Is this weekend’s New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox series somehow fraught with meaning all of a sudden? Yes, the Yankees are in first place in the American League East and the Red Sox are in last, but now the gap between them is just 5½ games.
As the division turns, not much of anyone is very hot right now — except Boston.
The Yankees, at 5-5 over their last 10, qualify as lukewarm, but it’s enough for a three-game lead over the second-place Orioles, who are 2-8 over the past 10. Meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays have gone 3-7 and the Tampa Bay Rays 1-9.
Boston, however, has gone 8-2 and carries a four-game winning streak into the three-game series at Fenway Park.
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“Everyone has their hiccups,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of the Red Sox (via the New York Post). “Teams turn it around. They get hot.”
And thanks to the Red Sox, this series isn’t what it could have been. As the New York Post’s Mike Vaccaro writes: “As recently as two weeks ago, seemed like it would be a meaningless blur of 3-and-2 counts, four-hour death-march games and one angry, agitated fan base watching the Yankees bleed a little more life out of the Olde Towne Team’s season.”
Instead, we have hope creeping back into Boston fans’ hearts, watching to see if their team can send them into the All-Star break believing the second half will be worth watching.
“The games in our division are so important, and we’re all grouped together,” Girardi said. “They’re playing extremely well and they’ve gotten back in the picture, but I don’t think we ever thought they wouldn’t get back in the picture.”