Boston Red Sox

By Matt McCarthy,

The Red Sox turned in a disappointing performance on Patriots Day, falling to the Orioles 8-1.

W: Dan Straily (1-1)

L: Hector Velazquez (0-1)

Here are three takeaways from the game:

1. Homestand does little to cure Red Sox problems:

The Red Sox were quick to blame their poor start on an 11-game road trip to begin the year, but they did little to turn things around this last week at Fenway Park. A 3-3 record against the lowly Orioles and Blue Jays is clearly not good enough.

How bad are the Red Sox right now? Chris Davis is homering off them:

It doesn’t get much worse than surrendering home runs to a guy who broke an 0-for-54 stretch on Saturday and hadn’t hit one out since last August.

2. Bats fall silent again

After mustering only one hit for much of Saturday’s game and plating only one run for much of Sunday’s game, the Red Sox bats struggled to get anything going again on Monday. Orioles starter Dan Straily, who nobody will confuse with Bob Gibson, held the Sox to just two hits over five innings of work.

The Sox were held to just four hits in total.

Starting pitching has been the biggest problem for the Red Sox in 2019, but the bats have been disappointing too. There’s too much talent in this lineup to be a middle-of-the-pack offense, which is where the Red Sox rank in most batting categories.

3. What’s on second?

With Andrew Benintendi sidelined with a foot contusion, an illness keeping Jackie Bradley Jr. out of the lineup, and Dustin Pedroia still limited in by his knee rehab, Alex Cora was forced to get creative with his defensive alignment.

Enter Christian Vazquez, second baseman:

Not exactly textbook, but hey, you can’t argue with the results.

Not bad for a catcher.

The Red Sox decision to carry 13 pitchers and only 12 position players should be questioned on a day like today. Steve Pearce had to play left field and Blake Swihart had to play outfield on Sunday. Do the Red Sox really need eight arms in the bullpen?

Up next:

The Sox will send Chris Sale (0-3, 9.00 ERA) to the mound Tuesday night when they open up a series with the Yankees in the Bronx. James Paxton (1-2, 6.00 ERA) will take the ball for New York.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.