Playing The Best Baseball In The American League, The Red Sox Are Back

(Ed. note: this commentary originally appeared at SBNation.com, by Will McDonald)

Remember when the Red Sox were too old? When the Red Sox didn't have enough offense to compete in the AL East? Boston haters, here's hoping you enjoyed April.

On May 2nd the Red Sox hit rock bottom, falling to 11-14 after being swept at home by the Orioles. (Yes, this happened.) At that point the Red Sox were seven games behind Tampa Bay and suffered the indignity of being in fourth place in the division.

Since then, Boston is 24-11, the best record in the American League over that span. At 35-25, Boston is just four games behind Tampa and only a game and a half behind New York. Boston has fought their way back into the race despite a fluky 1-7 record in extra inning games and in spite of Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron and Josh Beckett all dealing with injuries. That weak offense is gone, with the Red Sox right where they always are: second in the AL in runs per game.

Importantly, it doesn't look like the AL West or Central will produce a viable Wild Card candidate. Even if the Red Sox don't come all the way back and catch the Rays, thanks to their hot stretch the Sox are now less than two games back of the Yankees with 102 games to play.

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