Jonathan Papelbon #58 and Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate a win against the Minnesota Twins on August 8, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Red Sox defeated the Twins 8-6.

The Boston Red Sox enjoyed a day off on Thursday in Seattle as they get ready for this weekend’s three-game set with the Seattle Mariners. After playing for 20 straight days, it was some much needed rest, especially for the back end of the bullpen.

The lack of rest for Matt Albers, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon may or may not have cost them Wednesday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins. Had they been available who knows what would have happened. But because they weren’t able to pitch, we saw what happened.

And that just goes to show you despite how good this Red Sox team is, there’s still some flaws.

For the most part the bullpen is solid. Right now though, there’s no solid, consistent lefty down there. Andrew Miller is in the bullpen for the time being but he’s going to be the long reliever and could possibly be making a spot start in the upcoming doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox sent Randy Williams back to Triple-A and Franklin Morales‘ outings are like a yo-yo. They’re up and down.

While there is still 19 days go to make a waiver deal, it’s highly unlikely the Red Sox could find some lefty bullpen hope on the trade market. They could possibly get help from Felix Doubront who returned from the Triple-A disabled list last night.

Whomever it becomes, the Red Sox need a lefty to step up in the bullpen. It would definitely help them out in the long run.

We’ll be back later with this evening’s lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. But for now enjoy the overnight links from the media by clicking on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

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Lackey is shipshape for Seattle [Boston Globe]

This season, bullpen a relief [Boston Globe]

Finally, John Lackey proving his worth [Boston Herald]

Minor call-ups could be major [Boston Herald]

Josh Reddick rewarded for maturity [Boston Herald]

Red Sox afforded some long-overdue rest [CSN New England]

Nation STATion: My one-run game [CSN New England]

Vitek, Brentz, Ranaudo improving in High-A Salem [CSN New England]

September options [ESPN Boston]

Lavarnway, Middlebrooks headline Red Sox prospects in Best Tools survey [Full Count]

The 2011 goal for Ryan Westmoreland: An at-bat [Full Count]

Jonathan Papelbon ‘Needs to Be Told he Stinks,’ Has Been Fueled by Doubters This Season []

John Lackey, Alex Rodriguez, Adrian Beltre Among American League X-Factors in Playoff Chase []

John Lackey Looks for Continued Success Against Mariners in Red Sox’ Series Opener in Seattle (Video) []

Numbers game forces Miller to wait for another opportunity [Providence Journal]

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New EnglandESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, and WEEI websites.

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Photo credit: Getty Images