What is happening?This is the question that is plaguing Red Sox Nation in recent days. The Sox just got swept by the Yankees over the weekend and adding insult to this injury New York clinched the AL East title and home field throughout the playoffs.
Boston now heads into the final week of the regular season starting a series with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Sox do hold a two-game lead over the Texas Rangers for the American League Wild Card. This sounds well and good but is it really?
The bullpen has been letting the team down in recent games. Who is not a little anxious when they see Manny Delcarmen or Hideki Okajima take the mound? The Okajima today is not the same one from two seasons ago who helped the Red Sox win their seventh World Series title. Needless-to-say, the acquisition of Billy Wagner has been so-so at best.
Then in game of the Yankees series seeing John Lester take a line drive off his knee sent panic waves throughout Red Sox Nation. Ironically, this occurred on the same day when it was announced that Lester would be the starting pitcher in Game 1 of any playoff series. What else can happen?
The Red Sox are a wounded team right now. They just can not seem to win. Their pitching has been letting them down and their bats have not been providing much support either. Sure, there is always the chance that they can turn it around, i.e. looking back to the 2004 ALCS where the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 series deficit to not only beat the Yankees but also win their first World Series championship in 86 years.
Yes, it is nice to look back at the past and smile. Today though is no laughing matter. The Red Sox need to pull it together somehow otherwise they will be shining the golf clubs and waiting for Spring Training 2010.