The Sox were walloped last night, leaving them 7.5 games out of first and looking for all the world to be at the mercy of the division champion Yankees. So does Boston have New York right where they want them?
In 2004, after 121 games (same as today) they were 6.5 games back. On August 23 (that's tomorrow), they started a 10-game winning streak and finished three games back. They never caught the Yankees, but they still made the playoffs, setting up the magical four-game comeback that turned every Red Sox fan in America into an insufferable jerkoff.
So what happens next? One thing I can guarantee you is that if the Red Sox and Yankees do end up meeting in the ALCS, there won't be quite as many folks rooting for the collapse of the Evil Empire this time. Oh sure, the Yanks are still a boil on the face of baseball, but the Sawx have become the equally ugly wart on its nose. It's the kind of un-winnable choice that occasionally makes sports fandom seem futile.
But it's still baseball, so enjoy the afternoon! Even if today's game is not nearly as important as you might be led to believe.