The return of Sean Casey
Sure, there were things that might have made Tuesday's doubleheader palatable for some over at 4 Jersey St. They sold more than 30,000 tickets for each game. Prized prospect Ceddanne Rafaela hit his first big league home run. Wilyer Abreu showed off his throwing arm. And Rafael Devers became just the third Red Sox player to hit 30 homers three times before the age of 27.
And get this: There wasn't one rain delay.
But make not mistake about it, this perhaps the darkest day of what has become yet another uncomfortable Red Sox season. This picture wasn't pretty.
Start with the loss ... and the losses.
With the 3-2 and 4-1 defeats at the hands of the Yankees the Red Sox have now lost six of their last seven games, marking the first time since 2021 they had been swept in a doubleheader at home. The Sox have also gone just 7-14 in front of their home fans since the beginning of August. (For a complete recap of the day, click here.)
And here is where it really stings ... they are now tied for last-place with the Yankees.
OK, technically they are tied for last with the Yankees. And considering both teams are seven games out of a Wild Card spot, maybe the last-place designation might be viewed as semantics. But, whatever the case, this is not a good look.
Since the Trade Deadline, the Red Sox are 17-22. Not coincidentally, every single team with a record better than .500 dating back to Aug. (Dodgers, Braves, Orioles, Cubs, Mariners, Brewers, Rays, Astros, Twins, Phillies, Blue Jays) are in postseason consideration.
Spoiler alert: The Red Sox are not.
So, how did they get here, and what happens if the trend continues?
Despite some bright spots, the reality is that the secondary market was selling tickets to Game 1 Tuesday for $1. And, while part of that is due to the Yankees not presenting the usual Evil Empire image, another huge chunk involves the apathy that has washed over these Red Sox.
It's all too familiar feeling.
In Sept. 13, 2019, the Red Sox had fired their President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, four days earlier. In 2020, they were living the last-place life. Two seasons ago was the last time there was a reason to care, with it taking just one year later for the eye-rolling to return.
And now they have this.
What this is is a team that has a group of starters that has thrown just two more more innings than the relievers since the beginning of the month. It is an offense that struck out 21 times in the two games against the Yankees, while going an unbelievable 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position.
It is a team that is simply limping to the finish line ... again.