9/19: David Wells (13-7, 4.35) vs. Mark Hendrickson (9-7, 6.04)

Boston Red Sox
Before 9/5/05: 80-56 (.588), 784 runs in 135 games (5.81 per game), 3.5 games ahead in the AL East
After 9/5/05: 7-6 (.538), 44 runs in 13 games (3.38 per game), 1.5 games ahead in the AL East

Chicago White Sox
Before 9/5/05: 85-31 (.625), 640 runs in 136 games (4.74 per game) 9.5 games ahead in the AL Central
After 9/5/05: 5-7 (.417), 44 runs in 12 games (3.67 per game), 3.5 games ahead in the AL Central

The Red Sox offense is dog tired. It’s been particularly evident this past weekend, a weekend in which the Sox did not score more than 3 runs during any of the four games, and in which several of our runs scored in less-than-dominant offensive situations (passed ball, RBI groundout, GW RBI HBP). In light of that, I find it interesting to compare before and after photos of both Soxes, with the Labor Day makeup game as the focal point. That game gave the White Sox a stretch of 21 games in 20 days, and us a stretch of 30 consecutive games. It is then not entirely surprising to see the offenses of both clubs struggling quite significantly over the past two weeks.
Aside from a day off, the best medicine for an ailing offense might be what awaits us today: the pitching staff of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. With the Yankees in Baltimore, we have an actual chance to pick up a game. A playoff team – a real one – should be able to go into Tampa Bay and sweep. This suggests, of course, that the Yankees are not a real playoff team, but the question remains: are we?
David Wells vs. Mark Hendrickson, first pitch at 7:15pm, EDT.