Pitch, hit, and field. Otherwise, definitely contenders. Of the three by far the weakest is the hitting. At least twice tonight and maybe three times they had a man on 3B one or no outs, and every single time the hitter could not move the runner. I think two were popups and one was a strikeout, but it might have been two strikeouts and a popup.
I would love to blame Middlebrooks for that egregious error missing a popup with no wind, but the reality is the Sox got a gift in the 5th inning and could not hit the ball for the rest of the night--that is, the other 8 innings. This happens a lot. And some of it may be born of the Bill James philosophy that taking pitches is always preferable to swinging the bat, even when you have two strikes on you.
And we are running out of excuses and explanations. Middlebrooks and Victorino are both back and healthy and playing. The rotation is healthy. The bullpen is healthy. This is the team the FO wants and it is struggling mightily.