A closer look at why the Red Sox have struggled offensively

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“If we want to compete and be the team we envision, we have to hit.”

Jackie Bradley Jr. hit .156 in April. Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP

Going into the season, the offense was supposed to be a strength on a Red Sox team with several other question marks and unknowns.

So far, the 9-13 Red Sox rank 21st in the majors in batting average (.225), 24th in runs (76), 25th in home runs (12) and 29th in shooting percentage. on base (.273).

“The bottom line is we have to hit,” manager Alex Cora said. “We had a horrible month in April. We didn’t do our job.”

Cora said it’s easy to talk about what it’s like early in the season, but the reality is the Red Sox have to put together better quality at-bats. She said it seems like the Red Sox get going, then stop, and all of a sudden it’s the seventh or eighth inning and the game is tight.

Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles was a prime example, as the Red Sox scored in the first inning and didn’t give up another run the rest of the way. They became the only team to be dropped by every other team in their division in a single month since the Cubs in May 2012.

Xander Bogaerts (.375, nine RBIs), Rafael Devers (.293, three homers, nine RBIs) and JD Martinez (.278, eight RBIs) are doing their part, but after that, the numbers are pretty bleak. .

Alex Verdugo (.238), Trevor Story (.224, zero home runs), Christian Vázquez (.217), Kiké Hernández (.193), Jackie Bradley Jr. (.156, zero home runs) and Bobby Dalbec (. 147) are all regulars struggling to put together hits.

It’s important to note that MLB averages are lower than they used to be across the board, as the Rockies lead the league at .261 and all but nine teams are hitting .240 or less. Still, the Red Sox aren’t hitting anywhere near the standard they’ve set for themselves.

Martinez knows there is no excuse, but he has a theory.

“I think the shortened spring has something to do with it,” he told reporters. “I don’t think a lot of guys had to adjust (their swings). During spring training, you always see guys tinkering. I feel like you want to fight in the spring because that’s when you have to try and see if it works.”

He believes they might have sped up the process out of necessity and players are now trying to catch up and struggling as a result.

Cora said the Red Sox have to stop swinging at bad pitches and chase and finish at-bats. Despite her struggles, she is still confident that they can turn it around.

“If we want to compete and be the team we envision, we have to hit.”

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