What do the Sox need more: Hitting or pitching?

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Sam Galanis
Contributing Writer

The first 12 games in April, the Red Sox were outscoring opponents 56-34. Now, they have started May being outscored by opponents 64-46. What’s the remedy for such a huge turn of fortune? Do they need better hitting or pitching?

Looking at the numbers, it’s fairly obvious what they need right now. The Sox only have 10 less runs in the beginning of May than they did in the beginning of April, but they already have 30 extra runs against them this month. Between April and May, the team’s batting average has only dropped slightly, from .271 to .261. Their ERA however has gone from 3.58 to 4.76, and went from being one of the best to one of the worst in the league.

There’s no way to pinpoint exactly what happened, how the Sox went from lights out pitching to getting lit up. Maybe it was all the scrutiny, or maybe it was because they spent most of April at home and started out May traveling. But no matter how it happened, there needs to be more focus on pitching. There has been so much attention on the closing position, but what about the other eight innings?

One of my coaches in high school used to tell us, “Offense wins games. Defense wins championships.” That’s exactly what needs to be focused on in the Sox’s current situation. Scoring a lot of runs doesn’t matter when you’re letting up just as many. It’s the pitching that really makes a game count.

Sure, the Sox won a whole lot of games in April. They were the best in the league. But the games they won in April aren’t going to win them the World Series or even a chance in the playoffs.The Sox won in 2004 because of solid pitching and clutch hitting. If they can get back that groove soon, they can make themselves serious contenders.

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