Our good friend Edw Cosette has been as on his game as the team he follows lately. The Red Sox chemistry is famously turning as they gain on the Yankees, who look increasingly desperate. Some, I'm sure, will blame Nomar, but I credit winning, whatever the cause. I've looked at the numbers and don't see anything different. I look at the lineups and don't see much jumping out at me. The bats seem to be following the pitching, crushing out hits when the pitching is Arroyo-esque (and I don't mean Luis Arroyo!), then resting when Pedro Martinez or Curt Schilling takes the hill.
BP's new Playoff Odds Report, Clay Davenport's new toy, puts some perspective on the whole thing, but this is one where I don't think numbers tell the whole story. The more I think about it, trading Nomar did nothing to help the team on the field, but it made this Sox squad look at themselves differently in the mirror, much in the same way Buck Showalter credits losing Alex Rodriguez as making every other player step up in Texas.
Kicking the Angels in two with another to go is big. Really big. Pivotal, shaping, NFL Films with John Fascenda's voice booming big. Sweeping this series would make them a prohibitive favorite early in the month for the Wild Card, but talking with Boston folk makes me think that slot might be failure. They want the AL East, no diggity, no doubt.
Edw may be channelling our own fair Ken Arneson with the poetry breaks, but Murderer's Row has moved to Beantown for the summer. Someone in the Bronx needs to break out a bard.
(Writing that, I get this feeling. I've got nothing else to base this on, but I have this amazingly clear vision of Alex Rodriguez as the modern Bucky Dent.)