The Boston Red Sox were swept by the Cardinals over the weekend and dropped to last in the AL East. Here are the players to blame for the skid.
Entering the weekend in fourth place in the AL East but in overall a great spot in the American League, it seemed like a prime opportunity for the Boston Red Sox to make up some ground and keep trending in the right direction as they welcomed the struggling St. Louis Cardinals to Fenway Park.
Instead, the Red Sox went out and lost three straight to the Cards, dropping to last place in the division as a result of the sweep and certainly leaving the fan base feeling much worse than they had prior to the three-game series.
As much as a mid-May series can be, it was truly a disastrous result for the Red Sox. And if we’re looking where to place blame for the sweep at the hands of the Cardinals, we have some ideas as to who the culprits are.
Red Sox to blame: Kiké Hernandez
Kiké Hernandez only played in two games in the series against St. Louis as he was on the bench for the Sunday Night Baseball finale, but his impact was certainly negative for Boston when he was on the field.
After seeming to turn it around previously, Hernandez was wholly unable to take advantage of a struggling Cardinals pitching staff in his two starts, going just 1-for-7 with a single, no runs scored and no RBI to his credit. Perhaps the best thing that could be said of his performance at the plate was that he only accrued one strikeout.
However, the most glaring example came on Saturday when the Red Sox had a 3-2 lead coming into the top of the ninth with one out. Kenley Jansen drew an easy groundball to second baseman Pablo Reyes that should have been a game-ending double play. But after Reyes flipped to Hernandez, the shortstop rushed the throw, sent it too low and bouncing into the dugout, allowing two runs to score and the Cardinals to take the lead.
Hernandez has now committed nine errors on the season, speaking to one of the big concerns in the wake of Xander Bogaerts’ departure and Trevor Story’s injury. When you combine that type of extremely costly fielding error with his poor performance in the lineup, it’s clear that Kiké deserves quite a bit of blame.