The Red Sox have lost 13 of their last 17 games and are an abysmal 5-15 in September.
They trail the Yankees by seven games in the American League East and lead the Rays and Angels by just 2.5 games in the wild card race.
There have been numerous reasons for Boston’s horrendous late-season collapse, but its starting pitchers are the biggest culprits. Sox starters are now 3-9 with a 6.75 ERA in the past 18 games, having allowed 66 runs in that span.
The latest disappointment on the mound was Josh Beckett on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The right-hander allowed six earned runs in 7.1 innings, blowing what was at one point a three-run lead for the Sox.
It seems as though Terry Francona cannot rely on a single arm in his starting rotation, and Beckett’s shortcomings against Baltimore was further proof.
The Sox have an off day on Thursday before beginning a three-game series against the Yankees in New York on Friday. Jon Lester will get the ball in the opener, followed by Tim Wakefield on Saturday, and a starter-to-be-named-later on Sunday.
It may be John Lackey, or it could be Alfredo Aceves. We know it won’t be Clay Buchholz or Erik Bedard, but whoever takes the ball for the Sox that night, he likely won’t be giving the team a good chance to win.
Boston had better bring its bats to Yankee Stadium, because with seven games remaining in a regular season that is slowing slipping away, its pitching is highly unreliable.
Alastair Ingram is the featured Boston Red Sox columnist for RantSports.com. For daily updates, follow him on Twitter at @AlastairIngram, follow the blog at @RedSoxRant, and join the fan page on Facebook.