After ripping off 11 straight wins, a run that effectively clinched the American League East title, the Red Sox stumbled through the past week, losing five of their past six.
So, what's that mean?
In all likelihood, virtually nothing.
Baseball history is littered with teams who have tripped and fallen down the stretch, surely en route to a first-round elimination -- only to reverse course and catch fire when the playoffs got underway.
The 1986 Red Sox were one such team, seemingly running out of gas in the final week of the regular season, losing seven of their final 11 and -- sound familiar? -- five of the last six.
Those '86 Sox, though they met a hugely disappointing end, went on to defeat the California Angels in the ALCS and then force the New York Mets to seven games before losing an epic World Series.
In 2007, the Sox were a thoroughly mediocre 10-10 in their final three weeks -- and promptly ran the table in the postseason, winning their second World Series in the span of four years.
Need more evidence that the final games don't matter much, or at the very least, isn't indicative of what's coming? Take the 2009 Red Sox, who won their final four games -- and then were swept into the winter by the Angels.
There are similar examples for virtually every franchise. If you wish to make the point that teams need to have momentum heading into October, there are plenty of cases to prove your point.
Conversely, if you're searching for evidence that how you finish is irrelevant to how you'll far in the postseason, you'll find ample backing to make your point.
While it's true that the Red Sox were hardly at their best in the season's final week, they did, for the most part, get strong pitching performances from nearly all their starters.
If you could pick and choose one element of a team's game to be ready for the playoffs, starting pitching is that element, since no variable is more important.
"This is a team that played really good baseball when we really needed to,'' said David Price, who allowed a run over five innings in the 2-1 loss Sunday. "We proved ourselves a lot doing what we did against the teams we did during that 11-game winning streak and I know our team is ready to go.''
There's another point to consider: prior to 2012, division winners barely had time to catch their breath when Game 162 was complete. The first game of the Division Series would be played as soon as two days later.
But the introduction of the second wild card in 2012 meant a new postseason schedule, one that has division winners sitting out three or, in the case of the N.L. this year, four days before the postseason gets underway.
That delay is likely to make the results of the final week even less relevant before, since it's hard to maintain momentum for that long.
Streaking teams have start all over again, while slumping teams have time to wipe the slate clean.
And by Thursday night, what the Red Sox did a week ago, or five days ago, will carry virtually no significance.