The Boston Red Sox are currently 6 games behind the New York Yankees and 5.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays, and if the Red Sox want to make the playoffs this year, they’d better get serious in a hurry. Not that I mind the Red Sox missing the playoffs, but then, what’s the fun of riding a roller coaster without a few loops? Or goatees?
And speaking of attaching steel wool to your face, Kevin Youkilis has a thumb injury (I have a joke for how Youkilis injured that thumb involving Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon and that face Pap makes when he comes set right before he delivers the pitch, but I’ll spare you) that will sideline him for the rest of the year. It’s just another injury on a team that’s been plagued by them all season long. The subtraction of Youkilis and the addition of new Yankee Lance Berkman might tip the scales in the Yankees favor for good. Not that I’m forgetting about the Rays, but one thing at at time.
The Red Sox have scored the second most runs so far this year, only led by the Yankees (576 to 561), but without Youkilis, who I regard as their best Yankee-killer, I’m not sure what they can do. When you take into account the Yankees vs Red Sox runs allowed numbers (442 to 496), it’s easy to get excited about the Yankees chances in these four games.
If the Red Sox want to win this series, they’re going to have pitch their backsides off, and I just don’t think they can do it. The Yankees have seen all of their starters already this year, and they haven’t really struggled to produce runs against any of them. On the other hand, the Yankees are starting Dustin Mosely in game 4 on Monday. While the Yankees had Thursday off, the Red Sox were finishing up a 4 game set with the Indians, so they must be tired, and I wonder how fresh their bullpen is.
Conditions seem right for the Yankees to take 3 of 4 – if they get it done, the Red Sox are probably finished for the 2010 season. If they split, the Red Sox may have some faint hope, but I’m wondering where their offense is going to come from, and I’m just not sure if their pitching is good enough. Ultimately, I believe only a series win will keep the Red Sox playoff hopes alive – and happily for Yankees fans, I don’t like their chances.