Thursday, August 18, 2005

The night this season turned...

OK, I know I'll probably regret saying this (or typing this?), but Tuesday night, August 16, might be the night that the 2005 season was decided in the AL East. Yes, there is a TON of baseball to be played, and the Sox could certainly collapse. I've always thought the Yankees had too much talent this year to be playing the way they are, so you never know. But...

On Tuesday, the Sox were in Detroit, and the Yankees were in St. Petersburg, FL, playing the Devil Rays. I was flying to St. Louis. When I got to the hotel and checked the scores on ESPN, Sox trailed 3-2 in the 8th, and the Yankees were winning 3-2 in the 8th. Had those scores stood, the Sox lead over the Yankees in the AL East would have been 2 1/2 games. Crap!

2 1/2 games is nothing. A bad weekend. You run into a couple of tough pitchers or don't catch a few breaks, and a 2 1/2-game lead is gone. Poof.

But 4 1/2 games? Now there's a lead.

Well, darned if the Sox don't come back with a run in the 9th to force extra innings, and then erupt for 7 in the 10th to beat Detroit. Meanwhile, the Pinstripers give up an Eduardo Perez homer to tie the score in the 9th, and then walk in the winning run with the bases loaded in the 11th to lose to the Devil Rays.

So, in the space of about 20 minutes, a potential 2 1/2 game lead becomes a 4 1/2 game cushion. Cushion sounds nice.

Now, I'm not saying that anything is guaranteed. My calendar still says August, and I will fear the Yankees until the last out of their last game, or until Steinbrenner's checkbook runs out. However, Aug. 17th was a big night. Huge. At least that's what I think.

 
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