Jon Lester returns
For those of a certain age (a really old age), comedy gold was struck thanks to a movie called "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" back in the year the Red Sox ultimately lost to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1975 World Series.
It may have been 47 years since those on-screen chuckles, but one hits perfect when trying to digest these 2022 Red Sox.
The Black Knight, despite having one limb after another cut off, keeps uttering push aside the reality of his no-win situation.
"'Tis but a scratch!"
"Just a flesh wound."
That's exactly how it feels with these Red Sox just one day before the Patriots' first preseason game. No arms. No legs. No real hope. And it sure felt like Tuesday, starting at about 11 a.m., the debilitation was finalized.
First came the news that Chris Sale's season had ended due to fall off his bike, resulting in a broken right wrist.
Then, just before first pitch, word came down that closer Tanner Houck was going on the injured list, thinning an already thin group of high-leverage relievers.
And once the game started, the hits kept on coming, with newly-acquired Eric Hosmer forced to leave the game after fouling a ball off his knee.
Finally, was the 9-7, extra-inning loss to the Braves, putting Alex Cora's club three games under .500 and three games out of a Wild Card berth.
It wasn't as if the Red Sox are simply folding up their tent and running toward the offseason. Against Atlanta, they did their darnedest to fend find a way to possess at least some hope by night's end.
But in all reality the limbs were already dangling. These were just the last bit of amputation.
How did this team get in such a state? It's a broad question that has been picked through both before and after the trade deadline. But if there was one reason above all else - as was evidenced once again Tuesday night - it is Chaim Bloom's failure to address the bullpen.
While the debates can rage on about how impactful the trade off of Tommy Pham, Reese McGuire and Hosmer are for Christian Vazquez - both on and off the field - the real story of what did, or didn't, happen at the deadline was the bullpen.
It was known that the top priority for this team if they were really going to put its best foot forward was to find another late-inning reliever. Not only didn't Bloom commit to such an acquisition, but he dealt away a pitcher in Jake Diekman that the Red Sox used in the seventh inning 16 times, the eighth inning on eight occasions, and the ninth seven times.
Since the trade deadline, the Red Sox bullpen has a 6.83 ERA in seven games, the third-worst in the majors. In other words, the biggest problem remains the biggest problem. This was put on display in the final two innings when Cora was forced to turn to Kaleb Ort to reverse his team's uncomfortable narrative.
Maybe there is a miraculous reattachment of those severed limbs, and the Red Sox find a way to survive this stretch of Braves, Orioles and Yankees. That, however, seems like it would be somewhat of a medical miracle at this point.
By the way, the Black Knight finally relented after being left with nothing more than a torso. "Alright, we'll call it a draw," he said. At this point, the Red Sox would take the same sort of deal.
Surviving these days seems like a far-fetched scenario for this team.