Xander Bogaerts mystified by Red Sox’ poor start at the plate

Red Sox

Boston’s offense ranks toward the bottom in several stats across baseball.

Xander Bogaerts mystified by Red Sox' poor start at the plate
Xander Bogaerts and the Red Sox’ hitters have walked back to the dugout following their at-bats far more than they would like this season. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Red Sox’ offense was thought to not only be the biggest strength of the team, but also one of the best in baseball entering the season.

They’ve been far from the best though through the first month of the year.

Boston ranks 24th in MLB in runs scored (92) so far in 2022. Friday’s series opener against the White Sox was more of the same for the Red Sox, who scored just two runs in a 4-2 loss. The Red Sox are struggling in both facets on offense, too. They rank 28th in baseball in on-base percentage (.280) and 27th in homers (16).

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts can’t understand why the Red Sox, who have four multi-time All-Stars in their lineup (Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, and Trevor Story), are having a hard time manufacturing runs.

“I really don’t know how it’s possible with this lineup that we’re playing like this,” Bogaerts said following Friday’s loss. “Every day, we [show up and] feel better than the day prior. Then when we leave the ballpark, it’s like . . . this is not fun.”

Boston’s offense might be the biggest reason why it’s sitting in last place in the American League East entering Saturday with a 10-17 record. The Red Sox’ starting rotation has a 3.30 ERA so far this season, the fourth-best in the American League.

Bogaerts knows the offense is putting the team’s starting pitchers in a bad spot.

“We need to score early,” Bogaerts said. “I’m sorry to say but we need to. … We’re asking a little too much out of our pitchers to throw a complete game shutout. I know it’s hard to score runs but it would be really, really good if we could score first.”

Bogaerts has been one of the lone bright spots for the Red Sox so far. His .343 batting average ranks ninth in baseball. But he’s just one of three regular Red Sox starters who have a batting average above .250 or an OBP above .300 (Devers and Martinez are the other two). The rest of the lineup each has an OPS below .600. Moreover, if the Red Sox scored at least the league-average four runs in every game so far this season, they’d have at least five extra wins, which would put them a few games above .500.

That isn’t the reality though in Boston. As the Red Sox continue to lose, their manager can’t help but acknowledge the situation.

“Just another night. We’re struggling,” Alex Cora said. “We know we are a better team. We are better than this. But right now we’re not putting games together.”

Source : https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-red-sox/2022/05/07/red-sox-offense-hitting-stats-struggling-xander-bogaerts-alex-cora/

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