When the season started the Boston Red Sox shot out of the gate like a tortoise, losing 10 of their first 12 games. But just as quickly as people were starting to write them off, the Sox turned things around and won 80 of their next 121.
But then something happened. Just like the first 12 games of the season, the Red Sox have stumbled in their last 12 games. And after being up by 1.5 games over the New York Yankees as recently as August 31, the Sox are now struggling to hang on to their Wild Card lead and the playoff spot that seemed locked up just a week ago.
One week ago, the Red Sox led the Wild Card by eight games and had a 99.4 per cent chance of making the playoffs, according to CoolStandings.com. And then Chicken Little moved to Boston, and the sky started falling.
The latest blow came at the hands of the Sox’s closest competitor in the Wild Card race, the Tampa Bay Rays. The Sox were outscored 22-8 while being swept this weekend. And all of the sudden, the Rays, who trailed the Red Sox by 10 games in the middle of August, are only 3.5 games back (3 in the loss column) and have another four-game date with the Sox next weekend.
Here is a look at the top three competitors in the American League East and the number of games over .500 each team has been since the All-Star break…
Data via Baseball-Reference.com
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