That said, the Red Sox need to understand something here. This season did damage. Between the Bruins run to the Stanley Cup finals and the start of another Patriots quest, there was a relatively small window for them. They never even opened it.
Before you suggest it's “good news” that Chris Sale doesn't need surgery, let’s make this clear: Sale does not need surgery NOW, and the Red Sox have a depreciating asset despite limiting him over the last two years.
Sale has a maybe a dozen starts left to validate a baby-Sale plan that certainly seemed to have blown up in the Red Sox’ faces in the earliest stages of this season, when the Red Sox opened by going 6-13 and Sale went 1-7.
Let’s say this part clearly, too: the Red Sox don’t want to win as much as they did a year ago. That doesn’t mean they stink. It just means that the edge they played with a year ago is completely gone – at least for now – and we have no choice to believe that the issues relate directly to last year’s World Series victory, which the Red Sox seem to be holding onto as if they never need to let it go.
The Red Sox have not won more than three games in a row. They have won as many as two straight only three times, which means they haven’t played consistently well for consecutive days – let alone weeks – for what amounts to an entire month.
When you add it all up – past, present and future – the Red Sox have over a half-billion dollars invested in their starting rotation, $531.8 million to be exact. Those five pitchers are and always have been the foundation in Dave Dombrowski’s formula for success. And when they perform like they’re performing now, there’s really no need for analysis of any kind. You just have no chance.