Originally posted on Sox and Dawgs  |  Last updated 8/18/12

I may be in Charlotte, NC right now for my cousin's wedding but I can honestly say that I'm surrounded by Boston Red Sox fans. So much so, that everyone was coming to me asking for updates on the game last night at the rehearsal dinner.  You see, the lovely young lady my cousin is marrying is from Massachusetts and so is her family.

Naturally everyone wasn't too pleased when Franklin Morales forgot about Red Sox fans not digging the long ball against them and gave up three solo home runs in the first two innings of the game. They were very pleased to hear that the Red Sox had taken the lead when Dustin Pedroia hit a three-run blast in the 3rd to put the visiting nine out front.

Of course once again, I had to deliver some bad news when Derek Jeter hit a solo johnson to tie the game up in the 5th. And they were all none too pleased when the Yankees took the lead for good on a Jayson Nix bloop single. The last update they got from me wasn't any better when I had to tell them that Nick Swisher had hit his second home run of the game.

Morales has done well for the Red Sox this season in ta starting role. But this is the second time the Yankees have light him up like the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in NYC. What that tells me is that Morales isn't quite there yet. But he can get there, he's got the stuff.

But for now, he's just another average pitcher on a mediocre pitching staff.

Sure injuries have taken their toll on this team as a whole. But short of the turnaround by Clay Buchholz, it's been the starting pitching that's killed the Red Sox this season.

Too many times we've seen the Red Sox fall into a big early deficit and unable to fight back. We've seen the early leads for the opposing teams that the offense battles back from only to see the starter give it right back.

Because of this, the Red Sox haven't been able to get on any type of roll. At the end of the July, the local nine closed out the month with four straight wins. The last time they had that many straight wins was when they won five in a row in the middle of June. During that stretch, it looked like they might be able turn things around.

Judging by the fact they are four-games under .500 in the middle of August, that hasn't happened yet. And if I were a betting man, I'd say it probably won't.

The Red Sox entered the final six games of this road trip with a chance to make a statement. Instead, they lost 2-of-3 in Baltimore and start out the Bronx portion of the trip. Couple that with losing three-of-four in Cleveland along with the mediocre starting pitching and there's no chance the Red Sox make the playoffs this year.

That's the only way the Red Sox have any chance of making it. The pitching needs to turn around and it needs to make that U-turn immediately. Last year I wrote the Red Sox were a virtual lock to make the playoffs holding a 9.5 game lead in early September. Obviously we all know how that turned out. That's why I won't say NEVER.

But it's hard to stay positive about a team when the dirty laundry of this team is aired out in public on what seems to be a daily, if not weekly, occurrence. How can we expect them to stay positive when someone has a grudge with this team.

One thing to remember. Some of this guys are playing for their jobs. Not only for this year but for next year and beyond. And while some of them might not stay with the Red Sox, they aren't going to give up.

But if things don't turn around quickly, most of this fan base will have given up, if they haven't already.

We'll be back later with today's lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. So for now, let's take a look at the overnight links from the media.

To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click

Yankees hit five homers to beat Sox [boston globe]

They’re hard to believe [boston globe]

Ortiz standing by Valentine [boston globe]

Morales can’t conquer Yankees [boston globe]

Sox go in deep end [boston herald]

Situation takes its toll [boston herald]

Yanks have Franklin Morales' number [boston herald]

Sox-Yanks: Rivalry? What rivalry? [boston herald]

Red Sox still can't match misery of '01 [boston herald]

Club paying for David Ortiz's absence [boston herald]

Red Sox lethargic in 6-4 loss to Yankees [csn new england]

Valentine: '(Morales) just wasn't good enough' [csn new england]

Sox folds becoming routine [csn new england]

Varitek floated as Valentine successor [espn boston]

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 6, Red Sox 4 [espn boston]

Takeaways from Sox's loss in the Bronx [espn boston]

Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz says Bobby Valentine shouldn't shoulder blame [espn boston]

Closing Time: Yankees pummel Franklin Morales, Red Sox [full count]

Red Sox Could Place Felix Doubront on Disabled List With Minor Knee Situation to Provide More Rest [nesn.com]

Bobby Valentine Keeps From Blowing His Top Despite Mounting Pressure From Critics [nesn.com]

Franklin Morales Finding Yankees To Be His Achilles Heel After Second Tough Outing Against Them [nesn.com]

Red Sox' Insistence on Finding Silver Lining Wearing Thin as Evidence to Contrary Piles Up [nesn.com]

Absence of Vicente Padilla-Mark Teixeira Matchup Stunting Excitement of Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry [nesn.com]

As Red Sox stagnate, time to play the kids for some fresh air [alex speier - weei.com]

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New England,  ESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, RedSox.com and WEEI websites.

And if you must check out the enemy news, head over to the ESPN New York, New York Daily News, New York Post, New York Times and The Journal News websites. You can also check out our Bloguin brother, NYY Stadium Insider.

Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.

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