I’m Not Nervous, Am I?

The Red Sox sure know how to mess with us. Entering Friday’s games, the Red Sox were 6.5 games up on the Tampa Bay Rays. That’s a nice cushion to be sure, but given the way the Red Sox have been playing of late, I’m not sure it is a big enough cushion.

I really won’t worry unless the Red Sox get swept by the Rays this weekend leaving them with a 3.5 game lead.

Considering the way the pitching staff has performed of late, perhaps they don’t have what it takes. As I write this, John Lackey is getting his doors blown off. Again, and has a 6.30 ERA on the season. That is an F+ grade if I ever saw one. His line thus far Friday night? 3.0 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 3 BB. Nice John.

Andrew Miller was nice early on, but I think this experiment is over. He has been terrible and can’t be counted on for any consistency (good consistency anyway).

Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz are hurt, Tim Wakefield is average at best, Eric Bedard is in Boston getting his a lat checked out by the medical staff. Only Jon Lester is holding up his end of the bargain. Really, it’s Lester and then pray MLB changes all playoff series to one-game affairs with 4 days rest in between.

Add to it, the bullpen hasn’t been stellar with Matt Albers a mess, Dan Wheeler coughing up a walk-off HR, Daniel Bard walking 3 and hitting 1 and giving up 5 ER in a recent loss. Any Bobby Jenks is all but shut down for the year.

6.5 games is a bunch, but the Red Sox are falling apart before our eyes and need to get healthy and play better and have very little time to do both.

Back to Bard’s last game, he clearly didn’t have it and I believe Jonathan Papelbon was available. Why subject Bard to that performance, one where he through well north of 30 pitches and one that basically decided the game if Papelbon was available? That doesn’t make sense. Papelbon did throw 27 pitches 2 nights before, but a full day off had to have been enough.

Right now we can expect Lester, Lackey, Miller, Wakefield and Kyle Weiland to be the starters in the home stretch, not great. Entering tonight coolstandings.com had the Red Sox chances of making the playoffs at 99%. I’m sure they are right, but I can’t wait until it’s 100%.