What’s one win in an ocean of them? That’s the question the Boston Red Sox must answer today. With their magic number to clinch the American League East sliced all the way down to two, all the Sox have to do is win two more games before the regular season is over to secure a divisional title and avoid playing the AL Wild Card Game. However, beating the New York Yankees today would wrap things up without any need for that second win.
With 103 wins (and counting), the Sox have not really been threatened with wild card duty for quite a while, but with the second-place Yankees, who sport the third-best record in baseball, nipping at their heels (OK, nipping is being pretty generous), the Sox weren’t able to entirely coast through August and the first half of September. Put Boston in the NL East, and they would have popped the divisional-winning champagne ages ago. Have them trade places with the Kansas City Royals or some other team in the AL Central, and they win the division by 20 games or so.
If you look out over the last 12 games of the season for the Sox, you’ll notice that exactly half of them are against the Yankees, their oldest rivals, including today’s, even if the weather could have something to say about that. Still, there is a pretty good chance the division-clinching victory will come against the Yankees, whom the Sox have beaten in eight of 13 games already this year. Whether its tonight (the preferred option) or some other time, this Red Sox team can spin even more magic with just one more win against the Yankees or two more wins against everybody else. Here’s hoping they go the easier route and pull the division out of a hat today.
All this waiting around for the playoffs is tired for the Red Sox. (Chad Finn; Boston Globe)
Rick Porcello has had a severely erratic season, pitching well at times and disappointingly just as frequently. The second half has featured too much of the latter. (Luis Torres; Beyond the Box Score)
Look good, play good. That’s the motto. (Dakota Randall; NESN)
Pedro Martinez and Dwight Evans were on hand to welcome the Worcester Red Sox. (Aviva Luttrell; MassLive)
Here’s the Athletic’s most recent power rankings. The Red Sox are No. 1. (Matthew Kory; The Athletic) ($$)