Right now the Red Sox are 5.5 games behind the Rays for the wild card and 6.5 games behind the Yankees, with only 39 games to play. After a 16-2 drubbing from the Blue Jays last night, things certainly look pretty grim. And in case you had forgotten, Youkilis and Ellsbury are out for the year, and Pedroia is out for at least another two weeks.
Despite the injuries, the Sox have played fairly well this season, as their 69-54 record would put them within striking distance in any other division in the majors, and would even lead the AL West. However, when you're in the same division as the Yankees and Rays there really isn't any margin for error. Without a doubt the starting pitching has been a huge disappointment for the team this year. Although the starters' 4.21 ERA is more than half a run better than last year's numbers, the Red Sox rank in the AL and MLB as a whole is nearly identical. I suppose it really is the year of the pitcher. Of course, that half a run of ERA was given back by the bullpen, who have only been the 9th best in the AL this year, a far cry from last year's #2 ranking. That is a huge disappointment considering the Red Sox decision to go with pitching and defense this offseason.
Despite the insanity and inanity surrounding the decision to go with defense this offseason (the decision to go with pitching, which has apparently blown up in the Red Sox face, was not subjected to nearly the same amount of babbling on talk radio) the defense has actually been substantially better this year, despite having to play role players across the diamond. Pedroia, Drew, and Beltre are all among the leaders in UZR at their respective positions and the Red Sox moved up to 8th in baseball in park adjusted defensive efficiency, 10 spots better than last year's team, according to Baseball Prospectus' numbers.
It is still a bit early to do a post mortem on the season, as the season isn't all dead yet, just mostly dead. I wouldn't count on Miracle Max though, I hear he's a Yankee fan.