Patrick McDermott/USA Today Sports

This has become a pretty good pennant race

Rob Bradford
September 20, 2017 - 2:57 am

BALTIMORE -- The Yankees' game was up on the clubhouse televisions. But few, if any, Red Sox players were glued to any of them. 

They had just beaten the Orioles again, this time by a score of 1-0 at Camden Yards Tuesday night. There was nothing out of the norm in the visitors' clubhouse. Another extra-inning victory, and one step closer to the postseason. In fact, if the Sox beat the O's Wednesday night, and the Angels lose to the Indians, Boston will have clinched at least a berth in the Wild Card play-in game.

That's right: By early Thursday morning the Red Sox could officially be a playoff team.

But there was a reason for the business-like atmosphere. John Farrell's team knows that ultimately there is a lot of work to be done.

There is obviously an enormous difference between finishing the season as division champ and finishing the regular season as a Wild Card team. Burning your top pitcher for one make-or-break game immediately puts you behind the eight-ball for any postseason run, and that's why this is still a really, really intriguing pennant race.

The Red Sox and Yankees have been winning at a fairly staggering rate, with the Sox claiming wins in 10 of their last 13, and New York on a streak of coming out on top in 13 of its last 17 (and 9 of 11). It has left Farrell's club clinging to a three-game advantage with 11 games to play.

What the Red Sox have left is one more game at Camden Yards before taking on the Reds for three in Cincinnati. They then finish up for the final week at Fenway Park, playing three against the Blue Jays and four vs. Houston. The most daunting task, of course, figures to be the series against the Astros, who are a 1 1/2 games in back of Cleveland for best record in the American League.

After one more game at Yankee Stadium against the Twins Wednesday, New York plays its final three regular season road games in Toronto. The Yankees have one make-up game in the Bronx against Kansas City before finishing off their slate with three games apiece against the Rays and Jays, both at the Stadium.

And, for what it's worth, the Red Sox and Yankees are the two best home teams in the American League.

Dig in.




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