Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 7/27/13
By the time Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman strode to the mound last night at Camden Yards and fired his first pitch toward home plate, the Red Sox were clinging to a threadbare half-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. When the game ended some two-and-a-half hours later, Baltimore reliever Jim Johnson had given up one hit – one of only four the Sox would scatter among the nine frames – and the Boston nine were no longer the leaders of their AL East brethren. The Red Sox now find themselves a half-game back of the Rays in the division. The team that had led the division since late May is now in second place, just three games ahead of the third-place Orioles. For the third time in four days, a potent Red Sox lineup (the team has led the league in several significant offensive categories for much of the season thus far) was shut down by very good pitching. Tillman’s 7 IP, two-hit, eight strikeout gem last night pales next to the complete game masterpieces tossed by Rays pitchers Matt Moore and David Price recently, but the O’s starter is now 13-3 on the season – he must be doing something right. It is far from panic time, dear Friends of Fenway, but one has to wonder whether the plucky, friendly, team-oriented, bearded 2013 Sons of John Farrell are a team designed more for regular season success than playoff punch. There remain 58 games on the regular season schedule, so anything can happen. But, against playoff-caliber starters (I’m including the Rays’ Roberto “Don’t Call Me Fausto Carmona” Hernandez in this mix, despite his poor record) in the last four games, the Sox have scored just seven runs. They’ve given up 16 runs and been shut out twice. It appears the Yawkey Way brain trust is focused primarily on finding a starting pitcher (Jake Peavy? Cliff Lee?) by Wednesday’s trade deadline. There are offensive concerns GM Ben Cherington should consider, however. Cuban phenomenon Jose Iglesias has seen his batting average dip steadily since the heady days of June, when the fill-in third-baseman was hitting well above .400. We still don’t know what kind of hitter he ultimately will be in the majors. Shortstop Stephen Drew has been terrible this season. Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are streaky hitters. Both could either carry the team or hinder run production at any time. It’s hard to tell when either will occur. Meantime, the Rays and their cadre of excellent starting pitchers show no signs of slowing. Again, it’s early. Please, step away from the ledge. Ryan Dempster will take the hill tonight in Baltimore and try to right the good ship Red Sox.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Bennett to Seahawks: Pay me or 'get rid of me'

Victor Cruz expects to be 'ready to go' for training camp

DeMarcus Cousins: All-NBA vote ‘absurd’ and ‘a joke’

Andrew Luck: Colts were 'gutsy' to keep Pagano, Grigson

White Sox suspend Chris Sale for 'destroying team equipment'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Cubs pushing hard to land Aroldis Chapman

Report: Lesnar, Jones tested positive for same substance

Todd Bowles: Geno Smith 'can be a good starter' for Jets

Former 49ers OL: Gabbert will likely start over Kaepernick

Report: Le'Veon Bell recently completed DUI probation

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

Olympic village in Rio deemed 'uninhabitable' for time being

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

10 NFL players set to become household names in 2016

Lou Holtz regrets making immigration 'joke' at RNC

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker