By the Athletics.
They had a chance last night to put home field advantage completely in their control. A win last night, and they would have been in the driver’s seat. But, they didn’t do it.
So, it remains solely in Red Sox hands. There are four games remaining, and the Red Sox magic number for clinching the best record in the AL sits at 4. The big question is at which point do the A’s give up? Say they both win tonight. That means the A’s would have to make up one game over the last three. Would they rather rest players, or take the chance that they can win one more than the Sox? How about if there are two games left, and still a one game lead? Will the A’s pull off the accelerator at that point? There must be a line somewhere. The Sox just need to find it…fast.
Or, just win their last four games, I suppose.
This trip to Colorado is annoying. For one thing, it’s practically a west coast trip. Making the team go from Boston to Colorado to Baltimore is annoying any time of the year. With a week to go before the playoffs, it’s downright criminal. Makes me wonder when the schedule was set. I know it was before the end of last season. But, how much before? Were the Sox out if it by then? Did the schedule maker not expect them to be contending this year? Is that why they didn’t feel bad putting that wrinkle in? I remember when the Patriots won their first Super Bowl, they had a late bye week. It might have even been scheduled as the last week. The team, naturally, took it as a slight. They wouldn’t make a playoff team play 16 games straight. If the NFL thought they were any good, they’d have given them a bye mid-season to get some rest. Only a team that had no chance would get a last week bye. Is this what happened here? Sure, they were putting the screws to the Sox a little bit. But, what did they care? They’d probably just as soon lose those games to get a better draft pick anyway. The Sox showed them, though. They’re sitting here with those games being vitally important, and are being forced to fly all over creation to play them. What a pain.
It’s also annoying to make the pitchers bat so close to the postseason. The last thing I need is Jake Peavy running the bases for the first time in a while and pulling a hamstring. I think the Sox pitchers should be on a no-running restriction. I don’t want them leaving the batter’s box. If they lay down a sacrifice but, stay right where you are. Even if they swing away, unless it goes over the fence they should stay where they are. Do I want Peavy chugging down the line trying to beat out a ground ball? Or sliding in for a double? Nope. I’d be tempted to put a Derek Lowe-like “no swinging” restriction. But, hey, maybe they’ll get lucky and put one out.
Especially in Colorado.