OK, so A-Gone is good, but can he pitch?

Boston Red Sox fans have now determined that after five games, this A-Gone guy at first base is pretty good. Problem is, he can’t go to the hill and throw a nasty slider.

Photo credit Red3Biggs via Photobucket

Adrian Gonzalez homered for the first time in a Boston uniform on Wednesday night, and was 2-3 with two RBIs in the loss to the Cleveland Indians, one of the lone bright spots during the entire night for the red-hosed team, and right now, they’re hosed in more ways than one.

Their starting pitching, considered a major strength heading into the season, has seen one starter pitch into the seventh inning (Clay Buchholz), two who pitched decent enough but couldn’t get past five innings because of high pitch counts (Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka), and one who got shelled for nine runs on ten hits (John Lackey).

Now granted, it’s only one full turn through the rotation, however much was expected from a team that was built for success, and stumbling out of the gate to an 0-5 start was NOT part of the plan.

The pitching staff ERA is currently 8.32, and blame can be shared all the way around. Starters boast an ERA of 8.53, and the bullpen is only marginally better at 7.98.

Again, five games is certainly not a great benchmark, but with a payroll approaching $200 million, don’t you think we should expect a bit more than one run per inning?

The blame game doesn’t stop with the pitching staff. Sox hitters are currently collectively batting below the Mendoza line at .198, with the aforementioned Gonzalez being the only regular to apparently be seeing the ball well enough to actually hit it.

The Sox have one more game tonight at Progressive Field in Cleveland before returning to Fenway for their home opener against the New York Yankees.

An 0-6 start would likely cause a less spirited home opening crowd to voice their displeasure in a way that only Boston fans can. Here’s hoping Jon Lester can at least put some salve on the Sox wounds tonight.

For continuing coverage of the Boston Red Sox, follow Doug on Twitter @chowdaheadz.

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