Let's Not Get Too Carried Away with Red Sox Win

There’s nothing like a turning-point game in the Major League Baseball season. Especially in the dog days of August. You know, that one game that is so epic that it must just affect every game that comes after to it, all the way through to the playoffs.

Think Jeter diving into the stands or Varitek popping A-Rod. Those were classic turning-point games during the 2004 season. One was bad (the Sox lost the Jeter game), but the other, as the narrative goes, set the Sox on a course to win the World Series. But really, come on. There are 162 games in the regular season and a bunch more in the playoffs. Who knows what effect one game has. Varitek serving A-Rod a glove sandwich certainly didn’t have anything to do with that ball off Tony Clark’s bat in Game 5 of the ALCS bouncing into the stands for a ground-rule double (preventing New York’s go-ahead run from scoring). So as big as Sunday’s game felt, it seems to me it’s just a game in the standings. That helps, but otherwise, we’re just trying to fill in the narrative with good stories.

For proof, look no further than ESPN.com. Here’s a bit from ESPNNewYork writer Wallace Matthews’ story:

The day began with Jorge Posada losing his job and ended soon after Mariano Rivera blew a save.

In between, Derek Jeter went 0-for-4, got hit by a pitch and grounded out with Brett Gardner on second and a chance to put the Yankees ahead in the ninth inning.

Someone call Deer Park, Texas, and check on Andy Pettitte, because right now, the Core Four is shaking on its foundation.

On a day on which it was never more obvious that a changing of the old guard is in progress, the Yankees lost a game, and a series, to the Red Sox on Sunday night under circumstances which, in years gone by, they almost surely would have won.

OK, so taps it is for the Yankees. Meanwhile, ESPNBoston scribe Gordon Edes wrote:

But judging by what we witnessed this weekend, the stars are aligning for a rematch of that epic October extravaganza, Red Sox-Yankees, a rendezvous with destiny that might seem like it happens every year but hasn’t taken place since 2004.

Right. So that’s a very different interpretation. Doom and gloom on one side and optimism on the other. No doubt the Sox have momentum, but let’s not get crazy. As they say, momentum is only as good as tomorrow’s starting pitcher.