Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Despite Jon Lester's performance (more on that to come in a later post), the Red Sox offense simply laid the wood to the A's pitching staff today to the tune of 11 runs on 17 hits. Four Red Sox had three or more hits on the day, including Manny Ramirez who was removed from the game (in a planned move) after his third.

The win brought the Red Sox magic number to win the AL East down to two games.

AL East: The Yankees beat Tampa to remain 3.0 games out, but at this point it almost doesn't matter.

The real quest right now is for the best record in the AL. The Sox are behind the Indians by a half game, but the Indians are finishing up a double header in Seattle as I type. If they lose the second game (they won the first) they will be tied with Boston at 94-64. If they win, they'll have a one game lead with four to go.

While the Red Sox play their last four games at home versus Minnesota, the Indians play their last four games on the road. They have one more in Seattle and then three in Kansas City. Advantage: Boston!

Playoffs: Despite the intrigue over which team will win the title of best record in the AL, the match-ups for the first round of playoffs are effectively set as of today. The Yankees win eliminates Detroit and confirms NY as at least the Wild Card team. They'll have to make up three games in four days to catch the Red Sox which is very unlikely, so lets tempt fate and pencil in both the Red Sox and the Yankees as the AL East and Wild Card winners, respectively.

The Angels and Indians have already clinched their divisions so they are both in as well. The only question is the ordering of the teams which determines who plays whom. As of now, the rankings are as follows:

1. Boston..................94-64
2. Cleveland............94-64 (Cleveland lost their second game in 10 innings to Seattle)
3. LA of Anaheim...92-67
4. New York............WC

Anaheim is far enough behind that I'm going to assign them the #3 slot. That leaves the one and two slots to Boston and Cleveland. But, assuming that LA and New York don't do anything crazy, the Red Sox first post season opponent is set: LA of Anaheim.

The Sox can't play New York in the first round, so if the Sox end up with the best record they'll play the team that finishes third overall, which looks like it will be Anaheim. If Cleveland maintains the number one ranking, then the Sox would play Anaheim anyway.

Right now, the Red Sox are playing for home field advantage in the American League Championship Series. They already have homefield advantage in the first round as long as they remain in the top two, and they already have the homefield in the World Series as the AL team owns that right after winning the All-Star game.

Tomorrow (Thursday): The Red Sox start their last regular season series of the year. Its at home against Minnesota. Josh Beckett gets the call. He'll be facing Boof Bonser. Game time
7:05pm EST.

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