WHAT A DIFFERENCE A STREAK MAKES!!
The Red Sox won their ninth in a row last night, edging the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-1, reducing their magic number, the number of Red Sox wins and opponent’s losses needed to clinch the pennant for the Sox, to just two for Baltimore and four for Toronto.
After sweeping the Yankees and Baltimore in two, back to back, four games series, the Sox are quickly moving toward the championship of the American League East. With just eight games to play there is little doubt in anyone’s mind that they will win.
On September 14, the night before the Yankees came into town for that four game series, the Sox were 81-64, in first place, one game ahead of Baltimore and two ahead of Toronto. At that point, before they went on their streak, the Sox had averaged just five wins for every nine played for the season and were still in first place.
Now, they are 5 ½ games ahead of second place Toronto and 7 ahead of third place Baltimore, which is quickly falling out of even the Wild Card race. As the most important three words in real estate are location, location, location, the most important words in baseball at this time of the year are streak, streak, streak.
The team that streaks at the right time is the winner. If the Sox had continued their record of winning five of nine after September 14, they would be 86 and 68 today, 1 ½ games ahead of second place Toronto and 3 ahead of Baltimore.
Every Manager wants his team to peak, or play at their best, going into the playoffs, when all the marbles are on the line. Let’s hope that the streak the Red Sox are still working on means they are peaking at just the right time.
It looks,more and more, every day, like we may be headed for a World Series played in Fenway Park and Wrigley Field.