A week ago, the Boston Red Sox seemed destined for another division battle with the Yankees that would go down to the wire. Since then, however, Boston has dropped eight of 11, and their nine-game wild card lead has dropped to 5.5.
No doubt the injuries have played a huge part of the slump. However, healthy veterans have picked the worst time of season to play terrible baseball. As of now, the three proven pitchers in the starting rotation are John Lackey, Tim Wakefield and Jon Lester. Only Lester has held up his end of the bargain.
Lackey has dropped four of five, three straight and has not given up fewer than three runs in a start since July 22. Lackey’s curveball might as well have a "crush me" sticker attached to it. The former Anaheim Angels’ ace was bailed out of further damage by a line drive off his shin that cut his three-inning, five-run performance short against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
Tim Wakefield has been even worse, losing five straight starts since obtaining his 199th career victory over a month ago.