Lack of offense becoming apparent

Red Sox offense before the All-Star break: .276/.350/.468 with an average of 5.46 runs per game.

Red Sox offense since: .247/.319/.407 with an average of 3.68 runs per game.

Yes, 25 games is a small sample-size and it’s silly to judge a team based on 15 percent of the season. But Kevin Youkilis isn’t coming back, that much we do know. There’s a gaping hole in the middle of the lineup that can’t be filled.

Now that the Sox seem to have their pitching somewhat straightened out, they need to find some offense. Players like J.D. Drew (.205 since the break) have to step up. The Sox also need to exploit the speed of Jacoby Ellsbury to pressure opposing teams.

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The X-factor is Dustin Pedroia, who hopes to be back on or around August 17. It’s not fair to expect Pedroia to miss eight weeks and help carry the team. But nothing about this season has been fair for the Sox.

You have to think Victor Martinez will get hot, too. And more can be extracted from left field. But one way or another, the Sox need to boost their production. That 2-1 game yesterday was exciting, but its hard to ask that much of the pitchers too often.

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Interesting nugget from Bill Chuck: The Sox are 64-49 after 113 games. They were 65-48 last year at the same point in the season. The Sox led the wild card by half a game at the time.

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