At a time when they're most desperate, in need of every last win they can collect in order to stay on the periphery of the playoff race, the Red Sox instead resemble a team trying to work out the kinks in the middle of spring training.
Case in point: Wednesday night's sloppy 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Understand that the Phils aren't world-beaters themselves, sitting just five games over .500. Like the Red Sox, they're on the outside of a crowded wild-card contest with ground to make up. And like the Sox, given the lateness of the hour, they can't afford to lose any more ground.
But quite unlike the Red Sox, the Phillies played with notable urgency in the two-game interleague series. They displayed some emotion in their dugout. And they didn't stumble all over the field the way the Red Sox did.
In a 5-2 loss to Philadelphia Wednesday, which handed the Phils a sweep of the two-game interleague series at Fenway, the Sox managed the following: