The Blue Jays absolutely thumped the Red Sox on Friday night at Fenway Park, and if they can keep it up this weekend they might just send Boston home prematurely.
It’s a bit early to be thinking that way, but this season hasn’t gone according to plan for the Red Sox. As of the conclusion of Friday’s schedule the Blue Jays sit tied with the Seattle Mariners for the second Wild Card spot at 51-43. Cleveland is the next closest team, and after that comes the Red Sox, who are 3.0 games out of a postseason position at 48-46.
The Red Sox are far from out of it with 68 games remaining to play, but with the August 2nd trade deadline coming up they’re going to have some difficult decisions to make in the not so distant future. Veterans like J.D. Martinez and Nate Eovaldi will be free agents at the end of the year, and if they don’t believe that they can qualifying for the postseason then the front office might want to recoup some prospect capital for the pair.
With the Red Sox missing some key players to injury like Trevor Story and Chris Sale, it’s not going to be easy to climb back into the standings. Their GM in Chaim Bloom knows that, and I’m sure he’s calculating whether it’s worth the risk for the Red Sox to buy prior to the deadline. Like the Jays, they have several holes on their roster, and it’s not going to be as easy as swinging one trade in order to turn them into contenders.
With Alek Manoah squaring off against Cutter Crawford tomorrow, and Ross Stripling taking the ball on Sunday against a yet to be named starter, the Blue Jays could do some serious damage to the Red Sox chances at a crucial time. A series sweep would knock the Sox all the way back to .500 at 48-48, and at least 5.0 games behind the Blue Jays for the second Wild Card spot. When you look at the strong field of contenders for the Wild Card that includes the Rays, Mariners, Jays, Guardians, and potentially others like the White Sox, I can understand why Bloom and the Red Sox front office might be weighing their options right now.
It’s a long season when you consider that teams play 162 games, but with 10 days before the trade deadline this is a very important week and a half in the MLB schedule. For the Red Sox, it could be the time that they decide 2022 is not their year, and it would be all that more sweet if the Blue Jays could help push them there. After a record-breaking 28-5 drubbing on Friday night, hopefully the offences continues to rumble through Fenway Park.