The Boston Red Sox should already have clinched a playoff berth. And yet, with just 14 games to play, they find themselves battling for their postseason lives in a crucial four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays beginning tonight at Fenway Park.
With arguably the best run-producing lineup in the major leagues, a sound defense, a shut-down closer and a rotation that starts with a pair of aces, fighting to get into the postseason wasn’t even on Boston's mind three weeks ago. However, due to a perfect storm of injuries, poor planning by the front office and declining performances from veteran pitchers, the Red Sox find themselves with insufficient pitching depth heading into what has turned out to be their most important weekend of the season. And it could be their undoing.