Well, what is there to say? The Sox managed not only to stage a huge rally, but to surrender one as well. They pitched well, then pitched horribly. They stopped relying on the longball save for the homer that got them into the game in the first place. They held the Twins to nothing, then handed them everything. They lost a blowout, then lost a nailbiter, then lost one in extra innings. To call it just another series would be to call this just another season – which it wasn’t until about an hour ago.
So now the big question: is it over? Do the Sox still have a chance? What exactly has to go their way, and at whose mercy are they truly? The Twins’ magic number sits at four, meaning with three games to go for each team (plus a possible makeup for the Good Guys), the Sox cannot lose a single game to the Tribe. Not a one. You could argue how hard it truly is to sweep another team, but the Twins just knocked off the so-called best team in the American League Central; how difficult a challenge can the Royals pose?
Really what it means is the Sox are no longer in control. They’re not out of it in any kind of mathematical sense, and half a game isn’t that big a hole to get out of. The Indians just might come back to earth, and the Royals might just keep up their winning ways. If the Good Guys make the playoffs, it will no longer be due to what shred of a competitive advantage they had. It will not be because they showed everyone who’s the boss, nor will it be thanks to any kind of intrinsically well-executed attack. Simply put, if they’re still standing come October it’ll be because three of their weak division’s five terrible teams went home a few days early.
To say it’s impossible is to turn your back on hope itself; but to say this was just another series would be to say this was just another season which, if you think about it, it sort of has been all along. For better or for worse, this can’t end soon enough.