Sox frustrated by lack of offensive production

Sox frustrated by lack of offensive production
April 6, 2014, 8:00 pm
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BOSTON -- The regularity with which the Red Sox are leaving runners on base is starting to frustrate them.

"Especially as a team," Xander Bogaerts said. "If it's individually it's OK. But as a team? Everyone hitting the ball hard? That's tough."

The Red Sox stranded nine runners in Sunday's 4-0 loss to the Brewers. In six games this season, they have left 45 men on base (20 in scoring position).

While players understand there are still 156 games left to play in the season, not coming through with clutch base hits -- especially in support of Jon Lester, who pitched well on Sunday -- has been difficult to swallow.

"We were hitting the ball pretty well today and they were making some great plays," Daniel Nava said. "Jon pitched well again. It's frustrating when you can't get a couple of runs and you have your chances. [After] five or six games . . . it's a long season, but you want to get them when you can."

Red Sox manager John Farrell credited Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo for keeping Boston hitters off balance.

"We've had a difficult time bunching some hits together," Farrell said. "They scattered the eight or nine hits that we got here today. We did create a couple of opportunities. Just the at-bats to build an inning . . . They didn't hurt themselves by issuing any base on balls.

"Seemingly in a number of hitters counts that we got into, Gallardo made a good pitch with a sinker, put the ball on the ground. But it was more about not being able to bunch any hits together."
 
It's not for a lack of trying, Farrell insisted.
 
"We're doing our damnest I know that," he said. "To try to build an inning, to try to hit to the situation. At some point you credit the quality of pitches made in key spots by the opposing pitcher."

Both Nava and Bogaerts intimated that their batting average on balls in play (.308 versus their team batting average of .254) will improve so long as they continue to put together what they feel has been a string of good at-bats.

"I just look at it like you hit it hard, and after it leaves your bat you can't really control that," said Nava, who was robbed of hits in both the first and third innings thanks to good defensive plays by Milwaukee.

"I'll take that over not hitting it hard. You gotta be positive with that stuff. We're so early in the season that to look into every single at-bat is going to drive you crazy."
 
Bogaerts, the rookie, summed up Boston's offensive woes simply.

"We've been hitting the ball hard all these games since Opening Day," he said. "It's just not falling. They'll fall soon . . . We just need a few bloops here and there and we'll be set."