Monday, September 28, 2009

Yankees Clinch But Red Sox Magic Number Down To Two...NYY 4 Boston 2

The good news for the Boston Red Sox was that the Tampa Bay Rays rallied to defeat the Texas Rangers by a score of 7-6, reducing their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to two. The Red Sox have seven games remaining, all at Fenway Park, to do just that. Count on it. The bad news was that Boston lost and was swept by the New York Yankees. The final score was 4-2. Paul Byrd started and was serviceably good but Pettitte, Bruney, Coke and Rivera held the team from New England to only two runs. New York was clearly the best team (by far) in the American League since the middle of May. Jonathon Papelbon obviously agrees. Here he is...

“I think they have the best team in the American League East,’’ closer Jonathan Papelbon said. “Sure. Facts are facts. I think there’s a little sense of pride in trying to win the division every year. But realistically, the point is getting in and getting hot.’’

Paps is right and his teammate, Jason Bay, agrees...

“As of right now, obviously they’re the better team,’’ left fielder Jason Bay said. “Once the postseason starts, everything else is kind of thrown out the window.’’

Kevin Youkilis was asked if it hurt to watch the on the field celebration at game's end. For the record, it didn't bother me...we all knew it was coming. If the Sox were not heading into postseason play, well, that's a horse of a different color. Here's Youk...

“I don’t care,’’ Kevin Youkilis said. “I want to get into the playoffs. Once we get there, it’s a whole other game.’’

Youk is exactly right and with their four top shelf starters, all hale and healthy, anything can and will happen in October. Jon Lester has responded well to treatment for the leg bruise he suffered on Saturday and will make his last start on schedule. Boston, with a win and a Rangers loss, could clinch the wild card as soon as tonight. That their last seven games are at Fenway has to help. I'd like to do this today or tomorrow so that Boston manager Terry "Tito" Francona can selectively limit his pitchers' innings to get them ready for next week's postseason play against the California Anaheim Los Angeles Angels. Phew, what a mouthful! Here are the pitching matchups for the three game Toronto series...


9/28/2009 Tor 7:10 PM ET NESN Beckett (16-6) vs. Richmond (7-10)
9/29/2009 Tor 7:10 PM ET NESN Buchholz (7-3) vs. Romero (12-9)
9/30/2009 Tor 7:10 PM ET NESN Wakefield (11-4) vs. Halladay (16-10)

Maybe the "B Boys" can take care of business and make postseason play official. They're the two guys you'd want to pitch the next two games...that's for sure.

That's a wrap for this still-dark Monday, the start of the last three days of September. The leaves here in north central Connecticut have started to change to their brilliant autumn hues and there is a refreshing chill to the air as the humidity has moved out and the northwest breezes have brought cool Canadian air into the atmosphere. This is my favorite time of the year and I'm ready to spend it with my favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox. I hope you feel the same. Oh, I almost forgot...click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox and as always, BE WELL.

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