Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 4: Do they have enough to make a run?

Rob Bradford
September 26, 2017 - 12:05 am

Perhaps it's silly to surface such a concern that this team might be running on fumes heading into the postseason. Prior to Monday night, after all, the Red Sox had won six in a row, and 14 of their last 17. They owned a commanding five-game lead over the Yankees, with the Magic Number sitting at just three.

But as the Sox filtered out of Fenway Park after their 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays, it was clear this was a team which had been delivered a serious reality check. (For a complete recap of the Sox' loss, click here.)

Physically, the Red Sox are a team looking like it's more ready for the finish line than the starting line. But, come next week, the latter is exactly where they will be finding themselves.

"This time of the year I don’t know anyone is 100 percent," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We’ll make do. We’ll make do."

No matter the clinching date, finding a solution for this gassed group will be a challenge.

Eduardo Nunez's return from his knee injury didn't go well, with the righty hitter having to exit after his second at-bat. Mookie Betts, who had been dealing with a banged up right thumb, was taken out of the game in the eighth inning after experiencing continued discomfort in his left wrist. And Dustin Pedroia was forced to miss his second game in three days due to a knee injury that isn't going to go away any time this season.

Then there is the players who simply seem to be closing in on empty at an inopportune time.

Drew Pomeranz said he was fine after lasting just two-plus innings and 47 pitches, despite seeing his fastball velocity continue to sit an average of three mph where it had been for the majority of hte season. But it's impossible to ignore that this is a pitcher who thrown 2,997 pitches, which are 156 more than his career-high of last season.

So, how do they fix this thing before trying to dig in for as many as 150 more postseason innings? (They played 142 1/3 innings during the 2013 run.)

For starters, wrapping things up before Houston comes to town would seem to be a start. Even though there figures to be ample rest before that first American League Division Series game, a week from Thursday, nothing good can come of any of the aforementioned participants playing in high-leverage situations. And we aren't even mentioning the discomfort others such as Mitch Moreland (toe), Hanley Ramirez (shoulder), Xander Bogaerts (hand), Chris Sale/Rick Porcello (possible fatigue) might be feeling.

What the Red Sox truly need are guys like Brock Holt, Deven Marrero, Chris Young and Sam Travis to perhaps pick up some of the slack for some of these walking wounded, with Sale and Porcello mustering two more good ones to put a nail in this thing.

But for now, that ice will be needed for something far more important than champagne.

With the home run allowed by Addison Reed in the ninth inning, the Red Sox relievers saw their 27 2/3-inning scoreless streak come to an end.

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