BOSTON -- For all the bashing of the Red Sox offense these days, allow us to share a little secret: They’ve got a lot of company in the American League East. Only one team in the East, the Baltimore Orioles, is averaging better than four runs a game this month.
That’s why Dustin Pedroia has a point when he says it’s too early to declare all is lost.
The Red Sox have gone six straight games scoring two or fewer runs. Eleven times this month, they’ve been held to two or fewer runs, a dozen times three or fewer.
But in the last 13 games, since June 6, the first-place Toronto Blue Jays have been shut out three times, held to one run once, two runs three times, and three runs twice. They’re 4-9 in that stretch.
Take a look at these comparative numbers:
We’re not done.
Here is the team-by-team breakdown for June in terms of batting average and OPS:
Only nine players in the division are batting .300 or better this month (with 30 AB or more). Only four players have more than three home runs: Adam Jones (Baltimore) 6, Chris Davis (Baltimore) 5, David Ortiz (Boston) 4, Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay) 4.
When the month began, the Red Sox were six games behind the Jays in the AL East. For all their offensive woes, they’ve lost just a half-game in the standings; they trail by 6½ games. The Yankees have picked up a game and are 1½ out; the Orioles have picked up two games and are 2½ out. The Rays have lost 2½ games and are 12 out.
The Jays created some separation with a nine-game winning streak last month (May 20-28), which overlapped with 10-game losing streaks by the Sox (May 15-25) and Rays (May 26-June 5). Boston’s longest winning streak is seven, which came immediately after the losing streak; the Yankees and Orioles have both won five in a row, the Rays four. The division is one prolonged winning streak away from a reshuffling of the standings. Inevitably, somebody is going to start hitting. Right?