Monday August 30, 2010 | 05:26 AM

At the beginning of last week I noted that, in the playoff race, the Red Sox were six games out with six weeks to go. Make up a game a week, and Boston would be there.

With that "logic," winning 2-of-3 this past weekend in St. Petersburg would have been enough.

But losing 2-of-3? Seven games out with five weeks left.

I'm not into the game of being the first to declare the season is over. But, obviously, the Red Sox need a lot of help. They need a collapse by the Rays or Yankees, and a run of their own.

A run may be too much to ask. The offense does not feature that "keep-the-line-moving" lineup (think missing Ellsbury, Pedroia and Youkilis has something to do with that?) and it struggles against good pitching (10 runs scored in the last four games).

The pitching is inconsistent because of a thin bullpen and disappointing starts from veterans who are paid to be better (Josh Beckett and his 6.50 ERA; and John Lackey's 4.60).

Boston is off today and plays at Baltimore for three days and then comes home for six games (three with the White Sox, three with the Rays). After that a west coast trip to Oakland and Seattle.

The Rays are home to Toronto for three games before a 9-game road trip (Baltimore, Boston, Toronto).

The Yankees are home for 10 games (Oakland, Toronto, Baltimore) before going to Texas for three games.

And, don't forget, Tampa Bay and New York still have seven games between them.

So, there is a chance ... but it is slipping away.

Meanwhile, the Sea Dogs are winding down with eight more home games left, starting tonight.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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