On June 24, the Red Sox were riding high. They had opened a season-high five-game lead on the New York Yankees and were a season-high 17 games over .500, completing their second win against the Nationals in a three-game series.
Since then, the Sox are 11-11 — 22 games of mediocrity that have left them one game behind the Yankees. They are riding a season-high four-game losing streak, have lost consecutive series for the first time in two months, and have scored more than four runs in a game just nine times during those 22 games.
The offense has been the chief culprit — the Sox have posted a .233/.318/.395 line, striking out 164 times while walking just 85 times and averaging just 4.3 runs per game.
The pitching, meanwhile, has been terrific, posting a 3.97 ERA, striking out 169 while walking just 46 and allowing just 189 hits in 195 innings. The Sox have allowed 4.1 runs per game in the last 22.
While Theo Epstein and the rest of the front office works to make any additions they can before the trade deadline, it's worth remembering that slumps such as this one have occurred before:
- On Aug. 27, 2007, the Red Sox were 7.5 games up on the Yankees and 29 games over .500. They were then swept by those very Yankees on their way to a 10-12 stretch in which their lead evaporated to a mere 1.5 games. The culprit that time was the pitching, which posted a 4.90 ERA. They recovered to win six of their final nine games and win the division on their way to winning the World Series
- From May 31 to July 4, 2004, the Sox were an awful 12-18 over 30 games, falling well out of the AL East race, yet managed to recover to make a race out of it, win the Wild Card, and the rest is history.
So fear not, Sox fans. All is not lost. At least, not yet.