The Sox are on track right now to win 96 games and it seems like 96 should get the job done. Will they get there? Who knows? Not me. There are still some significant holes in the team, not the least of which is RP. But Napoli appears to be coming around again and Gomes and Carp continue to produce in their roles. 100 games is too late in the season to be talking about "small sample size" so it appears that this team just may be pretty darn good!
Tampa Bay seems at this moment to be the team of the present though. They're streaking, having won 19 of their last 22 and they're within 1/2 game of the top. Were I a Rays fan that would concern me. I don't believe that the Rays are an .860 team any more than I believed that Iggy was a .500+ hitter. Things have a way of evening out. I'm not saying the Rays are going to lose 19 of 22 at any point, but if they find themselves mired in a four game losing streak or lose four out of six they could find themselves falling back in a hurry in a close division. And I'm of the opinion that a losing streak is inevitable at some point for the Rays, just because history teaches us that those things happen.
The Sox have gotten to where they are by being consistent. The saying, "it's a marathon and not a sprint" comes to mind immediately as does, "Slow and steady wins the race". However, if the Rays continue to win 19 of 22 or even 15 of 20 from here on in they'll win 100 games and I'll just tip my hat to them and say, "Wow. This team is really good." But I don't think it's going to happen.
Stay the course, Red Sox. Even if the Sox lose tonight it's not the end of the world. There are still almost 60 games left to play and the AL East belongs to any of the top three teams (sorry Y's, but unless you put together a 19 of 22 streak of your own you're pretty much out of it) who can play consistent baseball from here on in.
Ben, a little help for the pen and I still think this team is in business!