Magic number, 9/11/2013
Boston 2, Tampa 0
NY Yankees 7, Baltimore 5
Detroit 9, Chicago WS 1
Minnesota 4, Oakland 3
If Boston wins 7 of their remaining 16 games (7-9, .438, 95 wins):
Tampa Bay must go 17-2 to tie
Baltimore must go 18-0 to tie
NY Yankees cannot tie
Detroit must go 12-5 to tie
Oakland must go 12-6 to tie
Any combination of Boston wins and Tampa Bay losses totaling 10 ensures that Boston finishes ahead of Tampa Bay
Any combination of Boston wins and Baltimore losses totaling 8 ensures that Boston finishes ahead of Baltimore
Any combination of Boston wins and NY Yankees losses totaling 7 ensures that Boston finishes ahead of NY Yankees
Boston has already won the season series with both NY and Tampa. In the event of a tie where the loser would be one of the Wild Card teams, the Red Sox would win the division anyway.
Best record in the AL
Any combination of Boston wins and Detroit losses totaling 13 ensures that Boston finishes ahead of Detroit
Any combination of Boston wins and Oakland losses totaling 14 ensures that Boston finishes ahead of Oakland
Tuesday night's win was huge for Boston.
- Buchholz was outstanding for five innings in his first start in over three months.
- They beat David Price. (They also made him throw 127 pitches, which may be a positive externality for the Twins when they face the Rays on Sunday.)
- The won the game that looked, going in, like the best pitching matchup in the series for Tampa. (Tonight's Cobb vs. Dempster matchup also favors Tampa, but good as Cobb has been, he isn't Price, not yet anyway. And the Red Sox had no idea what they'd get from Buchholz, and knew going in that the bullpen would be in early.)
- They went in to the series with a 7 1/2 game lead - last night's win ensures that they'll leave Tampa with at least 6 1/2 games of that lead still in place. The Rays, to have a realistic chance of winning the division, needed to sweep Boston. The Red Sox have already done everything in this series, and everything on this road trip, that they needed to do, regardless of what happens the next two nights.