Red Sox

This Red Sox-Yankees stat highlights extent of Boston's collapse

Red Sox

It's never a good sign for the Boston Red Sox when Bucky Dent enters the conversation.

The Red Sox lost both games of their doubleheader with the New York Yankees on Tuesday to fall behind their American League East rivals in the standings on percentage points.

That Boston would be looking up at New York in the AL East would have been unthinkable six weeks ago, when the Red Sox held a comfortable 10.5-game lead over the Yankees while sitting atop the division.

But not only did the Bronx Bombers erase that deficit in just over a month, they also made history in the process.

New York's 10.5-game deficit was the largest either team has come back from in the history of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, with just two exceptions: Boston's 12-game comeback in 1949 and New York's 14-game surge in 1978, which was capped off by Dent's infamous home run that lifted the Yankees over the Red Sox in a one-game playoff at Fenway Park.

Even the 1949 season carries a bad omen for the Sox: The Yankees went on to edge their rivals by one game to capture the AL pennant, then defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the World Series.

The 2021 Yankees appear to have serious momentum, as well: They've won five in a row and 12 of their last 15 while Boston has lost 13 of 19 since July 29.

Tomase: Why Red Sox are still in better shape than Yankees

That's the bad news. The good news is that the Red Sox still are essentially tied with New York in the standings (both five games back of the AL-East leading Tampa Bay Rays) and have a relatively easy schedule over the next few weeks.


So, despite a historic collapse to date, Alex Cora's club still has the opportunity to avoid another "Bucky Bleeping Dent" end to the season.