By Tim Thibeault
The Boston Red Sox have just six regular-season games left and do not appear to be anywhere near post-season form, having dropped 16 of their 21 games played in September.
At the beginning of the month it looked as if they were cruising into the playoffs with a comfortable nine-game lead in the wild-card race. But, not so fast – now they are just two games ahead of division rival Tampa Bay Rays, and three games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels in the wild-card race.
“If you would have told me in August this would happen in September,” David Ortiz told reporters. “I would have laughed at you.”
Tonight is the start of crunch time for the Sox, as they take on the New York Yankees in a three-game series. The Yankees have clinched the division title for the ninth time since 2000.
The Sox actually led the league with 122 runs this month = which just goes to show that hitting gets you nowhere without a balanced pitching staff. They may be first in total runs, but they are dead last in earned-run average with an atrocious 5.98.
The end of this season has taken such a twist that Sox fans were forced to root for the Yankees when they recently played the Rays in a three-game series. The Yankees swept the Rays, which allowed Boston to maintain its wild-card lead.
“Ace” Jon Lester looks to turn things around tonight as he takes on veteran Freddy Garcia.