That’s right. Say what you want about yesterday’s doubleheader. The end result is that the Red Sox are one game closer to clinching a playoff spot. The Red Sox magic number stands at 8 games. Let’s just keep counting.
That’s the main reason I’m still amazed at all the doom around these parts. I mean, isn’t this the City of Champions? Ten-year old kids have almost had more championships in their lifetime than not. Kids born in the summer of 2004 have seen two Red Sox championships, and one each for the Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics. Incredible. And, still, people seem to treat a two-game lead like a five game deficit. What gives? This is Boston. Act like it!
I know. It used to be eleven games. So? It used to be tied. How about that? Why doesn’t that come up? Since Opening Day, they have increased their lead by two games. Isn’t that the one that matters? What if this all happened in reverse? What if they had done the losing first, then the winning? So, instead of being up eleven in August, they were down seven. Instead of losing nine games they made up nine games. They’d still be up two games at this point. In reality, they did that too. After that 2-10 start that doomed their entire season, they’ve made up ground until they have a 2 game lead. Why don’t people mention that? Why do they always pick the wrong sample sizes?
I don’t care when the Sox lose their games, or when they win them. They are going to end their season with at least 93 wins. They are going to make the playoffs. Does it matter if those 93 wins come in 9 ten-game winning streaks balanced by seven ten-game losing streaks? Or, if they won two games, then lost one, and won two, and lost one. It’s just the way the match-ups happen to fall on any given day. That’s why the baseball season is so long. It balances things like that out. That’s why a sixteen game season would be ridiculous. They need to have enough games to allow water to find it own level. The Sox are still the dominant team everyone thought they were. They’re just going through a stretch at the moment. It happens.
So, if you’re worried about the Sox recent performance you need to ask yourself a few questions. Are you worried about how Kyle Weiland will perform as a playoff starter? Nope. He won’t be pitching. But, the Sox did lose three of his games during this slide. Including two Rays games that really closed the gap. So? How about Sunday’s loss? They got embarrassed, mostly by horrible fielding from Mike Aviles. Does that concern you? Nope. He won’t be the starting third baseman in the playoffs. What about the lack or runs scored yesterday afternoon, or the shotty fielding in left by Darnell McDonald. Concern you in the playoffs? Nope. Crawford will be back in left for those games. The real line-up will be back.
So, why is anyone concerned?