Monday, September 26, 2011
The Red Sox’s 7-4 triumph over the New York Yankees on Sunday night didn’t save their season. Three games this week against Baltimore allow them that opportunity. No, this reminded the Red Sox of who they are, a concept lost upon them during a September in which they’ve gone 6-18 and seen a nine-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild-card race whittle to one.
Everything has gone wrong in that stretch, and to see so many things go right edified everyone in a Red Sox uniform but Lackey. Hours after he exited the game following one of his best performances with Boston, he was still steaming about a text message from a media member “talking about personal stuff” he alleges he received 30 minutes before the game.
Although most of us won’t admit it today, last night’s game was not meaningless. If we were being realistic, we’d admit that Boston is probably the biggest obstacle in the American League for any team trying to advance to the World Series. We can pretend that Boston’s only as good as their September record, but that is delusional. For four months they have been the best or second best team in baseball, and they were predicted to be the best team in baseball by many coming into the year. Four bad weeks don’t change those things.
The Yankees could not have prevented Boston from making the postseason by winning last night, but they could have made it a fair amount harder. Should Boston qualify and end up being the reason the Yankees don’t make it out of the American League playoffs, we can remember that Joe Girardi felt Greg Golson, Ramiro Pena, Austin Romine and Scott Proctor were the guys to be playing in some of the situations that may have possibly won the team the game.