With the sweep of the rival New York Yankees completed on Sunday night, the Boston Red Sox approached unfamiliar territory. Currently at 92-59 with a 9.5-game lead on the second-place Rays, the Red Sox are virtually guaranteed the AL East crown, but they have loftier goals. They have a legitimate shot to contend for triple-digit wins, which they have done three times in their 113 seasons of experience.
How can the Red Sox accomplish such a feat? The last half-month of their season finishes with a six-game set at home (three against the Baltimore Orioles and three against the Toronto Blue Jays) and then six more on the road. The road trip features two three-game series against the Colorado Rockies and Orioles. In order to win 100 games, the Red Sox must finish the season at least 8-4.
The Red Sox have won eight straight series as of Monday afternoon and show no signs of slowing with the return of Clay Bucholz and the rejuvenation of Jon Lester. The offense that scored an absurd 54 runs in four games remains intact, and the Sox seem as potent an offense as ever. It’s more about the Red Sox being red hot (17-4 in their last 21) than it is about their competition. To continue piling on, the majority of the Red Sox team have started growing beards akin to lumberjacks and in a macho scene having begun tugging on one another’s facial hair in celebration. How can you stop a team with that much chemistry? They are reminiscent of the 2004 Sox who never ceased fighting and who “Cowboy’d Up!” They have shown they can beat anyone: Detroit, New York, Oakland. Any top team in the American League that has played Boston has had scars to remember that series by.
So to beat three teams with a combined winning percentage of .480, two of which (the Rockies and Blue Jays) have no chance a postseason play, seems inevitable. The Red Sox will not ease up on the throttle nor will they back down as the team remembers who was predicted to be cellar-dwellers of the East in most preseason polls.
To win 100 games is certainly a sizable accomplishment, one the Red Sox should ascertain within the next two-and-a-half weeks.