Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Lightning Seeds

Game 113 – Red Sox

Angels 10, Red Sox 4
Record: 68-45

See the post immediately below this one. It's pretty simple. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The operative facts are these. The Red Sox, though they have been only slightly above-average since jumping out to a double-digit division lead, still maintain a .601 winning percentage. If they keep that same pace through the end of the season, and there are no injury- or performance-related reasons to suggest they are any worse than they have been year-to-date, they will win somewhere around 97 games. Even after they’ve seen their lead whittled away under the strains of an inordinately hot streak by their rival, they still lead the AL East by 5 games. In order for the Yankees to win 97 games, they’ll have to blaze a .694 pace over the season’s final 49 contests. Not impossible, but substantively difficult given the level of their competition and the question marks that still remain regarding their pitching staff. Of course, if the Sox reprise last season's final months, all bets are off, as will be many of the fixtures in my living room.

Yes, the Sox have done a master-gardener’s job of watering and tending the seeds of doubt over the past several weeks, aided by the extra-strength fertilizer of the Yankee resurgence. Those seeds are growing into little shoots, and poking above the soil for the first time in quite a few months. Personally, the details of my life and a West Coast swing for the Sox have rendered any meaningful contact with the team’s day-to-day doings impossible. In very many ways, that’s kept my panic to a low rumbling instead of an ear-splitting klaxon’s scream.

It was nice to see Toronto show some spine last night in overdue retaliation for A-Rod’s early-season bush league baserunning stunt. If it’s all the same, though, I’d rather see them channel their anger into a halfway decent on-field performance. As it stands, they look very much like a little brother having a tantrum while their big brother stands amusedly by, holding them at arm’s length with his hand on their head while they flail about ineffectually.

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