Sunday, September 26, 2004: Barring some sort of Yankees collapse and the Sox running the table, we are likely not going to win the American league east. Or only realistic hope would have been to sweep this series and then hope that they lost and we didn’t on a couple of occasions in the next week or so. After a galling loss on Friday night, the reality became clear: We will win the Wild Card, we will play either Minnesota or the winner of the West on the road (Go Rangers!) and we will not see home-field advantage until the World series if all goes as it should.

Friday night Pedro again took it on the chin against the Yankees, and while it is too soon to panic, and while Pedro’s own self-criticism has been harsher than anything in the media or among the fans, it seems fair to say that Pedro has not been at his best against them one team we need him to be at his best to face. Tito kept him in too long Friday night, and the Yankees battled back for a 6-4 win in a game that we had taken the lead in with a Manny bomb, and when it all was over, we were 5.5 back.
Yesterday’s game salved the wounds a little. Waker has been another problem point for us, but he kept us in the game. We were up 5-3 but they came back to tie it 5-5, and that sinking feeling slowly began to set in. But then we started rolling, and before long, in the 8th, we got a few hits, even Varitek, whose slump of late has been alarming, got into the action, and we ended up with a 12-5 victory.
Even if we cannot expect to pull out the East, a win today wins the series. It is worth noting that by winning yesterday we assured ourselves of taking the season series against the Yankees. Today we get to face Kevin Brown, who will heavily pad the glove on his injured hand, which he broke while throwing a temper tantrum a few weeks back. The fact is, with a win today we’ll still sit back and say “if x happens and if y happens we might be able to steal the division,” which is to say that even when the average Sox fan has given up hope, he or she has not really given up hope.
Happy Birthday, Mom.

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