The tragic number is one. If the Red Sox lose (or the Yankees win), they're eliminated.
But just in case ...
Red Sox (87-69): At Chicago. RHP John Lackey (13-11, 4.51) vs. RHP Edwin Jackson (3-2, 3.18), 8:10 p.m.
Panic-stricken Yankees (93-64): At Toronto. LHP CC Sabathia (20-7, 3.26) vs RHP Kyle Drabek (0-2, 4.9), 7:07 p.m.
Rays (93-63): Home against Baltimore. RHP Brad Bergesen (8-10, 4.90) vs. LHP David Price (18-6, 2.84), 7:10 p.m.
The Rays had a crowd announced at 12,446 last night for a game that could have clinched a playoff spot. Price sent out this Tweet after the game:
"Had a chance to clinch a post season spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in the stands....embarrassing"
It sure is. You do have to wonder if the lack of support in St. Petersburg will eventually cause the Rays to move to the Orlando area or another market entirely. That could be in concert with division realignment.
It's a shame that such a well-run organization with so many talented players gets so little support. It's easy to blame the fans, but clearly MLB made a mistake when they expanded to that market in the first place.
Fan support is taken for granted in places like Boston, New York and Philadelphia, where passion for baseball is part of everyday live and has been for years. But most markets are not like that and teams have to work hard to get fannies in the seats.