the other hand, couldn’t keep people from scoring against him. In two starts, he could only get passed the fourth inning both times, giving up six runs a piece. Hitters looked more like they were doing a conga line around the bases, being cashed at will.

With zero chance that this season will be remembered fondly, the Red Sox should try to forget this week. And last week. And the week before that. And the week before that. Instead, look for some of the veterans to help people like Kelly, Betts, and Brock Holt to continue emerging as big league players so that they are ready to win it all again next season. That and form a Lester-watch in the offseason.

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