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WHAT is goin on with the Sox? Everyone in Red Sox Nation was told by various sources (coughESPNcough) that the AL East race was over in May. At that point, the Red Sox had a 14.5 game lead on the Yankees. In fact, the Bronx Bombers were in a tight race for last place with the perennial AL East loser, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
But now in the middle of the dog days of August, we find that our beloved Red Sox have lost four of their last six games and now the Evil Empire has climbed within four games of the Sox. What gives? Even more disheartening, the last two losses came at the hands of our once lights-out bullpen. The Okie-Doke of Hideki Okajima has begun to hang in the strike zone and our prized trade deadline acquisition, Eric Gagne has blown up. Multiple times.
Thankfully, these are all issues that can be fixed. But the question remains, can the Sox hold their lead on the AL East or will the Yankees overtake us? And if that happens, can we take the Wild Card from Seattle, Cleveland or Detroit?
If we have to fight for the Wild Card, I think it will be a losing effort. There will not be two teams coming out of the East this season. So it’s do or die for the Sox. On the positive side, Coco Crisp and Julio Lugo, two players who have been struggling all season, have started to come alive with their bats. Dustin Pedroia has fought off the nay-sayers who were starting to say the young second baseman was called up too soon and providing the Sox with a shot in the arm (Bonds reference) when they need him. J.D. Drew has been… well exactly what I expected of him, an emotion-less, injury prone on-base machine. Maybe all the days off are just a way to keep him fresh for the postseason? Needless to say, no MLB team is perfect, all have their own issues, the Sox needs to overcome theirs to get to October.
Can they do it? Get at me with what you think.
Lastly, all I need to say is good thing we got the D-Rays 12 more times this season… Knock on wood…