I have been slow to concede the division to Tampa Bay, but after a few minutes with a pencil and paper, I now agree that the wild card is Boston's only ticket to the 2008 playoffs. ... History has seen some strange things, but a Tampa slide and Boston surge happening simultaneously is highly unlikely.Well, now.
The past seven days has seen the Red Sox go 5-1 against the Orioles and Rangers while the Rays went 1-5 against the Yankees and Blue Jays.
Rays Red Sox GBBoston and Tampa Bay will battle six times in the next 10 days -- two series that may possibly decide the champion of the American League East. ... Or not. The teams could split the six games (as they have split the previous 12 meetings this season) and the mystery of who will end up on top on September 29 will continue.
0901 W 7-4 5
0902 L 2-7 W 14-2 4
0903 L 4-8 W 5-4 3
0904 W 7-5 3.5
0905 L 4-6 W 8-1 2.5
0906 L 4-7 (13) L 8-15 2.5
0907 L 0-1 W 7-2 1.5
Cool Standings runs one million simulations of the rest of the season every day to estimate every team's chances of making the playoffs. How did things change this week?
Chance of Winning the East
Rays Red SoxCurrent Chances of Making Playoffs
0901 80.5 19.4
0902 72.4 27.5
0903 65.3 34.6
0904 69.6 30.4
0905 62.0 38.0
0906 64.3 35.6
0907 ? ?
0908 56.4 43.6
Angels 100.0Monday: Jackson (4.07, 106 ERA+) / Lester (3.37, 134 ERA+)
Red Sox 98.0
White Sox 69.8
Blue Jays 1.4
Tuesday: Kazmir (2.99, 144 ERA+) / Matsuzaka (2.88, 157 ERA+)
Wednesday: Sonnanstine (4.66, 92 ERA+) / Beckett (4.20, 108 ERA+)
David Ortiz says his left wrist is still bothering him:
It's still bugging me once in a while but we're winning, so I don't pay attention to it. ... No pain, just clicking. If it was pain, I wouldn't be playing. Pain won't allow you to play like that. I just try to not think about it and just play. Since I got this thing [May 31], my whole swing has changed, you know? I mentally try to keep the same approach going to the plate and not think about it but it's hard, man, really tough.Since he returned to the lineup, Ortiz has hit .296/.420/.493 in 38 games/174 PA.