It wasn’t always pretty but it could have been a helluva lot worse. The Red Sox just spent 16 games in six different cities over the last 25 days. They predictably won the Astros series, tripped and stumbled badly in Kansas City, lost another series in Toronto, lost a home series to the hated Yankees and finally regained form to take series wins against the Giants and the now not so red hot Dodgers to close out their road trip. After all that fur flying, they survived and tonight still remain at the top of the AL East.
After a day off, they’ll be back in the thick of things when the Orioles come to Fenway for a three game set starting Tuesday night. In September Boston faces a brutal stretch of back-to-back series with the Yankees (twice), Rays, Orioles (twice) and Blue Jays starting on September 5 before they play the last three games of the season over the weekend in Baltimore at the end of the month. Only a two game set against the Rockies, mercilessly in Colorado, interrupts the AL East drama.
With Jon Lester again pitching well, Jake Peavy becoming an ever more important cog in the pitching machine and John Lackey simply needing run support – how many times has that been said this year – Boston is poised for as good a chance as any team down the stretch to win the division or bag a wild card berth. Yes, they have a rugged schedule but 13 of September’s 25 games are at home and all but two in the eastern time zone.
The Yankees have 13 road games including the last three of the season on the road in Houston.
Tampa Bays’ route is the most difficult. They have 17 road games, starting with an eight game west coast swing to open the month and ending the month again on the road with six games against the Yankees and Blue Jays. Sandwiched in the middle is a three game set with the Twins.
The Orioles have 14 road games in September. The farthest they travel is a four game series in Cleveland at the beginning of the month and they finish at home with six games against the Blue Jays and Red Sox respectively.
Fire up the DVRs and keep your smartphones charged. The fireworks show is about to start.