Will Bobby Valentine finish the season as the manager of the Boston Red Sox?
It’s an absurd question to ask 3 weeks into the season, but if the Red Sox continue their terrible play, the question will become more and more legitimate. It’s hard to believe but the 2012 Red Sox are playing worse than the 2011 club played in September. At it’s core baseball is about scoring and preventing runs so for this comparison I am simply going to use runs scored and runs allowed.
September 2011: 5.41 RS/G and 6.37 RA/G
April 2012: 5.00 RS/G and 6.79 RA/G
The similarity is scary: good hitting combined with terrible pitching. An average American League team scores around 4.5 runs per game. The Red Sox offense has been scoring runs but the pitching staff is giving up around 2 runs per game more than the average.
In 2012, the problem is not limited to one part of the pitching staff: both the starters and relievers have been bad. The Red Sox starters ERA is 5.75, which is good for 12th in the AL (Yankees are 13th at 5.84). Their bullpen is the worst in the AL with 8.44 ERA, nearly a full run worse than the Rays at 7.49.
The Red Sox have and will continue to score runs but if their pitching does not improve they are looking at the their first season under .500 since 1997 and a managerial change for the second time in a year.