Friday, September 9, 2011

Stepping on the Throat

There are nineteen games left in the Red Sox season, twenty left in Tampa's.  Nevermind that these teams are playing each other this weekend and four additional times next week.  If the Red Sox continue on the current path, coasting into October, lining up their rotation for the playoffs, pitching Wakefield on three days' rest so that he can get #200, and letting Beckett sit instead of tape up his ankle - in other words, if they go 9-10 in these remaining 19 games, Tampa has to go 16-4 to tie them atop the wild card standings.

16-4.

While 16-4 would be a pretty spectacular finish, it's not unheard of.  I'm pretty sure both the Red Sox and Yankees put together a stretch of this magnitude at some point of the season (if I had cable/Internet I'd know for sure), and the Rays themselves may have as well.  Teams have won 20 games in a row as recently as nine years ago.  And guess what?  Tampa is a good team.  And I hate to say it, but they're probably the best managed team in the league.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox are a team with a switch that can and does go off frequently.  The 16-6 figure is if the Red Sox play .500 baseball.  Let's say they replicate the last ten games and lose thirteen out of the remaining nineteen.  Tampa would only need to go 12-8.  If this were the borderline detestable group of whiners known as the 2009 Red Sox, a piece of me would hope this would happen.  Best believe JD Drew hopes it will happen, as hunting season is coming up and he doesn't want to be part of playoff baseball.

But the bottom line is, the Red Sox have Tampa right where they want them.  This weekend, they won't (they'll probably get swept, making it a 3.5-game lead which seems to always happen around this time of the year - the second-place wild card team never dies), but they should win the series.  Time to step on Tampa's throats. 

4 comments:

the gm at work said...

The Red Sox hit a 16-4 mark in a stretch encompassing Memorial Day and ending right before Lackey's rainy San Diego meltdown.

the gm at work said...

From June 10 to July 2, the Yankees went 17-4.

Tampa has not (yet) done it this year.

Anonymous said...

The yankees famously went 16-4 in the last 20 games of 05 to catch the red sox and win the division. We don't even need to discuss what they did to close out 2007.

- pf

the gm at work said...

Pat,

You have to be hoping this happens more than anyone. After all that incessant "best team ever" garbage starting on New Year's Day, to have this team go down in flames with this weekend's Tampa Massacre followed by a four-game sweep at Fenway next week would have to make you giddy.

Just imagine if JD comes back from his devastating impinged shoulder and sore finger just in time to make a spectacular catch on a foul ball he should have let drop with a runner on third, and one out late in a 0-0 game on Sunday, September 18th.