The Red Sox have really felt the absence of David Ortiz since the slugging lefty hit the disabled list in mid-July.
Ortiz last played on July 16, and heading into Thursday's game, Boston's record is 13-21 since that day. The Sox have dropped from the wild card race, and though the starting pitching certainly has something to do with that fact, it hasn't helped that Boston's best hitter in 2012 has been out of the lineup.
The good news is that Ortiz appears close to returning to the lineup, though from his comments prior to Thursday's game, it doesn't seem until he'll be fully fit without a few more weeks of rest — something he'll certainly be afforded after the season ends.
Check out what Ortiz had to say on Red Sox First Pitch, where he also discussed the situation regarding Johnny Pesky's funeral.