There’s still time for everything to go wrong. This team is too talented to completely fall apart, so long as the talent remains on the field. Injuries are the quickest way to unravel a great team. Boston is already dealing with several injuries in their infield, plus a disabled list stint for Chris Sale. The ace is expected back this week but the injury shows he’s not unbreakable.
Boston is 7-3 in extra-innings and 18-10 in one-run games. Both are excellent marks that put them among the league’s elite but that success isn’t necessarily sustainable in a small sample. A bloop base hit that falls in, a bad bounce on a ball that kicks away from a defender, a baserunning blunder. There are many unpredictable factors that can decide these tight games. If Boston’s good fortune makes a turn for the worst down the stretch it could potentially cost them a few games.
The Red Sox will almost certainly make it to the postseason. A collapse to fall behind the teams contending for the Wild Card spots would be unprecedented, especially when factoring in the addition of the second Wild Card spot. The division race is less of a certainty. Sweeping the Yankees gives the Red Sox a much larger margin for error but that doesn’t mean they can coast to the finish line. This is no time to get comfortable.
Boston needs to keep their foot on the gas to keep the lead out of reach. They need to clinch the division and the top seed to earn home-field advantage before the Yankees come to town for that final series. Only then can they ease up to get their stars some extra rest and set their rotation for the postseason.