Although Pettitte quasi-melted down in the fifth inning on Friday, his statistics for this season and over seasons past suggest that — barring some medical setback — he will be solid down the stretch for a team with an affluence of offensive muscle that will allow him the leeway he needs to win even when he's not at his best. But when one goes beyond the increasingly elite one-two punch of Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, the cupboard is strikingly bare for the Boston pitching staff. Depth was once thought to be their strength in this department but after 3/4 of a season worth injuries and ineffectiveness, Boston is sliding away from New York in the standings as their pitching crumbles in wreckage around them.
The latest sign that the Red Sox are desperate? They put in a successful waiver claim for Billy Wagner (although he is apparently throwing hard again), a player that every National League team and all but at least three American League squads decided to pass on. If that's not indicative of the general state of affairs in the Boston organization right now, the 20 runs on Friday should be enough to support the thesis that ironically due to the lack of depth on their staff, The Red Sox season may be slipping away before a New Englander can spit out "Daisuke Matsuzaka."