So the Sox drop two of three in Texas and drop out of the Wild Card lead. It caused Jason Bay to joke that the team should just pack up the season and shut it down. Callers to sports radio were saying the season was over, bloggers (myself included) and newspaper guys were writing off the season. Heading to Toronto where they’ve had trouble this season, most people had the Sox pegged for losers in this series.
No Pedroia in two of the games. Didn’t matter. Papi against a lefty. Didn’t matter. In fact last night’s offense was keyed by JD Drew who had slid all the way to the #8 spot in the lineup. Drew proceeded to go four for four with two home runs and three RBI’s. His first multi-homer game since June 2007.
This offense combined with a another brilliant start from Jon Lester (8 innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run) and the Sox were able to leave Toronto with a sweep. It’s the first sweep in Toronto that I can recall in a while. Of course none of the people covering the Sox have that stat for me. Lester is the first Sox lefty since Frank Viola in ’92-’93 to have two consecutive 10 win seasons.
So now this weekend the Sox welcome New York to Fenway. A Yankee team that swept them in four games in New York to build this 6.5 game deficit earlier this month. So a Sox sweep would put it at a manageable 3.5 games with a little over a month to go. A Yankee sweep puts them out of it at 9.5. The Sox take two of three and it’s 5.5. Still manageable, but 3.5 would be a lot easier to overcome.
The Sox don’t travel west until the first week in September against the White Sox. Then KC is their only other non-east coast travel for the rest of the year. Meanwhile the Yankees still have to play series in Seattle and LA against the Angels. I say the schedule favors the Sox down the stretch. Let’s just hope the bats keep up what they’re doing and that Varitek stays on the bench.