Last year, Yankees fans had their share of laughs at the Red Sox's expense, as Boston tumbled from a division lead to miss out on the playoffs after a catastrophic collapse over the season's final month. Boston fans might have the chance to return the favor as a dinged-up Yankees squad falters with October looming.
If the fire sale that saw Boston ship off its stars in Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett didn't signal the end of their season, a six-game west coast losing streak certainly does. The Red Sox are 13 games out of the Wild Card race and with a pitching staff capable of giving up 20 runs; there doesn't seem much hope of recovery.
But the Yankees, who appeared to have their tickets to the playoffs stamped, are struggling: New York has only won four of its last 12, and after dropping two out of three to Baltimore is just two games ahead of the Orioles in the AL East standings and 3.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays, who would represent the final playoff spot. The Yankees, who are missing Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira with injuries, could slip out of the playoff picture entirely if they don't turn it around fast. The Red Sox will still have the chance to play the spoiler with six games left against their rivals -- including three to close the season in the Bronx.
Here's a look at the standings:
AL East Standings
And the race for the two Wild Card spots:
American League Wild Card Standings
|Tampa Bay||73||61||.544||3.5||Lost 2|
|Los Angeles||71||63||.529||5.5||Lost 1|
|Kansas City||60||73||.451||16||Won 1|
(updated 9.3.2012 at 8:56 AM CDT)