BOSTON -- The Red Sox offense was scorching hot in July, making Boston the hottest team in baseball. It offered a look at what the Red Sox were capable of when they had it all together at the plate.
The Red Sox led Major League Baseball with a .284 batting average and scored an average of 5.39 runs over their 23 games in July. It led to a 15-8 record and a renewed sense that maybe Boston could make a run at the postseason as a wild card team.
But since the calendar flipped to August, the Boston bats have gone the opposite direction of the mercury on your thermostats. Through 14 games this month, the Red Sox are slashing a mere .236/.293/.404 and they're averaging just 3.7 runs per game. They've gone just 7-7 in large part because they've struggled to do much of anything with their bats. (The pitching giving up nearly five runs per game doesn't help, either.)
Wednesday night against the Nationals, the Red Sox had just one hit through seven innings. They had two other baserunners by way of walks, and neither of them made it to second base. It wasn't until Pablo Reyes clubbed a two-run homer in the top of the eighth that the Boston offense generated any kind of offensive jolt in the contest. (Garrett Whitlock promptly gave the lead back to the Nats by allowing four runs in the bottom of the frame.)
The Red Sox finished with just four hits in Wednesday night's 6-2 loss, which dropped the team to 63-57 and three games behind the Blue Jays for the final AL Wild Card spot. In their seven losses this month, the Red Sox have been held to six or fewer hits four times.
At a time when the Red Sox should be making their loudest push, the bats have been at their quietest of the season.
Rafael Devers is the biggest bat in the lineup, but he has just one homer and three RBI so far this month and is hitting just .225. He has just 15 total bases this month, after racking up 53 in 21 games in July.
Masataka Yoshida had been the team's most consistent hitter all season, but he's seemingly hit the proverbial rookie wall. He's hitting just .250 through 12 games in August and has just two hits in his last 14 at-bats. Yoshida hasn't started either of the last two games as Alex Cora gives him a bit of a rest, hoping the Rookie of the Year candidate busts out of this slump and gets back to racking up the hits as September quickly approaches.
Even sparkplug Jarren Duran has hit a bump in the road, hitting just .175 (7-for-40) this month. He has just two hits in his last 27 at-bats, and no stolen bases over his 13 games in August.
While much of the lineup is on ice, there have been a few warm spots for the Red Sox. Trevor Story was frigid upon his return but broke out of his deep freeze after just three games, and is now 7-for-26 since getting back from elbow surgery. Four of those seven hits have gone for doubles, though Story is still looking for his first RBI of the season.
The biggest bats in the Sox lineup this month have belonged to Triston Casas (three homers, seven RBI over his 14 games) and Reyes (two homers, three doubles). But the Red Sox are going to need a lot more offensive firepower if they want to keep pace in the wild card chase.
The Red Sox have seemingly been allergic to complementary baseball all season. When they're pitching well, the bats can't hit. When they're hitting well, the pitching throws batting practice to the opposition. (Along the way, the defense has remained dreadful.)
Now that the pitching is getting healthy, it's time for the Boston bats to wake from their late-summer slumber. If they remain cold, they may as well break out their winter jackets now.
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