The Red Sox keep rolling. Beckett gets his 17th win of the season in a 5-3 win against the Blue Jays tonight. He pitched well - really only making one mistake - a three run homer. We need these kinds of games out of him to finish up the season and head into the playoffs.
The usually suspects performed well tonight - Pedroia & Ellsbury - funny that I say USUAL, but these guys are really putting on a show and they are sooo much fun to watch. Ellsbury got dropped to the 9th hole tonight and proceeded to get a single, a homer (his 2nd of the season) and a triple (his first of the season) and he only got up 3 times! Give him 2 more RBIs and a SB and he is quickly making us forget that that Manny guy is out. Ortiz, Lowell, Tek and Crisp pulled 0-fers tonight - which is starting to get a little scary. I'm not worried about Lowell, but those other bums need to step it up. Youks managed to hit one out - is it possible taht he is starting to become a power guy - swinging for the fences or striking out - with nothing in the middle? Scary to think of.
The other really scary thing is Paps pitching for the 3rd straight night. I mean, come on - why the hell did we get Gagne? Timlin couldn't get 3 outs? Lopez could pull a cat out of the hat. If I hear that Paps needs 5 days off and he mysteriously isn't available after that, I'm going to kill Francona. Seriously. Did he not learn his lesson from last year.
With the win, the Sox decreased their magic number to 17 games - unfortunately the Yankees won tonight - moving ahead of Seattle by 2 games in the wild card. We really need to wish for one of those teams to get very very hot and knock off the Yanks out of the wild card. Missing the playoffs might cause Steinbrenner to commit suicide, and it would shut every Yankee fan up for at least a year. How nice would that be? Yes, just think about it. Now get it done.
Yanks have one more at home against Seattle then off to KC after a days rest. You want to think that KC will be a pushover, but they have played relatively well against the Twins (took 2 of 4), the Tigers (took 2 of 3) and the Rangers (took game 1 - losing 1 one run in game 2). Hopefully they can carry that momentum forward. Their offense has been clicking - so that is a good sign.
The Sox have Schilling going tomorrow night against Shawn Marcum (who happens to be 12-5 with a 3.75 ERA), so let's not get our hopes up for a sweep - although I guess it could happen. The Sox are headed to Baltimore for 4 games - where 2 of 4 is not unheard of. We'll have 2 of Tavarez, Lester, Buchholz starting - so those games are no gimme's. DiceK and Beckett should round out the order. Having a couple of blow outs will help - it will give our call ups some filler innings and keep our regulars in the bullpen fresh. Bryan Corey and Devern Hansack were called up and they provide decent filler. Hansack needs to prove himself as he has not been spectacular at the MLB level.
139 games in the books - 84-55, exactly 23 games left. Magic number at 17.
I thought of a crazy thing last night - the Yankees could actually sweep the Sox 3 in Yankee Stadium and 3 in Fenway (coming up) and still not capture the AL East. That is absolutely amazing. Luckily the Sox have TB 6 times left and they could very well could clinch later in the month against TB. Let's look at it this way, for the Yankees to win the division:
If the Sox lose every game left (0-23), the Yankees would only have to win 7 games (7-16).
If the Sox win only 1 game (1-22), the Yankees would only have to win 8 games (8-15).
If the Sox win only 2 games (2-21), the Yankees would only have to win 9 games (9-14).
If the Sox win only 3 games (3-20), the Yankees would only have to win 10 games (10-13).
If the Sox win only 4 games (4-19), the Yankees would only have to win 11 games (11-12).
If the Sox win only 5 games (5-18), the Yankees would only have to win 12 games (12-11).
If the Sox win only 6 games (6-17), the Yankees would only have to win 13 games (13-10).
If the Sox win only 7 games (7-16), the Yankees would only have to win 14 games (14-9).
If the Sox win only 8 games (8-15), the Yankees would only have to win 15 games (15-8).
If the Sox win only 9 games (9-14), the Yankees would only have to win 16 games (16-7).
If the Sox win only 10 games (10-13), the Yankees would only have to win 17 games (17-6).
If the Sox win only 11 games (11-12), the Yankees would only have to win 18 games (18-5).
I like those odds.