The Red Sox aren't rolling over, but will it be enough?

Rob Bradford
August 25, 2019 - 8:06 am
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The Red Sox did their part once again, Brock Holt in particular.

It was the Sox infielder who stepped to the plate to lead off the ninth inning against one of the best closers in the game Kirby Yates and launched a go-ahead home run on the first pitch he saw. One scoreless inning from closer Brandon Workman and Alex Cora's team came away with its second straight win in San Diego a 5-4 decision over the Padres. (For a complete recap of the Red Sox' win, click here.)

By the time Workman and catcher Chrisitan Vazquez congratulated each other upon securing the final out the Red Sox already knew both the Rays and A's had lost. That was certainly good news for the Sox, who now are six games out of the final Wild Card berth. But it also is a reminder that just because Cora's club is taking care of business it doesn't mean it will be feeling like a legitimate part of the postseason conversation.

Welcome to the part of this uphill climb the Red Sox are trying to avert their eyes from.

"Yeah, I mean, obviously everybody knows where we’re at," Holt told reporters. "There are three teams ahead of us essentially so we’ve got to win. We’ve got to win as much as we can. I feel like we’ve been playing good baseball and we’ve been doing that so we’ve got to keep it going."

Since being swept by the Yankees the Red Sox are 11-6, with having now won four of the six series, drawing even with the Angels and dropping their two-game set against the Phillies. They have outscored their opponents 106-69, totaled a staff ERA of 3.66 and carried a team OPS of .906.

That bullpen so many were hyper-focused on at the trade deadline has actually been a strength, with hitters managing just a .179 batting average and .548 OPS against the group during the 17-game stretch.  The relievers' 2.63 ERA over that time is the best in the majors. That was put on display once again Saturday night thanks to a three-inning outing from starter Nathan Eovaldi.

At least when it comes to the last few weeks, the Red Sox have carried their end of the bargain (for the most part).

The problem comes in the fact that the three teams they need to lose simply aren't. Since that Aug. 5 jumping-off point the Rays are 11-7, the A's are 10-6 and even the somewhat slumping Indians have managed a 10-9 mark.

Simply put, Red Sox need one of these teams to fall apart.

Maybe it will be the Rays, who needed to place key reliever Jose Alvarado on the injured Saturday night with elbow inflammation after he helped Tampa Bay drop a 7-1 decision to the lowly Orioles. While Kevin Cash's team has won just enough, it also didn't take full advantage of a stretch that included games against Detroit, Seattle and Baltimore, going 5-4 to this point.

After one more game in Baltimore, the Rays will face series in Houston and at home vs. the Indians.

The A's will take on San Francisco Sunday before getting the gift of a four-game set against the Royals. They do, however, have to then travel for three games in the Bronx against the Yankees.

Cleveland? After Sunday's tilt with the Royals, it gets an off day before taking on the Tigers. 

The Red Sox can only keep doing what they're doing, but they might not want to prioritize scoreboard-watching. At this point, it will only drive them crazy.

After a rough beginning to his rehab assignment Michael Chavis turned in a stellar performance with the Triple-A PawSox Saturday night, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. He played first base for six innings.