The Sox biggest problem has been pitching.
In fact, the Sox are in 29th place when it comes to pitching with a team ERA of 5.33. The 30th team is the Royals with a team ERA Of 5.45. To put this in perspective, the Orioles – who have the most hitter-friendly park in the MLB – are in 28th place with an ERA of 5.08.
Sox pitching has been terrible. Six pitchers have three or more starts in 2018. The lowest ERA belongs to Reynaldo Lopez at 3.50 in eight starts. Miguel Gonzalez has the worst ERA on the team – 12.41. Lucas Giolito has an ERA of 6.42, James Shields is pitching with a 4.88 ERA, and Hector Santiago has an ERA of 5.29. Carson Fulmer, who has not been pitching well, was just sent down to Triple-A after posting an ERA of 8.07 in eight starts.
No team can succeed with ERAs like this.
If the starting pitching has been bad, the relief pitching has been even worse. With so few wins, the Sox have not had many save opportunities. Surprisingly, there have actually been 17 times that the Sox have been in the lead in the final innings. The closers in those games have only converted nine of those opportunities into saves. Nine. Out of 17. They’ve blown nearly half of the leads in the first 40 games.
There are two pitchers on the Sox roster with an ERA of 3.50: Nate Jones and Reynaldo Lopez. And, only one pitcher has an ERA under that mark. Jace Fry has thrown 7.1 innings in May and has yet to give up a hit. He has struck out ten batters and walked two. With his current stats, he has no ERA. But, if the first 40 games are any sign of what’s to come, he will give up a run eventually.
Two other massive issues regarding pitching includes the number of pass ball and the number of bases stolen against the Sox. The team leads the league with pass balls and the Sox are in fourth in stolen bases. Yes, these are stats that belong to the catchers. But the pitching staff is also involved in creating opportunities for offenses to steal.