Sorry I haven't been around much the last couple of weeks. Work got crazy, home never stopped being crazy, and since I'm starting grad school next week, it doesn't look like things will change anytime soon.
Selfishly, the Red Sox and Yankees have not put their pennant race on hold to better accomodate my schedule. As Peter Abraham astutely notes this morning, the teams are tied atop the division with 34 and 36 games remaining, respectively. Further, slight difference in winning percentage aside, they are both on pace to win 99 games.
Abraham takes a cursory look at the rest of the schedule for the two teams and concludes:
By virtue of having fewer games and a greater percentage of them at home, the Red Sox would seem to have an advantage in the race. Both teams have aging players in key roles and how they hold up down the stretch could determine the division champion.
He predicts the Sox take it with 97 wins to the Yanks' 95. In either case, one team will face the league's best pitcher twice in a five-game series while the other will face one of the league's best offenses with three games in one of the game's most offense-friendly ballparks. Fun times.
If I can pull anything positive out of the recent spate of injuries and the overall malaise into which the Sox have slumped this month (12-10, +3 run differential, 4.3 runs per game) and in particular the last two weeks (6-7), it's that a slump of this sort was inevitable, and it's better that it happen in August with a nearly impenetrable wild card lead than in September, when you're wanting the club to be getting ready for the playoffs.
That said, here's hoping last night's destruction of Colby Lewis and the Rangers, featuring the electrifying return of Jacoby Ellsbury, heralds a return to health and consistent winning for the Red Sox from now through the end of October.