When the Boston Red Sox traveled home for Games 3, 4, and 5 of the ALCS, the team probably felt pretty good about its chances in the series.
After stealing Game 2 on the road against the Houston Astros, the Red Sox had a chance to close out the ALCS at Fenway Park by winning three straight.
And after Game 3, that seemed even more like a realistic possibility, as Boston took a 2-1 lead in the series and was just two home victories away from clinching a World Series bid.
But in Games 4 and 5, the Astros flipped the script.
Houston found a way to earn two massive victories on the road, and as a result, the series is now 3-2 in favor of the Astros.
The final two games will be played in Houston, and the Astros undeniably are in the driver’s seat.
Boston’s bats disappeared in Games 4 and 5, and Houston capitalized.
What has gone wrong for the Red Sox offense?
Looking At Boston’s Game 4 Offensive Woes
Boston’s offense managed just two runs in Game 4, and both runs came in the first inning.
The damage was done on a Xander Bogaerts two-run blast.
Xander Bogaerts hits a 2-run shot over the Green Monster pic.twitter.com/84LvY3tLIH
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) October 20, 2021
Miraculously, those two runs were almost enough to get the job done for the Red Sox, as they held a lead late into the game.
But Boston’s bullpen collapsed late, and the Astros ended up walking away with a lopsided victory.
All of the Red Sox’s starting hitters reached base in this game (many by virtue of walks), but situational hitting was a massive problem.
The team went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Looking At Boston’s Game 5 Offensive Woes
The Red Sox mustered just one run and three hits in Game 5, and it took them until the seventh inning to get on the board.
By that time, the game was already out of hand, with the Astros in front by a huge margin.
Situational hitting was an issue again (0-for-4 with RISP), but above that, Boston just lacked base-runners.
Astros pitching issued just one walk, and as mentioned, the Sox were held to just three hits.
Seven of Boston’s nine starters were hitless on the night, with Rafael Devers and Vazquez being the only two exceptions.
The top three hitters in the team’s lineup went 0-for-12, so there wasn’t a lot of table-setting happening.
It was a frustrating day at the office for Boston, and it resulted in the club falling behind 3-2 in the series.
We all know what Boston’s offense is capable of.
The team had the fourth-best run-scoring offense in baseball in the regular season, and during the first few games of this ALCS, that was evident.
The Red Sox scored a combined 25 runs over the first three games of the series.
But clearly, things have shifted over the past two games.
Houston’s pitching staff deserves a lot of credit.
It’s no small task to hold these Boston bats to a mere three runs over a two-game span.
But from a Red Sox perspective, something needs to change.
Bogaerts on Red Sox offense over the last two games: "It really, really sucks, the timing of it. … We can still get hot for two games."
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) October 21, 2021
The team’s season could end if the bats don’t show up in Game 6.