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The Terrible Show Goes On (Featuring John Lackey)

Wait, what? He's still hanging out with the team? (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Wait, what? He's still hanging out with the team? (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
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2-7, 3-8,  5.5

The first number here is the score from last night's game. Actually, to call it a game would be a bit too generous. The Sox fell behind 5-0 early thanks to a terrible start from John Lackey, who was mercifully forced from the game by a line drive that caught him on the shin to end the third inning, and though the offense was capable of closing the gap a little in the sixth, Scott Atchison gave the runs right back after. It wasn't really his fault, since he was in his third inning of work, but it was a particularly soul-crushing time to have that happen.

As you can tell from the aforementioned number, that was where the scoring would end. The Sox had a few long fly balls, but ultimately couldn't push much across against Wade Davis as the lineup once again seemed to just disappear off the earth. It's disconcerting how often that still happens.

If there was any positive to be taken from the game, it was that Franklin Morales pitched quite well in his inning of work as he continues to try and lock down a middle relief role for high leverage situations in the playoffs. It's a bit of a scary thought, but that's the reality of the situation we're faced with.

The second number is the Red Sox' record over their last eleven games, representing the worst period in the season then they've seen since early April. They've allowed 68 runs over the course of these games, scoring just 59 in the process. While that may seem a bit of a vindication for the offense, the lineup has been held to two-or-fewer runs four times along the way.

That final number is the Sox' new wild card lead. And while it may seem a big number, it's one that has shrunk dramatically in a relatively short period of time. It looks even smaller, too, when you consider that the Rays and Sox play eachother six more times, with the Rays likely scheduled to throw out some pretty nasty pitchers along the way.

They haven't quite made it back into the thick of things yet, but amazingly, the Rays are in control of their own destiny, and with a not unenviable series of games standing between them and its "fulfillment". Is it time to panic? No. But if the Sox were expecting to cruise freely into the postseason, then it's time for them to wake up and smell the coffee. Because the Rays aren't going as quietly into that good night as we'd like.