The Boston Red Sox just finished off a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers with their 2-0 win last night. They have now won six in a row and are 39 and 19 since April 20. This stretch of excellent baseball has allowed them to climb from 8.5 games out of first place in the American League East to just one game. No team in the Major Leagues has more wins than the Red Sox and only one team, the Yankees, matches their 43 victories. Yet…
… if the season were to end today, seven teams with fewer wins than the Sox would make the playoffs, while the Red Sox would not. They have won more games than Tampa Bay, but they have also lost one more, so the Rays have a better winning percentage. The Yankees would win the division and the Rays would be the wild card team.
Of course, with an unequal number of games played, the season couldn’t end today, but I’m just trying to make a point, which is this:
The Red Sox dug themselves a deep hole early in the season and while they’ve played incredibly well the past two months, they still have not climbed all the way out. That’s how tough the American League East is.
But as Chad Finn and Peter Abraham are quick to say, there’s a lot of baseball left to play, including a west coast road trip, during which the Sox will face two of the best pitchers in the game (Ubaldo Jimenez and Tim Lincecum). They will be on the road for 30 of their next 39 games. The next five weeks promise to be very grueling. It will be interesting to see where they are in the standings come August 1st.