One Is The Lonliest Number
That's right, just one game in the loss column between these two hated rivals. And after today's final New York-Toronto game, a make-up from an earlier rainout, there WILL be no half games involved in the standings. The Yanks and the Sox will each have 6 games left, and the New York club, while they are on the road, have the much easier schedule, with three games against Tampa Bay and three against the team with the worst pitching in the AL, or close to it, the Baltimore Orioles. The Sox have their 6 games at the Fens. They play, starting Tuesday, Oakland and then Minnesota. The edge goes to the Yankees, bigtime. And the reason they're only one game back is because of their record in the past 17 games. 14-3! No wonder they've been creeping steadily up towards the top of the American League East Division. Say what you will about them, and most people have done exactly that, but they've been playing great baseball since a few weeks before the All Star game.
Yesterday was the Tampa Bay season finale, and Tim Wakefield was looking to run his record to 10-0 at Tropicana Field. It didn't happen that way. Not even close. He gave up 7 hits, 3 walks and four big runs in only 5 innings for his first loss there ever, hence the title of this post (as well as the Yanks/Sox standings). Clearly Wakes has not been his dominating self since he came back from his back injury. He'll be our 4th starter in the postseason. Oy vei. Tavarez came in for the 6th, and only lasted 1/3 of an inning, giving up the winning run and 2 hits. Terrible. He hadn't pitched since September 12th, and I don't know why Tito put him in there. But no armchair managing from me, most of the time. Corey and Timlin finished up, and the Sox did mount a comeback, scoring 3 in the 6th and leaving the bases loaded with one out on a killer DP grounder by Eric Hinske. So near but yet so far.
As I mentioned, today is an off day before the final 6, so let's hope the Yanks lose to Toronto's AJ Burnett. They'll counter him with off and on Andy Pettitte. Go Toronto, and then WE'LL TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS. We HAVE to!
Click on the title of this post for Gordon Edes' look at the Boston Red Sox and their upcoming postseason, one we will all remember with fondness and love, I hope. If not, I'll still stand up and applaud, because the club, my club, our club, is doing its best without the power bats of Manny and Youk. And that's tough. But as Bruce said, in 1987, we're "TOUGHER THAN THE REST." And we always will be. Amen.
P.S. A special hello to a big Sox fan and a new friend, my Hartford Courant (the morning newspaper) carrier....thanks for being here every morning, bright and early. I appreciate it so very much.