surreal aspect of the Red Sox's September slump and subsequent fight for the wild card spot is the fact that Theo Epstein is exploring a trade for a pitcher to start a possible tiebreaker game on Thursday evening. If the Red Sox and Rays both win or both lose tonight, they will play a do-or-die game in Tampa Bay, beginning at 4 PM tomorrow. The winner will begin the ALDS on Friday night in either Detroit or Texas.
Ken Rosenthal reports that Kansas City lefty Bruce Chen is one candidate. Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors mentions Chien-Ming Wang (Nationals), Rodrigo Lopez (Cubs), and Aaron Harang (Padres) as possibilities.
Adding to the insanity*, the Red Sox would most likely have to make the deal before knowing if a game on Thursday would be necessary, and any new pitcher would not be eligible for the postseason roster.
* It's insane, but it also shows that the team will explore any and every possibility, however unorthodox and/or costly - in a trade and any potential fall-out with John Lackey or Tim Wakefield, who might otherwise get the start on short rest -- it might be. That determination and open-mindedness is an admirable trait.
Rob Bradford (WEEI) says the team might activate Clay Buchholz, who was originally scheduled to fly back to Fort Myers and pitch in an Instructional League game today. Buchholz, who has not pitched since June 16, is still with the team.