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Time's Up: Boston Red Sox Need To Right The Ship Immediately

Enough is enough. It's one thing to lose two games in a row, another to lose four in a row and something else entirely to lose six in a row. But for Boston to lose 11 of its last 14 games? There simply aren't words to describe it, except pitiful.

Enough is enough. It's one thing to lose two games in a row, another to lose four in a row and something else entirely to lose six in a row. But to lose 11 of your last 14 games? There are simply no words to describe it.

Well, there are a few. Unacceptable. Disappointing. Discouraging. Angering.

The fact of the matter is, the losing has to stop for the Boston Red Sox, and quite frankly, it needs to stop immediately. Time's up, Theo and Tito. Boston needs wins, and pronto.

Terry Francona and the Red Sox dropped their 11th game of the month on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Rays - a team that fighting for the same playoff spot the Sox are - in embarrassing fashion, 9-2 at Fenway Park.

For Boston, the loss featured more of the same that we've come to expect from this club over the past month - poor pitching, silent bats and costly mistakes.

The poor pitching? Kyle Weiland gave up four earned runs on three hits and four walks in three innings and Matt Albers allowed three earned in one third of an inning. The silent bats? RBI-singles from Adrian Gonzalez in the third inning and from Darnell McDonald in the ninth provided the Sox with their only two runs.

Then, the mistake? Marco Scutaro muffed on a potential inning-ending grounder hit by B.J. Upton to shortstop with two on and two out in the third inning, leading to a four-run inning for the Rays - the defining frame of the game.

Boston, which entered the game with a four-game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL Wild Card race, fell 4 1/2 games behind the idle New York Yankees for the AL East lead and are now only three games up over the Rays with another three games in the series against them ahead this weekend.

The Red Sox have struggled against Tampa Bay recently - in their last six games against the Rays, Boston has been outscored 42-14. Not to mention, Boston is a less-than-impressive 1-5 in those games.

In the month of September, not only have the Red Sox lost 78.5 percent of their games, they have been outscored 93-78. The Red Sox' runs are misleading, as the games they have won featured scores like 12-7, 14-0 and 18-6.

With 13 games left in the regular season and a three game lead in the wild card race, the Red Sox are facing a serious conundrum. A team that appeared destined for a World Series date with the Philadelphia Phillies at the beginning of the season is on the brink of missing the postseason entirely for the second straight season.

The general consensus coming into this four-game set with the Rays was that, if the Red Sox can walk away with a split, they will be alright. But with the way they've been playing lately, that might be wishful thinking.

True, the Red Sox do face the Baltimore Orioles seven times, but history has proven that the O's aren't pushovers in games against the Red Sox. Then, there is a three-game set against the Yankees, where anything can happen.

For the Rays, they have a tougher schedule in their last 13 games, facing the Yankees seven times and the Toronto Blue Jays three times. Still, the Rays are a tough bunch, and as they've proven this month, they won't go away easily.

It comes down to this for the Red Sox - they have to want it more than the Rays do. And right now, they simply don't. They can tell you that they do until they're blue in the face, but until they show up on the field, it means nothing at all.

So this is it. 13 games to prove yourselves. Do they really want it? Are they seriously all in?

We'll all find out in the next two weeks.