Just when it appeared the Boston Red Sox had gotten back on the straight and narrow, the bottom has quickly fallen out once again.
Boston has followed up a four-game winning streak by allowing 11 or more runs in three consecutive games, matching the longest such streak in team history.
The Red Sox allowed 11 or more runs over three straight losses to the New York Yankees from Aug. 18-19, 2006, part of a five-game sweep at the hands of the Bronx Bombers crammed into four days at Fenway Park.
Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays, starter Eduardo Rodriguez was tagged for six earned runs on eight hits over 3.2 innings.
Like the 2006 team, the 2021 Red Sox are showing signs of fading after a promising start. Boston was 23 games over .500 (62-39) as late as July 25, 2006; almost exactly 15 years later, the club was 23 games over .500 once again, 61-38, on July 26 before seeing its pitching staff implode.
The 2006 Red Sox finished 86-76 and out of the playoffs, third in the American League East, 11 games behind the Yankees and nine games behind the Detroit Tigers for a wild-card berth.
Thanks to the inclusion of a second wild-card spot these days, Boston is still in decent shape to avoid missing the postseason entirely; the Red Sox entered the day three games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners for the second AL wild-card spot. But a seven-game road trip to the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox and Mariners is on deck after the Rays series.