The Red Sox beat the Orioles last night. That combined with the Angels loss later that evening meant that the Sox officially clinched a playoff spot.
Thankfully it happened after the team had left the park, so we don't have to deal with all the analysis today over whether they celebrated the appropriate amount. Because however much they would have, or did, whoop it up about clinching a spot...they know they're not done. Because, it's not even really a playoff spot.
It's the abomination that is the wild card. It's a coin flip playoff game to see who gets to play in a real playoff series. (Well, as real as a playoff series can be.) Nobody wants any part of that game. You don't want your hopes riding on a game with so much luck involved. Pitching match-ups. Injuries. Flukes. The Red Sox want no part in that.
And they know it.
Which is why they'll keep trying. They're on to Cincinnati with one thing on their mind. Win as many games as they possibly can. They know if they win every series from here on out, they're World Champions.
So, it's nice to have the wild card to fall back on. Something under glass to release in an emergency. But the division is the real intermediate goal. That's the one that lets you settle in. That's the one you need.
That's the first step towards another title.
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