It’s that time of year again, isn’t it? The time when the Yankees get all the cherries while the Sox are stuck with the pits. The Bombers outlasted another iffy outing from Mariano Rivera, and edged the Royals, 8-7. The Yanks had led 8-3, but never count Tony Pena’s bunch out. KC hit four singles off Rivera in the ninth, and if Carlos Beltran didn’t make a base-running gaffe, things might have ended differently. Desi Relaford struck out to end the game instead.
The Red Sox watched the afternoon game before taking on Oakland again last night. Naturally, the talk in Boston is about the annual Sox swoon. Kevin Millar, for one, isn’t having it. Before the game he opined:
“The only thing I have to remind people is that there’s 37 games left,” Millar said. “Take your Yankee stuff and go have fun with your Yankee stuff and watch the Yankees win and all that stuff. It’s irrelevant.
“The bottom line is we’re trying for a world championship. We’re trying to make the playoffs. If we go 30-7, then we win the division. But the bottom line is we have to make the playoffs. If that consists of a wild card, it consists of a wild card and we’ll go from there.”
Then Boston went out and blew a 6-2 lead. B.Y. Kim allowed four runs in the eighth, and Oakland charged back to win, 8-6. It’s not as if the Sox didn’t have their chances; Boston left 17 runners on base. The frustration in Boston is mounting.
“We felt we had this game,” [Johnny] Damon said. “It’s huge. We could have pulled even. It’s not a good spot to be in.”
I wonder how Ed Cossette is handling all of this.
Still, they are a good enough team to make a run, so it’s tough to count them out yet. Just ask Mr. Millar:
“You guys are going to be standing here in October saying, ‘Wow, what a run,’ ” Millar predicted. “We’re going to win. We’re going to have fun. We’re going to the playoffs.”
The Yanks are now 7 1/2 up on the Sox. It’s too early to get excited; let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Still, it’s nice to see the Yanks put a streak together.