A 19-22 record was not the start fans envisioned after splashy offseason signings and front-office proclamations that the Boston Red Sox would return to contention in 2015. Yet here we are. It proves once again that a record-setting payroll (in this case one that exceeds $170 million) doesn’t guarantee success. 

The pitching has been much-maligned and rightfully so. A team ERA of 4.53 warrants criticism. A starting rotation that’s greatly responsible for the crooked number shoulders an even larger share of the blame. Three members of Boston’s staff have ERAs north of 5.00.

A fourth, Clay Buchholz, had an ERA of 6.03 just 18 days ago. Since then he’s strung together three quality starts in a row, including a pair of gems in his last two turns on the hill—three earned runs in 15.2 innings pitched. Unfortunately for him, the Red Sox lost both of those games because the offense could only muster a combined two runs.

It’s the way things have trended for much of May and shows how another common phrase became an old adage: When they hit, they can’t pitch. When they pitch, they don’t hit.

The vaunted offense that was expected to carry this team—and did for much of the first month of the season—has just 44 runs over the last 19 games. That’s an average of just 2.32 runs per game in May. The Sox have scored two runs or less in 13 of the 19 contests, compiling a 7-12 mark in the process. Luckily, the Red Sox are just 3.5 games behind the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays.

There is plenty of blame to go around. The season is a just tad over 25 percent completed, so there is time for a turnaround. But don’t expect many pretty grades based on what we’ve seen so far. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty to further assess performance by position groupings. 

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