No major league team has ever overcome a deficit of nine games in the standings in September to make the playoffs.
The Tampa Bay Rays were nine games behind Boston in the wild-card race on Sept. 2 and they are 2 1/2 games back going into today’s games.
Since then, Tampa Bay is 12-8 while Boston is 5-14.
Boston hasn’t won a game over the last three days and actually has gained a 1/2 game with Tampa Bay losing a doubleheader on Wednesday and losing last night when Boston was rained out.
With a 5-1 loss to Toronto last night, Tampa Bay has lost four of its last five games. Tampa Bay is 5-7 over its last 12 games and three of those wins came against the Red Sox.
The Los Angeles Angels still have a mathematical chance by the way at 3 1/2 games back.
Boston’s magic number to eliminate Tampa Bay from wild card consideration is four. Any combo of Boston wins and Tampa Bay losses equaling four and Boston makes the playoffs.
That means if the Sox go 4-2 in the remaining six games against the Yankee and Orioles, there is nothing Tampa Bay can do to overcome that.
The Rays, trying for their third playoff berth in four years, have two games left this weekend with Toronto before playing at home vs. the Yankees to end the regular season.
By the way, no American League team has ever started the year 0-6 and made the playoffs and both Boston and Tampa Bay had 0-6 starts this year.
There is still time left for the wild card race to have a wild finish and the Orioles could still be right in the middle of it.