Monday, December 9, 2013
The Red Sox lose on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning, to the Yankees, and there is no panic.
Oh, to have a 7 1/2-game lead.
Winning 3-of-4 in the Bronx and still holding control in the AL East certainly lessened the frustration of Sunday's loss. Maybe it's because Boston is making post-season plans, while the Yankees are desperately trying to get into the wild card picture, with player after player going down with injury.
Boston is not without its injuries. Jacoby Ellsbury has a "compressed fracture" in his right foot, meaning he still might be able to play before the season ends.
The Red Sox also announced that Clay Buchholz is finally coming off the disabled list and will make Tuesday's start in St. Petersburg. Felix Doubront is getting skipped in the rotation.
Does Boston begin skipping everyone to give them rest? Or is Doubront headed to the bullpen? And if Buchholz pitches well, will Ryan Dempster be following Doubront in October?
The Red Sox loss did tighten one race - for best record in the AL (and home-field advantage). But it was not the Tigers closing in (they lost to the Royals), but the A's.
Red Sox 87-58
Rays 78-64 (7.5 games back)
Orioles 76-66 (9.5)
Yankees 76-67 (10)
Boston’s magic number: 12
Boston (17): at Rays (3), Yankees (3), Orioles (3), Blue Jays (3), at Rockies (2), at Orioles (3).
Rays (20): Red Sox (3), at Twins (3), Rangers (4), Orioles (4), at Yankees (3), at Blue Jays (3).
Tampa Bay 78-64
Baltimore 76-66 (2 games back)
Cleveland 76-66 (2)
New York 76-67 (2.5)
Kansas City 75-68 (3.5)
Sox are off today, but there is an Interesting game in Baltimore: Yankees (Sabathia) at the Orioles (Tillman).
Pawtucket reached the International League championship series with a 3-0 Game 5 win over Rochester.
The game featured two big innings, each culminated by players who began this season in Portland: Heiker Meneses and Chris Martin
Second inning: Two-out triple by Jeremy Hazelbaker, Dan Butler RBI single, Justin Henry double, Meneses two-run double.
Six inning: Rochester loads the bases with no out against starter Charlie Haeger. After a strikeout, Haeger exits. Martin relieves and gets a strikeout and fly-out to left.
The PawSox and Durham Bulls begin a five-game series Tuesday in Durham.
The Eastern League championship series between Harrisburg and Trenton also begins Tuesday.
Salem took a commanding 2-0 series lead for the Carolina League championship, beating Potomac 4-0. Mike Augliera (6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 7 K) and Madison Younginer (2 1/3 IP, 2 K) combined on the shutout.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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