A blog by WBZ-TV's Dan RocheBy Dan Roche

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s pretty simple as to what has sent the Red Sox into a mini-funk here in mid-August that has seen them drop 4 of their last 5 games: pitching.

And to be more precise, starting pitching.

Take a look at the opposing starter’s line score from the past five games:

Sat 8/13 (6-5 loss @Sea) IP H R ER BB K

Felix Hernandez_______7 9 4 4 2 2

Sun 8/14 (5-3 loss @Sea) IP H R ER BB K

Charlie Furbush________7 4 1 1 2 6

Tues 8/16(3-1 win G1 vs TB) IP H R ER BB K

James Shields_____________8 3 3 3 1 6

Jon Lester________________7 3 1 1 1 8…..as he matches Shields

Tues 8/16(6-2 loss G2 vs TB) IP H R ER BB K

Jeff Niemann_____________9 3 2 2 1 10

Wed 8/17(4-0 loss vs TB) IP H R ER BB K

David Price______________8 3 0 0 3 6

Now, those are some very good names in that group and Tampa Bay had a rain out vs. the Yankees that allowed manager Joe Maddon to re-arrange his starting staff to line-up that was against the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, the Sox are also a little banged up as David Ortiz (heel–out), Kevin Youkilis (back), Adrian Gonzalez (neck), and Marco Scutaro (back) are all nursing injuries. It also goes to show you how valuable David Ortiz is to this line-up. We saw it during inter-league play and we’re seeing it again.

Finally, the Sox should fare better in Kansas City though as they face RHP Luke Hochevar(8-9, 4.89 ERA), LHP Jeff Francis(4-13, 4.76), RHP Felipe Paulino(1-4, 3.45), and LHP Danny Duffy(3-6, 4.97).

The Sox better fare well in KC, because after that it’s on to Texas for 4 important games with the Rangers.

Enjoy the ride…..

Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on twitter @RochieWBZ

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