Chasing Tampa: The Next 7 Days
As I said a few days back, the Sox have to go on a run. They only need to catch the Rays, and they have another 6 against the Sox and 10 against the Yanks. Needless to say, the playoff race is anything but sorted out.
This weekend will be a great measuring stick for all three teams. The Rays are fresh off a 4 game sweep of the Tigers. They beat them, but didn’t beat them down (winning by 5, 1, 3, and 2). The Tigers now travel to Boston and should give us a decent idea of where the teams stand. If the Sox can’t take at least 2/3 from the Tigers, then it might be time to pack up realistic hope for this year and start considering contracts and targets for next year.
I think they do take at least two of three from them though, and for the sake of this article we are going to assume that is the case and the season isn’t over. As we wait for the Rays and/or Yanks to stumble even a little bit (one has to this weekend, they are playing each other), the Sox are really not playing bad ball. Winners of 6 of their last 10, they have found their pitching stride again. If they can put some runs on the board like they were in the first half and preserve Bard and Pap then they should be in business down the stretch.
Call me crazy, but if we can take 3 of 4 from the Yanks next weekend we have an outside shot at the division. We finish the year with 6 of our last 10 games against the Yanks. So I’m not sayin, I’m just sayin. Also the Rays and Yanks play each other another 10 times before season’s end. There is plenty of baseball still to be played.
Over the next seven days we will be able to judge ourselves against the top two teams in the division as they judge themselves against each other too. This weekend we play a team the Rays just smoked, and follow it with (Cleveland) the Yanks. The Yankee series matches up as Vasquez – Buchholz, CC – Lackey, Burnett – Beckett, Starter du jour – Lester. It will be interesting to see if this so called “boring” Sox team lays down, or fights to stay in it.
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