It's strange how much weight a single game can seem to carry, but...here we are. A win today is a series win. "Mission accomplished," at least for what Red Sox fans had realistically set their sights on headed into this series. Get within five games of the Yankees, approaching .500, and hope the team gets off to a hot enough start in the second half that they can justify buying the additional pieces needed to make a push realistic.
A loss today would see them 6.5 back, though, and just make it hard to really think about establishing momentum out of the gate in the second half. One small game--1 of 162, no less--but somehow more important than it has any business being.
Only 1 last game until the first half is finally over! May it be a positive sign for a better second half to come.