Red Sox - 040 210 030 - 10 12 0Too. Much. Drama.
Blue Jays - 011 122 020 - 9 13 2
It was great to see Flo double and dong. And it was odd that Boston scored 10 runs, but none of the top three batters in the lineup crossed the plate.
The Yankees beat the A's 7-2, so the Red Sox remain 7 GB. The Twins beat the Rangers 9-6, so Boston is now tied for the wild card lead.
Wow! How did the Red Sox make up that insurmountable deficit against Texas so fast? One game back with 45 to play seemed impossible to overcome -- yet Boston did it. With 44 games to spare.
It's a miracle!
Josh Beckett (3.10, 153 ERA+) / Ricky Romero (3.70, 118 ERA+)
Laura and I are at this game, so ish will be your host for the evening.
With 45 games left on the schedule (25 home/20 road), the Red Sox are 7 GB in the East and 1 GB in the Wild Card. Boston has gone 12-17 since the All-Star break; the Yankees are 23-7 over the same stretch and have won 12 of their last 14 games.
I'm loath to concede the division since Boston has six more games against the Yankees -- including three this weekend at Fenway -- but I'm more than a little skeptical that this team can get enough of its shit together for a sustained winning streak. Boston has scored only 13 runs in its last four games -- and that includes the amazing six-run ninth last Friday. In the 13 games since beating Baltimore 18-10 on August 2, the Red Sox are hitting .221/.320/.402 and scoring 3.7 runs a game.
We have had season-long offensive black holes at catcher, DH and shortstop, and in terms of WPA, our worst player (pitcher or batter) since the break has been Dustin Pedroia. You don't have to be much of a stathead to realize that a team cannot win with three or four automatic outs in its lineup.
Baseball Prospectus's Postseason Odds for the wild card have the Red Sox (35.5%) ahead of the Rangers (23.5%) and Rays (24.9%). Boston is at only 4.6% to overtake the Yankees.
Pedroia: "We have to play better, pitch better, hit better, do everything better."
But Michael Silverman of the Herald says the Sox "just aren't that good" and the Globe has begun surveying the "panic level" among fans. ... Texas Gal, after bravely reading comments at both papers' sites, posts "Fun With Panicked Commenters".
Amalie Benjamin takes a closer look at Beckett's performance this season. Since a poor April,
Beckett has been otherworldly. In 18 games, his record is 12-2 with a 2.17 ERA. Batters are hitting .208 off him and are slugging .314. ... He has not allowed a single run, earned or otherwise, in six of his last dozen starts.Beckett's 153 ERA+ is 5th in the AL.
Kevin Youkilis returned from his suspension tonight. ... Clay Buchholz says the abrasions on his right hand from his head-first slide on Friday will not affect him when he pitches tomorrow night. ... Rocco Baldelli begins a rehab stint with Pawtucket today and is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.
A frustrated Jason Varitek, on teams running wild (like Texas stealing eight bases on Saturday) against the Red Sox:
You can just probably blame it on me, how's that? No, that's fine. I'll take full responsibility for their ability to run. ... I have two things: Try and get hitters out and make a good throw. The rest is out of my hands. That's some of the best throws I can make. They might not be good enough. [Why?] I'm not answering that. Maybe my throws aren't good enough.John Smoltz was released Monday afternoon. ... The Red Sox have used 48 players this season, already passing last year's mark of 47. Six players have made their major league debuts.
SoSH's Eric Van posted these Nick Green splits:
Split PA AVG OBP SLG
To June 21, after day off 57 .392 .456 .627
To June 21, after playing 114 .245 .289 .377
Since June 21, after day off 35 .161 .257 .323
Since June 21, after playing 81 .129 .222 .200
Total after day off 92 .305 .380 .512
Total after playing 195 .199 .262 .307