It's a critical series.
The Red Sox are playing a critical regular season series.
When Beckett beat the Yankees on the last day of August, the Red Sox had a 1 1/2 game lead over the Yankees and a 9 game cushion over Tampa Bay.
With 27 games left, the post season was a formality. The only question remaining was would they be Division Champs or the Wild Card team.
The Red Sox are 2-6 and up by only 6 games in the loss column against Tampa Bay.
Beckett is hurt. Youkilis is hurt. Lackey is pitching tonight... AGAINST Tampa Bay.
If the Rays sweep, they will be down by 3 games in the loss column to Tampa.
AND they have 4 games against Tampa later in the season.
If this slump continues... we may have a tense September. Which I wanted in any other race EXCEPT with the Red Sox!
Lower the playoff magic number to 12.
Make me relax.