Tomase: The Red Sox suddenly aren't just bad, they're embarrassing


For an organization that has spent the last decade whiplashing between first and last place, the Red Sox keep finding ways to disgust us.

They entered July firmly in control of the wild card race. They're about to finish August so laughably out of contention that cries of, "Play the kids!" are largely meaningless, because outside of first baseman Triston Casas, the kids are already here, starting three out of every five games.

What began as a slide toward irrelevancy is now an avalanche, and god only knows what it's going to look like at the bottom of the mountain. What's indisputable is the Red Sox have become borderline impossible to watch, with Tuesday's 9-3 loss to the Blue Jays just the latest example of their sudden ineptitude.

All of this happened in the same game:

  • First baseman Franchy Cordero failed to touch a George Springer pop-up leading off the evening. Cordero tracked it into short right field, tapped his mitt on his thigh in preparation of making the nonchalant catch ... and then watched it bounce a foot beyond his reach in foul territory. Why are we still watching him play first base again while Casas practically hits for the cycle in Syracuse?
  • Old friend Jackie Bradley, making his first appearance in Fenway Park as a visitor just three weeks after being released, recorded two hits, including a gift double when left fielder Tommy Pham leaped at the left field wall and let Bradley's liner tick of his glove. Acquired to add some punch to the lineup while playing a representative left field, Pham has instead misplayed a series of balls out there. This one cost him the rest of the game, as he left clutching his side. He'll miss Wednesday's game with a bad back.
  • Bradley's hit seemed harmless enough, especially once right-hander Josh Winckowski retired the dangerous Springer and Vladimir Guerrero on groundouts. But he surrendered a game-tying double to Lourdes Gurriel with a 1-2 count, walked Alejandro Kirk on four pitches, served up an RBI single to Teoscar Hernandez, loaded the bases on a single to Bo Bichette, and finally walked in a run before being mercifully lifted.
  • Things didn't get any better from there. Left-hander Austin Davis was summoned to face the two lefties at the bottom of Toronto's order and allowed a single to Cavan Biggio before walking Bradley. If you're thinking, "Uh-oh," you have good instincts. Springer cleared the bases with a triple that Rob Refsnyder missed on the dive by a good two feet. Goodbye, 1-0 lead, hello, 8-1 deficit, and goodnight, Irene.
  • The game ended with catcher Reese McGuire on the mound, and he delivered by far the most efficient inning of the night, retiring the side on seven pitches, most of them 55 mph sliders.

All of it is enough to make you wonder how they expect us to keep watching. Third baseman Rafael Devers is clearly playing hurt, his hamstring turning balls off the top of the Monster into singles. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts recently admitted to the Boston Globe that he has had cortisone shots in his wrist and shoulder, and he, too, left Tuesday's game with back spasms.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and first baseman Eric Hosmer were placed on the injured list before the game. Second baseman Trevor Story, closer Tanner Houck, and reliever Tyler Danish are already there. Don't even get us started on Chris Sale.

J.D. Martinez has no pop, the bullpen has nobody left in front of Garrett Whitlock now that John Schreiber has finally collapsed under the weight of all that high-leverage usage, and their playoff odds have fallen to 1.9 percent, which frankly sounds high.

The 2022 season may have never held great promise, but we had no reason to think it was headed for unmitigated disaster, and yet here we are. The whiplash continues.

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