NEW YORK - Can David Ortiz reach 500 homers before the end of the season?
There's not much drama associated with the final third of the season, beyond the Red Sox evaluating the likes of Henry Owens, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rusney Castillo and others to get a head start on 2016.
But suddenly, the notion of Ortiz reaching this milestone is not out of the question.
A month or so ago, the thought of Ortiz getting to No. 500 by Oct. 4 would have been laughable. Ortiz started slowly at the plate and as recently as June 1, had just six homers for the season. He was in the middle of a second 17-game homerless stretch and the thought of reaching 20 for the season seemed far-fetched.
Now, that power slump has been reversed and Ortiz has now hit six in his last 15 games and has 21 for the season.
Given that Ortiz went into the season needing 34 homers to get to 500, he's almost exactly on pace after hitting No. 21 Wednesday night at exactly the two-thirds mark of the season.
Ortiz will need 13 homers over the final 54 games, or one every 4.15 games. So far, he has 21 in 108, or one every 5.14 games.
To even have a shot, Ortiz will have to stay healthy, so as to avoid missing extended playing time and thus, at-bats.
Given that players -- especially those closing in on their 40th birthday in November -- tend to wear down in the final two months, that may a tall order.
Tracking Ortiz's progress toward No. 500, however, could give then final third of a hugely disappointing Red Sox season some allure.