After Sunday's game, starting pitcher John Lackey opined on the team's current situation with a month of the regular season left: "We're what, five, six games behind? And we've got however many games left? I'm not a math whiz, but I think it's do-able." (NOT a math whiz, for those scoring at home.)
For the record, the Red Sox have 31 games left in 2010, and currently are 6.5 games back in both the A.L. East and Wild Card. Is Lackey right? Is a comeback "do-able"?
Eh, probably not.
Obviously Boston is not eliminated (yet), but the road ahead is tough. As Over The Monster points out, if Boston (74-57) want to hit Theo Epstein's yearly goal of 95 wins, they'll need to finish 21-10 the rest of the way ... and then hope that the Rays or Yankees or both struggle in September.
Even if Boston somehow pulled that off with this beat up squad, New York and Tampa, at 80-50, only need to go 16-15 to have 96 wins. 6.5 games back is basically too much ground to cover in this little time.
Perhaps a bit more realistic (read: sobering): if the Yankees go 19-12 in their last 32 games -- which is about what they're on pace to do (and we're focusing on New York because the schedules indicate the Red Sox have a better chance of catching New York than Tampa down the stretch) -- they'd finish with 99 wins. Which means, just to tie, Boston would need to put up a 25-6 record.
Now, it's true that the Red Sox still have six games left against the Yankees. But not until the final week-and-a-half of the season, and by then, it may be too late. Besides, Boston is only 5-7 against New York in 2010 ... hardly a mark that inspires confidence as the calendar turns to September.
Another number to consider: 13 days until the Patriots' 2010 opener.