The American League Wild Card race is getting real interesting right now. With a Baltimore win over the Red Sox and the Rays downing the Yankees, the Rays and Sox are now tied atop the AL Wild Card standings. It looked for a while like the Red Sox may be able to hold their ground and continue this dominant season but the Rays have really come on strong and can smell the playoffs.
Josh Beckett pitched well against the Orioles last night but the Baltimore offense has decided to play the role of Major Spoiler and give the Rays some help. Chris Davis and Robert Andino were the unlikely heroes in Baltimore’s 6-3 victory over Boston, Davis driving in a pair and Andino scattering three RBI throughout the game. Tonight the Red Sox will send veteran southpaw Erik Bedard (1-2, 3.63 ERA) to the mound against rookie and fellow left-hander Zach Britton (11-10, 4.44 ERA).
The Rays needed a big inning to bust through against the Yankees and that’s what they got in the bottom of the third. With the score at 2-0 Yankees, a two-run double off the bat of B.J. Upton and a Johnny Damon RBI single put the Rays up for good. Having James Shields on the mound gave the Rays that extra boost of confidence to overcome the Yankees as Shields pitched eight and two thirds innings of six-hit, two-run baseball. Kyle Farnsworth recorded his twenty-fourth save of the year. Tonight young righty Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.90 ERA) will go against journeyman righty Bartolo Colon (8-10, 4.02 ERA) in a chance for the Rays to hop into first place in the Wild Card.
It’s Veteran vs. Youngster for the Sox and Youngster vs. Veteran for the Rays in what could be the biggest game of the season for both of these two playoff-bound teams.
…but the Wild Card. That’s right, all of the divisions have been decided except for the Wild Card.
NL West – Diamondbacks
NL Central – Brewers
NL East – Phillies
AL West – Rangers
AL Central – Tigers
AL East – Yankees
As of right now the Red Sox hold a 1.5 game lead over the Rays in the American League and the Braves have a slim 2 game lead over the Cardinals, with the Cardinals igniting over the last two weeks.
With four games left in the regular season losses are huge. Could there be two one-game playoff’s? One? Or will both Wild Card’s be decided in 162 games? We’ll know soon enough.
Wait, are we allowed to do this? The number in the “W” column – not quite sure what the W stands for, I’ll have to look it up – went up by one. Can we do that…?
Alright, well, obviously the Rays are a pretty good team. That much is clear. Cy Young’s people just told me that he has indeed extended an offer to change the name of his award to the “Wade Davis” award. We have yet to hear back from Davis’ representatives.
Have we seen some stellar pitching so far this series or what? David Price yesterday and now James Shields owning the pants off of us tonight. I tell ya! Those kids they have in Tampa Bay are very impressive.
Fellow Sox blogger Catherine over at
My dad and I belong to a local club of magicians and every year they have a fun Christmas show where a bunch of the members do some of the shtick from their acts. We have this show in a party room at a Golden Corral buffet and believe me good times are had by all. Jokes are made at the performers’ expense, sometimes out loud so everyone can hear, and sometimes whispered from table to table. I only go for the food and the laughs because I’ve been around my dad so much that I know how all of the tricks work.
Huh! I am pleasantly surprised with Phil Humber’s performance. I was expecting an outing reminiscent of his Mets days (bad innings patched, bad runs on bad or bad hits, bad walks [insert any number higher than five in place of the word ‘bad’]) but he comes out and pitches six strong innings, allowing one run on four hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. I can’t wait for Peavy to come back but this guy isn’t too shabby.