If prevailing trends otherwise continue, the duration of the Sox' season will turn on these four players (in order of importance):
1) Curt Schilling. He needs to deliver at a higher rate.
2) Manny. Ramirez has had a much better second half, although he remains erratic at the plate. He needs to get hot and to stay hot.
3) Eric Gagne. Even with the blown saves, we've seen flashes of effectiveness. A guy with his track record should be able to step it up -- and he must.
4) J.D. Drew. It would seem naive to expect much more than he's delivered so far this year, but a couple of big hits would make a big difference.