You know it’s time to panic in Boston when the official Red Sox panic meter is in the 8-9 range. And it should be because nothing beats panic in Boston and it’s been far too long since the Red Sox have done something pathetic, which was oh so common pre-2004. On Sept. 1, the Sox were in first place and led Tampa by a full 9 games. That lead has been cut to 2 games with 10 to go. If they choke away the wildcard spot it will certainly feel like sports karma has its rooting interests back in order. It’s gotten so bad that Carl Crawford has chosen to use this downtrodden time to apologize to the fans of Boston. Great. The good news? The Orioles are in town for four games and Eric Bedard will return to rescue the starting rotation tomorrow while the Rays head to New York for a huge four-game series against the hated Yankees, and they also have three more against the Bombers in Tampa before it’s all said and done. Boston clearly appears to have the easier road, but as Chris Berman will often tell you, that’s why they play the gaaaaaaaames. You wanted excitement to finish the season, you got it. Why do I get the sense that no one stood up and shouted “yeah!” after reading that? Oh, right, the NFL exists. Noted.
Tigers 3, A’s 0 — I don’t care if it was the lowly A’s he defeated, by a show of hands, who wants to face Justin Verlander in the playoffs? Or could this be one of those scenarios where a pitcher experiences a phenomenal regular season and then gets lit up in the postseason? He’s 24-5 and yesterday was his 12th straight win. If a “zone” actually exists, Verlander has it in headlock and is repeatedly whaling on it like Nolan Ryan on Robin Ventura. With each start, he’s gaining a vote or two for MVP, which is great because people will get annoyed by a pitcher receiving MVP votes.
Cards 5, Phils 0 — The Cards are still in the wildcard picture (3.5 games back) but time is running out. They have won 9 of 11, clearly inspired by the fact this could very well be Fat Albert’s final weeks in a Cardinals uniform.
Giants 12, Rockies 5 — The San Francisco bats have come alive about three weeks too late. With the pressure of a division title no longer there, a relaxed Carlos Beltran went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI.
Mets 7, Braves 5 — The Mets took two of three in Atlanta to justify what a confusing team they can be. They went from an embarrassing sweep at home to the Nationals, showing all signs of being completely pathetic, to playing legitimately respectable, a word seldomly used when discussing this team. The Braves finish with the Marlins, Nats and Phillies.
Blue Jays 3, Yanks 0 — Brandon Morrow went eight innings and allowed four hits while striking out eight. Notorious opener, Frank Frank, amazingly closed the deal allowing just one hit.
Brewers 8, Reds 1 — Zack Greinke pitched seven innings of two-hit ball and struck out 10. This is a wonderful time for him to be pitching so well. Perhaps the Brewers can upset the Phillies in the NLCS?
Angels 11, O’s 2 — After winning four straight the Orioles got back to their lovable losing ways, which means a triumphant return to The Wire. Snoop and friends will never be forgiven for this one:
[Photo via Getty]